National Arab American Heritage Month Calendar

Arab American Heritage Month

April

The purpose of National Arab American Heritage Month is to recognize and celebrate the culture, contributions, and history of Arab Americans. Celebrate with us all month long!

Arab American Heritage Month

1st

In 2017, Arab Americans began a national initiative to coordinate with all states to celebrate and advocate for Arab American Heritage Month. On April 1, 2021, the United States Department of State recognized Arab American Heritage Month through a statement on social media.

Americans with Arab Ancestry

2nd

Today there is about 3.7 million Arab Americans in the US.

James Jabara

3rd

James Jabara was the first American jet ace in history. He was the son of Lebanese immigrants and received multiple awards for his heroism during World War II and his time spent in Korea.

Arab American Family

7th

Culture: Arab Americans place great value on religion, family roles, respecting elders, education, hospitality, and generosity. Food is also a key part of Arab cultural identity with specific foods marking important religious and cultural events. Shared meals allow for a communal environment for families and guests to socialize (the more food eaten, the more successful a gathering!).

Arab World

10th

Locations: The Arab World consists of 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These include Yemen, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, the Comoros Islands, Iraq, Syria, Djibouti, Sudan, Kuwait, Somalia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Morocco, Qatar, Palestine, Lebanon, and Mauritania. The majority of Arab Americans trace their ancestral roots to Lebanon followed by Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Yeman.

Linda Sarsour

15th

Linda Sarsour is one of the most prominent activists in the US and advocates for the rights of Muslims, immigrants, Standing Rock Native Americans, black victims of violence, women and many more. She is the former co-chair of the Women’s March and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.

President Biden

19th

On April 19,2021, National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM) was recognized on a federal level through a White House letter from Joe Biden.

Dr. Farouk El Baz

20th

Dr. Farouk El-Baz was born in Egypt and is an American lunar geologist who pioneered the use of space photography to study Earth and also helped plan the Apollo moon landings.

Cuisine

22nd

Cuisine: The Arab American cuisine focuses mainly on rice, bread, lamb, and highly seasoned dishes. The Middle Eastern diet consists mainly of lentils, fava beans, olives, olive oil, dates, chickpeas, figs, and feta cheese. A major dietary constraint around this menu followed by many Arab Muslims is the religious prohibition on the consumption or use of pork in any way. A secondary dietary requirement is that only meat that has been ritually slaughtered (called halal) may be consumed. Many Arab Christians also choose not to consume pork for cultural reasons.

Rashida Tlaib

25th

Rashida Tlaib was the first female Muslim to be elected into the House of Representatives and is also the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress.

Arabic Language

28th

Language: The majority of Arab Americans are bilingual and 51% of Arab Americans speak a language other than English in their homes. The most commonly spoken language of Arab immigrant homes is Arabic. However, each national Arab group has a particular dialect and within each group, regional and local sub dialects as well.

Paula Abdul

30th

Paula Abdul is a famous singer, dancer and choreographer who won a Grammy award, has six number one singles and two number one albums, and has sold more than 30 million records worldwide. She has also been the host of The X Factor, American Idol, and more.

Resources

 

Book Recommendations

  • Arab in America by Toufic El Rassi
  • You Exist Too Much By Zaina Abafat
  • Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry edited by Gregory Orfalea
  • A Lantern in the Shade By Jacob Nader
  • The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
  • Poets of Visibility in the Contemporary Arab American Novel- By Mazen Naous
  • Never in a Hurry by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Arab Intellectuals and American Power By M.D.Walhout
  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami
  • Out of Place by Edward Said
  • Arab Americans in Films- By Waleed F. Mahdi
  • Children’s book: Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story By Aya Khalil
  • The Thirty Names of Night By Zeyn Joukhadar
  • Beyond Memory By Pauline Kaldas, Khaled Mattawa