Celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month
April is National Arab American Heritage Month.
It’s a time to celebrate not only the history and culture of the Arab American community, but also time to honor the contributions Arab Americans are making in education, medicine, technology, government, and so much more.
Early this year, ETM music teachers attended a special presentation by guest speaker Layth Sidiq, an award-winning violinist, composer, and educator.
Layth discussed how he uses Arabic music to create an immediate connection to a culture, and why it is important to him as a performer and educator to use music as a tool to create positive social change.
“There are approximately 3.5 million Arabs in the US; a large number of people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and religions.
Having a month that celebrates Arab culture as a whole doesn’t only build bridges between non-Arab and Arab-American communities, but also strengthens the Arab-American community itself and brings it together.
Education is one of the most vital ways to start important conversations, break down stereotypes, and create open-minded citizens, and this month is the perfect way to shine the spotlight on this ancient and profound culture.
Music can be an immediate way to create a connection to a culture, and I believe that artists should use music as a tool to create positive social change in their communities. This is why I will continue doing the work I do to represent Arabic music as a performer and educator in the US and abroad.”
Layth created a special YouTube playlist, highlighting some Arabic music’s most popular and meaningful songs.
- Arab Lullabies Playlist from Spotify
- “Mona Haydar – Hijabi (Wrap my Hijab)” by Mona Haydar
- “Ai Love You Mama,” an Arabic Children’s Song