Baba ganoush will be among the foods served up at the Families Helping Families Sponsorship Team’s Middle Eastern Cultural Night fundraiser this April 12 at Cavallotti Lodge. (Stock photo)

Middle Eastern culture night in Nanaimo raising money for Syrian family sponsorship

Families Helping Families Sponsorship Team hosts dinner at Cavallotti Lodge

Middle Eastern culture will be the vehicle to raise money for sponsorship of a Syrian family this Friday.

A Middle Eastern Cultural Night dinner will be hosted by Families Helping Families Sponsorship Team at Cavallotti Lodge with authentic Arab food, cultural activities and entertainment.

The beneficiaries of the fundraiser from Syria are ready to move to Nanaimo, said Susan Plensky, Families Helping Families Sponsorship Team chairwoman. Her organization is successfully sponsoring the family, who has passed security and medical screening and another $15,000 is needed.

The menu for the buffet dinner includes tabouli (salad), hummus, baba ghanoush, pita bread, falafel, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), baclava, and various cookies. Traditional Arabic coffee and teas will also be offered.

In addition to the food, people attending will have the opportunity to experience Middle Eastern art.

“I think this evening will be really interesting for the visuals too because we’re going to have interactive activities, so people will be actively learning the Henna art,” said Plensky. “They can have it done on their hands and we’re going to do the calligraphy again, which is a nice visual … the exciting thing is, is that it’s going to be just like a tour of the Middle East, but it’s right here in our backyard.”

There will also be music and traditional dance, including Ersad Adedi, a pianist, playing original compositions. In addition, Plensky said Crimson Coast Dance Society will also perform traditional dance.

Middle Eastern Cultural Night takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, April 12 at Cavallotti Lodge. Tickets are $30 and available by e-mailing

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