The generous hospitality of the Middle East has inspired a colourful night market due to flower in Sydney Thursday July 21st. From 6pm COMMUNE and Act For Peace have teamed up to bring Eid: Middle Eastern Night Markets to Waterloo.
Samir Ali, the founder of the COMMUNE event space, has organised the evening to celebrate two important occasions: Eid, which marks the end of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan, and also the successes of this year’s ‘Ration Challenge’, which raised $2 million for Syrian refugees - this will be enough money to feed more than 7000 refugees for a year.
When asked how this market idea came about Samir said, “I was in the Middle East at the end of last year and I did the Hajj pilgrimage, followed by spending a month in Egypt where my family is from. And what really stuck with me from that trip was the huge contrast of what I saw in the Middle East compared to what is portrayed in the media. I thought if I could do anything I thought I could hopefully bring some of that positive and very beautiful hospitality that I experienced on my trip, back to Sydney."
"Food [is] one of the easiest ways to get people together and talking in Australia and I had the idea to make it an Eid celebration that was very open and welcoming of all cultures."
Eid is a time of fun festivities, generosity and feasting and this market hopes to evoke that same sentiment. Expect a night filled with food, fashion, arts and crafts alongside LIVE music - Arabic hip-hop and Iraqi slam poetry just to name a couple - all with some Middle Eastern flair. Act For Peace will also have a photography exhibition that will showcase the images and portraits from travels in Syria and Jordan.
"I’ve picked things to try and show the multi-faceted and deeply rich culture that we come from,” Samir says.
Samir has tried to select foods that may be a little different, a little new and perhaps focus on dishes that people may have not have experienced before. A couple of things to look out for include salep - a popular hot milk beverage - and koshari - a popular Egyptian plate of lentils, tomato and rice, vegan-friendly and delicious.
Entry is $10 for adults and kids are free and most of the profits will be donated to Act for Peace and the 'Ration Challenge', providing support, medicine and food to Syrian refugees.
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