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The beauty of the Middle East pays a visit to Sylvania via ‘Mahrajan’

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This year’s Mahrajan – Arabic for festival – boasted record-breaking attendance, with well over 1,200 attendees to the Sylvania Campus where the annual festival was held on Aug. 11.

Hosted by the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon the Mahrajan is the largest local celebration of Arab heritage and culture. Sponsored by PCC Sylvania and Oregon Health & Science University, the event was held in the Performing Arts Center Lobby and Courtyard and went from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We are so grateful to PCC Sylvania for again sponsoring our festival,” said Hadi Nouredine, president of AACCO and a graduate of PCC who is now a practicing dentist with four offices in the Portland metro area.  “Throughout the day, I heard over and over what a brilliant choice it was to have the festival here, because Sylvania is such a convenient and well known location.

Former Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh (left) with Hadi Nouredine, president of AACCO, at Mahrajan.

Former Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh (left) with Hadi Nouredine, president of AACCO, at Mahrajan.

“PCC has been so good to AACCO over the years; it’s through PCC’s support that our festival has been able to grow and expand,” he said.

The fun-filled day included Arab cuisine from Taste of Lebanon, Arabic coffee, tea and refreshments from Sesame Donuts, an Arab souq (bazaar), arts and crafts, henna painting, face painting for children, cooking demonstrations, an art show, music, dancing, a fashion show of Arab attire from throughout the Middle East, children’s activities, and a raffle for prizes.

Former Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh – the first governor of Arab descent elected anywhere in the United States, who served from 1979 to 1987 – was honored by AACCO in the afternoon. He was followed by Jeremy Brown, PCC’s president, and Leslie Garcia, director of the OHSU Center for Diversity & Inclusion, both of whom gave a welcome and brief presentation.

“It was an honor for Portland Community College to host such a beautiful, lively event at the Sylvania Campus,” said Brown.

“PCC, particularly the Sylvania Campus, serves many students from the Middle East, so I’m delighted that the college can sponsor the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon’s festival and celebrate such a vibrant culture,” he said.

This is the second year for the festival at Sylvania; the previous two years it was held at the Fulton Community Center in southwest Portland.

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Sorry, but the comments have been closed. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by richard.rohrer 4 years ago

I have failed to be aware of this activity, but hope to be advised of future activities. We should be very aware, so that we might attend.
Thank you.

x by Carolyn 4 years ago

Yes, I agree Richard! I would have went to this event!

x by Kate 4 years ago

Darn — So sorry you couldn’t make the event! It sounds as though you missed seeing the advance Web site article and video promoting the festival, which were posted in late July. We also had posters up at Sylvania, along with items on the digital reader boards at the campuses and posted on the Web site calendar… but you may not have been on campus to see some of these. Not sure about the date of next year’s festival, but it’s likely to be around the same time of year. We’ll do advance publicity for it again, ditto with external media, and hope you’ll be able to join us. Thank you for your interest!

x by richard.rohrer 4 years ago

My campus visits are very limited, taking a circuit weight training in H/T Bldg. I simply failed to see any of the campus posters and don’t do a good job of checking the web site. Better next year as I will be looking forward and paying more attention.
Thank you for your response.
Dick Rohrer


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