Craving hummus from far away - Arab American events at the Ann Arbor District Library this week
The children and I had been in Hawaii almost five weeks when a sudden craving for hummus hit.
We had not really thought about hummus for a while, had been enjoying our huli huli chicken and Spam musubi, foods we cannot get in Ann Arbor, when we suddenly noticed that something we normally took for granted was simply not there.
We searched, but could not find good hummus or tabouli anywhere. We could not find good Indian food. We could not find henna. This is just a small thing, unimportant really, but we began to appreciate that there are things gritty Michigan has that languorous Hawaii does not.
With Dearborn being home to the largest Arab community outside of the Middle East, Michigan is multicultural after all, but a different mix of multi than Hawaii. While the rest of the country is freaking out about terrorist stereotypes, we have neighbors.
The Ann Arbor District Library offers us two opportunities this week to learn more about our Arab American neighbors and friends:
"Angeleno Days" author coming to A2
Join us Thursday January 21 at 7 p.m. at our Traverwood Branch as we welcome Gregory Orfalea to discuss his most recent book, Angeleno Days. Mr Orfalea will share his series of essays originally published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. These deeply moving pieces are gathered in his book for the first time. Mr. Orfalea will discuss his experiences writing about Arab American society and concerns. His book will be on sale and will include a book signing.
Middle Eastern Music By Award-Winning Musician Ara Topouzian
Saturday January 23, 2010: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Join us for a delightful introduction to the sounds of the Middle East, featuring Award-Winning Detroit area musician Ara Topouzian. Ara performs an array of Armenian and Middle Eastern instruments including: Kanun (laptop harp), Duduk (Armenian oboe), Metal G-clarinet, Dumbek (Middle Eastern hand drum), Def (Middle Eastern tambourine), and a variety of Middle Eastern frame drums.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for AnnArbor.com, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at franceskaihwawang.com, her blog at franceskaihwawang.blogspot.com, and she can be reached at email@example.com.