As part of Borough President Eric Adams’ “Embrace Your Hyphen” campaign, which encourages Brooklynites to celebrate their diverse heritage, the Borough President will be hosting an Arab-American Heritage Celebration next week at Borough Hall.
The event will feature music and food from the Middle East and North Africa. “This event is part of my ‘Embrace Your Hyphen’ initiative to celebrate both our national identity, as Americans, and our cultural identity, as descendants of the lands of our foremothers and forefathers,” said Adams in a statement.
The event will be held in conjunction with the Arab-American Family Support Center, the Arab-American Association of New York and the Salaam Club of New York. The AAFSC provides educational and social services to the Arab community and will be hosting a 5k Run/Walk in Prospect Park on April 29 to raise money for recent immigrants. The Salaam Club is a fraternal organization that raises money for local charities as well as providing scholarships.
The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric that pervades the Trump administration and can dominate the national conversation has found strong opposition in Brooklyn, and from Borough President Adams. Earlier this month, Adams worked with police and religious leaders to reassure the Muslim-American community of their safety and acceptance in Brooklyn in response to a hateful, viral call for a “Punish a Muslim Day,” which originated in the UK.
Last year, Brooklyn elected officials also started the “We Support Our Neighbors” campaign that provided posters to residents and businesses to display messages of solidarity with all their fellow Brooklynites, from all over the world.
“As neighborhoods which have been home to various middle-eastern communities for many decades, we have deep appreciation and concern for our neighbors. At the same time, we have the freedom, and one might argue the greater obligation, to stand up for the broader community. As the grandchild of immigrants, I feel very strongly about this,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon at the time.
When so many events must be organized in opposition to hateful or exclusionary actions or rhetoric, it’s good to see a positive event celebrating cultural heritage and embracing the myriad identities and stories that make Brooklyn the borough that it is.
Arab American Heritage Celebration
Tuesday, April 24
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall