Using the hashtag “BoycottArabFest” activists are calling on locals not to attend this month's Arab-American Day Festival in Garden Grove, because of the festival organizer's alleged support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime. They also created a Facebook event for the boycott, which currently shows 285 attendees.
Alam has heard about the calls to protest the festival, but he says they make no sense. “This is really weird. These lies just look like somebody is jealous. It's somebody trying to throw lies. I'm not even from Syria.” Alam says some of the people calling for the boycott – a group he refers to as “Islamic extremists” – have alleged that money from the festival will be sent to help fund the Syrian regime. Alam called the assertion both “funny” and “stupid.” He later added: “No, no, this is a big lie. I don't like the Syrian regime. Period. I am Lebanese.”