Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April is American Arab Heritage Month, US State Department declares

“The United States represents a diverse array of cultures and traditions to more than 3.5 million Arab Americans. Like their fellow citizens, Americans of Arab heritage are a part of the fabric of this country,” Ned Price, a spokesman , said in Video statement On April 1 “And Arab Americans have contributed to every field and profession, many of them, in fact, serving here at the State Department and throughout the interval.”
Advocacy groups say this is the first time the State Department has designated a special month for Arab American Heritage Month. States that have recognized April as Arab American History Month in 2021 and include in the past Arkansas, airy, Michigan, New York, North carolina And Virginia.
Arab Americans trace their origins to 22 Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa. According to this, in the late 1800s Arabs fled to America, fleeing war, persecution, and economic crisis. Migration Policy Institute. California, New York, Michigan and Illinois have the largest population of Arab American residents in the country based on data 2015-2019 ACS Genealogy Survey.
While the State Department made this announcement, Arab American History Month is not fully recognized by the US government. a Bill Sponsored by Michigan Democrat Representative Repida Talib, was introduced to Congress in 2019 and is still pending.
Like advocacy groups American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Arab American Institute (AAI) has been advocating renaming April as a month to commemorate Arab Americans for over two decades.

“It is a breath of fresh air,” said ADC President Sameer Khalaf about the State Department’s move. “It will give the community a sense of pride and a chance to show what a community is, to educate people and remove stereotypes.”

AAI Executive Director Maya Berry sees the recognition as a high-level opportunity to celebrate Arab American life visually.

“The formality of coming from an agency at this level is fantastic,” she said. “This month is about sharing our story with our fellow Americans.”

Although the State Department has dedicated the month of April to AAHM, Arab Americans still do not have racial or ethnic identifiers on forms such as the census, forcing community members to tick “White” or “Other” Does.

The ADC and AAI are pushing for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) classification, a geographic designation that includes ethnic and racial choices, to be adopted by the US government for decades.

Biden-Harris Administration Drafted “Plan partnership“With the Arab American community ahead of the 2020 election,” the resolution to support the creation of a new Middle East North Africa (MENA) category. ”
CNN has contacted Office of Management and Budget, Which sets standards for national and ethnic identifiers for comment at the national level. The OMB is the agency that will determine whether the identifier has been added to the census forms and other documents.

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