Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month

Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month

April is Arab American Heritage Month! This month, we recognize the heritage, history, and hopes of Arab Americans. To celebrate, Jesuit’s Arab American Club hosted a lively gathering during Flex on Tuesday with traditional snacks and sweets and a trivia competition with questions about Arab culture and geography! We spoke with Arab American Club leaders about what this month means to them. Here’s what they said:

Why is it important to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month at Jesuit?

Kavya Ananth ’24: “It is important to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month at Jesuit because it is important to recognize the Arab community here at Jesuit and showcase the diversity within the Arab community. It is also important to show the Arab world beyond what students see in Western media which is highly polarized. I think it is nice to show the positive side and highlight the beauty of Arab culture.”

Allie Barbar ’25: “It is important to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month at Jesuit because it is a way to share my culture with the Jesuit community and my classmates. Also, it is important because it brings awareness to Arab culture and helps us celebrate with a large community.”

Nicholas Rask ’24: “It is extremely important that we celebrate Arab American Heritage Month at Jesuit because students who have Arab roots should be able to be proud of where they come from and know that they are seen and appreciated.”

Do you have a favorite tradition, food, or activity that stems from your Arab American heritage?

Kavya Ananth ’24: “Food is such an important part of my identity and a great way to preserve my culture when I am thousands of miles away from where a lot of my family lives. I grew up eating a lot of Middle Eastern food; it is my comfort food. Anytime I am away from home for long periods and come back, I always crave a good plate of pita and homemade hummus or a shawarma wrap. Shawarma is like the pizza of the Arab world, a staple comfort food, and is one of my favorites. As a kid, when I came back from sports practice, it was always nice to smell the familiar scent of Middle Eastern and Indian spices wafting through the kitchen and have a flavor-filled meal that brought a piece of my culture to America.”

Allie Barbar ’25: “An activity is cooking and sharing Arab foods such as baklava, kibbe, and other Arab foods with others and connecting over food!”

Nicholas Rask ’24: “My favorite food from my own Arab American heritage is Tabbouleh, a Lebanese salad.”

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