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Sylvania sponsors second annual Mahrajan Arab festival on Sept. 25
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
September ushers in the start of classes at Portland Community College, and for the Sylvania Campus, its sponsorship of the second annual Arab-American “Mahrajan” – Arabic for festival – on Sept. 25.
Hosted by the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon, the festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fulton Community Center (68 S.W. Miles St.).
“As part of our community relations outreach, we sponsored the event last year – and among the 1,000 or so attendees, we saw many of our students there,” said Linda Gerber, Sylvania Campus president. “The festival had a wildly successful kick-off last fall, and we want to again support the event and the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon.”
This year’s mahrajan will feature delectable Arab cuisine, an Arab souq (bazaar), arts and crafts, henna painting, cooking demonstrations, music, dance, poetry, children’s activities and a raffle for prizes. The event is alcohol-free.
“The festival is a way to showcase the arts, entertainment, food, traditions and most importantly, the spirit of Oregon’s Arab-Americans,” said Hadi Nouredine, president of AACCO and a graduate of PCC Sylvania, now a dentist who owns and operates four successful offices throughout the Portland metro area.
“As the largest local celebration of Arab heritage and culture, the mahrajan aims to reflect the diversity – and the contributions – of Arab-Americans to Oregon’s cultural landscape,” he said.
An entrance donation of $5 includes three raffle tickets; individual raffle tickets are available for purchase on site at $2 each. Parking is available in the community center lot, as well as on the street.