For the first time ever, the Arlington Mayor’s Muslim Advisory Council and the Levitt Arlington are co-hosting a public cultural celebration this weekend.
The American Muslim Cultural Celebration will take place Saturday, March 4 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Downtown Arlington. Admission is free.
Open to the entire community, the family-friendly event will feature live entertainment and marketplace shopping for art, fashion, and international cuisine. It will also feature a lineup of music artists and cultural performances like dancing, musical instruments, a robotics presentation.
There will also be a Quran recitation and Asr prayer (Islamic afternoon prayer). Special guest speakers slated to appear are Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, State Representative Salman Bhojani, and Dr. Omar Suleiman, an internationally-noted scholar, author, and civil rights leader.
Get DFW local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC DFW newsletters.
A portion of the fundraising proceeds will be donated to US-based humanitarian aid for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. The event is made possible by support from Zio Al's Pizza & Pasta, Just 7 Lube & Auto Repair, and other local supporters.
Yaman Subei, who is co-chairing the celebration with Arlington Muslim Advisory Council members Sam Mahrouq and Walid Joulani, said the council created the event to bring together people from all communities, particularly those who may have had limited opportunities to interact with Muslim cultures.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“American Muslims have played a significant role in the community by operating small and large businesses, employing and supporting many families,” said Subei, who is also chair of the Arlington Muslim Advisory Council.
“For us, the American Dream is real! We often lead in our professions as doctors, counselors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc. We are engaged in education and support the community with our donations and in-kind contributions, but we mostly do it under a hidden identity," he added. "Unfortunately, we are mostly known to the mass public for a false image extreme radicals have portrayed through media. I hope with this event, we can open up to the greater community, so people get to know us. That’s one of the reasons Mayor Ross created the council— to give an elevated voice and a seat at the table for Muslim community members in Arlington—and we appreciate that.”
Subei said the upcoming celebration is a first for Arlington.
“In fact, we’re not aware of any public event in Dallas-Fort Worth that offers this kind of opportunity for non-Muslim community members to experience and enjoy Muslim culture first hand,” he said. “The event volunteers are planning an exciting showcase and celebration of secular and religious Muslim culture, including amazing cuisine, memorable cultural performances, and inspirational and insightful remarks from our guest speakers. We invite all members of the public to join us at the beautiful Levitt Pavilion for what’s sure to be a wonderful event.”
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Food and drink will be available for purchase on site, but coolers are also permitted. No glass containers or alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Parking is free and available on all sides of the Levitt and in public parking lots around downtown. Click here for a map.
“The Levitt continually fosters culturally rich programming, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to sponsor this celebration of the wonderful multicultural tapestry that makes Arlington unique," said Letatia Teykl, executive director for Levitt Arlington. "We’re looking forward to welcoming guests for this and other community events and genre-diverse concerts during the 2023 season.”
To learn more, visit levittpavilionarlington.org/events.