Heard on CultureShift

Ramadan in Detroit: Food, Fun and Snakes at Midnight Festival (PHOTOS)

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Image credit: Malak Wazne

Dearborn Heights’ Ramadan Suhoor Festival is a late-night — or early morning — celebration for Muslims and non-Muslims alike during the Islamic holy month.

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Man puts melted cheese on potatoes at the Tornado Potato tent at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Man puts melted cheese on potatoes at the Tornado Potato tent at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

Suhoor is the Arabic term for the pre-dawn meal Muslims have each day before fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

In Dearborn Heights, Ramadan Suhoor Festival is a food extravaganza that serves dishes as varied as cupcakes, cheesesteaks and churros for thousands of attendees during the late-night — or early morning, depending on your perspective — hours that observant Muslims can eat and drink. 

We’ve got people here from Houston, from California, that are foodies that flew out just for the event,” says Hassan Chami, the festival’s organizer. 

The festival is in its second year, having started as a pop-up event last year. Its first weekend saw over 12,000 attendees, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.  

But it’s not just the food that draws people out. The festival serves as space for celebration and outreach, says Chami. ”It’s good for community, especially for Muslims and non-Muslims to bridge the gap.”

CultureShift sent reporter Ziad Buchh and photographer Malak Wazne to the festival to see what drew thousands of people for the festivities.

Ramadan Suhoor Festival is from 11:45 pm to 4:00 am Fridays and Saturdays through June 2nd in the parking lot of Hype Athletics at 23302 W. Warren Ave. in Dearborn Heights. Admission is free. 

Click the audio player above to listen to Ziad Buchh’s story from Ramadan Suhoor Festival and see Malak Wazne’s photos of the event below.

Thousands of Muslims gather at Hype Athletics for Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Thousands of Muslims gather at Hype Athletics for Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

Ali Elromh, co-owner of Peepo’s Shawarma and Subs, squirts Peepo’s famous and homemade spicy Africano sauce at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI,May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Ali Elromh, co-owner of Peepo’s Shawarma and Subs, squirts Peepo’s famous and homemade spicy Africano sauce at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI,May 22, 2019.

Ali Elromh, co-owner of Peepo’s Shawarma and Subs, prepares the famous Africano bowl at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI,May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Ali Elromh, co-owner of Peepo’s Shawarma and Subs, prepares the famous Africano bowl at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI,May 22, 2019.

Hassan Bazzi beats a traditional Arab drum at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019. “Yalla! Get your food!” he shouts.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Hassan Bazzi beats a traditional Arab drum at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019. “Yalla! Get your food!” he shouts.

Jenna, 10, is greeted by a snake at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Jenna, 10, is greeted by a snake at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

Khalil Hamka prepares a traditional Arab breakfast at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Khalil Hamka prepares a traditional Arab breakfast at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

Man prepares za’atar bread on a saj at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019.Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Man prepares za’atar bread on a saj at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

Men celebrate Mehdi Kabbani, 10, by throwing him into the air at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, <span class=MI, May 22, 2019. Malak Wazne” />
Malak Wazne

Men celebrate Mehdi Kabbani, 10, by throwing him into the air at the Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Dearborn Heights, MI, May 22, 2019.

 


Ziad Buchh, Reporter

Ziad Buchh is Reporter for 101.9 WDET. He is known by friends as the argumentative person in the group.


Malak Wazne

Malak Wazne is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer who is working to tear down barriers one story at a time.


This post is a part of Detroit StoryMakers.

WDET's Detroit StoryMakers initiative empowers local storytellers in bringing Detroit's stories to life. Support for this initiative comes from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs and through matching gifts from station donors.  

 

 

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