Year in Review: How You Made this Year Historic

As we approach the end of the year and prepare for 2023, the Arab American Civic Council team would like to thank you for your ongoing support. Despite the challenges, together we were able to make 2022 a historic year for the Arab American community. 

Below are highlights of what we’ve accomplished together this year! We rely on your generosity to sustain our work and build a better future for the Arab American community. Thank you for your ongoing support!

ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL VOTES IN FAVOR OF DESIGNATING LITTLE ARABIA

Over the past couple of years, we mobilized hundreds of people to advocate for the formal designation Little Arabia. The campaign gained traction, bringing local, national, and international media attention to Anaheim’s Brookhurst Street. More than 150 attended City Council meetings to speak in favor of the designation, and dozens of meetings were held with City Council members and other government officials to advocate for Little Arabia. After two decades of public engagement and advocacy, the Anaheim City Council voted to approve a formal designation of Little Arabia on August 23, 2022.

See photos from the City Council meeting here.


LITTLE ARABIA’S HISTORIC CELEBRATION

We were proud to host the official Little Arabia Celebration on October 28, 2022, which also marked Vote Early Day, a civic holiday focused on helping every voter to know how, where, and when they can vote early. Hundreds of community members and supporters of Little Arabia gathered to celebrate the city of Anaheim’s formal designation. The event included performances from Omar Offendum, DJ Lady E, and Sai’d Judeh Dance Company which highlighted the spirit of our community’s culture. We also had the honor of hosting Anaheim City Council Members who were recognized for their support in executing the official designation of Little Arabia. See photos from the event here.


MOHAMMED EL-KURD RECEIVES ‘TRUTH IN MEDIA’ AWARD AT ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE GALA

Award-winning Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd received ‘Truth in Media award’ at our 2022 Arab American Heritage Gala. El-Kurd is a writer from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and he is currently the Palestine Correspondent for The Nation. Mohammed and his twin sister Muna El-Kurd were featured in TIME Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2021. The El-Kurd twins are known for their activism that documented the Palestinian uprising against Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.

This year’s sold-out gala also featured a keynote speech by Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi. We were also honored to hear from Egyptian filmmaker and political activist Sanaa Seif, and a spectacular performance by Oud musician Clarissa Bitar


WE MOVED ARAB AMERICANS TO THE POLLS

Leading up to the 2022 Midterm Elections, we launched the Mobilizing, Organizing, and Voter Engagement of Arab Americans (MOVE Arab Americans) campaigns to ensure that Arab Americans in Orange County are ready for the elections. The campaign included voter registration at community events and encouraging them to vote by contacting voters directly. MOVE Arab Americans concluded with successful results in mobilizing Arab American voters by contacting more than 60,000 voters in through door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and text messages.


CALLING FOR JUSTICE FOR SHIREEN ABU AKLEH

In response to the brutal assassination of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was reporting on an Israeli raid in Jenin, we partnered with Yalla Indivisibile to co-host a vigil to mourn Abu Akleh’s loss at Anaheim City Hall. During the vigil, mourners had an opportunity to share what she meant to them and called on people to contact elected officials and members of congress who continued to stay silent and demanded they take action against her killing.


CA GOVERNOR, OTHER GOV. ENTITIES RECOGNIZE APRIL 2022 ‘ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

For the first time for a California Governor, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation that recognized April 2022 as “Arab-American History Month.” In the proclamation, the Governor said Arab Americas have “enriched communities across the country and made an indelible impact.” Although this was the first a CA Governor to proclaim the month, more than a dozen other State and local government entities issued proclamations as well, including Anaheim, Irvine, Fullerton, Buena Park, the County of Orange, the California State Assembly, and many others.


REPORT RELEASE: LITTLE ARABIA COMMUNITY HISTORY AND NEEDS SURVEY

We served as the Arab American community’s voice in the Redistricting process: Our engagement and advocacy ensured that our community was fairly represented in the once-in-a-decade redrawing of legislative district lines – or redistricting. We successfully mobilized our community to provide oral and written testimonials at the California Redistricting Commission hearings, Anaheim Redistricting community meetings, and Orange County Board of Supervisors meetings. As a result, Little Arabia was kept whole and unified in the new legislative Congressional, State, County, and City district maps.


We rely on your generosity to sustain our work and build a better future for the Arab American community. Thank you for your ongoing support!

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