The Arab American National Museum was honored to present the Patriots & Peacemakers exhibit at the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda in Washington, D.C during the week of Veterans Day. Speaking to this, we were able to showcase the dedication of Arab Americans who have served our country in the heart of our nation’s capital; such a fitting and deserving way to recognize their contributions and heroism.
The opening reception—on November 12 in the majestic Kennedy Caucus Room—was an amazing event that brought together over 150 people to celebrate this exclusive exhibit and reflect upon its importance. The event hosted scores of Patriots featured in the exhibit; Members of Congress and their senior staff; colleagues from Smithsonian Affiliations and several Smithsonian museums; ambassadors; sponsors; and other friends of the AANM. We were pleased to welcome speakers from the three arenas of service featured in the exhibit: U.S. Peace Corps Deputy Director Kathy Rulon, Retired Brigadier General Guy Sands, and Deputy Under Secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs at the State Department, Ambassador Susan Ziadeh, who is also featured in the exhibition. National Advisory Board member Ambassador Ed Gabriel moderated the program, which also featured remarks by myself and Board member Ziad Ojakli, whose Ford Motor Company was the exhibit underwriter for the D.C. visit.
To present accurate and timely information about Arab Americans on Capitol Hill, directly to our country’s leaders, represents an historic moment. As a Museum and as a national community, we are at a turning point. We are increasingly visible, increasingly enthusiastic, and increasingly united as we celebrate the diversity among Arab Americans. We are poised to emerge as a formidable force in American civil society, and our Museum is the catalyst.