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From The Dabke To The Knafeh, Heritage Festival Showcases Palestinian Culture In Forest Park

Dabke is a native Levantine folk dance performed in a line dance.
Courtesy of Rawan Abusaid
Dabke is a native Levantine folk dance performed in a line dance.

A showcase of Palestinian culture gets underway at noon this Sunday at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Palestinians are often portrayed in the media only when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but not much is discussed about the nuances of their culture, from the food they eat to the different identities that make up the culture. 


The Palestine Heritage Festival, organized by the Missouri chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, brings together all aspects of Palestinian life, from music, dance and food to history and architecture. 


On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl talked with a few of the festival’s organizers to explore what patrons can expect at the event, including informational displays about influential Palestinians across disciplines and a kids fashion show with various traditional clothing, as well as, food, dance, live music and more. 


Joining the discussion were Muath Salameh, chair of Palestine Heritage Festival, and committee members Sara Omar and Mahdi Moqbil who explained how they define Palestinian culture.


Listen to the conversation, which touched on everything from the dabke, which is a traditional folk dance, to the knafeh, a sweet cheese pastry:



St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.


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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.