In 2022, President Biden became the first U.S. president to declare April as Arab American Heritage Month, in recognition of the contributions of Arab Americans to the nation's history. Americans of Arab heritage have advanced the nation’s achievements in diplomacy, science, technology, as well as in art and culture.
In 1962, Dr. Alixa Naff set out to tell the story of Arab American immigrants from Syria and Lebanon. In addition to investigating an area that had received little scholarly attention, her use of oral history as the basis of the research was innovative. In 1984, Naff donated her collection including the oral histories, archival materials, and artifacts to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. You can read about her in "Voices from the past: Arab American Oral Histories" and explore items from her collection and others related to Arab American history and culture from across the Smithsonian.