19th Annual Arab Cultural Festival


Every October, the ACCC hosts the Arab Cultural Festival. It is the largest celebration of Arab arts and culture in Northern California. Since 1995, this day-long event has showcased the arts, entertainment, cuisine, traditions, and, most importantly, the spirit of Arab Americans and of the Arab world. On the stage at the center of the booth bazaar, performers will present Arab music and dance from across America and the Arab world.

The festival reflects and embraces our community's diversity and its contributions to the Bay Area's cultural landscape. The goals of the festival reflect and embody the Arab Cultural and Community Center's mission statement: through the platform of performance, community engagement and cultural relations, we empower Arab Americans to express pride in their heritage and, more immediately, to express themselves. 


12:30-12:55 Opening Zaffa

1:15-1:30 DAM Palestinian Hip Hop

1:50-2:35 Yassir Chadly and Moroccan Trance and Roll

2:45-3:00 Shabaab Al Quds Dabka

3:20-3:45 Amel Tafsout Dance

3:55-4:40 Fella Oudane - Classics & Rai


World-famous Palestinian hip hop crew, DAM!

 Fella Oudane, is an Algerian singing and percussion virtuoso who will perform classical selections from classical Arabic music giants, Fairuz and Oum Kulthum, as well as her country’s traditional “Rai” music at this year's Festival. Throughout her career, Oudane has collaborated with such greats as Cheb Nasro, one of Algeria's most respected singers, Natasha Atlas, and Rachid Taha. Oudane performs regularly at universities and Arab Festivals in LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, and Paris.


Yassir Chadly and Moroccan Trance and Roll, Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Yassir Chadly has been performing and recording Moroccan music in the US since 1977. He is a gifted musician of many traditional Moroccan instruments including the oud, gimbri, karkabas, darbuka, fretless banjo, tarija and bendeer and is one of the first Moroccan artists to introduce his native music to an American audience. He has composed and performed Moroccan music for Alonzo King and Lines Ballet Company of SF, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The North Carolina Dance Theatre,The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show and in 2006 was a featured performer with Philip Glass and his ensemble at the Davies Symphony Hall.

Shabaab Al Quds is an up-and-coming folkloric dabka dance troupe who will be stomping out indigenous dabka dance at this year's Festival. The troupe presents authentic dabka steps from a variety of countries in the Arab world and also specializes in tablah performances and zaffas, the traditional call-and-return fanfares performed at weddings. 


Amel Tafsout is an inspirational master dance artist, choreographer, instructor, frame drummer, singer and one of the finest exponents of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance of our time. With two M.A degrees in Sociolinguistics and Romance languages, a research in dance anthropology, and a long training in various healing practices, Tafsout’s knowledge of her Algerian culture and her experience in many dance styles and music make her very unique. 

Ishmael is an Assyrian American kanun player extraordinaire. Growing up in the Bay Area, he studied classical piano, and as a teenager he took tympani lessons with San Francisco Symphony tympanist Walter Larew before going on to play timpani with the Santa Clara Philharmonic Orchestras. His study of Middle Eastern music includes training in Turkish music with master kanun player Shenshalar in Istanbul and internationally acclaimed oud player Harant Effendi in Los Angeles.



The Festival booth bazaar is a showcase in our community's ingenuity and innovation. Browse the Festival's bazaar to find Arab crafts, food, clothing, music, furniture, and books. Here you will find exquisite traditional "tatreez" (embroidery), hand-wrought silver jewelry in arabesque patterns, tshirts proclaiming the wearer's pride in their Arab heritage, and custom-made artworks by calligraphers and henna artists. Food vendors offer Arabic spices, coffees, teas, sweets, and hard-to-find Arabic treats.

A children's activity booth includes a bounce-house obstacle course, a clown, balloon animals, games, crafts, and face painting and more, making the Festival an enriching and fun experience for the whole family!

Click here for more information on being a vendor at the Festival



A huge thank you to all of our 2013 Silver Sponsors: BiRite, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - UC Berkeley, The Good Stuff, and TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures!


BiRite Family of Businesses jpeg 1

CMES logo and text 2012Good Stuff Distributer logo

TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures


Event Properties

Event date: Saturday, 05 October 2013
Event End Date: Saturday, 05 October 2013
Location Union Square