Arab American Heritage Month happens in April. The occasion is a celebration of Arab culture and ancestry and an acknowledgment of the contributions that the community has made to wider society.
Arab American Heritage Month typically refers to the majority of Arabic-speaking countries. It is important to note that not all countries in the Middle East speak Arabic, and some nationalities may disagree with being labeled Arabic. You should research before grouping certain countries under the Arabic umbrella, or you could follow a theme of Middle Eastern Heritage Month instead to be more inclusive.
Here are some ideas of how you can celebrate Arab American Heritage Month:
1. Virtual Zoom Backgrounds
We always recommend that before using a graphic you believe is representative to this heritage month that you do your research and make the space for employees from Arab nations to share their thoughts, stories and ideas. Zoom backgrounds are one of the easiest virtual Arab American Heritage month ideas. This is a great way to liven up calls by displaying on theme-graphics (approved by your Arab population). We always recommend that if you are using graphics, to make the design abstract, because part of celebrating the month is making the intention of allowing for every Arab employee to feel represented. The last thing you want to do is racially profile and discriminate against their culture. Our team works on designing inclusive designs for companies, making special branded backgrounds the entire company can use.
2. Country of the Day
Even though many Arab nations share similar cultures, each country has it’s own traditions and unique flair. Many people have misconceptions or limited knowledge about the middle east. You can educate your employees by highlighting every week a different Arab Nation. You can include facts like famous landmarks, tourists spots, population, notable figures, flags, foods, holidays and festivals. To make it even more interactive, you can ask your teammates to share their connection to the country by sharing whether they have visited, would like to visit, share this country’s heritage or have family living there.
3. Employee Resource Groups
If you are new to our blog posts, make sure to check out our post on how Employee Resource Groups are your company’s ally’s. During heritage celebrations, ERGs are the best allies when planning month celebrations. If there is an existing Arab ERG, then you can partner with members to plan company wide programming such as discussions, blog posts, video highlights, panels and speakers. If you don’t have this group, then April is a great time to start it.
4. Tea or Coffee Tasting
If you have Middle eastern friends, or have visited an Arab country, you know how important tea and coffee is for many Arab cultures. Gathering to share a hot beverage is not only part of the culture, but it is a ritual and ceremony they incorporate daily. There are many different types of drinks and traditions that are unique to the region. Arranging a tea or coffee tasting, can be a great fun and informative activity. You could either hire a facilitator that offers events centered around Arabic Tea and Coffee or you can DIY your own kits by heading to a middle eastern store. Make sure you do your fair share or research and include at least one drink per country.
These are just some of the ways you could celebrate Arab American Heritage Month inclusively, we always recommend that you tap into your own employees to see what their experiences and thoughts are- this month is also a great opportunity to educate, inform and break the biases many people have towards Arab countries. Arabic culture is worth celebrating, and Arabic employees should be able to take pride in their heritage and share their culture with coworkers. Arab American Heritage Month is an opportunity to achieve this end and can provide valuable learning moments and bonding experiences for employees.
How is your company celebrating Arab American Heritage Month? for support on finding Arab speakers, graphic design and producing some of these experiences for your company make sure to email us at email@example.com