LANSING — Michigan’s only Arab American State Rep., Barbara Farrah, is organizing a celebration of Arab culture at the Capitol building in Lansing on May 22.
Farrah said she’s seen several similar cultural events sponsored by other representatives at the Capitol before, and felt the need to bring Arab Americans into the mix.
“We haven’t had one for Arab American heritage yet,” she said.
She said part of the goal is to give all the representatives and senators a chance to talk to the people from the community, and to “get the other elected officials in Lansing familiar with our ethnicity.”
Several Detroit-area institutions including ACC, ACCESS, St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Yemeni American organizations and others are set to be involved, Farrah said.
The groups intend to offer food, presentations, music and dance.
Farrah said senators and representatives will be lured in and out of their offices with the food and events throughout the day.
She said her intention is to make the event an annual celebration, even after she leaves office.
“I want to make sure that while I’m here, I do everything I can,” she said.
Because of term-limits, Farrah will be leaving her seat in December, having served the maximum three two-year terms. She said she intends to run for state senate next.
Farrah is the only Arab American currently serving in the state legislature, but she said she considers Dearborn Rep. Gino Polidori an “honorary Arab.”