Sunday, October 5, 2014

Arts Walk and Arab Festival Offer Culture

By Janine Unsoeld

The weather cooperated all weekend, and Arts Walk continued on Saturday in downtown Olympia, with some exhibits scheduled to be on display throughout the month. The pace on Saturday was quieter, and allowed more time to see art and speak with artists about their work.
Above: Pianist Luke Davis, 16, played outside Browser’s Bookstore on Capitol Way for Arts Walk. Davis said he’s been playing for eight years and has participated at Arts Walk for six years. He attends Black Hills High School. He says donations are going toward his college fund, and parts for his car. “My window isn’t staying up,” he said.

Above: Members of Shahrazad dance Ensemble of Seattle perform at the Olympia Arab Festival yesterday at The Olympia Center.

The Olympia Arab Festival

Coinciding with Arts Walk was the Olympia Arab Festival, sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice.

The theme of its second annual event was “Shuruq II,” which means sunrise. In a celebration of Arab culture, the event featured food, performances, speakers, and children’s activities.

Rachel Corrie, Olympia, was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003 as she tried to prevent the demolition of the home of two Palestinian families.
The Rachel Corrie Foundation was established by Rachel’s family to continue the work that she hoped to accomplish. The Foundation conducts and supports programs that foster connections between people that build understanding, respect and appreciation for differences.
Above: Laith Amireh, 20, of Amman, Jordan, attends Bellevue College and is taking courses in computer science and programming. He says he enjoys being part of the Arabic Culture Student Association, which has 138 members. For more information about the club, go to This is the club’s first visit to Olympia.

Above: The Olympia-Rafah Sister City Mural Project on Capitol Way and State Street in downtown Olympia. For taped recorded information about the wall and the artists, call (360) 252-9779.

Above: Omar demonstrates the fine art of Arabic coffee making at the Olympia-Rafah Mural today. The smell was irresistible. The result of just one cup made for a very productive afternoon and evening! The site at the mural featured a hookah lounge at last night’s Arts Walk.
For more information about the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, go to

Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Arts Commission and the Department of Parks, Arts & Recreation with plenty of support by local businesses and artists. For more information about Arts Walk, go to

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