The 4 Best Middle Eastern Culture Spots In New York

August 6, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: 1001 Nights Restaurant/Facebook)

Have you ever wondered what a traditional Middle Eastern meal consists of? Or how those women are able to move their bodies so fluidly while belly dancing? Or perhaps you’re interested in the history of the Middle East, curious about what religions are popular there and how the economy moves? Here is your guide to Middle Eastern culture found right here in New York City.
1001nights The 4 Best Middle Eastern Culture Spots In New York

(credit: 1001 Nights Restaurant/Facebook)

1001 Nights Restaurant
35 Neptune Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 646-1001

Get the real “taste” of the Middle East by stopping by the 1001 Nights Restaurant which offers some of the best Middle Eastern cuisine in New York. Chicken kebab, falafel, hummus, chuchvara, grilled lamb and parmuda samsa are all offerings on the menu. The restaurant has become quite popular, earning rave reviews because of its great service, tasty food and relaxed ambiance. And who doesn’t like dinner and a show? Stop by on the weekend and you just might catch a belly dancing performance or have some hookah in true Uzbekistan fashion.

Related: The 7 Best Hookah Bars in NYC

92ymiddleeastdance The 4 Best Middle Eastern Culture Spots In New York


92Y Uptown
1395 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10128
(212) 415-5500

Ready to try belly dancing for yourself? 92Y has introductory and open classes offered throughout the year on this exotic and fat-burning dance. Your instructor will show you how to move your body while also using traditional Middle Eastern and North African instruments such as the finger cymbals. 92Y believes that “women of all ages and body types can gain poise, grace, flexibility and stamina moving to exotic music.” Get those hips swaying with a class today.

alwanforthearts The 4 Best Middle Eastern Culture Spots In New York

(credit: Alwan for the Arts/Facebook)

Alwan for the Arts
16 Beaver St, 4th floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

This cultural center is dedicated to all things Middle East, encouraging those from both Middle Eastern backgrounds and those throughout the general New York area to participate in events and learn more about the Muslim community. The mission of Alwan for the Arts is to engage “the New York arts scene by challenging its assumptions about the Middle East” and by offering a space where visitors can “create” and “investigate” the arts and culture of this area of the world. Musical performances, film screenings, lectures, Arabic classes and Arab music lessons are all part of the many activities offered here. For a full list of options, visit the website.

NYU Logo - File / Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

(credit: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University
70 Washington Square S
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-8880

Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies is a popular and growing program at universities throughout the city and the United States. Schools like Columbia, Barnard, Fordham and the CUNY Graduate Center all boast these programs. Perhaps the best known of these however, is New York University whose program dates back to the 19th century, close to when the university was founded. Courses are offered for both undergraduate and graduate students in Middle Eastern history, arts and culture, gender and sexuality, literature, religion and social science. The language program is one of the most encompassing and intensive in the country with courses in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Hindi and Urdu. If you want to learn about the Middle East, this is where you want to study.

Related: Must-Read Books By New York Authors

Jennifer Eberhart is currently an art history/museum studies graduate student at The City College in New York. She is an avid art enthusiast, and visits as many museums and galleries as she can in her free time. Her work can be found at

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