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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!

ACW TGIF: Bouldering

Start your weekend off right by joining ACW’s TGIF events!

Get ready to rumble or in this case Boulder till your heart’s content (rock climbing without the fuss). This is a family friendly event.

When: Friday June 12th at 6pm
Where: Seattle Bouldering Project (
Address: 900 Poplar Place S. Seattle 98144
Cost: $16 for adults $12 for youth, Shoe rental $4

Please complete waiver either online or print and bring with you:

Logistics upon arrival: We will wait inside the entrance till 6:15 for our group

Call Farazana if you need directions or have questions 206 890-8418

Click here to see Facebook event

Note: TGIF stands for Thank Goodness It’s Friday. We will aim to have the TGIF events every other week and we will try to alternate between Seattle and Bellevue and we encourage you to host an event or suggest places/ activities for us discover together!

May 16: ACW-NAAP Seattle Spring Kick Off

The Arab Center of Washington Festival Team and the Seattle Petition Chapter of the Network of Arab-American Professionals are collaborating in an effort to bring the community together in 2015 for a weekend afternoon lunch.

The ACW Festival Team is assisting with the Seattle launch of NAAP. There will be on-hand information about and we will discuss the goals of the organization and the steps needed to become an official national chapter. We will also present our plan to have a presence at the upcoming Arab Festival Summer 2015 in order to engage the community and build awareness of NAAP-Seattle.

This lunch is the opportunity for the community to support NAAP-Seattle in these these goals, relay what kinds of events they would like to see happen in Seattle and encourage involvement.

Date: Saturday, May 16, 2015

Time: 2pm

Location: Via6, 2121 Sixth Ave, Seattle, Washington 98121

Suggested donation $40.

Check out to learn more about NAAP nationally. And be sure to like their Facebook page to stay posted on our local activities.

There will be plenty of drinks and food, including a Falafel bar, good people and a view of the city.

Please spread the word to your contacts and count on being there to support the Arab Festival and the NAAP petition chapter of Seattle.

ACW and NAAP Seattle (petition chapter)


Click here to see Facebook event

August 8: ACW Picnic

Summer is here and the weather is gorgeous!

The annual ACW picnic is happening on August 8th at the upper shelter of Richmond Beach Saltwater Park this year! Food will be provided by us and, as always, we promise you it will be deeeeelicious! :)

This event will be capped at 70 people. Hurry up and purchase your tickets to reserve your spot. Our brunch in April sold out 2 weeks before the event! So, don’t delay!

Can’t wait to see you all there!

Date: Saturday, August 8 at 3:00pm – 7:30pm

Place: Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, 2021 NW 190th St, Shoreline, Washington 98177


$15 / individual
$50 / Family of four
$62.50 / Family of five
Children under 12 will be admitted for free!


Facebook Event:

On the Menu: We’ll be serving delicious food from Ishtar Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine!

  • Mashawi (grilled meats): Beef, lamb, & Chicken (halal)
  • Falafel for the vegetarians out there
  • All the related sides (Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, salads, Rice, bread ..etc)

Special Guest:

Kree Arvanitas, an awesomely talented artist and the owner of Henna Dervish, has graciously offered to do henna and donate all proceeds to the Arab Center to help fund the Arab Festival! She is planning to be there around 3pm to 5 or 6pm and will be charging the regular rate ($10 minimum adults, $5 minimum kids under 12). Thanks, Kree, for your generosity!

May 29: ACW TGIF: Highline College Table Tennis and Pizza

Join us on Friday for table tennis and pizza at Highline College!

Date: Friday, May 29, 2015

Time: 5pm – 9pm

Tickets: $5 / person

In order for us to make sure we have enough food, we require you to purchase your tickets ahead of time. Tickets are available at:

Location: Highline College, Building 28 Gym
Address: 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198
Parking: we recommend you park in the South parking lot. The main door will be open by building 27, the lockers area.

College maps and parking directions:

Click here to see Facebook event

May 10: Terrace Brunch

Imagine having some delicious authentic Arabic brunch food on a beautiful terrace looking over spectacular Lake Washington and Cascade Mountain views.

OK, now stop imagining and book May 10th on your calendar! ACW is organizing a brunch on the terrace of Mercer Island’s Community Center and we’d love to see you there!

“But it’s mother’s day!” – we hear you! That’s why we’re planning a few activities for the kids as well!

