Arab American National Museum celebrates Arab American Heritage Month April
Free walk-in admission, publication of new informational booklet, diverse programs set for April 2019
Dearborn, Mich. (March 18, 2019) – Since the first Arab immigrants arrived in the United States of America in the 1800s, they and their descendants have left an indelible mark on American society.
The significant contributions of individual Arab Americans in nearly every field of study and endeavor, as well as the cultural impact of the Arab American community among the many immigrant groups comprising our country, are numerous and impactful. Just as diverse is the community itself, comprised of people with roots in 22 nations and varying cultural and faith traditions.
The only institution in the world that documents and presents these stories, the Arab American National Museum (AANM), invites everyone to celebrate this rich history and the vibrant contemporary Arab American community in southeast Michigan and across the nation during Arab American Heritage Month – April 2019.
“Because the Arab American community is so diverse and is located in communities across the country, Arab American Heritage Month is a unique opportunity for Arab Americans to celebrate their history and culture together, and share it with the general public,” says Dr. Matthew Jaber Stiffler, AANM’s research and content manager.
AANM presents a series of events and offers to mark the month, including free admission for all walk-in visitors (offer does not include ticketed events). The Museum is also proud to announce the April publication of new lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school educators, as well as a fascinating new booklet designed for a general audience. Arab Americans: History, Culture & Contributions, written by Randa Kayyaliwith AANM, is available for $9.95 in hard copy at The AANM Store (during regular Museum hours or online and free to view and download online. The booklet and lesson plans were made possible in part with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency that provides library grants, museum grants, policy development and research.
“There are very few introductory-level texts about Arab Americans and partnering with Randa Kayyali – a recognized author and researcher – to create this one fills an important niche for our visitors, educators and anyone interested in the history and culture of Arab Americans,” says Stiffler.
“The booklet offers an overview of Arab American immigration history, including the recent influx of refugees, and touches on the themes of religion, cultural traditions and the impact of media stereotyping,” says Stiffler. “It includes graphs, maps and historical images of the Arab American community, many that have never before been published.”
Though not yet recognized as an official national heritage month by presidential proclamation, many states, cities and organizations across the country have designated April as Arab American Heritage Month. Community leaders and Detroit expats Warren and Amal David, founders of the respected digital platform ArabAmerica.com, along with a grassroots cohort from 28 states, have mounted a prominent national campaign to raise the profile of Arab American Heritage Month and encourage more official observances. Click HERE to view Arab America’s list of resources.
Arab American Heritage Month at AANM, April 2019
Schedule subject to change; visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org for further information.
- Free admission for all walk-in visitors throughout the month of April (does not include ticketed events)
- 15% off all Museum Memberships throughout the month of April
- Spend $60 in The AANM Store online or in person and get a free individual Membership (a $45 value)
AANM presentations during April include:
- 2-9 p.m. Friday, April 5: 2nd annual Book + Print Festival FREE
- 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 6: AANM a stop on the Dearborn Gallery Rally inc. all-ages art-making workshop
- 11 a.m.-noon Sunday, April 14: My Turn: A Sensory Friendly Sunday
- 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18: Wild Relatives film screening + talkback
- 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27: English-Arabic Storytime for ages 2-6 FREE
- Extended through Sunday, April 28: The Far Shore: Navigating Homelands exhibition
The Museum will also celebrate Arab American Heritage Month in the digital realm:
- Robust social media campaign throughout the month on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Featured Member of the Month at www.visitdetroit.com
In addition to AANM offerings, the Museum will host an array of community-produced events during April.
- 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 3: DOMA: Dearborn Open Mic Arabic
- 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 8: Victor Begg book reading + signing, Our Muslim Neighbors
- 6-9 p.m. Saturday, April 13: Palestinian Youth Movement Culture Night
- 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 17: DOME: Dearborn Open Mic English
The Arab American National Museum (AANM) documents, preserves and presents Arab American history, culture and contributions.
AANM is a national institution of ACCESS, the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S. AANM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums; an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution; and a founding member of the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.
The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48126. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is $8 for adults; $4 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under and Museum Members, free.
Visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org or call 313.582.2266 for further information.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
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