- Who Are Arab Americans?
- Popular Perceptions
- Why The Stereotypes?
- About & Credits
Throughout the weekend of September 8-10, 2011, The Arab American National Museum (AANM) and the National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC) captured the experiences of Arab Americans ten years after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Fifteen conversations between Arab Americans from across Michigan and the nation were recorded to document issues of profiling and stereotyping in the post-9/11 era. In August 2012, the AANM partnered with WDET in Detroit to again bring StoryCorps to Dearborn. The conversations below were recorded through the two StoryCorps events.
Jamila and Nour are students at Dearborn’s Unis Middle School, where most of the students are Arab American. They, along with their class, participated in a year-long journalism project called The Living Textbook, in which students worked with professional reporters and photographers to learn the craft. The students' photographs were featured in an exhibit at the Arab American National Museum in Summer 2011. Jamila and Nour talk about being Arab, living in Dearborn, and being cast into the national spotlight through The Living Textbook project. [Recorded in September 2011]
Mirvat and Miriam are a mother and daughter from Dearborn. Mirvat is in middle school and was a participant in The Living Textbook project, in which mostly Arab American students at Unis Middle School spent a year training to be journalists. Mirvat and her mother Miriam talk openly about what it means to be Arab and Muslim in Michigan in the post-9/11 era. [Recorded in September 2011]
Michigan State Rep. Rashida Tlaib is interviewed by Brooklyn-based Arab American community activist Linda Sarsour. These two Muslim women talk about anti-Arab backlash after 9/11, and, for Rashida, how they influenced her decision to get involved in politics. [Recorded in September 2011]
Teri Bazzi-Oliveri talks to her son Noah about posing as non-Arab and non-Muslim after 9/11, experiencing the word "terrorist" as code for "Muslim" and how going through her experience helped her understand where she fits in the world and how to stand up for herself. [Recorded in September 2011]
Ali Nasrallah and Jaber Saad are friends and graduates of the University of Michigan. Ali Nasrallah has worked extensively with the Program for Intergroup Relations at U of M with the hopes to build understanding and break stereotypes through dialogue. Jaber Saad served as an intern at the Arab American National Museum and hopes that, through education and dialogue, he can also challenge stereotypes. Ali and Jaber talk about what it means to be both American and Arab. [Recorded in August 2012]
Brothers Eide Alawan, Charles Khalil Alawan and Haider Alawan talk about service and what it means to be an Arab American. All three Alawan brothers are active members of the Dearborn Arab American and Muslim communities. [Recorded in August 2012]
Photos courtesy of StoryCorps. Music by Pullman and Jay Electronica.