Fast friends: Scores turn up to Ridge’s Ramadan bazaar

Fast friends: Scores turn up to Ridge’s Ramadan bazaar
High energy: The Freedom Dabke Troupe performed its traditional Levantine line dance for the crowd at the 10th annual Arab-American Association Bazaar and Eid Celebration.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

It was a bazaar sight!

More than 3,000 revelers filled Shore Road Park to celebrate the Arab American Association of New York’s annual Bazaar and Eid Celebration on July 10, marking the end of Ramadan a few days before. It was the Bay Ridge-based association’s 10th annual party, and folks celebrated the end of the fasting-filled month in a big way, one first-time attendee said.

“It was our first time, but everything was good, we had rice, some falafel, and chicken, it was so nice,” said Dyker Heights resident Mo Ragab, whose 10-year-old son Mo got his face painted with an American flag and the acronym “USA.” “We liked all the music too.”

The Ragabs joined the crowd at the stage for performances by the traditional Palestinian line-dancing group the Freedom Dabke Troupe and politically conscious Syrian-American spoken-word artist Omar Offendum. The hip-hop pioneer performed from his own canon, which younger members of the crowd knew, and recited some classic Arabic poetry for the older folks in the crowd.

One community leader was encouraged to see people from around the Arab and Muslim world — and other community members from other backgrounds — come together, he said.

“It’s always really magnificent to see all these people from different countries who are proud of their traditions and culture and come out to celebrate it,” said Rev. Khader El-Yateem of the Salaam Arab Church on 80th Street.

El-Yateem, who is treasurer for the association, said representatives helped register people to vote at the festival to get people more civically engaged.

Vendors included the Fifth Avenue sweets shop Nablus Sweets, some traditional foods, and classic New York halal food. Other vendors sold jewelry and wares from the Arab world. Local up-and-coming demure clothing designer Sherihan Moustafa set up shop as well.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

More from Around New York