Shore Road Park was packed on Sunday, July 26 for the Arab American Association of New York’s Ninth Annual Bay Ridge Arab American Bazaar, an event that has garnered tremendous crowds since its inception in 2007 and, over the years, has only become more diverse.
“[It] was a huge success with over 3,000 people joining us throughout the day,” lauded Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, also applauding the afternoon’s extensive line-up of live performances which, she said, “represent[ed] the rich cultural diversity of the Arab American community including Jordanian, Palestinian, Egyptian, Moroccan and Yemeni artists and dance groups.
“This year we partnered with the Brooklyn Arts Council who held workshops in a large tent in the park to give attendees an opportunity to experience traditional dances of the Arab world including Egyptian stick dancing, Palestinian Debka and traditional Yemeni dancing,” she went on.
This year’s festivities also included a special appearance by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who not only addressed the crowd but also decorated her hand with traditional henna, according to Sarsour.
“It is important that we come together as a community of many cultures and celebrate each other’s customs, traditions and religion,” said State Senator Marty Golden, who was also on hand for the event. “Throughout our neighborhood, there are many groups of people who have traveled to our nation in search of the American dream, like my parents, and that is what makes New York rich in diversity. I commend the great leaders of the Arab American organizations and congratulate them on their successful event.”
Sponsors included Maimonides Medical Center, SlingTV, Dr. Eman Aljanabi, NYU Lutheran, Islamic Relief USA, Dr. Laila Farhat, MoneyGram, HealthPlus Amerigroup, United Healthcare, Brooklyn Orthodontics, New York Life and Qatar Foundation International.