R 278
2021 -- H 6350
Enacted 05/19/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives McLaughlin, Shekarchi, Blazejewski, Filippi, and Kennedy

Date Introduced: May 19, 2021

     WHEREAS, Annually, National Arab American Heritage Month is celebrated in April in
order to enhance understanding of the nuanced and diverse aspects of Arab American heritage
and to pay tribute to the culture, history, and myriad achievements and contributions of Arab
Americans; and
     WHEREAS, Arab migrants to the United States brought with them their resilient family
values, strong work ethic, dedication to education, and diversity in faith and creed that have
added strength to Rhode Island and our great democracy; and
     WHEREAS, Historically, the first know Arabic-speaking person to make their home in
Rhode Island was David Saaty, who arrived in 1886. Today, the Arabic-speaking community in
the State has grown to include some 6,000 to 7,000 persons, among them people from Syria,
Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, the Persian Gulf, and Egypt, both Muslims as well as Christians;
     WHEREAS, Arab Americans have endured years of heightened hate crimes, bigotry, and
misunderstanding towards their community which make it imperative to use education and
information to dispel stereotypes, and embrace the power and beauty of diversity; and
     WHEREAS, Arab Americans have made valuable contributions to virtually every aspect
of society, including medicine, law, business, technology, government, and culture and share the
common desire to see a peaceful and diverse society, where every individual is treated equally
and feels safe; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
proclaims April of 2021 as Arab American Heritage Month and invites all Rhode Islanders to
celebrate the countless contributions that Arab Americans have made to Rhode Island and
American society; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Honorable Thomas Lazieh, Coordinator of
the Rhode Island Arab America Foundation Heritage Month.