Celebrate Egyptian culture at the annual bazaar hosted by St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Saturday at the . Now in its 22nd year, the bazaar features food, crafts, a bookshop, traditional pastries, and fun children’s activities.
“Admission is free, and there will be a traditional Egyptian dinner for purchase throughout the day,” said Renee Hafzalla, a church member and bazaar organizer. “The rest of the yacht club will be set up with various booths full of arts, crafts and food, and there will be a photo booth where people can dress in ancient Egyptian costumes, and their images will be superimposed onto a background.”
The traditional dinner, which is $15 for adults and $8 for children, consists of salad, falafel and hummus, served with pita bread, and a main dish of stuffed grape leaves, Egyptian Kofta (Beef), grilled chicken, potatoes and vegetable side, as well as a drink and dessert. The meal is also available for carryout.
“In terms of the dinner, people know about Greek food and Mediterranean food, but there’s really no Egyptian restaurants around,” Hafzalla said. “The food is really unique so this is a good opportunity to try a meal you haven’t had before.”
There will also be traditional Egyptian desserts such as baklava and phyllo dough pastries, as well as cookies, and to accompany the desserts Turkish coffee for purchase. Vendors at the bazaar will be selling items such as papyrus, silver jewelry and gift items such as mother-of-pearl inlaid boxes. Each year there is a bookstore with publications about Egyptian culture and Christianity. There will also be a raffle for a bike donated from one of the church members who owns a bike shop. Proceeds from the event will go towards church building expenses.
Hafzalla will be manning the children’s area, painting faces and helping with crafts. She sees it as a great opportunity for people to learn more about a culture for which they might have preconceived notions.
“It’s a good opportunity to bring awareness to our church because people always assume that middle east means Arab, which equals Muslim. And that’s just not true," Hafzalla said. "Orthodoxy is something that is so old and a lot of Christianity is very rooted in it. A lot of the time people just don’t realize that.”
he Egyptian Bazaar runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Edmonds Yacht Club.