Arab American Heritage Month
Dear School District of Philadelphia Community,
The Philadelphia area has been home to immigrants of Arab heritage for generations. Since the 1800s the Arab community in Philadelphia has continued to grow rapidly – it has become even more diverse in the past two decades. A large majority of Philadelphia’s Arab families are concentrated in South, North, Southwest, and Northeast Philadelphia. While some have been here for at least five generations, many are also newcomers.
Arabic is among the five most spoken languages by students and families in the School District. The language holds a special place in the homes of Philadelphia residents of various diverse cultural backgrounds, not all of whom hail from the traditional Arab world. Many of Philadelphia’s West African, Southeast and Central Asian, and African-American Muslim families and communities speak Arabic in the home as well.
Despite a long cultural history dating prior to U.S. independence, Arab-American communities from the Middle East and North Africa are still often overlooked by the U.S Census. Today there are national and local campaigns demanding their recognition and inclusion.
We hope that this Arab Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to explore and reflect on the history, contributions, as well as current challenges of Arab communities, students, and families in the School District of Philadelphia.
To learn more about how our district is celebrating Arab-American Heritage Month visit philasd.org/culturalcelebrations.
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion