As part of Explore & More Children's Museum's Good Neighbor Initiative and Culture Wee, we are delighted to sponsor our third annual day-long Celebration of Yemeni Folk Arts and Traditions. We have worked in close collaboration with Yemeni-American tradition bearers and community scholar from ACCESS, which is based in Lackawanna to develop this wonderful event.
Lackawanna is home to a population of over 6,000 people of Yemeni descent. Some of the first Yemeni immigrants arrived in Western New York around 1920. They found employment in the city's booming steel and automotive plants, creating communities in the First Ward and Lackawanna close to their work and mosques. Over the years, Yemeni-Americans have transitioned into full citizens. They have been successful in starting small businesses, entering universities, and contributing to the cultural and spiritual fabric of Buffalo's diverse tapestry of peoples.
Today, children are welcome to join Gamileh Jamil, executive director of Access, her daughter Maryem, friend and students of Ms. Entasar Saif a teacher of Arabic at Buffalo's Global Concepts Charter School to learn about calligraphy and the Islamic tradition of decorative tile making! In this learning experience, children will design their own personalized tile, including having their name written in Arabic. Tasty Yemeni food and refreshments are also available in the workshop room. Additionally, families can visit with other ACCESS members. There they will learn about food tradition. The food traditions are based on the cultivation of ancient grains, found in abundance in Middle Eastern souks or marketplaces and Middle Eastern grocery stores in Lackawanna's neighborhoods as well as health stores across the western New York Region.
Join us in our gym, as our day of learning about Yemeni and Yemeni-American culture stars off with a lively performance of dance by members of ACCESS' Arab Language Program. After their performance, the audience is invited to join in one of the dances.