New tennis players attend Atlanta Arab Festival
Tennis drew hundreds of Arabs and others ready to try their strokes at the 2023 Atlanta Arab Festival (AAF).
The AAF is an annual event hosted by and conducted at Alif Institute. The two-day event celebrated Arab cultures, customs and Arab and Arab-American heritage, as well as promote and enhance cultural exchange. Running Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the festival drew over 10,000 attendees, reflecting the diversity of the Atlanta metro area and beyond.
The event was kicked off with a flag ceremony and followed by a weekend filled with Arabic flavors, sights, sounds and tennis. Adults and children enjoyed a wide variety of delicious authentic food, unique performances, folkloric dance of the Middle East, and lots of engaging games and activities.
More than 450 tennis players and would-be players visited USTA Southern's Net Generation tennis zone staffed by USTA Southern and USTA Georgia staff members. The goal was to get the Arab community excited about a different sport that they once perceived as a sport for the rich.
In an attempt to capture this audience, free group lessons are set up at various parks and recreation facilities around Atlanta. Over the two-day event, 120 people signed up for the group lessons and received a free tennis racquet to bring to their first-ever tennis lesson.
“It was a very successful and special event,” said Allan Jensen, USTA Southern Manager, Hispanic Outreach & Training. “We loved seeing families from every walk of life come together through a sport we all love.”
Also in attendance was Fiona Hatton, USTA Georgia Schools and Community Tennis Coordinator.