Expanded Arab American presence enhances Homecoming

Photo courtesy of the Arab American National Museum “MasterChef” contestant Amanda Saab will demonstrate her recipe for baklava cheesecake at 4 p.m. Aug. 4 on the Arab American Tent Stage at Homecoming.

Photo courtesy of the Arab American National Museum
“MasterChef” contestant Amanda Saab will demonstrate her recipe for baklava cheesecake at 4 p.m. Aug. 4 on the Arab American Tent Stage at Homecoming.

DEARBORN – Dearborn’s Arab American community will boast a significantly expanded presence at the city’s 39th annual Homecoming festival Aug. 3 to 5 at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill Road.

Presented by ACCESS and its Arab American National Museum (AANM), the Arab American Tent at Homecoming will feature traditional and contemporary live music, cutting-edge disc jockeys, Dabke Dance 101 workshops with AANM’s “Dakbe Dave” Serio, educational displays, calligraphy, and halal Lebanese cuisine by Shawarma Bash.

At 5 p.m. Aug. 4, Chef Amanda Saab, a past contestant on Fox’s “MasterChef,” will demonstrate her recipe for baklava cheesecake.

Located near the park’s covered bridge and the festival’s Carnival Area, the Arab American Tent will operate from 4 to 11 p.m. Aug. 3 and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 4 and 5. The Arab American Tent also will offer an open-mic session for fest-goers, plenty of giveaway items, merchandise for sale and a chance to win a 55-inch television. Representatives of ACCESS’s Campaign to Take on Hate will offer timely, essential information.

Arab American offerings from ACCESS and AANM will appear in three other areas of the festival: the Food Court, the Community Tent and the Hilltop Area.

In the Food Court, look for halal burgers and fries by Famous Hamburger, with proceeds from sales going to benefit ACCESS.

In the Community Tent, ACCESS’s Community Health and Research Center will offer a wide range of information about events, programs and services as well as giveaways.

In the Hilltop Area, AANM and ACCESS’s Youth and Education Department present a special Family Tent, featuring free children’s craft projects and henna tattoos for a small fee. The University of Michigan-Dearborn Chapter of Lions Club of Michigan will provide free vision screenings for children at the Family Tent.

For updates on the Arab American Tent and all ACCESS/AANM Homecoming activities, go to http://bit.ly/ArabAmericanTent.

ACCESS — the nation’s largest Arab American community nonprofit organization — and AANM have united to build upon last year’s inaugural Arab American Tent at Homecoming. The 2017 offerings reflected the growing population and the integration of the Arab American community into Dearborn’s history and traditions.

The 2018 Arab American programming amplifies last year’s and echoes the beloved Homecoming tradition of culturally specific tents established by Dearborn’s Polish and Italian American communities.

“Dearborn is a community that is proud of its diversity and its welcoming reputation,” said Hassan Jaber, ACCESS executive director and CEO. “ACCESS is proud to take part in Homecoming, a celebration of our rich history and diverse heritage as a city.”

Homecoming is a free, family friendly, three-day festival with continuous national and regional entertainment on multiple stages, children’s activities, a large carnival, and fireworks on Saturday and Sunday nights. The purpose of the festival is to reunite current and former Dearborn residents for a community-wide celebration.

Homecoming is organized by the city of Dearborn in conjunction with the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund. The presenting sponsor is Beaumont Health.

Dearborn Homecoming attracts 150,000 people and is made possible largely because of sponsors who pay for the entertainment and activities. Homecoming activities and entertainment are paid for by support from sponsors, not city tax dollars.

Go to www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming for more information about the entire Homecoming festival, including a site map and event registration.