Arab Fest 2012

[Update: October 8, 2012: The Olympia Arab Festival has ended. Read below for a list of events that occurred. Thank you to all who supported and attended!]

The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice will host Olympia’s first Arab Festival, Oct. 5-7. Arab Fest is a full weekend event featuring Arab artists, educational tables, children’s activities, food, music, dance, films and more! This fun-filled family event kicks off Friday, October 5th at 5pm, at the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural, on the corner of Capital St. & State St. downtown, with an Arab Café and Hookah Lounge, followed by a full-day event at the Olympia Center, Saturday, October 6 th, 11-5pm.

Admission is FREE to the public.  Saturday evening features a lively show of Arab comedy and spoken word performances ($10 students; $15 general admission). On Sunday October 7th, we cap off the event with a film festival at the Capital Theatre ($5.50 OFS member, $8.50 general admission).

We invite our community to celebrate and experience the food, culture, traditions, lifestyles and peoples of the Arab world in a joyous and authentic manner. This event focuses on the diversity and complexity of the Arab peoples by challenging stereotypes, showcasing Arab arts and performance, and celebrating diversity within our community. As stated by Farihan Bushnaq, a local Arab-American community member,

The Arabs are known for their love of poetry, their generosity and for welcoming the foreign visitor. The best way to dispel the negative image of the Arabs is to pay them a visit.

Make Arab Fest one of your Arts Walk stops!

A Variety of Events


Yusra Khogali.

Swing by our kick off event, the Arab Fest Mural Cafe and Hookah Lounge during Arts Walk, Friday, October 5th, 5-10 pm, at the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project site on Capital and State.  Join us under our tent for an Arabian night of traditional hookah, music, dance, games, and refreshments.

Arab Fest features day-long events on Saturday October 6.  Arab-Americans from our local region bring you diverse representations of different countries of the Arab world. Performances include Batiste Dabke Dance Team from Seattle and the critically acclaimed House of Tarab Arabic Music Ensemble. Panelists will discuss topics such as Arab Women Shattering Stereotypes and Arab Contributions to Science. Don’t miss our live Arab Falconry educational table! Bring your whole family for scavenger hunts, children’s games, storytelling and a fashion show!

Khaled The Comic

Khaled The Comic.

Khaled the Comic, who has toured throughout the US, Canada, and the Middle East will top off Saturday night with a performance at The Olympia Center, 7pm.  He will be joined by Yusra Khogali, Sudanese-Canadian spoken word artist and NF, Saudi Arabianhip hop artist from D.C.

Make sure not to miss our Arab Film Festival on Sunday, October 7th, at The Olympia Film Society. We will be showing the three films The Time That Remains, Je Veux Voir (I Want to See), and Bab Aziz. These diverse films portray the people’s voice, strength, love and passion within the Arab world.

This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Peace Works is an annual project of The Rachel Corrie Foundation, which continues the work that Rachel Corrie began with her vision, spirit and creative energy in mind.


» See the full program…

Shuruq- Olympia Arab Festival Mural Café and Hookah Lounge- State and Capital, Downtown Olympia, October 5th, Friday 5pm-10pm, October 6th, Saturday 12-5pm.
This is an All-Ages (must be 18+ to smoke hookah) and Free Event.

Shuruq - Arab Festival The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW,
Olympia, Saturday, October 6th, 11am- 5pm.
This is an All-Ages and Free event.

Shuruq - Arab Festival Evening Celebration:  Khaled the Comic and Yusra Khogali, The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, October 6th, 7p.m.
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for students and low-income, and will be available at the The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice: 754-3998 and at the Arab Festival!

Shuruq - Arab Fest Film Festival: The Olympia Film Society, 206 5th Ave SE, Olympia, Sunday, October 7th.
Tickets are $5.50 OFS Member, $8.50 General Admission, $4.00 Kids 12 and younger. Tickets will be available at the Olympia Film Society at 360.754.6670,

A Huge Thanks To:

Olympia Food Co-op
Ziyad Zaitoun Matteson Sculpture
Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities Bayview Apartments