Work

2011 DIWAN: A Forum for the Arts

This weekend, the Arab American National Museum is hosting its fourth installation of DIWAN: A Forum for the Arts. We’re excited to be taking this biennial arts convening out of Michigan for the first time. This year we’re partnering with Alwan for the Arts, the Middle East and Middle East American Center (MEMEAC) at the City University of New York, and FEN Magazine to host the event in New York City. Similar to years past, there is a great rosterRead More

Inspired by Freedom Riders

February 9, 2011 Museums, Work

Earlier today, the Arab American National Museum participated in the National Youth Summit held at the National Museum of American History to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. The AANM was one of five Smithsonian Affiliate sites that hosted a regional town hall discussion in conjunction with the event. The other sites included The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama; The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio; Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh,Read More

Coming Soon: World Museum Book Collection

December 23, 2010 Museums, Work

Gregory Chamberlain and Museum Identity are publishing a promising collection of books that will explore timely issues and trends from within the global museum community. This nine volume collection includes chapters written by over one hundred museum professionals from seventeen countries. That’s pretty impressive! The nine books that comprise the collection are: The Radical Museum: democracy, dialogue & debate Museums and Meaning: idiosyncrasy, individuality and identity Meaning Making & Storytelling: engaging visitors, empowering discovery and igniting debate Museums Fighting HumanRead More

The Mother Colony: New York’s Little Syria

November 24, 2010 Arab American History, Museums, Work

Last week I mentioned that I was in the process of conducting research on New York’s Little Syria neighborhood that existed along Washington Street during the late 19th and early 20th centuries (please see: Before Park51: Arab Americans in New York’s Little Syria). I’m pleased with how things are progressing thus far. I made contact with Redux Pictures, the archive for historical images from the New York Times, regarding seven photos that accompanied the 1899 article, New York’s Syrian Quarter.Read More

An Archival Treasure: Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Phoebe Thomas

November 17, 2010 Arab American History, Work

Yesterday, while conducting research for our project on New York’s Little Syria, I stumbled upon a great sequence of photographs by the renowned sociologist and photographer Lewis Hine. In addition to producing numerous iconic photos of the construction of New York’s skyline, Hine’s photographic work was instrumental in helping to reform child labor laws. My research revealed a startling discovery: Hine captured a series of photographs in 1911 that show a momentary glimpse into the life of an Arab AmericanRead More

Before Park51: Arab Americans in New York’s Little Syria

November 16, 2010 Arab American History, Museums, Work

A couple of months ago, the N.Y. Times ran an article, titled When an Arab Enclave Thrived Downtown, that briefly explored the history of the Arab American community in lower Manhattan. That’s right, long before 9/11 and the Park51 Community Center a vibrant community of Arab Americans inhabited lower Manhattan. This was the neighborhood of Kahlil Gibran, Ameen Rihani, Al-Hoda newspaper, and the original A. Sahadi & Co. store. Unfortunately, the history of this community has largely been forgotten. AfterRead More

Archiving the Web: What is the Role of Our Museum?

November 11, 2010 Museums, Work

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a small meeting at the Library of Congress that focused on the curatorial challenges of archiving citizen journalism. The two-day meeting, titled Citizen Journalists and Community News: Archiving for Today and Tomorrow, was hosted by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). The primary goals of the meeting were: 1.) to identify the long-term value of new forms of journalism, and 2.) to identify the appropriate roles and responsibilities ofRead More

Interview on Radio Tahrir Regarding Our #Kickstarter Project

August 24, 2010 Museums, Technology, Work

Earlier this evening I was interviewed by Radio Tahrir, a one-hour long talk radio program hosted on Pacifica Radio, WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City. Radio Tahrir is a weekly radio magazine that focuses on documenting and presenting issues and topics that affect Arab and Muslim communities in the US. As part of tonight’s show, I was asked to explain the Museum’s current Kickstarter fundraiser campaign. Here is the interview: Listen! This project has garnered a fair deal ofRead More

Guest Blogger On Metromode (Part 2)

April 23, 2010 Museums, Work

The second post in my two-part series as a guest blogger for Metromode was published this morning. The article is titled Striving to be a National Institution. What does it mean to be a national museum? Whose stories do we reflect? What do we aspire to be? These are all common questions that I receive when people first learn about the Arab American National Museum (AANM). Understandably, the word “national” in the title can be a bit ambiguous. However, whenRead More

Guest Blogger On Metromode

April 22, 2010 Museums, Work

I was recently asked to be a guest blogger on Metromode.com, a Website that “posts daily reports on job growth and development in Southeast Michigan.” I’m a fan of both Metromode and its sister publication, Model D, so agreeing to write a few short articles on the Arab American National Museum was a no-brainer. In my blog posts I will discuss the Museum’s history and its place in the community; its multicultural programming; and its goal of becoming a vibrant,Read More