EP 25 | June 16, 2023
Jamil Khoury | Founding Co-Executive Artistic Director - Silk Road Rising
Karen Kmeid | Senior Claims Specialist & Global Lead, Arabs ERG - Airbnb
Jumana Salamey, Au.D | Arab American National Museum Deputy Director and DEI committee chair - ACCESS
Matt Jaber Stiffler | Director, Center for Arab Narratives (CAN)
Founder & CEO | FARSIGHT
The immigration of Arab people to Western countries (specifically in North America) has been happening since at least the 1800s. Still, the contributions of Arab people to the Western world have existed much longer than that. Arab communities have withstood a dark history of targeted hate, marginalization, and attacks while making rich contributions and enriching communities and workplaces in the West. They have been working tirelessly for over 30+ years to get MENA placed as a category in the US census and forms that collect demographic data.
In this conversation, we cover various topics, from the necessity of ERGs and affinity spaces to the importance of disaggregating Arab experiences from white identities/identifiers for community-specific resources and support.
This conversation also covers the following:
How to take back control of communal narratives, the necessity of it, and the necessity of a National Museum.
What makes up Arab identity? Communal identifiers, common religious affiliations, countries, and regions.
The use of coalition building and allyship inside and outside the Arab community; with particular reflections on Japanese leaders who called for avoiding scapegoating after 9/11.
Creating spaces led by the community. Allowing artists and everyday community members to shine a light on the stories that have shaped them and their families.
The specifics of interpersonal identity and defining yourself, for yourself, beyond assimilation and people’s personal beliefs of who you should be, based on how you look, your name, or what you identify as.