Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Blog

By Jennine Vari

Fall 2012 Intern

This Saturday the Patriots and Peacemakers traveling exhibit will finish its visit to Jacksonville, Florida. The exhibit was presented at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan from November 2011 to August 2012, but with the help of the Ramallah American Club of Jacksonville and the Salaam Club of Jacksonville, the celebration of Arab Americans in the public service sector was  brought to Florida. The exhibit highlights Arab Americans of different nationalities and religions who have served in the military, Peace Corps, and Diplomatic Service. Through a collection of personal stories, photos, and items, visitors will learn about the roles Arab Americans have played in American history. These personal narratives include those of Ambassadors Susan Ziadeh and Edward Gabriel, and Former Deputy Surgeon General Faye Glenn Abdellah.

In addition to recognizing those around the country, Patriots and Peacemakers adopted a section focusing on Arab Americans in Jacksonville. After it moved to Florida on November 1st, the museum added Local Patriots: Arab American Heroes of Jacksonville to the exhibit. To honor the community, it highlights local Arab American veterans who served in various branches of the military since World War I and recipients of awards, such as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

This exhibit is unique in that focuses on a sector in which Arab Americans are often overlooked. Even though they have been serving in the military, Peace Corps, and diplomacy positions for decades, their sacrifices as Arab Americans often go unnoticed, and since 9/11 the need to recognize this has become increasingly imperative. Within the last 10 years, Arab Americans’ loyalty to the US has frequently been called into question, but the exhibit aims to counter the doubt and negativity often faced by many in the Arab American community. Instead, it recognizes and celebrates their extensive service and contributions to society.

Patriots and Peacemakers is free and open to the public. It runs through December 15th at the Jacksonville Public Library, additional information can be found here.

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