National Arab American Heritage Month: Home

A guide to learning more about Arab American culture with a particular focus on celebrating Arab American History Month.

Image of Arab American Home Page Banner Featuring Lanterns

Who are Arab Americans?

Who are our Arab Americans friends and neighbors?  The  League of Arab States lists Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen as countries of origin for Arab Americans. Syria has not been a participant in the League since 2011, but there are many Syrians living in the United States; indeed there was enough of a population in Terre Haute for there to be an historical marker for "Little Syria on the Wabash."

These home countries for Arab Americans share one dominant language, but may have different religious practices, including Shia and Sunni Muslims, Druze, Orthodox, Maronite and Coptic Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews.

For over a century, people from these nations have migrated to the United States, and now there are large populations outside of their home countries.  The Detroit metropolitan area of Michigan, for example, has a significant Lebanese population. A recent PBS documentary, "Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History"  discusses how Syrians came to the city in the late 1800s and became part of the fabric of the city, serving in the military and having careers in the arts, education, commerce, and medicine.

Our guide will provide an introduction to the customs and culture of our Arab American friends, and highlight some famous Arab American citizens.