Shore Road Park at 79th Street was filled with music, laughter and the smell of hookah on July 8 for the Sixth Annual Bay Ridge Arab-American Bazaar.A large and spectacular stage was the center of the festival, where live music pulsated all afternoon. The crowd moved to the up-tempo Arabic beats and did some traditional dancing, as well.There were plenty of Middle Eastern foodstuffs, like kibbeh, falafel and fresh fruit smoothies, and items for sale, such as scarves, jewelry and patriotic pins, all under a canopy of trees cooled off by the breeze from the bay.Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York, who organized the bazaar, urged the crowd to register to vote. The association had a special table designated for just that.Our brothers and sisters are fighting and dying for democracy and fair elections and we have that right here, Sarsour said, referring to the turmoil in Egypt, Syria and Yemen. Take advantage of your freedom.Elected officials were also on hand, including Congressmember Michael Grimm — who greeted the crowd with As-Sal?mu `AlaykumGentile was presented with an elaborate painting by the association that said Gentile in both English and Arabic. It was made by an Egyptian artist named Omni.Switching gears for a minute to a more somber mood, Golden announced that he was offering a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead to an arrest and conviction in the murder of Mohamed Gebeli, the owner of Valentinos Fashion, who was killed in his store on Friday, July 6.Community Board 10 member Habib Joudeh, who owns Pharmacy of Fifth, said that he would match the reward, making it a total of $10,000.Justice must be served in this case and we need the public’s help to see that happen, Golden said. I trustthat the New York City Police Department will continue to thoroughlyinvestigate this murder and any leads available.My thoughts and prayers are with the Gebeli family.
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