Monday, September 09, 2013

It's Official: Arab American Day Festival Canceled

Since 1996 thousands of Arab-Americans in Southern California enjoyed convening annually in Orange County to celebrate their culture at the Arab American Day Festival held in September each year. Many, however, also complained mostly about the heavy presence of CIA and US Army recruiters, among other things.

Last year, I compiled a list of six reasons to boycott the festival even though I must admit, I enjoyed some aspects of it, including bumping into friends I don't otherwise get a chance to see, and the opportunity to reach out to thousands of people for whatever cause I'm advocating for each year!

The festival has been canceled, according to the Orange County Register:
The escalating tension in Syria has led to the cancellation of the Arab American Day Festival... Protesters last year descended on the festival, angered by the coverage in Alam's weekly publication, The Arab World Newspaper, which they considered favorable to the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. Alam denied taking sides. 
Last year, a supporter of Assad was allowed to wave a large flag with Assad's image on it on the main stage of the festival.

The good news is, an alternative event was launched this year in August - the Eid Fesival in neighboring Anaheim, which is planned to be held on an annual basis after the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. 
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