Archive | Arab Festival

ACW Outreach

The Arab Center of Washington would like to reach out to you with its plans for the upcoming year!

We never would have been able to pull off any of our events or a very successful 2015 festival without your help!

Please consider attending this meeting to get to know us, our ongoing programs, and how you can help :)

Where? Fairwood Library, 17009 140th Ave SE, Renton, Washington 98058

When? Sunday, October 4th, 12-3pm


  • Introduce the Arab Center of Washington Board and it’s members
  • Give an overview of the events and activities we had in the past year year and what we are planning for next year
  • Give an overview of festival
  • Specific positions
  • Recruit people who are interested
  • General Q&A + suggestions + discussions

Refreshments will be served 😉

ACW team

Arab Festival: Lecture Edition

Arab Festival 2015 Lecture Edition

Check out the engaging & informative lectures offered at the 2015 Arab Festival! 


Doing Business in the Middle East with Ali Shami:

Ali Shami

How much time, money, and effort do you think business leaders have wasted trying to succeed in doing business in the Middle East? If you are interested in learning short cuts, tips, and proven methods to build a strong foundation for a successful business in Middle East countries, then you will find this discussion worth every minute. Ali Shami, a native Middle Eastern has invested over 20 years in International Business, traveled internationally supporting customers, and worked in three countries representing major US companies.



✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday 11 am – 12 pm


The Nutritious and Delicious Mediterranean Diet with Evette Hackman:

Evette Hackman

Even if you know a lot about the Mediterranean diet, you will enjoy this class. We will discuss and demonstrate the great features of typical dishes such as stuffed vegetables, pita bread, olives, herbs, yogurt, grape leaves, falafel, pomegranate, lentils and rice, hummus, eggplant dip, and spinach pies. We will have samples for tasting. Evette Hackman, PhD, has worked for 40 years as a registered dietitian and nutritionist. She is a professor emerita from Seattle Pacific University, a sports nutritionist, public health nutritionist, former nutrition editor of SHAPE magazine, author and consultant.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm


What Stays the Same is Never So – A Presentation and Conversation with Visual Artist Mary Ann Peters

Mary Ann Peters In 2014, Mary Ann Peters received a grant from the Art Matters Foundation (NYC) to research the migration out of Greater Syria at the turn of the 20th through Europe and into the Americas, particularly Mexico. She did her research at the l’Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and various archives in Mexico City, including the ArchivoLibanes. She compared the information to the approach of citizen journalists recording events in the Middle East today.



✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm



Travel to the Arab World with Rita Zawaideh

Rita ZawaidehCome listen to award winner Rita Zawaideh, owner of Caravan-Serai Tours and voted Globalist of the Year twice in Seattle, talk about traveling to these magical, mystical countries. Caravan-Serai Tours creates tours that reflect the spirit of the travelers from long ago who looked forward to the hospitality and the opportunity to learn from their North African and Middle East destinations. Caravan-Serai Tours staff have lived, worked, and traveled throughout the Arab world, and are proud of their heritage.



✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm


The Disappearing Hammam with Amal Sedky

Amal Sedky Winter

Winter This presentation (with lots of visual images) focuses on the disappearing Hammams—bath houses—in Cairo and their important community functions. Amal will also be happy to comment on her life in Egypt in the past tumultuous years. Amal Sedky Winter is an Egyptian-American clinical psychologist, educator, and long time Arab- American activist. She has worked for women’s empowerment projects in several Arab countries and recently returned to Seattle after serving as a Visiting Professor of Practice at the American University in Cairo for seven years.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday 4 pm – 5 pm


Storytelling with Afifi Durr

Afifi Durr

Afifi Durr, a former ACW Board member, and a member of Seattle Storytelling, will share her stories about Middle Eastern food and culture. She wants to encourage the local Arab community to tell their own stories. Storytellers will have five to eight minutes. Afifi will brief storytellers to assist in preparing or telling stories. Both listeners and aspiring storytellers are welcome. Let us all create our old-fashioned and traditional storytelling of the “Hakawati” in the Middle East. All are welcome! Ahlan Wa’sahlan!


