Growing Palestine Heritage Picnic 2022

On an idyllic September afternoon, more than 320 people made their way to Accotink Lake Park in Springfield, VA to attend the Growing Palestine second annual Heritage Picnic. Board member Nora Burgan had just returned from a visit to Palestine, and she provided farm updates as well as general impressions from her visit.  The awesome Muath Edriss—singer, oudist, and DJ who created an Arabic version of the American national anthem—was asked to take charge of the music, and he delivered! Yousef El Mohtasib created the beat that got people on their feet and ready to dance, and Faris Ellayl Dabka Group led the way. Once the dancing started, the dance space was always packed.

Many people made this event a success. Growing Palestine thanks the community organizations that helped publicize the event; the wonderful volunteers from Palestinian Youth Movement and elsewhere, who did much of the set up and clean up; Muath Edriss, Yousef El Mohtasib, and Faris Ellayl Dabka Group for making the picnic a real celebration of community; co-host Nagham and henna artist Layann; Ilham, Ferial, Nidaa, and Carole for donating tea and watermelon; and everyone who attended.