Biden marks beginning of Arab American Heritage Month

Arab American communities hold special events in April celebrating their rich contributions to US culture

US President Joe Biden said Arab American Heritage Month is an opportunity to 'celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Arab Americans to our nation'. AP
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US President Joe Biden on Friday marked the start of arab Heritage Month, calling on “all Americans to learn more about the history, culture, and achievements of Arab Americans”.

The Biden administration nationally recognised April as Arab American Heritage Month for the first time in 2021.

Arab American communities, organisations and institutions across the US use April to engage in special events that celebrate their rich heritage contributions to America's cultural fabric.

“This month, we join together to celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Arab Americans to our nation … generations of brave and hopeful people from across all countries, including from the Arab world, have woven their unique heritages, customs, and talents into the tapestry of America,” Mr Biden's said on Friday.

He also acknowledged a major issue Arab American political organisers have faced for years: the US Census Bureau counts Americans as belonging to a number of races, but Arabs are not included as a category.

The census serves as a crucial tool for structuring local, state and federal policymaking and funding.

The US president said his administration is “exploring” adding a new data category to the census for Middle Eastern and North African communities, a move originally announced in January.

Mr Biden said the effort is “part of our vital work to ensure that Arab Americans are seen, valued, consulted, and properly considered as new policy is made”.

Updated: April 01, 2023, 12:00 AM