Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2019

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Festival to celebrate Lebanese culture

Lebanese

Ashley Livingston

Father Nadim Abou Zeid, left, and Chairman of the Parish Massoud Younes stand in front of the hall of the St. Sharbel Mission of Las Vegas.

Festival

  • What: Lebanese American Festival
  • When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 6 and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 7
  • Where: St. Sharbel Mission of Las Vegas, 10325 Rancho Destino Road
  • Cost: free
  • More information: 616-6902

St. Sharbel Mission of Las Vegas will host the First Annual Lebanese American Festival Dec. 6-7.

Father Nadim Abou Zeid said the event will be a celebration of family and the spirit of the Lebanese people.

"We are so happy to share our culture, hospitality, traditions and ourselves. We welcome people here and make them part of our family," Abou Zeid said.

Festival organizer Juliette Hanache said both days of the festival will feature food, crafts, entertainment and activities for children.

Hanache said traditional Lebanese cuisine for sale at the event will include hummus, tabouli, grape leaves and baklava and the crafts for sale include religious items, handmade jewelry, blankets with the Lebanese flag and CDs and DVDs in Arabic.

Live music will be presented by a group of parishioners 7-10 p.m. Dec. 6 and a DJ will play Arabic Christmas and traditional music during the rest of the time, Hanache said.

Another touch of culture will be provided by a big screen TV featuring pictures of Lebanon.

"We want to introduce Lebanon to people in the community," Hanache said.

"It's not a desert, everyone thinks it is and we have camels. That's not how it is and we want to show pictures of that," she said.

A silent auction will also take place during the festival.

Money made during the event will fund the building of a new church.

The mission recently completed construction on a hall that will temporarily house mass as well as events such as baptisms and weddings.

As part of the festivities a ribbon cutting ceremony for the hall will begin at 11 a.m. Dec. 6.

The church has now grown to about 300 families housing Christians from all over the Middle East, she said.

Masses are held in both English and Arabic, she said.

The festival is in part a celebration of that dualism.

"This is our home, but Lebanon is in our hearts. This is a way to keep our tradition alive and for our kids not to forget where they come from," Hanache said.

Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or [email protected].

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