Asking The Federal Government to Recognize April as the 'Arab American Heritage Month'

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Asking The Federal Government to Recognize April as the 'Arab American Heritage Month'

This petition made change with 296 supporters!
Pierre Subeh started this petition to President of the United States and

Celebrating the National Arab American Heritage Month: Today, there are nearly 4-million Arab Americans residing in the United States according to data from the Arab American Institute (AAI). In a time where inclusivity has never been more relevant and necessary—celebrating Middle Eastern heritage is critical in combating post-9/11 anti-Arab sentiments and recognizing the social difficulties that Arab Americans face every day in their communities.

The Story Behind The Cause: My name is Pierre Subeh, a Syrian immigrant who made it my life's work to fight for equality and representation of my heritage in Western society. Additionally, as a prominent Muslim region, we make roughly 25% of the world population, yet we are barely represented in Western media, award shows, and literature work. Please consider helping us get this petition to president Joe Biden's office and his administration including VP Kamala Harris which can authorize and issue an annual proclamation designating the month of April as the 'National Arab American Heritage Month'. Currently, organizations such as The Arab America Foundation have formed a national advisory committee and are working on state-level changes, but a federal change is the fastest legal route for representation.

Our Action Plan and National Impact: I have put together a team of advocates and marketing/legal professionals to make immediate changes for this cause, we do not have any commercial or monetary motive. Furthermore, I have personally invested a significant amount of personal resources to launch a campaign over 250 billboards across the country showcasing our rich Middle-Eastern culture and fighting for our heritage month to be recognized by the federal government. Our national impact is being done through ad campaigns, press coverage, local policy changes, and social media influencer marketing; All in hopes of educating and advocating communities and building the foundations for generations to come.

Accomplished Progress: We have sent over a dozen letters to the United States Department of State and emailed them for the past 14-months, to which they responded on April 1st with a video on their social media channels. Their spokesman Price has officially recognized April as the National Arab American Heritage Month! This is the beginning of much progress.

Later in April, we also influenced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security & The White House under the Biden-Harris administration to recognize April as NAAHM.

 

Here are some additional resources:

Beginning in the 1990s, Arab American heritage was celebrated sporadically in various states at different times of the year, primarily in school districts. It wasn't until 2017 when Arab America began a national initiative to coordinate all states under National Arab American Heritage Month. On April 30, 2019, Arab American organizations asked Congresswoman Debbie Dingell to issue a congressional resolution proclaiming National Arab American Heritage Month.[3] It was then introduced to the house on April 30, 2019, and then referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.[4] The largest and most promising achievement towards federal recognition of the month of April as the National Arab American Heritage Month was the proclimation published by the U.S. Department of State, which was accomplished on April 1, 2021 by the efforts of independent Syrian-American advocate and author, Pierre Subeh.[5][6]

An identical bill was introduced in the House on May 1, 2020, to support the designation of an Arab American Heritage Month but it has not currently been passed.[7]

Some individual states (such as the Commonwealth of Virginia) and 26 others observed April as Arab American Heritage Month early on before any federal recognition was proclaimed.[8] It wasn't until April 19, 2021, that the first recognition on a federal level was issued, which was published as a White House letter from president Joe Biden recognizing April as the National Arab American Heritage Month, otherwise called NAAHM.[9]

The recognition of the month of April as the National Arab American Heritage Month by the Department of State was mainly influenced by independent advocate efforts across the United States calling for inclusivity. Most notably the petition and social change campaign by Pierre Subeh, a Middle Eastern-American business expert and author. He orchestrated a self-funded social awareness campaign with over 250 billboards across the country asking the Federal government to recognize the month of April as the National Arab American Heritage Month and issue an official proclamation. His social change campaign called the recognition to be critical as it celebrates Middle Eastern heritage in combatting post-9/11 anti-Arab sentiments and recognizing the social difficulties that Arab Americans face every day in their communities.[12][13]

On April 19, 2021, Arab America and the Arab America Foundation received a letter responding to an invitation they sent president Joe Biden to the White House, in which he congratulated them on the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month. He applauded their mission and officially recognized April as the National Arab American Heritage Month. The first recognition by a sitting president in U.S. history.[14]

 

[Campaign photo by the talented Shepard Fairey]

[Campaign additional resources by Wikipedia]

[Campaign created by Pierre Subeh]

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