For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement from Administrator Samantha Power

In 2021, after years of advocacy by the Arab American community, President Biden recognized April as National Arab American History Month – marking the first such acknowledgement by an American president. “The Arab American community is essential to the fabric of our Nation,” President Biden wrote at the time. “It exemplifies so much of what our country stands for: hard work, resilience, compassion, and generosity.” 

An estimated 3.7 million Americans have Arab roots, with ancestries tracing from 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. The community is as old as America itself. Arab Americans are Nobel Prize winners, philosophers, poets, doctors, actors, entrepreneurs, elected representatives, and more. And of course, they are humanitarians – both across the country, where Arab Americans have distinguished themselves as champions for justice and defenders of human rights, and here at USAID and throughout the federal government, where 12 percent of public servants identify as Arab American.

We mark this month during an incredibly difficult time for many of our Arab American colleagues and for Arab communities across the world. Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, including thousands of children, and a horrific humanitarian crisis is threatening the lives of many more. Over this same period, we’ve seen a new wave of anti-Arab hate take hold around the world, and acutely within the United States, where there has been a measurable uptick in hate crimes, including vandalism, intimidation, and violence against Arab Americans because of their identities. This unconscionable hate is taking a toll on our own Arab American colleagues, who have committed their careers to protecting and promoting dignity and opportunity across the world. That includes efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; Arab Americans are part of the USAID teams seeking to surge more assistance and advance U.S. efforts to broker an immediate, sustained ceasefire.

We remain committed to making USAID a safe and inclusive work environment for Arab Americans, and I look forward to joining with colleagues across USAID in celebrating and honoring the Arab American community – and their contributions to advancing human dignity across the world.

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