Bay Ridge

Thousands enjoy Arab-American bazaar in Bay Ridge

August 4, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Nehad Mohamed (left), Dina Abdelrahman (center), and Ruah Zeid got their faces painted with flags from Middle Eastern countries in a show of pride.
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Mira Serhan, 3, got her first tattoo in Shore Road Park on Sunday. But don’t worry. Little Mira wasn’t displaying a rebellious streak. Her mom, Mona Serhan, totally approved. In fact, Mira’s big sister, Leah, 6, also got a tattoo.

The tattoos, which were painted on the girls’ forearms by an artist, were Henna tattoos. “They were so excited at the idea of it, I had to say yes,” Mona Serhan told the Brooklyn Eagle.

The Henna tattoo table was one of the busiest spots at the Eighth Annual Bay Ridge Arab-American Bazaar, which took place on the ball fields in Shore Road Park at 79th Street from 1 to 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the Arab-American Association of New York, a Bay Ridge-based non-profit organization, the bazaar brings together people from all over Brooklyn to show the diverse culture of Middle Eastern residents in the borough. Dr. Ahmad Jaber, president of the Arab-American Association of New York; Habib Joudeh, the organization’s vice president; Linda Sarsour, the executive director; and board member Wael Mousfar were all at the festival.

There was music, food and lots of smiles from the thousands of people who attended the bazaar.

On the grand stage, Said Saadah, a Palestinian entertainer, sang songs that had crowds of young people joyfully doing the debka, a traditional dance.

There was plenty to eat. Food vendors like Saleh Hamqan set up tents around the perimeter of the ball field and sold falafels, spinach pies, tabouli salads and much more.

The bazaar also featured sales of jewelry and hijabs (traditional scarves worn by women).

Naela, Amal and Nezar Zeidan, representing Alamani Organic Herbs and Beyond, a Long Island-based company, did a brisk business selling herbal teas, cookies and other treats.

At another booth, Amana Hamdan and Iyat, Manal and Sadika Abdelfattah were selling donated hijabs, jewelry, and homemade cupcakes for charity. They planned to donate the proceeds to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund.

While the bazaar was a fun-filled day, the event was taking place at a time when tensions are on the rise in the Middle East over the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Many young people were wearing T-shirts with the slogan, “I Love Palestine.”



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