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Saturday and Sunday 5:15 pm – 6:00 pm



Oasis of Resilience, Healing and Empowering Syrian Children in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan with Malda Takieddine

Oasis of ResilienceIn this lecture, Malda Takieddine will present the challenges that children in war-torn regions face and how they are impacted. She will present some case studies of methods used in Europe after World War II to help children cope from these changes. Malda will define resilience and will explore how can we build resiliency in children to let them cope with their traumas and prepare them to move forward. Malda’s method is to use landscape to bring people together and strengthen children’s confidence. Malda holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington, College of Built Environments. You can read more about her work here.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Sunday 11:30 pm – 12:00 pm


A World of Henna with Kree Arvanitas

Kree ArvanitasCome see a powerpoint presentation on the global expansion of beautiful henna body art, displaying some of the popular styles around the world. The influence of henna on fine art will also be touched upon, with a focus on Arab artists. If we have time, I will also do a demonstration of henna application. Kree Arvanitas is the owner of HennaDervish and RebelDog Studio. Her paintings are shown in galleries in the Northwest and her body art has been published in numerous venues, including a NY Times best selling book cover. She has a master henna artist certificate from the renowned Ash Kumar Academy and especially enjoys working on joint media projects with other creative souls.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Sunday 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm


Introduction to Arab Music and Songs with Reham Elkhayat

Reham Elkhayat

Reham will introduce the main instruments used in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and will follow the developments of the Arab music till present time. You will be introduced to some of the prominent song genres and artists throughout the region. Reham Elkhayat is the owner of Hannah Cultural Solutions in Seattle. Reham is multilingual and has years of teaching and training experience in the U.S. and abroad. Reham currently teaches language and culture at colleges in Seattle and Edmonds, where she also hosts events on diversity, minority groups, gender and human rights in the Middle East.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Sunday 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm


Arab Authors Book Club Panel

Book Club PanelThe Arab Authors Book Club meets every other month to discuss North African and Middle Eastern literature. These books range from the classics to contemporary and encompass a wide range of social issues that deal with Arab society. Come hear them discuss their favorite books and recommendations for your reading enjoyment.


✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Sunday 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm


Figs, Loquats and Grapes with Bill Farhat

Bill Farhat

Come hear Seattle’s very own “Fig King” Bill Farhat, talk about how to cultivate fig trees, loquats and grapes here in the Pacific Northwest. Bring your questions about these fabulous fruits from the Arab World. Bill Farhat, is a retired Arabic professor who’s been growing figs in his backyard in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood for decades.




✎ 3rd Floor Conference Rooms, Sunday 4 pm – 5 pm


How you can help?

have worked hard to make this a lovely Festival for all. If you would like to support the festival we have an Indiegogo campaign running here. $25 dollars helps us go a long way!

Be Involved with the 2013 Seattle Arab Festival!

The Arab Center of Washington Board greatly appreciates your willingness to offer your gifts and expertise to bringing about a successful 2013 Arab Festival.  Please carefully consider the options below, where you can volunteer your time and effort.  Without you, there will be no Festival, for it is the dedicated, sustained work of many that produces the wonderful signature event we are so proud of.

The following is a breakdown of the various departments needed to give shape to the Festival.  You might like to take on a variety of tasks, if you feel you can be persistent in their execution.  Or, you might prefer to focus on one type for which you have the appropriate skills.  Be realistic in your choice, for in the end you will have contributed your best for the 2013 Festival.

Please contact Su Nelson at to sign up.


  • individual fund raising
  • grant writing
  • bookkeeping
  • insurance/legal matters
  • seeking sponsors
  • event fund raising (prior to Festival)


  • designing/ printing/distributing flyers and postcards (6 months in advance)
  • designing and printing the Festival program
  • press releases
  • high tech publicity
  • managing the Information booth at the Festival


  • booking performers/lecturers, etc. (starting immediately)
  • planning/executing other shows (e.g. fashion show, food demos, etc.)
  • workshops and exhibits
  • lectures/films
  • children’s activities


  • recruiting /orienting volunteers
  • keeping track of overall Festival operations & supplying volunteers as needed
  • setting up and managing volunteer booth on Festival days
  • sustaining/supporting  volunteers while on the job at the Festival
  • acknowledging/rewarding volunteers’ efforts


  • reflection of overall theme of Festival
  • placement of booths, display cases/dividers
  • making signs & planning signage
  • accommodating booths with electricity & water, if needed


  • soliciting country booths
  • soliciting vendor booths
  • soliciting food booths
  • organizing the coffee shop

It is a massive undertaking.  However, with your help and commitment, we can make it happen.

