Arabian Nights, Meet Arabian Days

Remember when word Arab made you think of Robin Williams? No? Odd… what about Robin Williams as a shape-shifting blue genie and all the colorful, fun, monkey-wielding goodness that came from Abu and Prince Ali? (Ya know, Ali? Fabulous he? Ali Ababwaaaaaaaa!?) Sadly, outside of the totally accurate-and-in-no-way-fantasized account of a peasant’s rise to royalty depicted in Disney’s animated documentary, Aladdin, not too much is known about today’s modern Arab. And considering the constantly growing population of Arabs we have here in South Florida, that’s kind of regretful. Luckily, the exotic vibrancy of Arabian Nights can be seen this year at the South Florida Arab American Culture Festival. But don’t expect to find any magic carpets; in fact, you should probably drop all cultural stereotypes you think you know and let yourself be open to experiencing entertainment like not one but three Arabic folk dance troupes, hip-hop artists, a fashion show, and more. And let’s not forget the food. There will be several Middle Eastern restaurants represented here, including Rock N’ Hookah from the Hard Rock Café and Alnator. This Arab fest is free and will be held at Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill. Call 904-806-9141, or visit
Sun., May 13, 2012
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Tana Velen