Special Series: The Making and Mobilization of Arab American Identities with Hani Bawardi & Abdeen Jabara

Wed, November 19, 2014 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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A Panel Discussion with Hani Bawardi and Abdeen Jabara moderated by Anny Bakalian

The panel discussion, in response to Hani Bawardi's publication The Making of Arab Americans: From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship, will trace the history of the making of Arab American identity and its political mobilzation since the late 19th century. The discussion will explore the trials and tribulations of the more political aspects of the Arab American experience, which have been accentuated by the rise of American dominance in the mid-20th century and its involvement in the Arab world as the supreme power. The panel will address the Arab American civil, legal, political and cultural formation and will showcase examples of institution building as well as Arab American forays in legal and political activism.

Given the panelists' background as leaders, scholars and activists in major Arab American institutions, the presentation will reflect upon contemporary Middle Eastern/Arab American culture, its achievements and challenges, as well as the contributions of its community not merely financially and professionally, but as a possibility of offering a shared universal model worthy of its august traditions as a major world civilization.


ANNY BAKALIAN is Associate Director of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) and the Master’s program in Middle Eastern Studies at (CUNY). She is the co-author of Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond. Bakalian's publications also include Armenian Americans: From Being to Feeling Armenian. She is on the board of directors of Alwan for the Arts and also served on the board of the Arab American Family Support Center


HANI BAWARDI is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Social Sciences and affiliated with the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is the author of The Making of Arab Americans: From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship (University of Texas Press, 2014). Prof. Bawardi has amassed a sizable collection of manuscripts and oral history archives on Arab immigrants from the turn of the 19th century at the libraries of University of Michigan, Flint and Dearborn. These archives have the most complete documents on the activities of four major immigrant political organizations as well as the personal papers and letters of seminal thinkers and writers including, Mikhail Naimy, Nasib Arida, Iskandar Yazeji, Amin Rihani and Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Currently, Dr. Bawardi is finalizing research for his next book on Arab American advocacy and organizations from 1951 to the present.

ABDEEN JABARA is a Michigan born attorney who has been actively involved in Arab American affairs since he began his practice of law in Detroit, Michigan in the wake of the June, 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The shock of the huge human losses in that war and the occupation of the remainder of Palestinian territory and portions of two Arab countries led him to plunge into organizing activities in the Arab American community in Detroit where he helped start the Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services, and on the national level with the Association of Arab American University Graduates, The Palestine Human Rights Campaign and ADC. He served as President of AAUG in 1972 and of ADC from 1986-1990. Jabara was also very much involved in non-Arab American legal and civil rights organizations such as the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union. In the 1970s much of his work involved defending Arab Americans who were being subjected to governmental surveillance and persecution because of their activities on behalf of Palestinian rights. He brought and won a major civil rights lawsuit against the FBI in which he himself had been subjected to unlawful surveillance. He was the first U.S. citizen to discover that his international communications had been picked up by the NSA. Jabara now resides in New York with his wife Holly Maguigan.

Last updated: 2014-11-06 15:22:44

"The Making of Arab Americans: From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship" by Hani Bawardi, 2014
Hani Bawardi
Hani Bawardi
Abdeen Jabara
Abdeen Jabara

Alwan for the Arts

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(between Broad St. and Broadway)
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(646) 732-3261

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