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Arab America Foundation Announces Performers for National Arab American Heritage Month Commemoration, April 18, 2024

posted on: Apr 10, 2024


(WASHINGTON, DC) April 10, 2023–On Thursday, April 18th, the Arab America Foundation will present its eighth annual National Arab American Heritage Month Commemoration at the UDC Theater for the Arts at the University of the District of Columbia, this year paying tribute to the rich heritage and identity of the Palestinian people.

Performers include from New York, Palestinian actress and comedian Maysoon Zayid, the first Arab American woman comedian in the U.S.; Arab American and Palestinian classic vocalist Mona Miari, who will perform with the New York Arabic Orchestra Takht (Ensemble); from Qatar; Palestinian poet, Dana Dajani who theatricality performs her original poetry pieces and addressing various themes of social justice; Ameera David, Emmy award-winning journalist and news anchor, will host the program; From Los Angeles, Palestinian Mawawil performer, Mahmoud Saqer, and the Folkloric Dance Troupe, Faris El-Layl, will perform Palestinian dance.

“During National Arab American Heritage Month, we honor the vibrant culture and impactful contributions of Arab Americans to the diverse tapestry of America.” said Warren David, President of Arab America, “This year, our event is dedicated to commemorating the Palestinian heritage and identity, spotlighting the deep-rooted traditions that hold profound historical significance,”

For Tickets and Information, CLICK HERE

National Arab American Heritage Month Commemoration: Tribute to the Palestinian Heritage and Identity, Thursday, April 18th

Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid is a comedian, writer, and disability advocate. She is a Princeton Fellow and co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. Her TED talk, “I Got 99 Problems…Palsy is Just One,” was among the most popular discussions 2014. Maysoon has sold out top New York City clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She has appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and is a recurring character on General Hospital. She is the author of the bestselling memoir Find Another Dream and Scholastic’s Shiny Misfits graphic novel.  For more information, visit

Mona Miari

Mona Miari is an independent Palestinian/American Artist, Singer/Songwriter, and Lawyer based in New York City. Born in Chicago, IL, Mona’s journey led her to Palestine during her youth, where she began her music career. Her remarkable talent gained recognition by headlining her first major concert at the prestigious “Jerusalem—The Capital of Arabic Culture 2009” festival.

Dedicated to showcasing the richness of Arabic culture and music, Mona embarked on a professional music career, taking part in various cultural festivals and concerts where she combines Palestinian/Levantine folklore into her performances and repertoire, expressing her diverse upbringing by exploring and reapplying the Arabic languages to different music genres, embracing global influences.

She has graced stages worldwide across the US, the Arab World, and Europe, captivating audiences with her mesmerizing, elegant talent at various prestigious venues from Lincoln Center, BAM, Drom to Steri Hall (Palermo, IT). She has also collaborated with the renowned Little Amal organization and festivals for their US debut.

New York Arabic Orchestra Takht–Musicians

Gabriel Lavin – Oud

Gabriel (Gabe) Lavin is a musician, scholar, and educator based in Brooklyn. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA in 2023 and has lived and performed extensively throughout the United States and the Arab world, including in Egypt, Oman, Sudan, and Kuwait. He trained at Beit El Oud in Cairo and the Oud Association in Muscat, Oman, studying with renowned performers and composers like Naseer Shamma, Yousif Abbas, Muddathir Abu al-Wafa, Salim al-Maqrashi, Samih Mahjoubi, and Askar Ali Akbar. Gabe has also performed with Ali Jihad Racy’s UCLA Near East Ensemble, the Los Angeles Arabic Orchestra, and the New York Arabic Orchestra.

Insia Malik – Violin

Insia Malik is a versatile violinist with experience in a wide array of styles and languages of artistic expression. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Le Poisson Rouge, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Lincoln Center. She is an active freelancer who regularly performs with several ensembles, including the New York Arabic Orchestra and the National Arab Orchestra. She also holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Alber Baseel – Percussion

Alber Baseel is a Percussionist/Drummer from Bethlehem, Palestine. At 14, Alber began his conservatory music education at the Edward Said Conservatory in Bethlehem, studying Classical Arabic tradition, where he learned what would become his principal instruments: Tableh (darbuka) and Riq. While both instruments remain central to his discipline, his style has expanded to include Latin and African percussion. In 2021, Alber completed his Bachelor’s in Music from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he deepened his musical knowledge by working with musicians worldwide. He also studied with master Rumbero Maximino Duquesne Martinez in La Habana, Cuba.  Throughout his career as a musician, Alber has enjoyed extensive travel, performing in festivals and presenting musical events throughout Europe, Northern Africa, the United States, and South America. He has shared a stage and studio with renowned musicians Simon Shaheen, Ahmad Al Khatib, and Marco Markovic. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Alber is a full-time professional musician and musical collaborator who performs, teaches, and records.

Dana Dajani

Dana Dajani is a proud Palestinian writer, performer, and advocate. As a performance poet, Dana uses her theatrical background to bring her spoken word pieces to life while addressing various themes of social justice through her characters. In part spoken word and part one-woman show, Dana employs gesture, character, and a simple scarf to transport audiences through different themes, personas, and perspectives.

Dana has performed in global icons of culture, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Sydney Opera House. The creative influencer has hosted and performed for numerous exclusive brands, including Van Cleef & Arpel, Swarovski, Damas, MindValley, Expo 2020, Etisalat, Blackberry, Huawei, Tag Heuer, and countless others.

