Posted by Yara Beydoun on May 02, 2018 in Blog

IMG_8090.jpgApril was a busy month as communities across the country celebrated Arab American Heritage Month, and few states were busier than Michigan. I joined in the local festivities to encourage participants to #YallaVote in this year’s elections.

The Arab American National Museum’s Book and Print Festival offered attendees from the greater Detroit & Dearborn communities an opportunity to enjoy art pieces and creations, such as clothing, print making, photography, paint, and literature, from local and ethnic artists. The event’s entertainment featured Arab American artists DJ Tammy Lakkis, DJ Habibti, and Thoom. This event was a great opportunity to speak with artists and art supporters about issues impacting our community, and to hear new perspectives on these issues. 

20180417_192819_1524007823889.jpgFollowing the Book and Print Festival, I visited the University of Michigan for the End of the Year Barbecue hosted by members of the Middle Eastern and North African communities on campus. The groups involved in organizing the event span across societies, including SAFE (Students Allied for Freedom and Equality), MEdAN (Middle East and North African Network), Yemeni Student Association, Lebanese Student Association, Egyptian Student Association, and Arab Student Association.

Ahmed Moussa, a volunteer with AAI, attended the celebration to canvass and speak with students about the upcoming elections. “Having the opportunity to volunteer with Yalla Vote allowed me to meet a lot of different youth who are interested in voting, but never had the chance to,” he said. “I spoke to interesting, young minds from different backgrounds and ethnicities. It was a great event and lots of fun.”

Arab American Heritage Month always serves as a special time to reflect on all that makes our community wonderful, and I’m proud to have represented #YallaVote as we look to the future and continue to engage to better our collective community.