By Rima Marrouch, FI2W contributor
Despite the internal divisions in the Arab world, Arab-Americans came together recently in New York City to celebrate their heritage and to offer a fresh portrait of the Arab-American community in the post 9-11 era.
Arabs, Americans, and Arab-Americans –with roots in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, and the Palestinian Occupied Territories– gathered during the Annual Arab-American and North African Street Festival on Great Jones Street in Downtown Manhattan. The event was part of the 5th Annual Arab-American Heritage Week, first proclaimed in 2005 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The street festival evoked the atmosphere of a bazaar with traditional foods including tabouli, grape leaves, falafel, and spinach pies, as well as street stalls selling Middle Eastern books, jewelry, and music. The participants danced debka, a form of line dance widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions.
Watch a video of the festival: