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Resources for National Arab American Heritage Month

The Y is celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month this April by honoring the rich and diverse culture of Arab Americans. This is an opportunity to create awareness of their history, traditions, and contributions, and we’d like to share some resources created by Arab Americans that will provide an in-depth insight into the Arab American experience. 

Books about the Arab American Experience

A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar

This is the story of a young girl who grew up in Kuwait and Egypt before moving to Texas with her family. It explores the challenges of navigating different cultural identities in the face of discrimination and prejudice experienced by Arab Americans in the United States. 

The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami

This book tells the story of a Moroccan slave who was part of the Narvaez expedition to Florida in the 16th century. It shares the experiences of the Arab slave and his interactions with Native Americans and Spanish colonizers, providing a unique perspective on the history of Arab Americans. 

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf

This novel tells the story of a Syrian-American girl who grew up in Indiana in the 1970s and 1980s by addressing the challenges of balancing her Muslim identity with American culture and the experiences of discrimination she faces. 

Podcasts hosted by Arab Americans

Seen Jeem

This podcast highlights the work of contemporary Arab American writers and features interviews with poets, novelists, and essayists.

Identity Politics by Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali

Explore the issues of race, gender, and religion in American society through interviews with Arab Americans. Learn about their experiences of navigating identity and culture in the United States. 

Kerning Cultures

A female-led podcast company that hosts a variety of different Arab-focused podcasts. Listen to a lineup of award-winning personal narratives and interviews that provide nuanced and diverse perspectives on Arab culture and history.

Additional Resources:

Arab American National Museum
Mizna, a literary journal
Arab American Institute

We hope you’ll utilize these resources and join us in celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month. We are always striving to create a more inclusive environment at the Y and learning about cultures goes a long way in accomplishing that goal. Read about our commitment to equity on our website.