US State Department designates April as 'Arab-American Heritage Month'

US State Department designates April as 'Arab-American Heritage Month'
The State Depart said Arab-Americans' contributions to the US 'are as old as America itself'.
2 min read
06 April, 2021
Ned Price praised Arab-Americans' contributions to the United States [Getty]
The US State Department has designated April as Arab-American Heritage Month to celebrate the contributions of Arab-Americans to the US.

Speaking in a video statement on 1 April, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the contributions of Arab-Americans "are as old as America itself".

"The United States is home to more than 3.5 million Arab Americans representing a diverse array of cultures and traditions. Like their fellow citizens, Americans of Arab heritage are very much a part of the fabric of this nation," Price said.

"And Arab Americans have contributed in every field and profession, many of them, in fact, serve here at the State Department and throughout the interagency," he added.

The move is reportedly the first time the State Department has designated a month for celebrating Arab-Americans, but it does not indicate recognition by the entire US government.

A bill introduced by Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell, and Bill Pascrell in 2020 also proposed a Arab-American Heritage month but is still pending.

Individual states - including Hawaii, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina and Virginia - have recognised the event.

"This is a breath of fresh air," Samer Khalaf, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), was quoted by CNN as saying. "It will give the community a sense of pride and it's a chance to show what the community is all about, to educate people and dispel stereotypes."

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