We are a diverse community of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, three and one-half million strong, who have come from throughout the Arab world. We are Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Jordanians, and Yemenis – from North Africa to Southwest Asia. We are Christians and Muslims.
Arab Americans’ history illustrates how the immigrant experience has shaped the United States. We are part of the American success story, showing what can be achieved when an ethnic constituency becomes fully engaged in the political and economic life of this country.
Since the first wave of immigrants arrived here more than century ago, Arab Americans have assimilated into mainstream U.S. life. We share the same economic and social diversity as all Americans, but we also share treasures brought with us from our native lands – a rich heritage and culture, a strong extended family network, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a drive for excellence.
Today, Arab Americans are forging a new path in American politics, bringing our spirit, our talents, and our commitment to a forum that will shape not just our nation but our world for centuries to come. We help lead the discussion on civil and political rights in America, from the perspective of a constituency that cherishes these hallmarks of American freedom, and believes it is our duty to safeguard them for ourselves, for our nation, and for those who come after us.
The above is an excerpt from “Arab Americans: A Century of Civic and Cultural Achievement”
Find out more about Arab Americans through one of our many programs:
AAI's "Together We Came" highlights outstanding Arab American immigrants and their descendants who have had an indelible impact on the vibrancy of our nation. From creating the first artificial heart to sending the first shuttle into space, the Arab American community has been an important part of American growth and success. The portraits of Arab Americans shared here will remind us that the United States is a nation defined by our diversity and the contributions of countless immigrants from all over the world.
While we are proud to highlight our community's famous faces and history-making stories, our #IAmArabAmerican project is a look at everyday Arab Americans who are making a difference in their chosen fields.