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All Systems Go for Arab International Festival

The city of Dearborn and the American Arab Chamber of Commerce reached a deal to allow the festival to take place in June.

The Dearborn Arab International Festival will happen as scheduled this year.

, the festival will take place June 17-19 on Warren Avenue after organizers and the city agreed to a deal, according to a press release sent out Friday evening.

The American Arab Chamber of Commerce, the organizers of the festival, said it has hired a private company to assist the city with cleanup.

In addition, the chamber said the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the will provide security for the event, which started in 1995 and has become a Dearborn tradition.

“The festival is on schedule,” Fay Beydoun, the executive director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, said in the release. “We are working with the city to alleviate some of the city’s cost and address their concerns.”

The chamber has said that the festival draws an estimated 300,000 people and generates $7 million toward the local economy.

The city said that the event costs $59,000 each year, primarily for police and public works staffing.

"We are exploring every avenue to lower the cost on the city and on us by partnering with different agencies, adjusting the components of the festival,” Beydoun said. “The dividends are often difficult to calculate, but this is the highest profile event the city of Dearborn can point to as a celebration of our rich cultural diversity.”

Florida Pastor Terry Jones is still planning on as well on June 17, as announced earlier this month.

Nancy Berry May 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM
We feel that it would not be in our city’s best interest financially to continue supporting this event. It would be too much of a burden to an already cash strapped taxpayer. We don’t feel that it would be fiscally prudent to our taxpayers especially when city considering closing local pools and libraries. The mission of the Arab American Festival should be to promote the cultural of the Arab American community while preserving the rich heritage and traditions of our Arab ancestors not at the cost of all residents. The Arab chamber is profiting from this event should pay for all costs including police.
Frank Lee May 23, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Mayor Turd Reilly caves. Everyone knew that he would never inconvenience his base, not even one bit. Simple cosmetic changes and this police and Dpw overtime sinkhole continue business as usual. To bad he won't give the same consideration to the children that cleaned, weeded, and prepped the pools. If this festival truly was the economic engine Faye Beydoun claims then the private sector would fund it. Since when is funding, organizing, and implementing Arab Festivals part of city government. Children lose Rec opportunities so restaurants and carnival ride operators and the Arab Chamber can make bank. What BS
DM May 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I could not agree more with the previous comments. The Arab Festival is a culture specific, private event and the costs should not be covered in any way by our tax dollars. What a shame that our city government has chosen to place the wants of a special interest group above the needs of our children and residents who risk losing their pools and libraries. I wonder who they will point the finger of blame at when the condition and reputation of this city deteriorates even further.
Leila June 01, 2011 at 02:27 AM
i feel we should keep our tradition of the arabic festival every year because its the chance for arabic people to have some fun but i agree more with the comments above.
DebbyandSpanky August 14, 2011 at 01:34 AM
The City of Dearborn officials, from the mayor on down, KOW-TOW to the Arabs. Hence, the festival will continue. Keeping the Arab festival equals votes.

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