During the month of April, we recognize the achievements of Arab Americans through the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM). Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events that celebrate our community’s rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.
Here is a brief history of the very recent creation and rapid growth of Arab American Heritage Month: Arab America and the Arab America Foundation launched the National Arab American Heritage Month initiative in 2017, with just a handful of states recognizing the initiative at that time. Each year since, this grass-roots network of over 250 Arab American volunteers in 26 states gathers hundreds of proclamations from their states, counties, municipalities, and local school districts.
By 2021, President Joe Biden recognized the month of April as National Arab American Heritage Month with a special commemorative letter to the organization. In 2022, Congress, the U.S. Department of State, and 45 state governors issued proclamations commemorating the initiative. Additionally, four states, including Oregon, have passed permanent legislation designating the month of April as NAAHM.
Arab Americans have influenced the patchwork of US culture through a rich heritage of music, food, customs and traditions that enrich our cultural tapestry. Please enjoy this slide deck celebrating Arab American History Month created by the equity team at South Powellhurst.