Arabian day — Shore Road Park hosts seventh annual bazaar

Arabian day — Shore Road Park hosts seventh annual bazaar
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

There’s nothing bizarre about this bazaar!

Some 3,000 Middle Eastern-Americans from across the New York metropolitan area descended on Shore Road Park on Aug. 11 for the seventh annual Arab-American Bazaar — a medley of food, dance, and politics.

Organizers said the festival seeks to call attention to a growing part of Brooklyn’s — and particularly Bay Ridge’s — ethnic mosaic.

“We’re a community that’s here to stay, we’re a big community, we have a culture, and we want to celebrate it,” said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York, the group that founded the festival.

Sarsour said the bazaar attracted Arab-Americans from as far away as Yonkers and as close as Staten Island and Bensonhurst, as well as from Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. The crowd included Brooklynites with roots in crisis areas like Egypt, Syria, and the Palestinian territories — which Sarsour said made expressing cultural pride even more important.

“Wherever there’s a problem, you’ll see more people coming out,” the Palestinian-American activist said.

The bazaar also had a poltical tinge to it, as the Arab-American Association got 350 attendees to sign postcards in support of allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain United States citizenship. The organization also registered more than 80 new voters.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.