Locals celebrate Middle Eastern culture at Ridge’s annual Arab American Bazaar

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Camera ready: State Sen. Marty Golden addressed the crowd at the annual event.
Camera ready: State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes also spoke.
Group outing: Manal Khalil, second from right, enjoyed the Arab American Bazaar with family and friends Waed Eid, Sabrine Darwish, Samya Alfaqih, and Sarah Hamideh.
An educational event: Siham Ahbich enjoyed teaching her kids — including 1-year-old Fahd — about Arab culture at the Arab American Bazaar.
A family affair: Ronza, 5, Hadeel, 6, Nada, 3, and grandmother Fatima enjoyed the outing.
Camera ready: Borough President Adams addressed the crowd at the 12th annual Arab American Bazaar.

They did it for the culture.

Ridgites gathered at Shore Road Park for the 12th-annual Arab American Bazaar, hosted by the Ridge-based Arab American Association of New York.

One Bensonhurst mother originally from Morocco said she was proud to bring her 9-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son to the event to show them her favorite parts of Arab culture.

“For me, the highlight was introducing the culture to my kids — music, food, people, dancing,” said Siham Ahbich. “It just reminds me of home, basically.”

The event included food from local vendors and performances by Middle Eastern dance groups and musicians, including Palestinian singer Samer Tabari, Yemeni singer Ahmed Alrodini, and the Freedom Dabka group, which performs the dabka, a rhythmic Arabic dance.

One attendee who traveled to the event all the way from distant Westchester County said the dance performance was her favorite part.

“The best part of the whole thing was the Freedom Dabka group,” said Manal Khalil.

Fest-goers were also able to watch France defeat Croatia 4–2 in the World Cup Final on a large screen.

Local pols including Borough President Adams, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), and councilmen Justin Brannan (D–Bay Ridge) and Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) stopped by the event to address the crowd.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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