Arab Indianapolis is an accessible, intimate look at the oft-neglected history of Arab Americans in Greater Indianapolis who have made a remarkable impact on the region since the late 1800s.
Written by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Professor Edward E. Curtis IV, the 160-page Arab Indianapolis features the stories of Arab Americans—some famous, some not—who have shaped Indiana’s capital city’s past and will continue to define its future.
It details a history hidden in plain sight, one sometimes buried beneath Indianapolis’s most iconic landmarks such as Lucas Oil Stadium, Monument Circle, the Indiana War Memorials, the Governor’s Residence and Riverside Park.
Helen Corey, the first Arab American to hold statewide elected office and the author of one of the most famous books on Syrian cuisine
Jeff George, a Syrian American from the region who went on to play quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts
The Syrian Christian community and the building of St. George Orthodox Church
Indianapolis’ connection to St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana governor and grandson to Syrian immigrants
Through short essays, more than 80 beautiful color photographs, interviews and even a few recipes, this collection embraces the full humanity of Arab Americans in the Midwest. It will give readers a deeper sense of the myriad lives of Arab-descended Hoosiers who call Indianapolis home.
Arab Indianapolis is a reader-focused book meant for anyone interested in hidden histories, the true stories of Arab American life and Indiana history. It will be released on June 7 by Belt Publishing. The release will coincide with the premiere of a PBS documentary by the same name on June 16. A trailer can be viewed here.