Tickets are available at:

$20 – General admission
$60 – Family of 4
$15 – Child under 12
Free – Child under 3

Please note that the terrace fits 50 people. So, the event is capped at 50.

April 10 – ACW TGIF: Pool & Bowling

Start your weekend off right by joining ACW’s weekly TGIF (thank goodness it’s Friday) events…

We will aim to have the TGIF events every other week and we will try to alternate between Seattle and Bellevue and encourage you to host an event (or suggest places/ activities for us discover together!!)

For our inaugural event this week, we will meet at Garage Billiards at 8pm (April 10) (Seattle)

You must be at least 21 to get in. Please bring an ID otherwise you won’t be allowed in.

Logistics upon arrival:

We will wait inside the entrance till our group arrives and decide on pool or bowling (if we are adventurous we can do both)

April 4: Big Four Ice Caves Hike and Picnic

Spring has sprung—it’s time to dust off those hiking shoes for the 1st hike of 2015 at the Big Four Ice Caves!

About the trail:

This is a fairly easy hike. 2.2 round trip with an elevation gain of 220ft.

Option for non-hikers:

If you opt out of the hike there is a walking trail around the picnic area. You can enjoy the scenery till the hikers climb down and we can all eat together.


April 4th 11:00 am till 3:00 pm at the trailhead. (If you are carpooling please leave by 9:00 am for on time arrival)


Please pack a picnic for after the hike – you are also welcome to bring something to share!


Dress in layers in the event you get hot/cold, wear hiking boots as some spots are bound to be slippery with loose gravel and ice. For those with a sense of adventure you can scramble once we reach the caves (although it is not advisable).


Please let us know if you would like to volunteer to carpool or if you need a ride. Please bring $5 for gas money if you need a ride. Email us at


From I-5 in Everett, take exit 194 for Snohomish/Wenatchee, then take exit 204 for Lake Stevens. Follow this road for 2 miles, then turn left onto Hwy 9/9N Granite Falls. Proceed for 1.5 miles, turn right onto E 92/Granite Falls. In 6 miles, come to a roundabout that has a log sign for Granite Falls. Take the following roundabout to Quarry Road and stay on it through two more roundabouts.

Come to a stop sign and turn left onto the Mountain Loop Highway. In 10 miles, pass the Verlot Ranger Station on the left. A mile after the ranger station, cross a blue and grey bridge. 13 miles from the bridge are two signs for the Ice Caves on the right hand side of the road. The first one will be for the picnic area. A quarter-mile beyond that is a sign marked Ice Caves Trailhead; turn in here. There is a paved parking lot with plenty of parking, vault toilets and a self-serve pay station for a one day Northwest Forest Pass, which is required for the trail.

Google Map

GPS Co-ordinates:

48.0659, -121.5107

March 7: Rami G. Khouri at the University of Washington


Ziadeh Lecture 2015 – “Revolutions and Counter-revolutions: An Update From Inside the Arab World’s Turbulent Reconfiguration” featuring guest speaker Rami G. Khouri

Who:  Sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization

When: Tuesday, March 10th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Kane Hall, Room 210 with a reception to follow in Kane Hall, Room 225

Cost: Free and open to the public, no reservations necessary



Description: The historic popular uprisings that rocked the Arab region four years ago and removed four leaderships set in motion a turbulent series of events across the Arab world that have resulted in a wide range of very different outcomes — from democratic pluralism in Tunisia to state collapse and the world’s largest proxy war in Syria. The rise of the “Islamic State” group in Syria-Iraq is the latest and most frightening sign of the region’s fragility, and collapse in places. Rami G. Khouri will analyze the underlying reasons for the very turbulent, often violent, conditions across the Arab world during the past four years, and whether we should expect more rather than less problems ahead.

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and US citizen whose family resides in Beirut and Nazareth. An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he was the first director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, where he currently is a senior policy fellow. He also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University, and his internationally syndicated column is published by Agence Global (USA). He is editor at large, columnist, and former executive editor of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, and he was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006.

Feb 15: Arab Ice Breaker

Join us for a fun afternoon filled with ice-breaker activities, board games, music, and refreshments!

This event is free. All you have to do is show up, meet people, and enjoy your time! :)

To help us manage this event better, please RSVP by emailing

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 15 at 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Mercer Island Community & Event Center
8236 S.E. 24th St.,
Mercer Island, Washington 98040