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AMEMSA+ History & Heritage Month

AMEMSA History & Heritage Month

AMEMSA+ History & Heritage Month, also called Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian American Heritage Month, is a month-long commemoration of the history and achievement of AMEMSA+ people that takes place each April in the United States. Arab Americans are immigrants or descendants of people from the Arabic-speaking world, an area that spans twenty-two countries in the Middle East and in West, North, and East Africa. To the west and north are the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and to the east are the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

For more information:

U.S. Congress recognizes Arab American History Month 

ThoughtCo. article "Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month"

 


Famous People in AMEMSA History

Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria

Through his writings, research, and teaching, Fareed Zakaria has made an impact in the field of political science and foreign policy. A graduate of both Yale and Harvard, Zakaria writes extensively on the subject of international affairs. Full bio

Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi

The co-founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi helps women in war-torn countries connect with women in the West. A native of Iraq, Salbi also offered insight into Saddam Hussein's regime with her 2005 autobiography. Full bio

Mehmet Oz

Mehmet Oz

New York City heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, or Dr. Oz., has become one of America's best-known doctors thanks to his frequent media appearances and best-selling You series of books, which includes You: The Owner's Manual.   Full bio

Mona Hanna-Attisha

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is an American pediatrician and professor who discovered high levels of poisonous lead in children in Flint, Michigan. She is credited as a hero for exposing the lead levels in water there. Full bio

Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas

Born Muzyad Yakhoob, Danny Thomas began singing on a Detroit radio station. In the 1950s he became one of the most successful television producers and his work included The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Full Bio

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul made a name for herself in the 1980s as a dancer, choreographer, and vocalist. Her 1988 debut album, Forever Your Girl, launched her career. She later starred as a judge on the reality television competition American Idol. Full bio

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader was born in 1934 to a Lebanese immigrant couple; He grew up speaking Arabic as well as English. As a young attorney, Nader took on a number of auto accident cases and in the process began to delve into highway mortality statistics. Full bio

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb was born in Norman, Oklahoma to Egyptian parents. She is a television journalist known for hosting the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford. She has won a Daytime Emmy Award for her hosting talents. Full bio

Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal grew up around racing. In 1982, Bobby became the first rookie in twelve years to win an Indy car race and was voted the Championship Auto Racing Team's (CART) Rookie of the Year.  Full bio

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib is an American politician who is one of the first two Muslim women to join the U.S. Congress. Before that, she was elected to the Michigan House, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in Michigan's CongressFull bio

Fazlur Rahman Khan

Fazlur Rahman Khan

Fazlur Khan was an innovative architecture who was involved in the construction of the Windy City's two landmark skyscrapers: the John Hancock Building and the Sears Tower (now the Willis Building). Full bio

 

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar is a Somali American politician. Omar was sworn into office as one of the first Muslim women in the House of Representatives in 2019. She is the first member of Congress to wear a Hibjab. Full bio

Har Gobind Khorana

Har Gobind Khorana

Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian organic chemist. His work in chemical genetics earned him: Merck Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada, Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University, and Nobel Prize. Full bio

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad is an American saber fencer and member of the 2016 United States Olympic team and was the first U.S. woman to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.  Full bio


AMEMSA History/Heritage books @ MiraCosta Library


AMEMSA Films @ MiraCosta Library

The American Muslim Experience

The American Muslim Experience

School Principal Safaa Zarzour says of his Muslim school: Our vision and our dream is that there is something that is called American Muslim identity forming for those kids, just like any other religious or ethnic group. Most immigrant and minority groups face the challenge of balancing the sometimes conflicting demands of faith and traditional culture with the pressures to assimilate into modern American society. This module explores that inherent conflict.

Acts of Courage and Healing

Acts of Courage and Healing

Eight Muslim Americans living in Colorado with family histories from eight separate Muslim-majority countries, share their personal stories. They describe incidents of Islamophobia, as well as the healing processes they have experienced in their workplaces, in their neighborhoods, and through supportive organizations.

Wearing Hijab: Uncovering the Myths of Islam in the United States

Wearing Hijab: Uncovering the Myths of Islam in the United States

In America, there are many misconceptions about Islam, particularly concerning its distinctive veil known as hijab. But how do Muslim women in this country who wear hijab feel about it? In this program, six Muslim women from six different ethnic backgrounds discuss their relation to this traditional garment, as well as what it means in a more general way to practice Islam in the U.S.

TEDTalks: Maysoon Zayid—I got 99 problems... palsy is just one

TEDTalks: Maysoon Zayid—I got 99 problems... palsy is just one

"I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it's hilarious.) "I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali." With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

An American Mosque

An American Mosque

An American Mosque is a film about Islam in America, religious intolerance, and the interfaith response to an historic hate-crime. When the Islamic Center of Yuba City, California, was burned to the ground in 1994, it was the first arson to destroy a mosque in US history. At the time, this incident was largely ignored. Now, decades later, this symbolically important story is revisited.

The Muslims I Know

The Muslims I Know

A far cry from media depictions of extremist militants, America’s small community of Muslims longs to be heard and understood. This documentary attempts to bridge the cultural chasm between mainstream U.S. society and Muslim Americans whose hopes and dreams are no different than those of previous immigrant generations. Focusing on Pakistani-born citizens and their families, the film highlights similarities between Islam and the other Abrahamic faiths, celebrates cultural richness and diversity, and dispels stereotypes.