August 02, 2005 12:46 ET

City of Montreal: 4th Montreal Oriental Festival Reminiscent of the Thousand and One Nights

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 2, 2005) - Mr. Marcel Tremblay, associate councillor to the Mayor responsible for intercultural relations, and Mr. Habib G. Zaarour, Chairman of the Regroupement des Orientaux du Quebec, today launched the program of events of the 4th Montreal Oriental Festival, which will take place August 4 to August 15, 2005 at Bonsecours Market.

"Montreal is privileged to enjoy such a multicultural mosaic. To take advantage of such an asset, the city must support opportunities for exchange and rapprochement between Montrealers of all ethnic backgrounds, to learn more about different ways of life, traditions and values. And what better way to achieve this than to take part in a friendly and lively festival," said Marcel Tremblay.

"Now a city tradition, the Montreal Oriental Festival invites visitors to discover all the aspects of Oriental culture, including handicrafts, folklore, song, dance, food, customs and traditions. The festival is for Montrealers to share and to get to know each other better," said Habib Zaarour.

A trip to the Orient

Montrealers will live the magical atmosphere of the Thousand and One Nights through a number of lively events to take place over 11 days. Some twenty countries will be represented at this cultural celebration, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam.

The Rencontre Quebec-Orient des metiers d'art is the cornerstone of this festival. The event will take the shape of a souk, which is the main platform of commercial and social exchange in the Orient. For the first time this year, aboriginal and Quebec artisans will display their ancestral skills: metal engraving, mint tea ceremony. henna, sand ornaments, silk painting, etc. A special section will also feature Oriental cuisine.

Montrealers will have an opportunity to enjoy The Thousand and One Nights event, to resemble Samar, an event that brings together poets, musicians and other artists. Also featured will be evenings of poetry reading from various countries and traditional backgrounds, as well as Oriental dance. The main event of these evenings under the big top will certainly be the Stories of Sheherazade, where storyteller Myriame El Yamani will tell about the myths and legends of various countries. Oriental musicians and a belly dancer will add to the exotic charm of the evening.

The festival will include five evenings of shows, each dedicated to a different country of the Orient. Featured will be Turkish night, Moroccan night, Algerian night, Romanian night and Russian night. In addition, the festival will host an Oriental cinema event featuring five Moroccan, Algerian and Syrian films. Finally, visitors will have the opportunity to admire the grace of Oriental dancers at the Miss Belly Dancer contest, Canada's first Oriental dance contest.

Montrealers are invited to attend the festival in large numbers. For more information about the Montreal Oriental Festival, please log on to or call 514 381-6739.

Note that the first Montreal Oriental Festival, formerly known as Montreal Oriental Days, attracted more than 50,000 visitors in August 2002 at Jacques-Cartier Pier in the Old Port of Montreal.

Regroupement des Orientaux du Quebec

The Regroupement des Orientaux du Quebec (OREX) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to work toward the consolidation of the more than one hundred cultures represented in Montreal, to help them get to know each other better, live in harmony and work in unison to build a community that is open to the world and the future.

Montreal values diversity and intercultural relations. That is why it contributed $10,000 last April to help the Regroupement fund its activities in 2005.

Contact Information

  • Source:
    City of Montreal
    Stephanie Jecrois
    Media Relations
    (514) 872-4641