April 2021: Arab American Heritage Month

WHEREAS, Michigan has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States; and,

 

WHEREAS, Arab Americans have been an integral part of the State of Michigan since their migration to the United States around 1880 in search of a destination that could better provide political, economic, and religious freedom; and,

 

WHEREAS, since migrating to the United States, men and women of Arab descent have shared their rich culture and traditions with neighbors and friends, while also leading as model citizens and public servants; and,

 

WHEREAS, they brought with them to America their resilient family values, strong work ethic, dedication to education, and diversity in faith and creed, which have strengthened our great democracy; and,

 

WHEREAS, the large number of Arab Americans living in Michigan are a vital and valued part of the population, making significant contributions to academia, business, medicine, law, technology, government, science, and social justice and making our state a better place to live; and,

 

WHEREAS, the history of Arab Americans in the U.S. remains neglected or defaced by misconceptions, bigotry, and anti-Arab racism in the forms of crimes and hate speech; and,

 

WHEREAS, Arab American issues, such as civil rights abuses, bullying, and harmful stereotyping,  must be combated through greater education and awareness; and,

 

WHEREAS, it is important to recognize the heritage and culture of such an inspiring group of people and ensure tolerance, inclusion, and equality for all people in our state;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as Arab American Heritage Month to celebrate the numerous accomplishments and rich history of this important group of people that make Michigan vibrant, unique, and strong.