If you live in metro Detroit, you probably know that our region is home to one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans in the United States. Did you also know that April is Arab American Heritage Month? 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, including rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) and Dearborn Public Schools.
Throughout the month of April, you have a unique opportunity to explore Arab American history and culture at the only museum in the nation to tell those stories: the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, a national institution of access that is also the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S. All month long, AANM is celebrating Arab American Heritage Month with free walk-in admission, a new informational booklet and a compelling series of programs and special offers at the Museum.
Start the month off with a visit to the museum and explore The Far Shore: Navigating Homelands exhibition, which features pieces by five Arab American visual artists and poets, including Helen Zughaib and Naomi Shihab Nye. Next, attend one of AANM’s diverse April programs like the 2nd Book + Print Festival (2-9 p.m. Friday, April 5) or a screening of the documentary film Wild Relatives (7 p.m. Thursday, April 18). View the full schedule of AANM’s April programs HERE.
While you’re at the Museum, grab a copy of the brand new booklet Arab Americans: History, Culture & Contributions. Written for general audiences by Randa Kayyali with AANM, the book gives a fascinating overview of the diverse Arab American community in the United States. The booklet is available at The AANM Store and is free to view and download online.
“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,” said Dr. Matthew Jaber Stiffler, AANM’s research and content manager.
AANM is also hosting an array of community-produced programs including Dearborn Open Mics in English and Arabic, a book reading with Victor Begg, author of Our Muslim Neighbors, and a Palestinian Youth Movement Culture Night.
Finally, make every month Arab American Heritage Month by becoming a Museum Member with this special offer: 15 percent off all museum memberships throughout the month of April.