Fast friends: Scores turn up to Ridge’s Ramadan bazaar

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Photo gallery

Young and old: Mo Ragab shows some patriotism at the festival.
Headliner: Syrian-American rapper and spoken word artist Omar Offendum holds the audience’s attention on stage.
Good treat: Locals Abeer Assad, Verena Otey, Reverend Khader El-Yateem, and Arab-American Association Vice President Habib Joudeh enjoy a treat from Bay Ridge’s Nablus Sweets.
Local favorite: Nablus Sweets of Fifth Avenue iserved up a ton of pastries at the bazaar.
Directing the show: Arab-American Association of New York Executive Director Linda Sarsour emceed the festival.

It was a bazaar sight!

More than 3,000 revelers filled Shore Road Park to celebrate the Arab American Association of New York’s annual Bazaar and Eid Celebration on July 10, marking the end of Ramadan a few days before. It was the Bay Ridge-based association’s 10th annual party, and folks celebrated the end of the fasting-filled month in a big way, one first-time attendee said.

“It was our first time, but everything was good, we had rice, some falafel, and chicken, it was so nice,” said Dyker Heights resident Mo Ragab, whose 10-year-old son Mo got his face painted with an American flag and the acronym “USA.” “We liked all the music too.”

The Ragabs joined the crowd at the stage for performances by the traditional Palestinian line-dancing group the Freedom Dabke Troupe and politically conscious Syrian-American spoken-word artist Omar Offendum. The hip-hop pioneer performed from his own canon, which younger members of the crowd knew, and recited some classic Arabic poetry for the older folks in the crowd.

One community leader was encouraged to see people from around the Arab and Muslim world — and other community members from other backgrounds — come together, he said.

“It’s always really magnificent to see all these people from different countries who are proud of their traditions and culture and come out to celebrate it,” said Rev. Khader El-Yateem of the Salaam Arab Church on 80th Street.

El-Yateem, who is treasurer for the association, said representatives helped register people to vote at the festival to get people more civically engaged.

Vendors included the Fifth Avenue sweets shop Nablus Sweets, some traditional foods, and classic New York halal food. Other vendors sold jewelry and wares from the Arab world. Local up-and-coming demure clothing designer Sherihan Moustafa set up shop as well.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

MJ from Bay Ridge says:
"Palestine Vs. The World" t-shirts is exclusively Bay Ridge
July 14, 2016, 6:48 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
I actually find the t-shirt has a negative message. Wasn't the Palestinians a major cause of violence for Lebanese Civil War and Jordan in the 1970s, because Palestinians don't like the secular life in society. Instead, a more positive pan-arab t-shirt should be more appropriate at this event in Bay Ridge.
July 14, 2016, 8:54 am
Eddie from Bay Ridge says:
At least Linda Sarsour is consistent in her divisiveness. Her "Palestine vs the World" tee shirt made that clear.
July 14, 2016, 9:16 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
I am disappointed with the t-shirt. Instead of promoting PEACE for pan-arab, the message of the t-shirt reminded me of the 1972 Summer Olympics.
July 14, 2016, 9:18 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Who is imitating me? I didn't put that comment above.
July 14, 2016, 9:46 am
Jane from Park Slope says:
And all the profits will be funneled to Palestinian terror organizations. Linda is a genius at sending City money to people who blow up and stab civillians. Congrats!
July 14, 2016, 1:03 pm
Israeli from and proud of it says:
there is and never was no such thing as a palestinian, there is and never was no such a country as palestine
July 15, 2016, 1:12 am
Martin from Park Slope says:
So Linda Sarsour has decided to taint this celebration with her own political views. Not unsurprising, she is a shameless self-promoter, and espouses questionable ideologies.
It's appalling to me that her organization can get any city money or permits when the openly support terrorists groups such as Hamas. More peaceful muslim organizations should be allowed to run and organize this event.
July 15, 2016, 6:39 am
Trump Supporter from America says:
Another attack in France. I don't trust these people. That's all I have to say
July 15, 2016, 7:42 am
Cindy from Queens says:
July 15, 2016, 8:19 am
joann says:
@israeli- if you choose to be belligerent about the matter, that's one thing. however, your version of the story ignores key historical facts.

have a look at maps dating back as early as 43 AD, and you will find 'palestine' there. even maps as late as 1947 will reveal same!

then there's The Balfour Declaration, which clearly tells of the zionist plan for a jewish home in palestine. see below:

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

...then let us not forget the tragic day of 11/29/1947 when zionists ethnically cleansed palestine; and created the "jewish state" (present day "israel").
July 15, 2016, 6:32 pm
Ishmael from Bay Ridge says:
Joann, your understanding of historical facts is very weak. The Jews populated Palestine in 43AD, not the Arab Muslims, who came hundreds of years later. The Romans gave the name Palestine to the Jewish lands they conquered and administered. And in 1947, the armies of 5 Arab nations refused to accept the existence of Jews on a tiny portion of Jewish ancestral land and attacked the Jews, vowing to kill them and throw the Jews into the sea. The Jews prevailed against overwhelming odds, defeating the huge Arab armies.

