What is National Arab American Heritage Month?
This month is National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM), and we at MEDIAGIRLS would like to take the time to acknowledge the significance of this month-long observance. Most essentially, we would like to see how it is being recognized and commemorated on social media. According to History.com, National Arab American Heritage Month began in 2017 to celebrate “the rich and diverse culture and contributions of the diverse population of Arab Americans.” History.com also states that,
“The initiative for official national designation of the month was launched […] by the nonprofit media and education organization Arab American Foundation and its sister organization Arab America. It began with support from a few states but gained momentum each year.”
If you would like to learn more about the nonprofit media and education organizations,
Arab American Foundation and Arab America,
please check out the following links:
Therefore, the month of April is dedicated to honoring Arab Americans and their contribution to American society. According to the Arab American Foundation, NAAHM is a month when “Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events that celebrate our community’s rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.” Not only should this month be a call for celebration, but it stands as a memento of how and why we should value communities and embrace diversity.
How is NAAHM being celebrated on one social media platform in particular…
When we embrace diversity, we embrace inclusion.
Let’s see how one social media platform is using NAAHM to show its appreciation for its Arab American community online.
Paying special tribute to the NAAHM celebration is the notable social media platform, TikTok. On April 1st, 2022, TikTok announced that they would be celebrating their Arab TikTok creators and their content by recognizing the #ArabTikTok community. In this newsroom statement, TikTok stated that,
“Throughout the month of April and beyond, TikTok is celebrating Arab American Heritage by recognizing the contributions and impact of the #ArabTikTok community. The Arab community on TikTok inspires us all year round, whether we’re following trends or learning about Arab culture and history through the lens of our creators.”
If you follow the hashtag on the app, #ArabTikTok, you will see an array of videos from TikTok’s Arab community. TikTok has also created two additional hashtags to explore. Their hashtag, #PassTheAux, is dedicated to “TikTok’s Arab music stars,” TikTok’s Arab music creators such as @Ilham and @Najwa Karam (TikTok). Applauding Arab-owned small businesses, TikTok has their #ArabTikTok SMB Spotlights, which can be viewed here: @TikTokForBusiness. Following this link and to further support the community, you can find videos from small business owners like @dukkanfoods (a small #ArabTikTok business that provides “Authentic, Teta-approved pantry staples”).
The platform has also announced that they will be holding live streams throughout April, which you can check out on their @TikTok page. Also on their @TikTok page is a video created by TikTok, posted on April 10th, which highlights the impact of the #ArabTikTok community. In this video, TikTok shows the various ways in which Arab American creators are sharing their content on their platform through cooking, medicine, activism, science, fitness, and comedy.
Click here to view this inspiring video: TikTok
Looking for more Arab TikTok creators to follow on social media? Here are just a few inspirational content creators to check out.
(Content courtesy of TikTok)
As there are many more Arab content creators on TikTok and other social media platforms, I encourage you to explore and find the right content for you. In commitment to National Arab American Heritage Month, please continue to celebrate, inside and outside of social media, throughout the month, and on.
Aryana Martin, Editorial Intern, is a student at Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass. She studies English with a double minor in Sociology and African and African Diaspora Studies. She’s passionate about reading, writing, learning, and creating new relationships and experiences. She is thrilled to contribute to the MEDIAGIRLS mission.