Arab American Heritage Month

Arab-American Heritage Month

Hamra and Samaha Family Photographs, courtesy Arab-American National Museum, Dearborn, Michigan. Both families were successful clothing merchants in Missouri who maintained their connection with their Lebanese heritage and Lebanese immigrant community in the United States.

This month, we celebrate "Arab American Heritage Month"commemorating the contributions of Arab Americans to American life and their struggles to receive full protections as American citizens.


Diversity Champion

Diversity Champion
Dr. Nazita Lajevardi

Dr. Nazita Lajevardi, assistant professor in MSU's Political Science department is an attorney and scholar who studies political opinion and political behavior in Muslim and Arab American communities.

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Diversity Torch

Diversity Torch
Marwa Bakabas

Marwa Bakabas is an MSU doctoral student in socio-cultural Anthropology, whose work centers on violence, forced migration, exile, and trauma in the Arab world.

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Diversity Spotlight

Diversity Spotlight
Secretary Spencer Abraham

Secretary Spencer Abraham, a MSU Alumnus, has worked to make our world a better place for all. He has served as an attorney, author, U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of Energy. We celebrate his selfless and unwavering service to our nation.

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Additional Resources

  • Books
    • Abraham, Nabeel, Sally Howell, and Andrew Shryock, eds. 2011. Arab Detroit 9/11: Life in the Terror Decade. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

    • Abraham, Nabeel, and Andrew Shryock, eds. 2000. Arab Detroit: From Margin to Mainstream. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

    • Baker, Wayne, Sally Howell, Amaney Jamal, Ann Chih Lin, Andrew Shryock, Ron Stockton, and Mark Tessler. 2009. Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit After 9/11. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications.

    • Bawardi, Hani J. 2014. The Making of Arab Americans: From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship. Reprint edition. University of Texas Press.

    • Fadda-Conrey, Carol. 2014. Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging. New York: NYU Press.

    • Jamal, Amaney, and Nadine Naber, eds. 2008. Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects. Illustrated edition. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse University Press.

    • Naber, Nadine. 2012. Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism. New York: NYU Press.

    • Orfalea, Gregory. 2005. The Arab Americans: A History. Illustrated edition. Northampton, Mass: Olive Branch Press.

    • Suleiman, Michael, ed. 1999. Arabs in America: Building a New Future. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    • Beydoun, Khaled A. 2019. American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear

    • Lajevardi, Nazita 2020. Outsiders at Home: The Politics of American Islamophobia

    • Jamal, Amaney; Naber Nadine (eds), 2008. Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects (Arab American Writing) 

    • Curry, Emily 2021. Claiming Belonging: Muslim American Advocacy in an Era of Islamophobia 

    • Calfano Brian, Lajevardi Nazita, 2019. Understanding Muslim Political Life in America: Contested Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century (Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics)

  • Articles
    • Calfano, B., Lajevardi, N., &Michelson, M. (2020). Evaluating Resistance toward Muslim American Political Integration. Politics and Religion, 1-14

    • Kassra A. R. Oskooii, Karam Dana & Matthew A. Barreto (2019) Beyond generalized ethnocentrism: Islam-specific beliefs and prejudice toward Muslim Americans, Politics, Groups, and Identities, DOI: 1080/21565503.2019.1623053

    • Sediqe, N. (2020). Stigma Consciousness and American Identity: The Case of Muslims In United States. PS: Political Science & Politics 53(4), 674-678.

    • Saleem M, Prot S, Anderson CA, Lemieux AF. Exposure to Muslims in Media and Support for Public Policies Harming Muslims. Communication Research. 2017;44(6):841-869.

    • Chouhoud, Y., Dana, K., & Barreto, M. (2019). American Muslim Political Participation: Between Diversity and Cohesion. Politics and Religion 12(4), 736-76

    • Oskooii, K., (2015) How Discrimination Impacts Sociopolitical Behavior: A Multidimensional Perspective

    • Al-Faham, H. (2021). Researching American Muslims: A Case Study of Surveillance and Racialized State Control. Perspectives on Politics, 1-16.

  • Film Recommendations
    • PBS No Passport Required:Detroit (2018). Chef Marcus Samuelsson heads to Detroit — home to one of the largest and most diverse Middle Eastern communities in America — to explore its culture, history and food. With a family of Syrian refugees in Dearborn, he shares a home-cooked meal and talks about their proud heritage and overcoming misconceptions.

    • Brooklyn Inshallah (2019). This film follows three Arab Americans: an Arab Lutheran pastor running for NYC Council, Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, and a local community organizer, Aber Kawas.

    • The Last Harvest(2012). This documentary, produced by UCLA researcher Jonathan Friedlander, explores the lives of Yemenis who settled in California’s San Joaquin Valley. At the peak of migration, some 5,000 Yemenis were employed in the fields of central California. Today only several hundred remain.

    • Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football (North Shore Films, 2011)

    • Hamtramck, USA (Justin Feltman and Razi Jafri, 2020).

    • Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (Media Education Foundation, 2006)

    • Tales from Arab Detroit (Olive Branch Productions, 1995) We’re Not White (a comedic documentary)

  • Websites