Last week, I was honored to represent Lebanon with my performance at the McKeesport International Village Festival! For those of you unfamiliar with the event, allow me to quote the festival organizers,
“The City of McKeesport’s Annual Ethnic Food Festival is one of Western Pennsylvania’s most anticipated summer events. The three day festival allows guests to indulge in a variety of cuisine from all over the globe. Food favorites include Polish, Greek, Croatians, English, African-American, Mexican, French German, Hungarian, Chinese, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Slovenia, Slovak, Italian, Serbian and Hawaiian fares. Desserts and other delicious treats include Apple Dumplings, Penn State Ice Cream, and German Kettle Corn.
The International Village festival is also known for its continuous entertainment each day. The festival’s main stage features traditional music as well as singers and dancers. Other favorites include arts and crafts exhibit and live musicians on the smaller stage in the Blue Top Pavilion. There is also a midway with inflatable attractions and games for children.”
I was asked to perform a traditional Lebanese Bellydance Set on Day 2 at 8pm, prime time! With the help of good friend and Bellydance Legend, Kweilin, I selected Habbibi Ya Eini, Nassam Alayna (a favorite of mine), Fares Karam- 3al 3een molayeteen for cane/ stick, Emad Sayad’s drum solo, and Saharni by Najwa Karem. Fun set! The crowd was wonderful and very happy to help me balance my cane or grab the extra and swing along! I had a few of the children in the front row dancing along, and the family who hired me, singing to Fairuz 🙂 All in all, one of my favorite performances!
And afterwards, my husband Federico and our friend Matt were all fed by the Lebanese tent! The wonderful people who hired me, Joe and Jocelyne Chahine and Joe, Jr are the owners of Pita Land in Brookline. My husband is part Lebanese and a very very particular eater…shall we just say picky?? Yet, he ate everything served to him with more gusto than I ever thought possible! Their food was exquisite and I am looking forward to ordering from them again!