Seattle Arab Festival 2011 ~ Photos by A Crafty Arab

October 31st, 2011

The Seattle Arab Festival took place in early October at the Seattle Center. I was unable to attend, but I’m sharing photos from the event, thanks to Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi, who attended as a vendor, blog photographer and member of the Seattle  Arab community.

Koloud is a Libyan American who developed her brand A Crafty Arab to promote a positive image of Arab culture by creating jewelry, crafts, and handmade educational tools that are fun and colorful. She sells her items online, at local stores in the Pacific Northwest and at festivals such as the Seattle Arab Festival. (To find out more about A Crafty Arab, keep reading.)

Here are a few of Koloud’s photos from the Seattle Arab Festival 2011.

First is Koloud selling her crafts. 

The performance stage (below). So sad I missed this!

A Morocan-themed booth

A few of the food booths

Cafe Palestine

Booth with educational resources from AmidEast

Booth for the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice … A topic close to my heart.

One of the booths for kids. Yay!

Finally, a glimpse of the jewelry from A Crafty Arab.

More about A Crafty Arab

Kholoud created the brand A Crafty Arab in 2008 to strengthen Arab American heritage and language. She sells her handmade Arabic crafts and cards at A Crafty Arab. Below are a few examples of her crafts.

Blue Hamsa Earrings ~ Hand of Fatima

 Um Kulthuum pin (!!)

 Arabic “Ramadan Kareem” greeting card

 Arabic-themed light switch cover. So crafty!

Poster featuring the Arabic alphabet. A must-have for young Arabic-speaking kids.

More about Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi

Koloud left Libya with her family when she was 7 years old. Shortly afterwards, her parents were granted political asylum and allowed to live in the US. She grew up in Oklahoma, but moved to Seattle in 1992 after a friend sent her a postcard of Mt. Rainer. She started making handmade Arabic greeting cards when she couldn’t find any to give to friends. Soon she was getting requests and now also makes Farsi and Urdu cards. Trying to stay unique, she started adding humor to her cards and crafts. Koloud lives in Redmond, Washington, with her husband, 3 young daughters and a cat named Shems (Arabic for sunshine). Here is a 4-minute video of a TV show featuring Koloud. (It’s mostly in Arabic, but easy to get get the gist.)

Kholoud has A Crafty Arab Blog. You can also find A Crafty Arab on Facebook. In the Seattle area, you can find Koloud’s crafts at: Seattle Public Library Friend Shop (Downtown Seattle), Ventures (Pike Place Market), Al-Andalus (Greenwood), and Happy Delusions (Renton).



  1. October 31st, 2011 at 21:24 | #1

    We bought the Arabic alphabet poster, and the kids were delighted to color in pages featuring her samaka at the children’s table. It was a lovely time and you would have enjoyed it.

  2. November 1st, 2011 at 06:43 | #2

    Thanks holly for sharing this. I really enjoyed reading about Kholoud’s initiative. Do you think she can ship things here. I was just discussing with some of the Muslim moms at school how there are no decorations or Islamic Holiday themed things we can bring to school to highlight our tradition. After a two week Halloween mania at school and on the neighborhood streets, the kids have no idea there is Eid and it is really our responsibility that we are not trying to make this fun for the kids in a more collaborative way. Any ideas would be great…you always have such great ideas on things like that :)))

  3. Holly S. Warah
    Holly S. Warah
    November 7th, 2011 at 04:49 | #3

    @Soha I agree the American-style Halloween is over the top! We need some balance. I think Kholoud’s items can be shipped overseas. There is another company worth checking out: (California-based). They have lovely decorations. I think the trick to holidays is planning way in advance. Let’s see what we can pull together for next year … Meanwhile, Wishing you a festive Eid al-Adha, Soha.

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