Since them the Arabs have consistently rejected peace, and have been repeatedly defeated by the Jews.

The Hews certainly aren't perfect and can be oppressive overlords when threatened. Yet that is all the Arabs, threaten the Jews without truly seeking a compromise peace. Perhaps it's time for Arabs to face reality. The Jews are in Israel to stay.
July 16, 2016, 5:13 pm
joann says:
@ ishmael

1. thank you for confirming palestine was originally palestine (not "israel" as present day).

2. the border crossed the palestinians- not the other way around. european jewish settlers came to colonize palestine!

3. after the UN resolution in favor of the zionist movement (11/29/1947) to divide the land against palestinian will, zionist militia attacked their neighborhoods & villages (killed over 75k palestinians).

4. at that time, the jewish population was 1/3 of the palestinian population; and did not own more than 7% of the land. yet zionists gave over 50% of the land to their settlers.

5. 1967 israeli army (formerly zionist militia) occupied west bank & gaza strip thereby completing the conquest of PALESTINE.

here we are today: the formerly victimized european jewish settlers now victimizing the palestinian people whom occupation was imposed on.
July 16, 2016, 8:40 pm
Ishmael from Bay Ridge says:
The Jews occupied the territory that the Romans called the province of Palestine from well before the birth of Jesus to the present day. In an unbroken line. The Arab population you call Palestinians invaded in the 7th Century AD. That population, and its present day decendants, where the interlopers. The Romans called the land of Israel Palestine, not Israel or Judea, to mark their conquest. It is the Jews, not the Arabs, who are the original and authentic heirs to that land, which they once again refer to as Israel. All of the Arab armies that have tried to exterminate Israel have been defeated, even though they greatly outnumber the Israelis.
July 16, 2016, 9:05 pm
joann says:
@ishmael- i'm going to keep it simple or we'll be here for days.

by comparison, if you mean what you say then should mexicans too take back formerly mexican states (arizona, california, texas, new mexico)?

umm, i have a feeling that the people living there now wouldn't like that very much; and to be told to go somewhere else and find a new place...! what do you think about that?
July 17, 2016, 2:42 am
Ishmael from Bay Ridge says:
Joann, the Muslim Arabs have repeatedly tried to exterminate the Jews. During pogroms prior to the first and second World Wars; during WWII itself the Muslim religious leader of Jerusalem (called the Grand Mufti) was a very close ally of Hitler, and a collaborator with the Nazis. The Muslim Grand Mufti urged Hitler to speed up the extermination of the Jews in the "Final Solution." Once the State of Israel was established, the Muslims rejected peace with Israel, and vowed to kill them and throw them into the sea.

People like you and Linda Sarsour are just part of a long line Of Jew hating Muslims which started with Mohammed himself. Who can forget that Mohammed ordered the execution of every man and boy in an entire Jewish tribe in the Arabian peninsula. This Jewish tribe had refused Mohammed's demand to convert to Islam or pay a punitive tax required of non-Muslims. After killing all the males, Mohammed had the women and girls of that Jewish tribe sold into sexual slavery, with Mohammed and his fellow Muslims being the slaveholders.

This is the depraved example that Hamas, ISIS, and people like you and Linda Sarsour follow.
July 17, 2016, 8:38 am
Holly from Park Slope says:
Joaan (or should I say Linda Sarsor, it's obviously you) please stop writing your obnoxious confused and prejudiced comments. We are ask well aware now that you are an Islamist and that you have anger towards all non-muslims. You are unable to handle an opinion that doesn't match what you've been indoctrinated to at the mosque, or by your overprotective husband. Just chill you crazy.
July 17, 2016, 10:57 am
joann says:
@ ishmael- you were unable to answer a simple question because your story doesn't hold water.

the nazis didn't need any outside influence so your allegations are hearsay and uncorroborated.

prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) relocated jews from the hijaz region only (surroundings of mecca & medina) because it is the heart of the muslim world so non-muslims are not allowed to live there. however, they were allowed to conduct business, study or work in the region. there was no aggression towards anyone who did not first initiate aggression against muslims.

notably, islam forbids the killing of women and children.

we don't hate jews or any other group. it's zionism we're against (big difference). long before the zionist movement, jews and muslims lived peacefully. notably, jews under muslim rule (spain 711-1492) lived in the "golden age."

to God alone belongs the duty to judge between us and our differences. as for me, this conversation is over.
July 17, 2016, 8 pm
Ishmael from Bay Ridge says:
Joann, you are full of Islamic propaganda and misinformation. Everything I have written is verified in the Koran and the Hadiths. Mohammed murdered those that opposed him or refused to submit to his rule. And the assistance and encouragement provided to Hitler and the Nazis by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem are well established in the historical record. Simply Google those terms. Contrary to your claims, the Koran does not forbid the killing of women and children. It permits their murder when they oppose Islam or refuse to convert. I should know, as I am a former Muslim that has left this destructive "religion."

Would you also like to explain how Mohammed married a girl of only 6 years of age, Aisha, and had sex with her when she was 9?

Joann, you are a deluded person, and you follow a destructive cult. Leave and save yourself while you can.
July 17, 2016, 8:22 pm

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