2022: An Exciting Year for Arabs and Arab Americans
By: Alison Norquist / Arab America Contributing Writer
We rejoice in the triumphs and achievements of this year. Indeed, progress was made in the Arab World and in Arab America, from the World Cup to Netflix and from the recognition of National Arab American Heritage Month to the Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit. Despite the positive steps made here and abroad, we still remember the struggles of the Palestinian people for freedom and struggles such as the situations in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and other regions.
Arab American Heritage Month
This April, President Joe Biden officially recognized the Arab-American community by announcing that April will be National Arab American Heritage Month. This comes after centuries of Arab influence and dedication in the United States. From helping settle the American West to being an integral member of urban communities, Arab Americans have been part of the very foundation of this country’s grand history.
Film & Television
Arab representation stood out this year between two popular offerings on Netflix: The Swimmers and Mo. Both feature positive Arab portrayals of Arab characters by Arab actors. In The Swimmers, the film follows the Mardini sisters as they face the realities of being refugees and Olympic hopefuls. The gripping and critically acclaimed film has been a sensation since its release this October.
Mo is a biting comedy that follows a Palestinian refugee who lives with his family in Houston, TX as they try to become American citizens. The show depicts the nuances of being an asylum seeker but already immersed in the adopted culture. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you are missing out.
Bella Hadid has done it again!
Though it was six years since her last time being the Model of the Year, Bella Hadid once again stole the covers and hearts of the fashion world. The 26-year-old Palestinian American has been gracing the world with her beauty since she first began to model nearly a decade ago. Since her debut, she has often been considered the “it girl” for fashion and beauty trends with her sister, Gigi. Congrats to Bella!
Arab America Empowerment Summit
This year, Arab America held the Empowerment Summit in Washington, DC. The event hosted thought-provoking lectures, mesmerizing entertainment, and delicious food as a means to connect the Arab American community to each other as well as the rest of the world. Arab America Foundation founders Warren and Amal David have worked extensively since the foundation’s founding in 2019 to be a beacon of hope and enlightenment to not only their community but to all who wish to support the positive representation of the Arab diaspora.
America’s Got Talent
As if the fantastic and beauty already shown this year in media weren’t enough, the Lebanese dance troupe Mayyas was the first Arab contestant on America’s Got Talent to sweep the competition and win the $1 million prize. The all-female group mesmerized the judges with their fluid movements and spectacular attention to detail. Their modern take on traditional dancing is enchanting to watch.
The World Cup
This year’s success at the World Cup is not just limited to Morocco’s victorious streak. Though the team did not make it past the semifinals, the team was the first of the Arab countries to have ever made it that far. This was highlighted even more by the fact that the games were held on Arab soil for the first time.
As the host country of FIFA’s championship games, Qatar proved that Arab countries are able to withstand the scrutiny of hosting major world events. Though some may not have agreed with certain policies, the overall endeavor was a resounding success that may result in further hosting opportunities in the future.
Happy New Year from all of us at Arab America. May your 2023 be happy, healthy, and hopeful!
!سنه جديده سعيده
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