2024 Arab American Heritage Month Resource Recap

Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month by Learning More about Arab Americans and Their Heritage!

National Arab American Heritage Month

April is Arab American Heritage Month and all of this month we have been highlighting resources to learn more about Arab American issues. Below we recap those resources to celebrate and learn more about the heritage, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans.

Immigrants with origins from the Arab world have been arriving to the United States since before our country’s independence and have contributed to our nation’s advancements in science, business, technology, foreign policy, and national security. The Arab American Foundation and Arab America initiated the National Arab American Heritage Month in 2017. States and other organizations began recognizing April as National Arab American Heritage Month and last year President Biden issued an official proclamation. This year’s proclamation reminds us of that the “legacy of courage, resilience, and service lives on today in Arab Americans across our country” and that as “we come together this month to honor these contributions, we must also pause to reflect on the pain being felt by so many in the Arab American community with the war in Gaza.”​

The Arab American Institute estimates there are 3.7 million Arab Americans. Arab Americans are found in every state, but “[n]early 75% of all Arab Americans live in just twelve states: California, Michigan, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania …”

Selected Databases to Learn More for Arab American Heritage Month

Arabic E-Journals at the University of Cincinnati

A collection of e-journals at the University of Cincinnati regarding Arabic language or news.

America: History and Life (EBSCO)

America: History and Life is a comprehensive bibliography of articles on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. AHL offers abstracts and citations for articles appearing in over 2¸000 journals published worldwide in history¸ related humanities¸ and the social sciences. Coverage also includes citations to book reviews from approximately 140 major journals of American history and culture¸ and relevant dissertations from Dissertation Abstracts International. Coverage: 1964 – present

Ethnic NewsWatch

Full text articles from newspapers and periodicals published by the ethnic and minority press in America, some dating back to 1985.

Index Islamicus

The Index Islamicus database indexes literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. It is produced by the Islamic Bibliography Unit at Cambridge University Library. The Unit was established in 1983 to continue the compilations and publications of the Index Islamicus bibliography and to transmit knowledge about Islamic and Middle East studies, which have been part of the curriculum at Cambridge University since the early 17th century. Records included in the database cover almost a century of publications¸ with some going back to 1906.

PAIS (ProQuest)

PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) was established in 1914. There are two databases created from the files: PAIS International and PAIS Archive (now PAIS ProQuest). PAIS International includes records from the print PAIS Bulletin 1977 and forward; it also includes PAIS print Foreign Language Index published 1972-1990, at which time it merged with the PAIS Bulletin. The PAIS International database contains continually updated records for over half a million journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more. PAIS (formerly PAIS Archive) is a retrospective conversion of the PAIS Annual Cumulated Bulletin, volumes 1-62¸ published 1915-1976. PAIS (ProQuest) contains over 1.23 million records and covers monographs, periodical articles, notes and announcements, and analytics. Note: try Arab Americans, MuslimAmericans, Lebanese Americans, etc.

Selected Library Media, Museum, and Archive Resources

Arab American Heritage Month POV Film List, PBS

PBS collection of independent nonfiction films films about Arab American communities.

Arab American History and Culture, Smithsonian

In 1962, Dr. Alixa Naff set out to tell the story of Arab immigrants from Syria and Lebanon. In addition to investigating an area that had received little scholarly attention, her use of oral history as the basis of the research was innovative. In 1984, Naff donated her collection including the oral histories, archival materials, and artifacts to the National Museum of American History. You can read about her in “Voices from the past: Arab American Oral Histories” and explore items from her collection and others related to Arab American history and culture from across the Smithsonian. Faris and Guide to the Faris and Yamna Naff Arab American Collection.

Arab American National Museum (AANM)

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum of its kind in the United States devoted to recording the Arab American experience.

Arab-American Project

This project was designed to create a digital oral history collection of the Arab American community in central Ohio. The goal of this project is to broaden understanding of Arab Americans and to bring visibility to their contributions to and engagement with their local communities. This online publicly accessible project is based on face-to-face recorded interviews that highlight the lives, experiences, activities, and cultural practices of the migrant Arab American community. Topics of these interviews cover broad themes on mobility and migration, identity formation, cultural practices, family, food, clothes, etc.

Arabic Newspapers Published in the Diaspora

Arab communities in the diaspora have been active in publishing their own newspapers and journals all over the world. Although not all these newspapers are published primarily in Arabic, they all deal with the news of the Arab communities in those countries, as well as the Arab World as a whole, each from its own perspective.

Baylor Oral History Collection, Oral Histories from the Arab Americans in the Southeast

While the majority of Arab Americans reside in the northern tier of the United States, numerous Arab American communities exist in the southern United States. Regional studies on Arab American communities in the South are scarce. In this oral history project, interviewer Rosemarie M. Esber interviewed Arab Americans living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas to learn how these families became residents of the South, as well as answers to other questions.

Bowling Green State University, The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo: Celebrating the History of Northwest Ohio’s Muslim Community

On May 5, 2019, the BGSU Center for Archival Collections (CAC), in partnership with the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (ICGT), hosted a public Community Scan Day at the ICGT, to which members of the greater Toledo community were invited to bring any archival materials they may have in their personal possession. This exhibit brings together a selection of images contributed by several individuals during the Community Scan Day.

Digital Library of the Middle East

The Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) offers free and open access to the rich cultural legacy of the Middle East and North Africa by bringing together collections from a wide range of cultural heritage institutions. Developed by an engineering team from CLIR and Stanford Libraries, the platform federates and makes accessible data about collections from around the world.

Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies

The Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies was established as a research and outreach center for the production and dissemination of knowledge about Lebanese immigration to the United States and around the world.

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