3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala a success

Close to 200 community members turned out for the Arab American Civic Council’s 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.


Among this year’s extraordinary Arab American Heritage Gala awardees were philanthropist and co-founder of the Palestine Children Relief Fund Dr. Musa Nasir who received the Joseph R. Haiek Lifetime Achievement Award, refugee advocate and co-founder of Sabil USA Dr. Samar Abdelaziz who received the Spirit of Service Award, and Jewish Voice for Peace who received the Solidarity in Action Award.

We were honored to have doctoral candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside Loubna Qutami as the keynote speaker, actress and comedian Jennifer Jajeh and Oud player Clarissa Bitar who provided the entertainment for the evening.

Elected officials present at the gala were Congressman Lou Correa, Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Jose Moreno, Fontana Councilman Michael Tahan, Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Nguyen, Anaheim Union High School Trustee Al Jabbar, and Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee Walter Muneton. Additionally, the offices of State Senator Josh Newman, and State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva were represented.

During the gala, the Office of State Senator Josh Newman presented a resolution to recognize April as Arab American Heritage Month, which was passed unanimously on the Senate floor on Thursday, April 10.

See photos from the event here.

Among the event’s sponsors were Comerica Bank, and PIMCO Foundation. Thank you to all those who sponsored, advertised, volunteered, and attended the gala to support the work of the Arab American Civic Council to empower the Arab American community in Orange County.

CA State Senate adopts resolution commemorating Arab American Heritage Month

The Arab American Civic Council applauds the California State Senate for adopting Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 123, authored by State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) with unanimous support. SCR 123 commemorates the month of April as “Arab American Heritage Month” in California and recognizes the important contributions of Arab Americans to our state.

In addition to presenting SCR 123 on the Senate Floor today, Senator Newman also welcomed and introduced the following Arab American leaders in their respective regions:

  • Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Executive Director, Arab American Civic Council
  • Serge Bakalian, Founder and Executive Director, Arab Film and Media Institute
  • Basim Elkarra, Executive Director, CAIR-Sacramento (Council on American Islamic Relations)
  • Mirvette Judeh, Vice Chair, Arab American Civic Council
  • Maria Khani, Founder and Director, A Country Called Syria

The Arab American Civic Council will commemmorate Arab American Heritage Month during its upcoming gala on April 21st. Get your gala ticket here.

April is Arab American Heritage Month

The Office of Sen. Josh Newman presenting Arab American Heritage Month resolution at last year’s gala

Once again we at the Arab American Civic Council are excited to mobilize cities and communities to celebrate April as Arab American Heritage Month as we have done in the past couple years with resolutions passed in the State of California and cities of Anaheim and Garden Grove.

SEE: California Senate resolution to honor Arab American Heritage Month passes

Arab Americans have been an integral part of America for hundreds of years and have contributed tremendously to our nation in various aspects and fields.

April 2018 is a special opportunity to enhance understanding of diverse Arab American heritage that is often forgotten or perhaps avoided by the media. As a grassroot organization, we continuously encourage communities and local elected officials to (1) learn more about and engage with Arab Americans, (2) attend Arab American events in the community, and (3) support organization that help integrate new immigrants from the Arab World.

This year, the Arab American Civic Council will celebrate Arab Americans at its 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala taking place on April 21st at the Great Wolf Lodge, in Garden Grove. We invite all community members to join us as we celebrate and amplify the contributions of Arab American pioneers and inspirational leaders.

Tickets to attend our Gala on Saturday April 21, 2018 can be purchased at this link.

In 2016 the City of Anaheim presented its first ever Arab American Heritage Month proclamation 

Samar Aziz to receive Spirit of Service Award at Arab American Heritage Gala

The Arab American Civic Council is proud to announce that it will present the Spirit of Service Award to Samar Aziz for her inspirational work serving refugee communities in Orange County at its 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala.

020715_Minaret_407In 2012, Samar Aziz co-founded Sabil USA, a nonprofit organization that serves the indigent and refugee populations of Orange County. Sabil USA provides weekly groceries to over 600 families through its food pantry, facilitates furniture donations to furnish homes for low-income and refugee families, provides financial support for rent payment, assists with job skills, provides mental health services, and much more.

She is a graduate of St. John’s University in New York with a degree in Pharmacy. In the early 90s, Samar and her family moved to Tustin where her two sons were born and raised. She helped establish New Horizon Elementary School, a private Islamic school in Irvine, and served on its board for six years. Additionally, she served on the Minaret Academy board for 10 years, where she was part of the Development Committee to raise funds for the school.

Tickets to attend our 3rd annual gala on Saturday April 21, 2018 are sold at this link.

Jewish Voice for Peace to receive Solidarity in Action Award at Arab American Heritage Gala

The Arab American Civic Council is proud to announce that it will honor Jewish Voice for Peace during its 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala on Saturday, April 21 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.

JVP will receive the Solidarity in Action Award in recognition of their outstanding advocacy work for human rights, equality, social justice, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.


Tickets to attend our 3rd annual gala are sold at this link.

The AACC was formed with the mission to advance the Arab American community by encouraging their civic participation through community organizing, advocacy, leadership development, and cultural empowerment. One of our objectives to fulfill this mission is to celebrate our Arab American heritage during the month of April, which is recognized by the State of California as Arab American heritage month.

For sponsorship opportunities, or other questions, Email us.