US State Department hails Arab-American Heritage Month in video statement

The US State Department released a video of spokesperson Ned Price welcoming the contributions of Arab Americans in honor of the annual Arab-American Heritage Month which began on April 1.

Although only 27 of the nation’s 50 states recognize Arab American Culture Month, Illinois codified the annual commemoration in a law passed in 2018 and while many state governors and legislatures have approved resolutions and resolutions. proclamations recognizing Arab-American heritage.

American Arabs first arrived in America in the 17th century and served the country in the United States military, including during the Civil War in 1860, World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the recent wars in Iraq and Syria.

“The State Department is proud to recognize April as National Arab-American Heritage Month. The United States is home to more than 3.5 million Arab Americans representing a wide range of cultures and traditions, ”Price said in a statement released Thursday evening.

“Like their fellow citizens, Arab Americans are an integral part of the fabric of this nation, and American Arabs have contributed in all fields and professions. Many of them serve here at the State Department and across the Interagency, and their careers are as diverse as their backgrounds. We mark National Arab-American Heritage Month by noting that these contributions are as old as America itself.

Price’s office reached out to Arab News asking it to release the statement, also posting a video on Twitter marking Arab-American Heritage Month.

President Biden has appointed nearly a dozen Arab Americans to key positions in the White House and the State Department. The appointments include:

– Hady Amr at the State Department on Palestinian issues. Amr is of Lebanese origin.

– Dana Shubat, Senior Legal Affairs Advisor at the White House, parents from Jordan.

Reema Dodin, director of legislative affairs of the White House, Palestinian. Dodin’s parents immigrated from Hebron, Palestine.

– Maher Bitar, senior director of intelligence programs at the NSC, who is of Palestinian origin.

– Brenda Abdelall, Senior Advisor, DHS Civil Rights Office. Her parents are Egyptian immigrants.

– Dr Bechara Choucair, vaccination coordinator. He was born in Lebanon.

– Ike Hajinazarian, regional director of communications. Her parents are Lebanese and Armenians.

– Kelly Razzouk has been appointed member of the support team working with United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

– Ahmad Ramadan, former staff member of Debbie Dingell, legislative officer at the Department of Labor.

– Anton G. Hajjar, appointed member of the American-Arab Committee Against Discrimination (ADC) to the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Several of the nominations have been criticized by extremist groups for statements they have made in the past on social media supporting Palestinian rights, the BDS movement and criticizing Israeli policies. Many have closed their social media accounts or made them private with a few exceptions.

Amr told Arab News he was not yet in a position to do interviews as requests for comment on Biden’s commitment to Arab Americans went unanswered.

The video was prepared and distributed by Arab Americans In Foreign Affairs Agencies (AAIFAA) which is an official Affinity / Employee Resources Group (EAG / ERG) of the Department of State and the United States Development Agency. international.

Founded in 2014, the AAIFAA comprises members of the U.S. Federal Government’s foreign affairs community and maintains an interagency council with more than 400 members.

More information on the AAIFAA is available at this link: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aaifaa.

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