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SXU Celebrates Arab American Heritage Month


Saint Xavier University (SXU) proudly celebrates Arab American Heritage Month during April. The campus community joins together for a variety of activities and conversations to reflect on the diverse group of people who make up the nation's Middle Eastern population and the many contributions Arab Americans have made to the United States. 

"Celebrating Arab American Heritage Month helps to eliminate discrimination, bigotry, and racism against people of Arab descent.  Educating our SXU friends about the rich Arab culture, civilization, and contributions to society helps to promote and recognize the impact of diversity among students, faculty and staff. Acceptance and understanding of all cultures and ethnicities on campus strengthen SXU's community and sense of belonging, which equip and empower us to work together in respectful and global environments," said Manal Kanaan, director of High Impact Practices.  

All month long, the community can visit the Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library to check out a display of books, film and performance art collected in recognition of Arab American Heritage Month, featuring authors from the Arab diaspora. 

Earlier in April, the University hosted an Arabic calligraphy event and a Tatreez (embroidery) event, where the community got to learn about these centuries-old art forms and why tatreez is not just a decoration but a language of symbols that unifies Palestinians. Outside the Butler Reception Room, a beautiful exhibit of Palestinian embroidery and traditional Arab wear and head scarves was displayed. 

On Wednesday, April 17, SXU will welcome doctors from Gaza at 11 a.m. in McGuire Hall.  

The community is invited to participate in a Henna event on Thursday, April 18, from noon to 3 p.m. in the SXU Diner.  

Faculty, staff and students are invited to support and congratulate their peers at the Arab Achievement Awards on Wednesday, April 24, at 4 p.m. in the Butler Reception Room.  

Registered student organization such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Muslim Student Association (MSA) offer spaces for students to celebrate Arab heritage all year long.  

"Arab American Heritage Month is an imperative month to honor Arab Americans, their achievements, their contributions to society, and their culture as a whole. Arab Americans are entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, artists, and more, and all our achievements are a testament to the boundless potential of our community. Beyond our achievements and contributions, we have a beautiful culture, and we stand proud of who we are and where we come from, knowing that our diversity is our strength!" said Jena Kanaan, president of SJP.  

SXU continues to celebrate Arab Americans every day through the Middle Eastern Studies (MES) program, which presents valuable opportunities for the SXU community to learn about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, both through the minor and through participation in events and activities organized both on and off campus.  

To learn more about the MES program and minor, MES-related student organizations and other activities, visit SXU's MES page.