National recognition of Arab American Heritage Month


Yaara Aleissa

Arab American Heritage month celebrates the 22 countries in the Middle East. Graphic by Yaara Aleissa.

Yaara Aleissa

This month marks the first nationally recognized celebration of Arab American Heritage Month as it was designated by President Biden and his cabinet. However, the Arab America Foundation was initiated in 2017 and began this push for the recognition of Arabs, as their efforts are now implemented.  

In addition, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear recognized Arab American Heritage month after brought to his attention by University of Louisville student Rawan Saleh, who wrote to Governor Beshear to have the month commemorated, adding it to the 37 other states in the country that have recognized the initiative.

The United States is vastly diverse with a variety of different cultural groups. Bringing national recognition to Arab Americans provides space to shine a light on their culture and celebrate it collectively, allowing others to learn more about the history of Arab Americans that dates back to 1527

Arab culture within itself is uniquely diverse, representing 22 countries. Within each country, it holds its dialect, food, clothing, and so much more that brings a form of identity for many. 

Recognition, however, should come as means of acknowledgment. Arab Americans have marked their impact in the United States. From Farouk El-Baz, who served as a lead geologist for the Apollo Space program, Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib represents Michigan’s 13th District, Dr. Fady Joudah, a Palestinian-American poet and physician, and the list goes on. 

To celebrate the historic month as it is recognized each April, the first way to start is through media. Accessing films, books, music and even connecting with people are great ways to bring about an appreciation of Arab culture. 

PBS has provided free documentaries, short films, and videos that are available to view at any time that portrays modern and historical obstacles that Arab Americans continue to face.