Locals celebrate Middle Eastern culture at Ridge’s annual Arab American Bazaar

A global affair: Bayan Inhneim, Rodeyna Elsafi, and Ranim Elsafi showed their support for Palestine at the 12th annual Arab American Bazaar in Shore Road Park on July 15.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

They did it for the culture.

Ridgites gathered at Shore Road Park for the 12th-annual Arab American Bazaar, hosted by the Ridge-based Arab American Association of New York.

One Bensonhurst mother originally from Morocco said she was proud to bring her 9-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son to the event to show them her favorite parts of Arab culture.

“For me, the highlight was introducing the culture to my kids — music, food, people, dancing,” said Siham Ahbich. “It just reminds me of home, basically.”

The event included food from local vendors and performances by Middle Eastern dance groups and musicians, including Palestinian singer Samer Tabari, Yemeni singer Ahmed Alrodini, and the Freedom Dabka group, which performs the dabka, a rhythmic Arabic dance.

One attendee who traveled to the event all the way from distant Westchester County said the dance performance was her favorite part.

“The best part of the whole thing was the Freedom Dabka group,” said Manal Khalil.

Fest-goers were also able to watch France defeat Croatia 4–2 in the World Cup Final on a large screen.

Local pols including Borough President Adams, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), and councilmen Justin Brannan (D–Bay Ridge) and Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) stopped by the event to address the crowd.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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