Each April, King County observes National Arab American Heritage Month. This month recognizes the culture, contributions, and heritage of Arab Americans.
Arab American Heritage Month is relatively new. The celebration was first introduced in 2017 by Arab America, a national media organization that promotes an accurate image of the Arab American community. Just a few years later, the month is now recognized in just over half of U.S. states. 2021 also marks the first year that the month was recognized by a sitting U.S. president.
Although there are an estimated 4 million Arab Americans living in the United States, there is currently no category on the U.S. Census for Arab, Middle Eastern or North African people. Instead, these groups are asked to self-identify as white or Caucasian.
However, progress is being made. In 2020, the U.S. Census was offered in Arabic for the first time and the 2030 Census is expected to include a broader range of choices when it come to a person’s ethnicity. These changes will allow better representation for Arab, Middle Eastern and North African Americans.
Here are some resources to help you celebrate and learn about the Arab American community:
- ArabAmerica.com President Biden recognizes National Arab American Heritage Month
- Seattle Chamber of Commerce Arab American Heritage blog
- ThoughtCo.Com on Celebrating Arab American History