Arab Fest 2014 (1: Announcement and News Release)

VT University Libraries are hosting two ARAB FEST events in the new Multipurpose Room (MPR), showcasing Arab art, Arab library resources (including the newly acquired Muslim Bookshelf Collection), and a panel discussion about “Busting Arab Stereotypes” with an Arab comedian MC!

(Before reading on, try this link to the soundtrack Noha made as background music for the Arts and Fashion Show: [ and Fashion Show.mp3] . It will transport you to the Middle East and North Africa, guaranteed!) 

A number of our University Libraries colleagues have assisted a coalition of VT Arab student clubs to promote the ARAB FEST 2014. Pictured above, left to right, are Noha ElSherbiny, VT engineering student and main student coordinator, in a planning session in the Multipurpose Room with members of the library’s Graphic Arts Team Kimberly Bassler,  Somiah Lattimore, and Scott Fralin; Neal Henshaw can be seen testing the equipment in the background; students from Lebanon, Palestine, and our own library co-worker Amber discuss Arab Fest 2014 preparations in the International Outreach Initiatives Office; Noha is introduced to Brian Bolton, Director of Cranwell International Center (CIC), who immediately offers to partner with the University Libraries to help with the events; and Paul Hover, Faculty Advisor, Arab Fest 2014, during an Egyptian Conversation Club gathering. Mainstays Monena Hall and Scott Fralin are organizing the library promotional and educational displays before and during the fest, and more: Scott is running the lights on the “runway” for the men and women models of Arabic fashion, and Monena is practicing her pronunciation of Arabic because she is the MC for the event!


The  events are sponsored by Cranwell International Center, Egypt Friends, Cedars of Lebanon,The Moroccan Club, Middle Eastern Student Association, Friends of Palestine, Saudi Student Club, United Arab Emirates Club, and University Libraries.

In addition to the two library events, three more evenings complete a whole week of cultural experiences, culminating in an Arab Fest Dance Night on Friday.

The following is a news release with more information on all five events: The Cranwell International Center is partnering with Virginia Tech University Libraries and six student organizations to present Arab Fest 2014, a five-day celebration of Arab culture.  Arab student organizations will be coming together to raise awareness of the richness of Arab society through fun and engaging events designed to inform, celebrate, and reinforce positive conceptions of the cultures of the region and its peoples.  We encourage you to attend and spread the word about this exciting event.


Mon Feb 3, 2014  6:30pm – 8:30pm

Arabic Arts and Fashion Show   

Location: Newman Library Multipurpose Room

The Arabic Arts and Fashion Show showcases various Arab art pieces, photography, paintings, calligraphy and artifacts. A short fashion show highlights different clothes worn by men and women in the Arab world.


Tues Feb 4, 2014  6:30pm – 8:30pm

Arabic Coffee Night

Location: She-Sha Café, 211 Draper Rd NW

Come join us for Arabic tea and coffee at this friendly gathering filled with Arabic music, conversation, and of course the famous hookah pipes of She-Sha Café.


Wed Feb 5, 2014  6:30pm – 8:00pm

Arab Trivia Night             

Location: GLC Multipurpose Room

Come test your knowledge of the Arab world at this fun trivia night. There will be various questions about different aspects of the Arab world. Winners of each round get an instant prize. All participants, winners or not, enter a raffle for a chance to win a grand prize!


Thurs Feb 6, 2014  6:30pm – 8:30pm

Panel: Breaking Arab Stereotypes

Location: Newman Library Multipurpose Room

At this fun panel discussion, we will discuss common Arab stereotypes and answer any questions you might have about Arab culture. Panelists include Nadine Sinno, an Arabic Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at Virginia Tech; Hannah Benninger, an Arabic Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; Steven Salaita, an English professor in the Virginia Tech English Department; and an Arab-American comedian.


Fri Feb 7, 2014  7pm – 10pm

Arab Fest Dance Night

Location: Wesley Foundation

At this festival we celebrate more facets of Arab culture with dance, music and food. Featuring a “debke” performance (Arab folk dance native to the Levant) by VT students, a booth where you can get your name written in Arabic, and much more!