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Commemorating National Arab American Heritage Month 2021

Arab America invites you to commemorate National Arab American Heritage Month in April.

National Arab American Heritage Month

Every year during the month of April, the Arab America Foundation celebrates National Arab American Heritage Month. This is when members of Congress, governors, state legislatures, mayors, municipalities, and school districts across our nation celebrate and learn more about Arab American culture, heritage, and contributions to American society.

The Arab America Foundation has formed a national advisory committee and twenty-four state teams of over two hundred fifty Arab Americans to approach governors, state legislatures, mayors, city councils, school board members, and other public officials to issue NAAHM proclamations and adopt our educator curriculum kit, which is being disseminated to school districts across the nation as part of the month-long celebration.

National Press Release here.

Proclamations Received from State Governors

The following proclamations have been issued during National Arab American Heritage Month for April 2021.

Proclamations Received (Updated Daily)

3 Celebratory Events will be Streamed Online

REGISTER HERE

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Event 1: Celebrating the Power of Educators

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 4-5:30 pm ET

(Followed by a networker 5:30-6 pm)

Join us as we discuss the significant role of education in enhancing knowledge about the Arab American identity and heritage. Panelists will recommend ways in which the community and educators can work together to impact students’ understanding of the Arab American community and the Arab World.

Moderator:

Dr. Debbie Almontaser, Yemeni American, CEO, and President of Bridging Cultures Group Inc., Community Activist and Founding Principal of Khalil Gibran International Academy

Panelists:

Dr. Suzie Abajian, Syrian/Armenian American, Board Member, South Pasadena, California School Board, formerly, president of the School Board

Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Egyptian American, Executive Director Stevens Initiative, Aspen Institute, Former U.S. Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary, International & Foreign Language Education, Obama Administration

Lori Ajlouny, Palestinian American, School Board Vice President, Birmingham, Michigan Schools, Board of Education and community activist

Adel Mozip, Yemeni American, Board Trustee, Dearborn, Michigan Public Schools, and community activist

Karim Nagi, Egyptian American, musician, composer, ethnic dance artist, and educator specializing in traditional Arab music and widely known for his innovative approach In performing and teaching.

Abrar Omeish, Libyan American, Board Member-At-Large, Fairfax County, Virginia School Board

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Event 2: Celebrating Arab American Literature, Poetry, Art, and Music

Sunday, April 18, 2021, 4-5:30 pm ET

(Followed by a networker 5:30-6 pm)

Panelists will discuss the rich literary, poetic, theatrical, and visual genres which contribute immensely to the Arab heritage. Hear how they incorporate their identities and experiences in their work, while expanding their talents with diverse influences.

Moderator:

Dr. Ramzi Salti, Jordanian/Lebanese Stanford Lecturer; Doctorate in Comparative Literature; Host of Arabology Radio

Panelists:

Nathalie Handal, Arab American (Palestinian), award-winning poet, writer, translator, and editor, professor of English and Creative Writing at Columbia University

Heather Raffo, Iraqi American, award-winning playwright and actress whose work has been seen Off-Broadway, off West End, in regional theater and in film

Dana Dajani, Palestinian American, award-winning, author, poet, and actress who performs spoken-word poetry solo in theatrical style

Dr. Mamoun Sakkal, Syrian American, award-winning calligrapher, artist, and designer of Arabic language typefaces, many of which are widely used as system fonts by Microsoft

Layth Sidiq, Iraqi/Jordanian American, award-winning violinist, composer featured on Latin Grammy–nominated albums, lecturer of Arab music, director, Arab Music Ensemble, Tufts University

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Event 3: Celebrating the Contributions of Arab Americans

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 4-5:30 pm ET

(Followed by networker, 5:30-6 pm)

For over a century, Arab Americans have made numerous contributions to virtually every aspect of American society: in medicine, law, business, education, technology, government, military service, and culture. As a result, their contributions have helped build a better nation. We will hear from numerous public officials, educational, and community leaders who will commemorate and pay tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans. The event will also include several Arab American music artists who will celebrate this special month through their performances.

At this online event you will:

Hear from Members of Congress, elected officials, and community leaders

Enjoy live Arab music reflecting the Arab culture

Confirmed Guests to Date:

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (M-13)

Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8)

Mike Duggin, Mayor of Detroit

Scott Brabrand, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools

Lauren Montague, Executive Director, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University

Muath Edriss, Syrian American Vocalist, Oudist, and Zaffi Chanter

Michael Kahwajy-Hyland, Lebanese American Dabke Dancer Extraordinaire

With most school students at home, the Arab America Foundation has developed an 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. This kit will be available online for teachers and parents during this critical time. A smaller version of Understanding the Arab American Community is also available for presentation purposes.

Arab America is committed to promoting an accurate narrative through the website and social media platforms during the month of April. Arab America will share compelling stories of Arab Americans who are giving back to their communities during the coronavirus crisis on our blog page. Additionally, Arab America has compiled a resource guide listing resources and content regarding Arab American identity and culture.

The Arab America Foundation (www.arabamericafoundation.org) 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. The organization is sustained by Donors and through its Cousins membership initiative. To make a donation or become a Cousin, click here.

National Arab American Heritage Month Sponsors

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 Empowered Women of Arab America image
 Empowered Women of Arab America image

SPECIAL THANKS TO SUPPORTERS

Fred Hadeed

Andoni Family Foundation

Hamideh Enterprises

Salam International