Resources for Arab American Heritage Month

April marks the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month. The federal government officially recognized it as a time to honor and spotlight the contributions of Arab Americans in our society and democracy.

According to the Arab American Institute, Illinois is home to an estimated 150,000 Arabs, which makes it the fifth largest state population in the country – with the majority living in the Chicagoland area. The largest number of new Arab immigrants to Illinois come from Iraq, Jordan and Syria, respectively.

 “…Arab Americans represent a diverse array of backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. Like their fellow citizens, Americans of Arab heritage are very much a part of the fabric of this nation, and Arab Americans have contributed in every field and profession,” says the State Department. As we commemorate the Arabian heritage across our city and country, here are some resources to help you learn more and commemorate.


Arabs began immigrating to America in the 1880s when the Ottoman Empire began to experience political conflict. When immigration quotas were put in place in the 1920s, Arab immigration slowed, and then picked up in the 1960s when the quotas were removed. Since then, we’ve seen a consistent increase in Arab immigration. Click here for a detailed timeline of Arab immigration from


The Arab American Community in Illinois




From Air Force colonels to astronauts and actors, there are many Arab American figures who have made history and broken barriers. Click here for a list of notable Arab American history makers from Women’s Day, or check out a list of famous Arab American in politics and pop culture from liveaboutdotcom.

Did You Know…?

There is a museum dedicated to Arab Americans in Michigan. The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum in the United States devoted to documenting and sharing Arab American contributions that shaped the economic, political and cultural landscapes of American life. The Museum also brings to light the shared experiences of immigrants and ethnic groups, paying tribute to the diversity of our nation.

Learn more about the museum, here.

Ways To Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month

  • Read a book by an Arab American author
  • Watch a documentary on Arab American history
  • Support Arab American-owned businesses
  • Watch movies and shows by Arab American filmmakers
  • Enjoy Arab Cuisines

Find more ways to celebrate on GoodGoodGood.