“Here and Elsewhere”: New Museum Curator Natalie Bell Discusses Contemporary Arab Art Exhibit

Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Blog
By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014 For decades, the international art world largely overlooked contemporary Arab art. However, prominent figures in the art world, including the editor-in-chief of Artspace, have asserted that a newfound interest and curiosity in art from the Middle East has emerged in recent years. The Gulf states have undertaken vast cultural projects, and museums and art fairs are quickly becoming a central part of the region’s culture.
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Upending the Status Quo: Suha Arraf’s Villa Touma

Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Blog
By Eddie Bejarano Fall Interns, 2014 Villa Touma is a drama based in Ramallah and tells the story of lively eighteen-year-old orphan Badia, whose arrival at the Ramallah home of her three aunts releases a deluge of family secrets and long-held grudges. Suha Arraf, the film’s director, wanted viewers to “see another face of the Palestinians.
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A World Not Ours: Fleifel Tells His Story

Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Blog

By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014

AAI is proud to sponsor the documentary A World Not Ours (2012) at the fourth annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival. Directed by Mahdi Fleifel, the film is a compelling and intimate portrayal of three generations in exile in Lebanon’s Ein el-Helweh refugee camp. Fleifel uses his own video recordings, family archives, and historical footage to tell his story.

Ein el-Helweh, which was established in 1948 to house displaced populations, currently holds nearly 70,000 Palestinian refugees. When Fleifel was still a child, his parents uprooted...

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Remembering Their Roots: The Itoo Society Reaches One Hundred-Year Milestone

Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Blog

By Kristyn AchoFall Intern, 2014

In northern Lebanon, there lays an old village named Aytou that rests on the side of a mountain. Like so many other immigrant populations, a large number of Aytou people came to the United States in the early 1900s in search of opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Aytou men and women settled primarily in Mankato and St. Paul, Minnesota; Buffalo, New York; and, Peoria, Illinois. In a recent edition of InterBusiness Issues magazine, Randy Couri, a Lebanese-American whose grandparents immigrated to the United States from...

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A Fateful Encounter: Syrian Playwright Debuts Play at NY Festival

Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Blog
By Jad Ireifej Summer Intern, 2014 Between the Seas Festival of Mediterranean Performing Arts is holding a staged reading of the play A Chance Encounter by Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar, directed by Noelle Ghoussaini.
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Bronzing Over Depictions of a Divided Syria

Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Blog
By Emily Cooke Summer Intern, 2014 In war torn Syria, artillery shells litter the rubble of destroyed homes and cultural heritage sites; but in an art studio in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the beginnings of the bronze bust of late Syrian poet, Nizar Qabbani, sits waiting to immortalize this Syrian history now vulnerable to the destruction of war.
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Arab American Kinnan Hammond-Dowie Wins Contest to Join First Lady at Annual “Kids State Dinner”

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 17, 2014 in Blog

Arab American Kinnan Hammond-Dowie, age 12, was selected as a winner of this year’s “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.” He was honored today at the annual White House’s Kids State Dinner for his dish, “Mediterranean Kebabs with Cilantro Tabbouleh”. First Lady Michelle Obama launched this challenge as part of the “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity.

Kinnan’s healthy kebab and tabbouleh recipe comes from his rich cultural heritage and his childhood spent cooking alongside his Syrian mother and grandmother. Kinnan displayed an undeniable affinity for cooking, and at a young age was rolling grape...

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AAI Celebrates Third Annual Iftar

Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Blog
By Hanane Lahnaoui Summer Intern, 2014 The Arab American Institute hosted its third annual Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Iftar on Tuesday, July 15th at AAI’s office. The event was well attended by young Arab American professionals and students as well as friends from the DC area.
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Together We Came

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Blog

Sam Maloof, arguably America’s number one wood craftsman, was born in 1916 in Chino, California to Lebanese immigrants.

Sam’s father, Nasif, peddled vegetables and dry goods from a horse-drawn carriage, out of which Sam’s mother also sold her handmade lace, embroidered linens, and crochet work. They arrived to the United States from the mountain village of Douma in northern Lebanon, and were counted among the first Arabic-speakers in California. Sam took much pride in his Arab heritage, and carried on his parents’ traditional values of respect and hard work....

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Together We Came

Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Blog
Poet, songwriter, and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 to a Palestinian father and American mother. A strong advocate for mutual understanding and respect between Americans and Arabs, Naomi has created a cultural space in America for people to come together to celebrate their commonalities alongside their differences. Her artistic spirit has inspired millions, perfectly demonstrating how art can be used to promote acceptance and love throughout the world and for generations to come.
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