Dearborn, Michigan Mayor O’Reilly Proclaims April Arab American Heritage Month
Declaration celebrates contributions, rich culture; encourages people to learn more about heritage
Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr., with support from the City Council, has proclaimed April as Arab American Heritage Month in Dearborn, a declaration to promote the substantial contributions Arab Americans make to the community.
“We have so many cultures to celebrate in our city, and important among them is the heritage of Arab Americans,” said Mayor O’Reilly. “This month gives us a chance to focus on the accomplishments and contributions of Arab Americans.
“Since we are so familiar with Arab American culture in Dearborn, we also can be ambassadors to build positive awareness beyond our city’s borders,” Mayor O’Reilly said.
Within Arab American culture, there is common ground, and also a rich diversity. Arab Americans have their roots in 22 nations and represent varying cultural and faith traditions.
For most of American history, Arab Americans have made valuable contributions to virtually every aspect of American society: in medicine, law, business, education, technology, government, military service, arts and culture, and literature.
In Dearborn, community institutions have planned events and activities promoting the comprehensive heritage of Arab Americans.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn began its commemoration in mid-February and will continue with programs for students and the public through mid-April. Visit https://mesa.umich.edu/article/arab-heritage-month for details.
To mark the month, the Arab American National Museum (AANM) is offering free admission for all walk-in visitors and discounts on museum memberships in April. Visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org or call 313.582.2266 for information.
Events presented by the AANM in April are:
- 2-9 p.m. Friday, April 5: Second annual Book and Print Festival (free)
- 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 6: AANM is a stop on the Dearborn Gallery Rally, including an all-ages art-making workshop (free)
- 11 a.m.-noon Sunday, April 14: My Turn: A Sensory Friendly Sunday
- 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18: Wild Relatives film screening
- 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27: English-Arabic Storytime for ages 2-6 (free)
- Through Sunday, April 28: The Far Shore: Navigating Homelands exhibition (free)
In addition to AANM offerings, the museum will host community-produced events during April.
In 2018, the Dearborn Public Schools voted to declare April 2019 as Arab American Heritage Month, as have other communities across the country. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell acknowledged the month in Congress in April 2017.
The media organization, Arab America, has been a champion in promoting the special month.
Compiled by Arab America