Pittsburgh International Folk Festival

Proud to be from Pittsburgh and Syria…

For the first time in its 53 year old history, Syria was represented at the Pittsburgh International Folk Festival in 2011. That year, my father, Mikhail Khalil, and his beloved wife, Agnes Khalil, became the founders of the first ever, Syria Cultural and Educational Booth at the Pittsburgh International Folk Festival, where the old country is represented alongside the great history of this city.

Every year, when we were growing up, my mother used to take us to the PIFF when it was held at the Civic Arena. She grew up on the Hill, and was proud of not only her Pittsburgh roots, but also her Syrian roots. She had a profound love for people and cultures – understanding that we are all the same underneath. And that is where we get our love for cultures from – our mother, Agnes. Now, every year, thanks to this venture, we have the opportunity to share our beautiful culture, food and dance, with the wonderful people of Pittsburgh.

FROM VEILS TO THONGS: An Arab Chick’s Survival Guide to Balancing One’s Ethnic Identity in America

In FROM VEILS TO THONGS, Khalil exposes what she calls, THE REAL WAR ON TERROR, presenting a hilarious, yet poignant, Colbert-like take on living in cross-fire of the conservative Arabic and liberal American cultures