Arab American Patriots & Peacemakers Honored with Capitol Hill Exhibition

Veterans Day holiday coincides with historic Arab American Nat’l Museum presentation Nov. 10-14 at Russell Senate Office Bldg.

America’s only museum celebrating the Arab American experience is bringing an original exhibition on public service to Capitol Hill in time for Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.

Patriots & Peacemakers: Arab Americans in Service to Our Country will be on public display in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, 2 Constitution Ave. NE, Monday, Nov. 10 through Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Admission is free.

Created by the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn, Mich., this multimedia, interactive exhibition tells true stories of heroism and self-sacrifice that affirm the important role Arab American men and women of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have played in our country throughout its history. Patriots & Peacemakers highlights 170 people from 39 states in three specific areas of service: the U.S. Armed Forces, diplomatic corps and the Peace Corps.

More than two dozen Washington, D.C.-based Arab American patriots are featured in the exhibition; visit www.arabamericanmuseum.org/dc_patriots to view a list. Among them are Gen. John P. Abizaid and Gen. George Joulwan of the U.S. Army; Army veterans and diplomats George J. Mitchell and Philip Habib; diplomats Edward Gabriel, Susan L. Ziadeh, Marcelle Wahba and Camille Nowfel (a diplomatic interpreter for five U.S. presidents); and Peace Corps workers George Gorayeb, Raja’e Nami, Nura Suleiman and Ruth Ann Skaff.

Gabriel, Ziadeh, Skaff, and several more Arab American patriots, as well as federal lawmakers, military, diplomatic and Peace Corps leadership, will be in attendance at a private Wed., Nov. 12 reception in the Kennedy Caucus Room at the Russell Senate Office Building.

“Arab Americans have been an integral part of the United States of America since its inception, contributing to our society in myriad ways, including public service, with dignity, loyalty and sacrifice,” says Devon Akmon, director of the AANM.

“Right now, there is so much damaging misinformation being spread about Arab Americans, especially when world events cause some people to paint with a far too broad a brush,” Akmon continues. “To present accurate and timely information about Arab Americans in our nation’s capital, directly to our country’s leaders, represents an historic moment for the Museum and the national Arab American community.”

Following four years of national research and curation, Patriots & Peacemakers originally opened at the AANM on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2011, and has since been presented in Jacksonville, Fla.; Topeka, Kan. (Brown v. Board of Education Historic Site); Houston; and two Southern California venues (Japanese American National Museum and University of California – Irvine). While this large version of the traveling exhibition is on display in our nation’s capital in November, a smaller version of Patriots & Peacemakers is on display through Nov. 20, 2014, at the Alif Institute in Atlanta.

Creation of the original exhibition was made possible in part by the Ford Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and Chevron. The AANM gratefully acknowledges the following legislators for their contributions: Michigan’s Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. John D. Dingell, and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Supporting the Washington, D.C. presentation of Patriots & Peacemakers are Chevron, Ford Motor Company, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, DLA Piper LLP and many more; media sponsorship provided by ArabAmerica.com.

Read more about the Capitol Hill presentation of Patriots & Peacemakers at www.arabamericanmuseum.org/washington.dc.pandp

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