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Middle Eastern flavor comes to the Sylvania Campus on Sept. 22 thanks to the third annual ‘Mahrajan’
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
Nearly 1,000 attendees visited the Sylvania Campus on Sept. 22 to partake in the third annual “Mahrajan” – “festival” in Arabic – hosted by the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon. PCC Sylvania served as the presenting sponsor of the event, which was held in the Performing Arts Center Lobby and Courtyard from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We were delighted to have the Mahrajan here this year,” said Linda Gerber, president of the Sylvania Campus. “It’s a dynamic event we’ve supported the past couple of years,” she said, “and an example of our commitment to internationalization here at Sylvania and at the college overall.”
This is the first year for the festival at Sylvania; the previous two years it was held at the Fulton Community Center in southwest Portland.
Arab cuisine from Aladdin’s Café and Taste of Lebanon, Arabic coffee, tea and refreshments from Sesame Donuts, an Arab souq (bazaar), arts and crafts, henna painting, 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 – all were part of this year’s Mahrajan, the largest local celebration of Arab heritage and culture.
“PCC, and specifically Dr. Linda Gerber, were so gracious to allow us to host the festival at the Sylvania Campus,” said Hadi Nouredine, president of AACCO.
“It was a perfect venue – attendees could dance and visit with each other, kids could play, and exhibitors could showcase their goods, for display or sale,” he said.
A graduate of PCC Sylvania, Nouredine continued his education at Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University, and is now a dentist who runs four practices throughout the Portland metro area. Last year he was chosen as one of PCC’s 50 Diamond Alums.