Shoreline Arab picnic kicks off planning for Seattle Center Arab Festival

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Arab Center of Washington will sponsor a cultural heritage room at the Shoreline Arts Festival this Saturday and Sunday at the Shoreline Center. They will be in the McAleer Room at the south end of the facility, with displays, music, and information, and they invite you to drop in to see them there.

The picnic lasted through the early evening,
with people coming and going throughout the event
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Members of the Arab community gathered in Shoreline's Hamlin Park Sunday, June 23, 2013 for a picnic which served as a kick-off for planning for the Arab Festival to be held at Seattle Center October 12-13, 2013.

The picnic was a social event, to give people of Arab heritage a chance to meet and socialize. 

"We hold several picnics during the summer", said Huda Giddens, President of the Board of Directors of the Arab Center of Washington, "holding them in different locations to make it convenient for people." A previous picnic was held in Kent and the next one is planned for August 17 in Sammamish.

Huda Giddens gets everyone's attention for announcements
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

"Everyone is welcome to attend", said Giddens. "We welcome those whose heritage includes Arab, as well as anyone interested in the Middle East."

The sponsoring organization, the Arab Center of Washington, is a cultural and heritage group, with no political or religious affiliations. Its goal is to increase the understanding of Arabs and Arab culture and to bring people together.

Those at the Shoreline picnic represented at least a dozen different Arab countries, either as their country of origin, or through a parent or grandparent. 

Board Members react with pleasure at the ribbon cutting
From left: President Huda Giddens, Board member, Marco Saffarini, Secretary Su Nelson,
and Board members Mary Toutonghi and Afifi Durr of Shoreline
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

The Board of the Arab Center held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the Arab Festival, and signed up volunteers. The Festival will feature many lectures, local musicians, and authors as well as an internationally-known musician, Simon Chaheen.

Updated 06-29-2013 6:50pm

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