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National History Conference Comes to Arab American National Museum

posted on: Oct 2, 2008

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It is often said the past is a prologue to our future. So, what can be learned by studying the history of Arab Americans, one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented segments of American society?

To help answer that question, the Arab American Historical Foundation (AAHF) proudly presents the 2008 Arab American History Conference on Saturday, November 1 at the Arab American National Museum (AANM), 13624 Michigan Avenue, in Dearborn, Michigan.

The conference is open to the public and will be of special interest to educators, students, researchers, media representatives and even the casual history buff. See conference program and bios below for details and registration information.

The theme of this third annual conference is “Perpetuating Arab American History. “The history of Arab Americans is a vital part of the American national history and cultural identity, yet there is a large void in the preservation of Arab-American history,” says Joseph R. Haiek, president and CEO of the Arab American Historical Foundation and publisher of Glendale, California-based The News Circle/Arab American Affairs magazine, which marked its 35th anniversary in 2007.

“In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, it is not enough to blame the media for the misinformation they report about Arab-Americans. It is imperative to boldly challenge the negative stereotypes and biases in the news media,” Haiek continues. “By conserving our history, we present our credentials and express our ongoing commitment to America, while perpetuating the legacy of our Arab cultural history.”

The Arab American History Conference has been held at two different locations to date, but bringing it to the Arab American National Museum, located in the city with the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States, signifies a powerful new collaboration, says Museum Director Dr. Anan Ameri.

“We are proud to present this conference, not only because it reinforces the Museum’s mission of documenting and presetting Arab American history, but also because it encourages much needed research about Arab Americans, and their presence in the U.S.,” says Ameri, who is serving as conference chair. “It also brings to light the many contributions Arab Americans have made and continue to make to our nation.”

The Arab-American Historical Foundation (AAHF) is dedicated to help gather, preserve and disseminate Arab-American history. It was founded in 1978 in Los Angeles by Joseph R. Haiek, publisher of The News Circle/Arab American Affairs magazine and the Arab-American Almanac series. The AAHF, as of 2005, is a national non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3). It publishes the Arab American Historian newsletter and maintains a website at www.arabamericanhistory.org.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. It serves as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization. Learn more at www.arabamericanmuseum.org and www.accesscommunity.org.