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Muslim Festival Extends Bridges in Memphis

CAIRO – Building bridges among different communities, the Muslim community in Memphis has hosted MusliMeMfest to strengthen the relationship between the diverse peoples of Memphis and Shelby County and spread more information on Islamic culture.

“I just like for people to know we’re just normal people, we happen to practice the faith of Islam,” Angie Odeh, marketing coordinator for the free festival, told The Commercial Appeal.

“We’ve put special emphasis on what we’d like to share about ourselves that people want to know, especially in this political climate right now.”

The free festival was held last Saturday, March 26, from 10 am to 8 pm at the Agricenter building in Memphis.

Held for the first year, MusliMeMfest is the latest addition to a series of events hosted by the Memphis community during March over the past 14 years.

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Bringing the Islamic culture closer to the people of Memphis, the festival featured tables and booths filled with Muslim businesses and food vendors.

Moreover, an imam was on hand to answer “absolutely any question you want,” Odeh said.

Other activities included multiple movie showings, guest speakers, stand-up comedy, poetry and dance performances.

The festival was praised by members of Memphis community who attended to show support for the local Muslim community.

“We believe Islam has been denigrated and misrepresented by current politicians — Tennessee legislature and the people who are running for president, a lot of politicians and some media too,” Annette Bickers said.

“They’re not terrorists, we’re here to offer support.

“We just believe in offering an open heart and mind to our fellow citizens,” Bickers said.