St. Mary's Church Announces 2nd Annual 'Sahara Fest' in Livonia

| Source: St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church

                    Featuring Arabic Food, Music and Culture

                     Festival to Benefit Development of the
                         Mariam Family and Youth Center

LIVONIA, Mich., July 8, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Basilica of St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church announces their second annual "Sahara Fest," featuring Arabic food, music and culture. The Sahara Fest will take place on July 16-19, 2009 at Bryant Park, just south of St. Mary's Church on Merriman Road between Six and Seven Mile Roads (18000 Merriman Rd., Livonia, Michigan, 48152).

The Sahara Fest features authentic Arabic food, including falafel, beef and chicken shawarma, kafta, hummus, and zalabieh. Live American and Arabic music featuring The Acrophobic Sherpas, Emad Batayeh, Bassam Saleh, Kamil Haddad, Zein El Wazani with master Qanun player Victor Ghannam, the Bahu Family Band with Nader Harb, and Naseer Deeb. This year, the festival will be showcasing thrilling carnival rides, classic cars, group games such as charity casino, and more fun for the whole family.

Father George Shalhoub, pastor of St. Mary's, said, "We are all one global family, and this festival symbolizes the myriad of cultures in our diverse community." He went on to say, "We welcome all from Livonia and throughout the greater Detroit area as we celebrate our heritage and culture."

The Sahara Fest will benefit the development of the Mariam Center, a 30,000 square foot family and youth enrichment center, planned for completion in 2011. The Mariam Center is being developed to help support family and ethnic oriented activities for the City of Livonia and surrounding areas. The Mariam Center will have state-of-the-art classrooms, offices, and gymnasiums that will support a positive environment for kids to learn and grow.

The Basilica of St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church is a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Church traces its roots in unbroken apostolic succession to first century Antioch, the city in which the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called "Christians." The church was founded in 1972 and is comprised of members from the Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian communities.

Festival Hours:

July 16, Thursday--4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

July 17, Friday--10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

July 18, Saturday--10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

July 19, Sunday--10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information about the Sahara Fest contact:

St. Mary's Church: 734-422-0010

A logo for the Sahara Fest is available at

David Communications
Warren David