10 Ways to Enjoy Arab Culture in Washington, DC
By: Yidan Fan/Arab America Contributing Writer
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still various ways to experience Arab culture. This article will introduce you 10 ways to enjoy Arab culture in Washington, DC.
1. Enjoy Virtual Art Exhibitions
The Middle East Institute, the oldest think tank focused on the Middle Eastern region in Washington, DC, opened the city’s first gallery devoted to modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art. The MEI Art Gallery is a unique platform in the nation’s capital dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary and modern art, photography, and video from the Middle East. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual exhibition is now available on the MEI Art Gallery official website.
2. Pay a Visit to the Jerusalem Fund Gallery
Since 2000, The Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds has been the sole full-time area showcase for the exhibition of contemporary art by Arab-American and Arab artists. The Gallery Al-Quds specializes in the work of Palestinian artists, with an additional emphasis on the work of contemporary artists whose art centers on issues of the Arab and Islamic world. Gallery Al-Quds exhibitions work in a full range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, film and mixed media.
Address: 2425 Virginia Avenue NW
Hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday
3. Go to Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden
Located within a wooded ravine known as Woodland-Normanstone Park, the Memorial to the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran is a peaceful, recessed 2-acres on Massachusetts Avenue across from the British Embassy. Its centerpieces are a bust of the Lebanese mystic and a star-shaped fountain surrounded by flowers, hedges and limestone benches engraved with various Gibranisms. From a path just north of the garden, you can hop onto trails that link to Rock Creek and Glover Archbold parks.
Address: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Hours: By appointment
4. Visit Lebanese Cedar Tree at The White House
The national symbol of Lebanon is the cedar tree. In the South Lawn of the White House, there is a Lebanese Cedar which was planted 30 years ago on April 28, 1978, by President Jimmy Carter and members of the Lebanese American community including Senator Abourezk, Congresswoman Okar, and Congressman Moffet.
Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Hours: By appointment
5. Visit the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center
The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) is an organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to promote understanding of the culture and heritage of Oman and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events and visit are not available at present. However, you can still have a experience with Arab culture by taking a virtual tour on the Sultan Qaboos’s Culture Center’s website.
Address: 1100 16th Street NW
6. Go to the Museum of the Palestinian People
Immigrants to the United States yearn for a space to tell their stories, yet for Palestinians there has been no such space. In fact, who they are has been told by others, until now. The Museum of the Palestinian People is here to tell their stories; stories that encompass the rich history, vibrant arts and culture, of a people who thrive even in the face of adversity.
Address: 1900 18th Street NW
Hours: 12:00pm – 6:00pm, Thursday – Saturday
7. Pay a Visit to the Dumbarton Oaks
Located in Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks supports and publishes scholarships in the three areas of study supported by Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss: Byzantine Studies, Pre-Columbian Studies, and Garden and Landscape Studies. It opens its doors to the public to visit its historic garden, designed by Beatrix Farrand, its museum, with world-class collections of art, and its Music Room, for lectures and concerts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum and the garden are closed, but you can register for zoom events on the Dumbarton Oaks website.
Address: 1703 32nd Street NW
8. Join Arab Center’s Events on YouTube
Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) is a non-partisan, non-profit research organization located in Washington, District of Columbia dedicated to providing insight on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as furthering economic, political and social understanding of the Arab World in the United States. To join online events during the pandemic, you can subscribe ACW’s channel on YouTube.
Address: 800 10th Street NW
9. Enjoy a Middle Eastern Night at the Green Zone
DC’s Middle Eastern Cocktail Bar combining modern craft cocktails and mixology with the flavors of the Middle East. Giving you drinks like the Saz’iraq, Lebanese No.1, Janissary Corps, and their legendary Mint Lemonade and more. Come here and enjoy a Middle Eastern night!
Address: 226 18th Street NW
Hours: Wed, Thurs, Fri 5-11:30pm, Sat & Sun 4-11:30pm
10. Explore Arab America’s Website
Arab America is a national media organization with the purpose of promoting an accurate image of the Arab American community and the Arab world. There are plenty of Arab content on the Arab America’s website, including Arab-related news, blogs, articles and so on. You can enjoy a tour of exploring Arab culture by simply clicking into the Arab America’s website.
Address: 916 G Street NW
Check out Arab America’s blog here!