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RACE & JUSTICE: Arab American Heritage Month

In 2017, the Arab America Foundation and Arab America launched an initiative to make National Arab American Heritage Month an official annual observance. Since then, the group of more than 250 Arab American volunteers in 28 states has been able to obtain proclamations recognizing Arab American Heritage Month at several levels of government. While a public law has not been passed on the federal level, there has been greater progress with the initiative. In both 2022 and 2023, President Biden recognized April as Arab American Heritage Month with a Presidential Proclamation. The President of the United States urged "all Americans to learn more about the history, culture, and achievements of Arab Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities."

Arab America Foundation "National Arab American Heritage Month" Retrieved from:

The White House "A Proclamation on Arab American Heritage Month, 2023" Retrieved from

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Why We Need Arab American Heritage Month | NowThis

"In US news and current events today, in the U.S., roughly 4 million Arab Americans can trace their roots to any of these countries. Arab Americans have been contributing to America since at least the 1870s. But we often get diminished to a terrorist or refugee image or just straight up ignored and it’s time to fix that. Here's why Arab American Heritage Month is more important than ever."

Institutions with Arab American Heritage Month Resources

What It's Like to Be a Muslim in America | Dalia Mogahed

"When you look at Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, what do you see: A woman of faith? A scholar, a mom, a sister? Or an oppressed, brainwashed, potential terrorist? In this personal, powerful talk, Mogahed asks us, in this polarizing time, to fight negative perceptions of her faith in the media -- and to choose empathy over prejudice."

Podcasts to Check Out!

I Love America | Amer Zahr

"An Arab American comedian shares his funny, heartfelt and eye-opening perspective home, growing up and where we are 'from from.' Amer is an Arab-American comedian, writer, and part-time law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. He has produced comedy festivals in America and the Arab world, and he has performed throughout the world, including at the world-famous Kennedy Center in Washington, DC."

PBS Documentaries for Arab American Heritage Month

Arab American Nonfiction

Don't Erase Me: The Modern Arab American | Jeremiah Stinnett

"Jerry Stinnett talks about why Arab-American invisibility is an important issue and how universities can provide better resources for this growing group of individuals. Jeremiah (Jerry) Stinnett was born and raised in Del City, Oklahoma. He then received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations with a minor in English: Writing & Masters of Education in Adult and Higher Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Oklahoma. He now works full-time for the office of Student Life Social Change at The Ohio State University. His work focuses on supporting low-income and marginalized communities by creating opportunities and access through education. During his studies at the University of Oklahoma, he worked with the implementation and facilitation of a Freshman Diversity Experience. He also served as a full time staff member for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education in 2016, 2017, and 2018. While Jeremiah has many interest areas, his primary focus is advocating against the erasure of Arab-American identity and creating opportunity for deeper identity development."

Arab American Fiction

Cities of Salt / Abdelrahman Munif; translated from the Arabic by Peter Theroux
The Blue Between Sky and Water: A Novel / Susan Abulhawa
Hagar Poems / Mohja Kahf
Loom: A Novel / Thérèse Soukar Chehade
Amreekiya: A Novel / Lena Mahmoud
Sugar Street / Naguib Mahfouz ;translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Angele Botros Samaan
Dinarzad's Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction / edited by Pauline Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa
The Book of Khalid: A Critical Edition / Ameen Rihani; edited and with an introduction by Todd Fine
The Kite Runner / Khaled Hosseini
The Man Who Guarded the Bomb: Stories / Gregory Orfalea
Through and Through: Toledo stories / Joseph Geha
A Thousand Splendid Suns / Khaled Hosseini
Palace of Desire / Naguib Mahfouz; translated by William Maynard Hutchins, Lorne M. Kenny, Olive E. Kenny
Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry / edited by Hayan Charara
The Heart of Lebanon / Ameen Rihani; edited by Ameen Albert Rihani; translated from the Arabic by Roger Allen
The Prophet / Kahlil Gibran
The Time Between Places: Stories that Weave In and Out of Egypt and America / Pauline Kaldas
The Madman: His Parables and Poems / Kahlil Gibran
And the Mountains Echoed / Khaled Hosseini
Disgraced: A Play / Ayad Akhtar
Palace Walk / Naguib Mahfouz; translated by William Maynard Hutchins and Olive E. Kenny
The Tiny Journalist: Poems / Naomi Shihab Nye
Talking Through the Door: An Anthology of Contemporary Middle Eastern American Writing / edited by Susan Atefat-Peckham; foreword by Lisa Suhair Majaj
Tenants and Cobwebs / Samir Naqqash; translated from the Arabic by Sadok Masliyah; with a foreword by Nancy E. Berg
The Funambulists: Women Poets of the Arab Diaspora / Lisa Marchi
A Curious Land: Stories from Home / Susan Muaddi Darraj
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here / edited by Beau Beausoleil & Deema K. Shahabi
Mind Platter / Najwa Zebian
My Name on His Tongue: Poems / Laila Halaby
Hijra / Hala Alyan
Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems / Mahmoud Darwish; translated and edited by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forche; (with Sinan Antoon and Amira El-Zein); with a new forward by Fady Joudah
Arabian Nights and Days / Naguib Mahfouz; translated by Denys Johnson-Davies
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