Thank you VERY much for being willing to help in this wonderfully inclusive cultural event.

~The ACW Board of Directors

The 2011 Arab Festival Program Guide!

The much anticipated Program Guide for the 2011 Arab Festival is here! Be sure to check it out so you don’t miss all your favorites, and keep coming back to the website for updates and features on your favorite performers and artists!

The Arabesque Trio at the 2011 Arab Festival

The Arabesque Trio, featuring Moroccan-born qanun performer Hicham Chami, Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khory and Syrian-born percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain, will be headlining at the 7th annual Arab Festival on October 8th and 9th at Seattle Center.

The performance will take place at the Mahrajan Stage in Fischer Pavilion on Saturday, October 8th from 3:30-5:00 pm. The trio will deliver an Arabic Music workshop on the Freedom Stage on Sunday, October 9th from 1:15-2:00 pm. The trio is dedicated to increasing understanding of Arab culture through the universal language of music.

Moroccan-born Qanun player Hicham Chami is an educator, a musician and a graduate of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Rabat, Morocco. Chami is founder and Executive Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble as well as the Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture, an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish and Armenian Music.

Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khoury graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a bachelor’s in Economics and Music Performance, and obtained his Master’s in Music from Temple University. As Artistic Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble, he has led several nation-wide tours, performing traditional Arabic music in major venues and universities.  Khoury recently toured with Lebanese superstar Fairuz and can be heard on several pop recordings including the Grammy-nominated song “Beautiful Liar” (featuring Beyonce and Shakira), and “Love and Compassion” (with Paula Cole and Kazem Al-Saher).  Khoury recorded strings for Shakira’s Grammy performance of “Hips Don’t Lie”.

Syrian born, Venezuelan raised percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain is an accomplished master percussionist, fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven, made his first stage performance at nine, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan; winning the regional percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela, he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught middle- and high school students for several years a variety of percussion styles, blending Arab and Latino music.


The 2011 Arab Festival Poster and Postcards!

The Arab Festival 2011 is pleased to unveil this years’ poster and postcard, designed by our wonderful volunteer Abdul Hawasli. Please join ACW and the Arab Festival in thanking him for all his work on these lovely works of art!
















Festival Update – Remi Kanazi, the Arab Suite, and so much more!

Festival Update

In addition to the Arabesque Trio mentioned in the last newsletter, Arab Festival Al-Noor will also feature a performance and workshop by young Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi of New York City. He’ll be bringing copies of his new book Poetic Injustice.

NEW this year: instead of individual “country booths” the festival will have an Arab Suite! This will include the Freedom Stage, which will feature a variety of panel discussions, lectures, stories and presentations by local Arab Americans. The Arab Suite will be dressed in Arab Décor with highlights from different countries, symbolizing our unity. Guests will have opportunity to get to know who the Arab’s really are over tea/coffee and sweets, by meeting us and having meaningful conversations. The Arab Suite will be housed in Seattle Center’s Pavillion B, which is next to the new skateboard park.

This promises to be a truly inspirational festival. To learn more and get involved, please join us at the programming meeting this Saturday, July 30th, from 11am -1pm at Seattle Center, Center House Room 311.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, but want to volunteer, please email volunteer (at) arabcenterwa (dot) org

Festál Fabric of America Project: E=mc2!

The Arab Festival 2011 is excited to announce its participation in the Festál Fabric of America Project: E=mc2! FFAP: E=mc2 (Engaging through Media spreading Culture at the speed of light) is the participatory art project that lets you express your passion, your pride, and your point of view on ethnicity and cultural heritage in 2011.


Our question “What does Arab culture look like?” invites you to move beyond the stereotypes and appreciate Arab Culture in all of its depth and diversity.

Create an image by answering our question through images, symbols, and words, then submit it! Share with people from all walks of life and backgrounds in drawing a complex yet meaningful picture of Arab Culture. Define Arab Culture and what matters to you!

Visit the FFAP Facebook page to check out the project, and upload your images to the Arab Festival Festal Project website!