Advertisement Close

Arab American Heritage Month Celebrated with Landmark Event at NYC Board of Education

posted on: Apr 24, 2024

On April 11, 2024, the City of New York witnessed a historic moment as the NYC Board of Education hosted a vibrant celebration in honor of National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM). The event took place at the iconic Tweed Courthouse located at 52 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007, and drew a large gathering of key city and community leaders, along with members of the media.

During his opening statement, NYC Board of Education Chancellor David Banks hailed the occasion as the city’s first-ever recognition of April as Arab American Heritage Month. He emphasized the immense contributions of the Arab community to New York City and the United States, highlighting the event as an opportunity to showcase their impact and achievements. Chancellor Banks also announced the opening of the first major bilingual Arabic-English public school in Brooklyn, marking a significant step towards cultural inclusivity and diversity in education.

The event honored several individuals for their dedicated efforts in ensuring its success, including Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, Captain Falasteen Abusrour, Maher Abdelqader, Omnia Lotfi, and Noura Ismail. Chancellor Banks commended their hard work and leadership, alongside the national team led by Warren and Dr. Amal David, for their coordination and contributions to making the event both unique and enlightening.

Captain Falasteen Abusrour, the first female Palestinian Arab Muslim Captain in the NYPD, delivered a poignant speech wearing traditional Palestinian attire, emphasizing the importance of her heritage and the Palestinian cause. She spoke of her experiences and success, attributing them to her inner strength as a Palestinian refugee and highlighting the significant role of Arab Americans in various fields within American society.

Assemblyman Nader Saygh reflected on the progress made in recognizing and honoring Arab Americans, noting America’s journey from questioning their loyalty to appreciating their innovative contributions to nation-building. He praised the diverse talents and achievements of Arab Americans across different sectors, underscoring their integral role in shaping America’s cultural fabric.

Over 300 distinguished guests attended the event, which was organized with the assistance of Arab America Foundation leadership, such as Dr. Amal David, Warren David, Maher Abdelqader, Mony Lotfi, and Noura Ismail. The program included a showcase of Arabic cuisine, music, handmade artistry, and cultural exhibits, leaving attendees impressed and eager to share the experience with their respective communities and institutions.

The recognition of Arab American Heritage Month on a national level resulted from a concerted effort initiated in 2017, led by Arab American volunteers across the country and supported by organizations like the Arab America Foundation. Their tireless advocacy and perseverance have led to numerous proclamations and legislative recognitions, highlighting the power of unity and collective action within the Arab American community.

Arab Americans remain an integral and vibrant part of America’s diverse mosaic, contributing significantly to its cultural, social, and economic landscape.

For more information about Arab American Heritage Month, visit NYC Board of Education – Arab American Heritage Month.

Complied by Arab America with Article Contributions by Maher Abdelqader, Omnia Lotfi, and Noura Ismail.

Visit Arab America’s Blog here!