Posted by Arab American Institute on April 27, 2020 in Blog

Proclamation showing Iowa Recognizes April as National Arab American Heritage Month

April is National Arab American Heritage Month. This month recognizes the achievements and contributions of Arab Americans. Arab Americans are immigrants and the descendants of immigrants who came to the United States seeking political liberty and economic opportunity. Arabs began immigrating to the United States in the late 1800s in significant numbers, and have enriched every aspect of American society - including civic and political life. Arab Americans forged a new path in American politics, bringing their spirit, talents, and commitment to bettering our democracy and world.

Today, there are an estimated 3.7 million Arab Americans living in all 50 states – including the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state: Iowa. On April 16th, the state of Iowa issued a proclamation recognizing April as National Arab American Heritage Month. As the proclamation notes, the contributions and heritage of Arab Americans have helped build a better nation for all.

Arab American Institute’s National Policy Council member and Iowa City Engineer Newman Abuissa advocated for Iowa’s proclamation. He stated “The Arab American community in Iowa goes back more than a hundred years. Arab Americans have been contributing to American society and the state of Iowa in many fields, including healthcare, construction, food, and every other job. The proclamation shows that our government is open to and recognizes our contributions.

He continued, “I would like to thank the Governor of the State of Iowa for their recognition of our month and our community's contributions.”

As National Arab American Heritage Month comes to a close this week, we applaud all those who helped recognize and celebrate the achievements of Arab Americans. Including Arab Americans on the front lines of combatting the coronavirus pandemic. For more inspiring stories of Arab Americans contributing to their communities, read about the work of Ahmad Alwan, Sirene Abou Chakra, and Juliette Kayyem.