A not-for-profit affiliate of AAI, the Arab American Institute Foundation’s goal is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate Arab American participation in American civic life, and to cultivate and mobilize a strong, educated, empowered Arab American community that can play a meaningful role in the betterment of our country. AAIF’s programming provides communities with the platform and hard data necessary to strategically and successfully combat xenophobia, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. Through its numerous outreach programs AAIF builds leadership skills among students and young professionals and informs the public, government agencies, and organizations about the contributions and concerns of Arab Americans.
Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards
The Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards are named for the world-renowned Lebanese-born author of The Prophet whose work underscored his respect for the dignity of man, his belief in the sanctity of individual freedom, and universal love of humanity. The awards further symbolize Gibran’s pride in his Arab heritage and respectfor the freedoms that he found in the United States.
At the annual Gibran Awards Gala, AAIF honors individuals, corporations, institutions, and communities for their work in promoting greater understanding and appreciation of diversity and inclusion.
Arab American Service Day
Arab American Service Day is held each year during AmeriCorps Week in communities accross America. This annual day of service is organized by Arab American organizations and Arab American Resource Corps members and benefits from the participation of both Arab Americans and Americans of other ethnicities. Whether they are building houses, cleaning parks or organizing health fairs, these service days highlight the commitment of Arab Americans to their communities at large, and focus on the importance of giving back as an essential part of being an American today.
Youth Leadership Opportunities
AAIF provides cash awards, internships, scholarships, and leadership training for young Arab Americans on the basis of their interest in public and community service. For more information please email Maha Elsamahi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAIF produces educational materials on the role of the Arab American community in American society. AAIF also provides links to some of the better educational materials on Arabs in America and on the Arab World and Islam.
Established in the fall of 2016, AAIF’s Mentorship program matches talented young Arab American professionals and recent graduates with seasoned counterparts in their field. Since the program began, AAIF has matched outstanding individuals in various fields including policymaking, academia, business, journalism, law, and the sciences. Mentorship pairings meet on a monthly basis to develop core professional skills, expand networks, and gain insight on the nuances of their profession.
AAIF efforts include presentations to inform the American public and Arab visitors to the United States about ethnic identity of Arab Americans and their contributions to American civic life, government service, business and professional life, and education. AAIF reaches out especially to American law enforcement agencies and educators to help them develop positive ways of interacting with the Arab American community.
Cultural Tribute Events
Every four years, AAIF hosts cultural tribute events at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. These receptions expose delegates from around the country to the richness and diversity of the Arab American community, spotlight the host cities’ Arab American communities, and honor Arab American elected officials and delegates.