WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-New Jersey), Donna Shalala (D-Florida), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) joined together to introduce a resolution honoring Arab American Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of the contributions Arab Americans have made to the United States.
“It is my hope as a strong and proud Arab American in Congress that our nation can uplift our contributions in the United States by supporting Arab American Heritage Month,” Tlaib said. “Our history here in the U.S. is rooted in our love for freedom and equality, as well as access to opportunities to help our neighbors thrive. From the agriculture sector to medicine and beyond, we have been at the forefront in building our country without losing our rich culture.”
The resolution expresses support for the recognition of April as Arab American Heritage Month and celebrates the heritage and culture of Arab Americans in the United States.
An excerpt from the resolution reads as follows, noting that the United States celebrated Arab American Heritage Month from April 1 to April 30, 2019:
Whereas for over a century, Arab Americans have been making valuable contributions to every aspect of American society— in medicine, law, business, technology, civic engagement, government, and culture;
Whereas since migrating to America, people of Arab descent have shared their rich culture and traditions with neighbors and friends, while also setting fine examples of model citizens and public servants;
Whereas Arab Americans have brought with them to America their resilient family values, strong work ethic, dedication to education, and diversity in faith and creed that have added strength to our democracy;
Among the works of art mentioned in the resolution are the first Arab American novel, Ameen Rihani’s well known 1911 work “The Book of Khalid”, as well as Arab American poet Khalil Gibran’s beloved book “The Prophet.”
It also states that Arabic is one of the fastest-growing languages in the United States according to U.S. Census data, despite the lack of an Arab nationality box for Arab Americans to check on the Census itself.
The resolution goes on to state that the House of Representatives supports the designation of the month, esteems the “integral role” of Arab Americans in the economy, culture and identity of the United States, and urges the people of the U.S. to observe Arab American Heritage Month with programs and activities.
“In my hometown of Dearborn and across the country, Arab Americans are part of the fabric of our community,” Dingell said. “Arab Americans have been an integral part of Michigan’s identity, sharing their culture and traditions with neighbors and friends.
“They are doctors, teachers, small business owners and service members – they are among the most loyal and patriotic Americans I know. Arab Americans have been leaders that helped impact Michigan for the better. This April, we celebrated the accomplishments of Arab Americans in the United States throughout Arab American Heritage Month.”