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A talk by Jack Shaheen, an award-winning writer and lecturer who specializes in addressing racial and ethnic stereotypes, will kick off UT’s second annual Arab Fest.

The Arab Fest, which invites students and the Knoxville community to learn more about the Arab culture, will be held October 22–24. All events are free and open to the public.

Shaheen, the author of award-winning Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, will talk about the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the American media. His lecture begins at 6:00 p.m. on October 22 in the Toyota Auditorium of the Baker Center.

The Arab cultural fair will take place from noon to 9:00 p.m. October 23 and 24 on the Joe Johnson and John Ward Pedestrian Walkway. The cultural fair will feature Arab food, music, dance, and traditional costuming. Sandy Larson and the Sandsation Dancers and the Albi Belly Dance company will be performing Friday evening.

Scheduled programming will be included throughout each day, with children’s activity areas and booths from local Arab-American owned businesses.

This year’s fair is presented by the Tennessee Initiative for Middle East Studies and the Arab American Club of Knoxville and is supported by the Haslam College of Business, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Arts and Sciences, and WUOT.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,