Saturday, June 16, 2007

International Arab American Fest Double-O Seven

Great fun and people watching at the International Arab American Festival 2007 in East Dearborn, Michigan today. It continues through tomorrow and, Insha’ Allah / God willing, I may check it out again, and also check out the Arab American National Museum at 13624 Michigan Avenue since it's open on Sundays.

Dearborn, a city of about 100,000 located just west of Detroit proper, has a population of about 30,000 Arabs and Arab Americans, mostly Lebanese, Yemeni, Iraqi and Palestinian. Security was reasonable and unobtrusive, though some of the corporate sponsor booths, Army, FBI and translator recruiting stations seemed a little too forward for my tastes. Maybe I didn't want to be so brazenly reminded of the various interconnected conflicts in the Middle East today.

The variety of people and dress, rhythmic music and tasty food offset many "mainstream" representations of things Arabic. The highlight for me was nearing the main stage just as Lebanese singer Dominique Hourani undulated her way through several songs. A mesmerizing performance -- and she is much prettier in person than in any of the photographs I've seen of her.

Today's Rune: Protection.

Birthdays: Giovanni Boccaccio, Jean de Thévenot, Adam Smith (Julian calendar), Geronimo (Goyaałé), Jack Albertson, John Howard Griffin, Faith Domergue, Erich Wolf Segal , Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Van Ark, Valerie Mahaffey, Lauren Ophelia Metcalf, Femi Kuti, Adrienne Shelly (Levine), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Gonzalez-Gonzalez), Tupac Shakur, Nehir Erdoğan.


JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm sure our redneck Bush supporters would draw that pie-chart a bit different. Sounds like a fun festival.

Cheri said...

I got to see the most amazing parade when I was in NYC, the Arabic Americans in NYC were protesting violence and racism. It was spectacular, the music, the sounds of their voices speaking in native tongue and just the SMELL of it all. They decorated their floats into objects that I could never describe. I was so enthralled that I didn't even take pictures, and if I had had my camera ready, I would have kept it off in respect.