Dana was honored as Emirates Woman “Artist of the Year”, Dana received the “Young Arab Award for Entertainment” in 2016, and was recognized by Stylist Arabia as one of the “50 Influential and Inspirational Women in the UAE.”

Mahmoud Saqr

Mahmoud Saqr was born in a village near Nazareth in northern Palestine, close to Lower Galilee and Marge bin Amer. He has a deep love for Palestinian folklore music and other genres.

His journey as an artist began in Palestine six years ago, though it started later than planned due to a lack of support from his family, who had hoped he would pursue an academic career. Despite these challenges, Saqr decided to chase his childhood dream and enrolled in a music school. There, he honed his singing skills with proper vocals and Maqamat techniques. He has since performed on TV shows, private events, and weddings, delighting audiences with traditional Palestinian folklore music.

In November 2019, Saqr decided to come to the United States. Despite arriving just two months before the onset of the Covid pandemic, he remained determined. He traveled to various states, connecting with Arab Americans and performing at conventions and weddings.

Ameera David

Ameera David is a weekday anchor at Sinclair Broadcast Group in Washington, DC. She was previously a weekend evening anchor and weekday reporter at Detroit’s WXYZ ABC 7, where she won two Emmys for news reporting. She brings resources and guidance for her career in TV journalism at NBC News’s Washington, DC bureau. David took on numerous roles as a White House producer, assignment desk manager, and production assistant for Brian Williams and Chuck Todd. She is a native of Detroit, having grown up on the city’s east side, attended Detroit Public Schools, and was deeply entrenched in the city’s vibrant Arab American community as a young woman. Ameera is a University of Michigan graduate with a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. The New York Festival World’s Best TV & Films awarded David in the’ Best Anchor’ category. When not reporting, she enjoys trying out new eateries in Metro Detroit, salsa dancing, traveling, and connecting with viewers via social media. Finally, she is the daughter of Warren and Dr. Amal David, the president and Co-Founders of Arab America and the Arab America Foundation.

Faris El-Layl Folkloric Dance Troupe

Faris El-Layl group is known for its traditional Arab line dance in many Arab countries. It’s typically performed at weddings and other festive occasions. Faris El-Layl group has been performing across the United States and is renowned in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The group brings a taste of Arab folklore and time-honored culture with every stomp in their performance. The mission of Faris El-Layl is to inform its audience that the Arab World is more than just twenty-two Arab countries in the Middle East; it is also a culturally vibrant and art-enriched society that is proud of being united by its heritage that includes history, language, food, and of course, music and dance.


For Tickets and Information, CLICK HERE

About National Arab American Heritage Month 2024

“Celebrating Arab American Resilience and Diversity”

Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events commemorating our community’s rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.

In 2023, the President of the United States recognized April as National Arab American Heritage Month with a historic proclamation. In 2023, Congress, the U.S. Department of State, and 47 state governors issued proclamations commemorating the initiative. Additionally, the following states have passed permanent legislation designating the month of April as NAAHM: Illinois; Oregon; Virginia; and Indiana (Senate), and California.

This year, there are several states where Arab Americans are seeking permanent legislation designating April as National Arab American Heritage Month. Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island are pursuing legislation. Finally, in 2023, 144 municipalities, counties, and school districts issued proclamations commemorating the initiative.

Arab America and the Arab America Foundation launched the National Arab American Heritage Month initiative in 2017, with just a handful of states recognizing the initiative. Each year, our grass-roots network of over 250 Arab American volunteers, including community leaders, educators, and social justice activists in 28 states, gathers proclamations from their states, counties, municipalities, and local school districts and organizes numerous events.

If you want to help us mobilize the community for NAAHM, request proclamations, or plan events, please get in touch with Dr. Amal David or call 877-272-2944.


Arab America Foundation state teams are acquiring proclamations from governors, state legislators, mayors, and county executives nationwide. New proclamations for 2024 will be announced in the coming months. For a list of 2023 proclamations, click here.

Sponsorship of National Arab American Heritage Month 2024 (including Diversity Training Workshops)

The Arab America Foundation welcomes corporate participation as a sponsor to celebrate Arab American heritage and enhance the understanding of Arab identity and culture in America through the National Arab American Heritage Month initiative. Sponsorships include the Arab America Foundation’s diversity training workshop designed to help corporations educate their workforce and achieve DEI objectives within the Arab American community. Through this workshop, participants can gain insights into the community’s history, immigration, culture, traditions, and significant issues.

For information about National Sponsorship and DEI Workshops, CLICK HERE

Or call the Arab America Foundation at 877-272-2944 or email

Educator’s Curriculum Kit

Arab America Foundation offers The Educator’s Curriculum Kit, which highlights the history of Arab migration to America, geographic understanding of the Arab world, Arab American diversity in faith and language, interesting customs and traditions, issues affecting our community, and our many achievements in business, politics, education, and more. The Educator’s Curriculum Kit is available for school educators. For more information, please get in touch with Dr. Amal David.


Arab America Foundation is committed to gathering and promoting the community’s events and stories through Arab and social media platforms during April. Every week, Arab America will feature cultural events throughout the US on our events page and share compelling success stories of Arab Americans on our blog page. Additionally, Arab America has compiled a resource guide listing resources and content regarding the Arab and Arab American identity and culture.

About the Arab America Foundation

The Arab America Foundation ( is a non-profit educational and cultural organization that promotes the Arab heritage in the U.S., educates Americans about the Arab heritage and identity, and connects and empowers Arab Americans

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