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National Arab American Heritage Month

April is National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM). This annual celebration highlights the culture, heritage, contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans.

In the 1990s, school districts in various states began celebrating Arab American heritage sporadically at different times of the year. In 2017, a national initiative to coordinate all states under National Arab American Heritage Month began. In 2019 and 2020, a resolution to designate April as NAAHM was introduced in the House of Representatives but has not currently passed. However, in 2022, the U.S. President, U.S. State Department, 45 governors, and 100 municipalities, countries, and/or school districts issued proclamations observing this celebration. Specifically, Pierre Subeh, a Syrian immigrant and entrepreneur, advocated for the U.S. Department of State to recognize this commemoration.

To recognize and celebrate this month, CEHHS curated a list of resources centering Arab American voices and stories. These resources are available through the UT Library and online.

2024 Updated Resources: Celebrating Arab American Resilience and Diversity

The theme for National Arab American Heritage Month in 2024 is “Celebrating Arab American Resilience and Diversity.” This theme honors the rich heritage and numerous contributions of Arab Americans to society. It reflects a recognition of the diverse backgrounds, traditions, and achievements of Arab Americans, and underscores the importance of resilience in the face of challenges throughout history.

Arab American Stories | Documentary Series – Detroit Public Television (NPR)

A Curious Land: Stories from Home | Short Stories – Susan Muaddi Darraj

National Arab American Demographics | Research Brief – Arab American Institute

Sajjilu Arab American | E-Book – Louise Cainkar, Pauline Homsi Vinsor & Amira Jarmakani (Eds.)

We Have Always Been Here | Physical Book – Samra Habib

Arab American and Arabic-Speaking Voices

The resources below feature some Arab American voices through different media formats. Bolded resources signify those written/created by Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking people.

Arab & Arab American Feminism | E-Book – Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, & Nadine Christine Naber (Eds.)

Arab-American Faces and Voices | Physical Book – Elizabeth Boosahda

Beyond Memory: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Creative Nonfiction | Pauline Kaldas & Khaled Mattawa (Eds.)

Residential Patterns of Arab Americans | E-Book – Jennifer Leila Holsinger

All titles in this section are available in the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Curated by Susan L. Groenke, PhD.

Cresent Moons and Pointed Minarets | Physical Book – Hena Khan

A Very Large Expanse of Sea | Physical Book – Tahereh Mafi

Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers | Physical Book – Lina al-Hathloul (Author), Uma Mishra-Newbery (Author), & Rebecca Green (Illustrator)

Other Words for Home | Physical Book – Jasmine Warga

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family | Physical Book – Ibtihaj Muhammad (Author), S.K. Ali (Author), & Hetem Aly (Illustrator)

Sugar Comes from Arabic: A Beginner’s Guide to Arabic Letters and Words | Physical Book – Barbara Whitesides

The Cairo House | Memoir – Samia Sergeldin

Inclined to Speak | Poetry – Hayan Charara (Ed.)

Never in a Hurry | Essays – Naomi Shihad Nye

Sifting the Silence | Poetry – Etel Adnan

Arab American Heritage Month | Digital Special Collection – Arab American National Museum

Arab American History and Culture | Virtual Collection – Smithsonian

Faris and Yamna Naff Arab American Collection | Archival Guide – Smithsonian Institution

Yalla Eat! | Instagram Takeover – Arab American National Museum

The Frightened Ones | Physical Book – Dīmah Wannūs

Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits | Physical Book – Laila Lalami

How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? | Physical Book – Moustafa Bayoumi

The Thirty Names of Night | Physical Book – Zeyn Joukhadar

The Amreekies | Mohammad A., Ehab J. & Alla F.

The Queer Arabs | Alia, Ellie, Ahmed, Nadia & Adam

See Something Say Something | Ahmed Ali Akbar

Seen Jeem | Center for Arab American Studies

Updated April 2024 by Miranda N. Rutan, Doctoral Student, CEHHS A&E, UT Knoxville | Curated April 2023 by Miranda N. Rutan, Doctoral Student, CEHHS A&E, UT Knoxville