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St. George Middle Eastern Festival, July 20-22

Middle Eastern Festival

Dancing at the Middle Eastern Festival. Photo provided by the church and used with written permission.

By Dr. David E. Sumner
St. George Orthodox Christian Church

The 17th Annual Middle Eastern Festival of Indianapolis (www.mefestival.org) will be held July 20-22, 2012: Friday and Saturday from 4:00-11:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. at St. George Orthodox Christian Church, 4020 N. Sherman Drive.

This will be the last festival held at the Sherman Drive location.  The church will break ground for its new facility on East 116th Street in Fishers later this summer.

The festival celebrates the food, culture, music, and Christian heritage of the Middle East. Live band.  Free parking.  Children’s games.  E-mail festival@stgindy.org or Facebook.  Ten percent of festival proceeds will provide food for hungry school children in Indianapolis.

David Al Hakim and his band from Cleveland will play throughout the weekend. His band performs frequently at festivals, parties and conferences. He has lectured on Arabic music at Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin University.  He will give short talks about Arabic music. Hakim is a native of Syria. “We play from the heart; music is a passion for me, not a business,” he says.

The menu offers Middle Eastern dishes such as lamb shanks, gyros, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, meat pies, spinach pies, hummus, and a wide array of pastries. Air-conditioned indoor shopping will feature Middle Eastern jewelry, art, crafts, groceries and desserts.  A silent auction will offer dozens of valuable items donated by local merchants.

Admission: $5; Children under 12: free. All facilities are fully handicapped accessible.

In previous years, the Festival has been chosen a “Best Bet” for July entertainment by the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Monthly, Indy Moms and North Magazine.

For more information, visit the Web site or call 317-547-9356.

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