DEARBORN, Mich (wxyz) - The Arab International Festival in Dearborn, the largest of its kind in the nation, has been called off for this year for many reasons, say organizers.
"I am saddened," says Fay Beydoun, the Director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce when talking about the decision to cancel the Arab International Festival for this year. It was set for June 14th through the 16th.
But Beydoun says they needed more time to make sure the festival, which was set to move from the streets of Dearborn to Fords Woods Park in Dearborn, would have been a quality, family-friendly event like it has been for the past 18 years.
Beydoun says money and logistics played a major part in the decision, but Christian Missionaries and even Pastor Terry Jones had indicated they planned to protest at the Festival, denouncing Muslim beliefs and that played a part as well.
Beydoun says while she understands and respects the freedom of speech, families don't need to see that when they come to have fun.
The festival draws well over 200,000 people from all across the country and Canada and Beydoun says the plan is to have it again next year and make it better than ever.