My best friend in first and second grades was a Lebanese-American girl named Sonya Kazhaal. Her father owned the big general goods store in my little northern town of Ferkessedougou, Côte d’Ivoire, in West Africa. There was a large contingent of Lebanese expatriots in that country, where they made up the majority of the merchant class until they (along with most expatriots) were driven out seven years ago during the rabid nationalism that sprang up in the Ivoiren civil war.
Sonya was my constant companion. We lived all of five minutes’ walk from each other; my mother homeschooled us both those two years; we did everything and went everywhere with each other. Her family was my second family; mine was hers. I was devastated when her family moved back to Seattle after second grade. We didn’t stay in touch, but I’ve kept my fondness for Lebanese culture. Especially the food. Oh, the food! I just had a lovely fattoush salad for lunch today, in fact, and nothing says comfort food for me like tabbouli or a really well-made lamb shawarma sandwich.
Enough of the poignant memories: LebFest is back! Whether you’re Lebanese yourself or just enjoy cultural events, head over to the Northville Town Square on Friday and/or Saturday, August 28-29 to experience the wonderful food, music, fun, and did I mention the FOOD?!? of Lebanese culture. There will be a bachelor auction, kids’ activities, and even an open casting call for a film!
So pack up the kids (or not, if you’re planning on attending the Official 2009 After Party at Bak Bar at 157 E. Main Street on Saturday, August 29, 2009 from 11:00pm – 1:00am) and head to Northville for some culture and family fun!
TeacherMommy is a 31-year-old mother of two and a high school English teacher somewhere in a northwest suburb of Detroit. She spends her time at work quelling teenagers with her patented glare and threatening to deposit them in a pottery jar labelled “Ashes of Obnoxious Teenagers,” and occasionally she manages to teach them something about literature and writing. At home, she alternates cuddling two small boys and tearing her hair out over their latest antics. TeacherMommy also occupies way too much time online reading blogs, Twittering, and practicing her writing skills on her own blog, Diapers and Dragons.