April is National Arab American Heritage Month!
Grace Sahouria Redman is a Palestinian American Entrepreneur who has owned and managed one of the most successful staffing firms in the Bay Area the last 24 years. She is also a Success Coach, Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author of Can I Live!? Dare to go From F*cked up to Fabulous.
Grace works with woman to help them boost their confidence, achieve their goals, and increase their prosperity mindset. As a result, they create the fabulous life they have been dreaming of and inspire other woman to do the same!
On a personal level, she has faced many adversities and life challenges. These have helped her develop a keen sense of empathy and understand others’ pain.
She is intuitive, and has an approachable personality, making it easy for clients to feel comfortable with their vulnerability. She believes in inspiring people to dig deep and push beyond mediocrity, and feels creativity is paramount to designing goals and plans tailored to each client.
She is a visionary and has a wide range of methods in her toolkit to do this.
I look forward to featuring weekly articles submitted by Grace that will improve my understanding of the Arab culture. <3
You can find Grace at any of the below links:
Welcome to National Arab American Month, featuring amazing articles about successful Arabs across our county by Diverse Advisory Council representative, Grace Redman!
Arab immigration to the United States began before the United States achieved independence in 1776. Since the first major wave of Arab immigration in the late 19th century, the majority of Arab immigrants have settled in or near large cities. Roughly 94 percent of all Arab immigrants live in metropolitan areas.
While most Arabic-speaking Americans have similarly settled in just a handful of major American cities, they form a fairly diverse population representing nearly every country and religion from the Arab world.
These figures aside, recent demographics suggest a shift in immigration trends. While the earliest ways of Arab immigrants were predominantly Christian, since the late 1960s an increasing proportion of Arab immigrants are Muslim.
Arab immigration has, historically, come in waves. Many came for entrepreneurial reasons, and during the latter waves some came as a result of struggles and hardships stemming from specific periods of war or discrimination in their respective mother countries.
Today the United States is home to more than 3.5 million Arab Americans representing a diverse array of backgrounds, cultures and traditions.
Like their fellow citizens, Americans of Arab heritage are very much a part of the fabric of this nation, and Arab Americans have contributed in every field and profession.
Source: Wikipeda and State Department
Betty Shamieh is the first Palestinian American playwright to premier her work off Broadway. Betty is the author of over fifteen plays. Her off-Broadway premieres include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop, Director: Sam Gold) and Roar (The New Group, Director: Marion McClinton). Roar was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick and is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States.
In 2016, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Drama and Performance Art. She is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.
She was selected as a winner of The Playwrights' Center’s McKnight National Residency and Commission.
Shamieh was named a UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue in 2011. Her upcoming novel NOT PROMISING ANYTHING will be published by Avid Reader Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Her European productions in translation are Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Sweden), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Greece), and Territories (European Union Capital of Culture Festival). Shamieh wrote and co-starred in her play of monologues, Chocolate in Heat (Director: Sam Gold), in two sold-out off-off-Broadway runs and over twenty university theatres. As Soon As Impossible was developed with Jamie Farr and commissioned by Second Stage through the Time Warner Commissioning Program. The Machine (Director: Marisa Tomei) was produced by Naked Angels at the Duke Theatre in 2007.
She began performing in work-in-progress presentations of The Alter-Ego of an Arab-American Assimilationist (a performance art-lecture) at colleges in 2014. Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies presented the world premiere of a suite of arias from Territories, an opera based on her play.
She was commissioned by Denison College to write Malvolio, a sequel to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Fit for a Queen had world premiere at the Classical Theatre of Harlem in October 2016 (Director: Tamilla Woodard). In 2017, the New York premiere of her immersive murder mystery The Strangest (Director: May Adrales) was selected as one of the season’s “most promising live events” in the New York Times Spring Arts Preview article, “32 Reasons to Get Out & Get Off the Couch.”
Shamieh’s work has been the subject of features in the New York Times, Time Out, American Theatre magazine, Theater Bay Area, the Brooklyn Rail, San Francisco Chronicle, Svenska Dagbladet, Teaterstockholm, der Standard, Aramco Magazine, Kathimeiri, and the International Herald Tribune among others. A cartoon of Roar appeared in the New Yorker’s “Goings on about Town” section.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Shamieh was awarded an NEA/TCG grant to be a playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre. Shamieh was selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard and named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.
Shamieh has taught playwriting at Columbia/Barnard, Denison College, and Marymount Manhattan College.
She is a alumni member of New Dramatists. an affiliated artist at the New Group, and a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.
Recently, she was named the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at the Classical Theatre of Harlem and a Denning Visiting Artist at Stanford. She was commissioned by Noor Theatre with support from Pop Culture Collab to develop a comic TV pilot, inspired by her play Roar.
Her works have been translated into seven languages.
You can find Betty here:
At the age of 4, Palestinian American Dr. Khaled Khalaf’s family moved to Houston, Texas, from the West Coast. He has since completed the entirety of his educational training and post-doctoral residency and fellowship in Houston. In the prestigious Texas Medical Center, he was elected Chief Fellow of Cardiology and served as department Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at HCA Kingwood Medical Center and Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital.
After graduating with high honors from the University of St. Thomas with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Philosophy, he attended medical school through fellowship at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Following Internal Medicine residency, he completed a fellowship in cardiovascular disease and continued with advanced subspecialty training in interventional cardiology and structural cardiology. Furthermore, Dr. Khalaf is triple board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Interventional Cardiology.
As an interventionalist, Dr. Khalaf has extensive knowledge in the latest technology involving peripheral artery and percutaneous coronary interventions as well as deep and superficial venous treatment. Dr. Khalaf also has a keen interest and skill in noninvasive structural heart surgery and was the first to perform a percutaneous transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) via the groin as well as repair a congenital heart defect known as patent foramen ovale (PFO) in the North Houston area. He was fortunate enough to train in one of the highest volume centers in the world for TAVR and serves as medical director of the structural heart committee at HCA Kingwood Medical Center.
Throughout his training, Dr. Khalaf has been honored and elected Internal Medicine Residency Council Member, Memorial Hermann Hospital House Staff Executive Council Secretary, and Chief Cardiology Fellow. He was elected department Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at both HCA Kingwood Medical Center and Memorial Hermann Northeast in 2020.
You can connect with Dr. Khalaf here:
This week, Arab American Diverse Advisory Council member Grace Redman wraps up our homage to Arab American Heritage Month by highlighting Elyanna, who makes history at Coachella Music Festival as the first act to perform in entirely in Arabic.
Bedazzled cowboy boots, denim crop tops and butterfly hair clips were among the fashion trends spotted at Coachella on its first weekend as tens of thousands of music fans and influencers descended upon the polo fields in Indio, Calif., for North America’s largest music festival.
But it was the ubiquitous presence of the black and white checkered scarf know as the keffiyeh — a long-held symbol of Palestinian nationalism — that made the biggest statement, at least within the canvas walls of the Gobi Stage on April 15, 2023 where Palestinian-Chilean singer Elyanna made history as the first artist to perform a Coachella set entirely in Arabic.
“It was very special,” Elyanna told the Star via a Zoom call from sunny Palm Springs, where she was preparing for the second weekend of Coachella. “I can see the crowd, I can see that they have keffiyehs on and they are waving the Palestinian flag. I literally cried onstage, which is crazy — that never happened to me.”
The result is both compelling and highly marketable, placing Elyanna at the vanguard of a new generation of artists who seem poised to take Arabic music to new international heights.
“For me, she is the Arab Rihanna,” said Masa Qzaih, a 24-year-old Palestinian software engineer who lives in Nablus, a city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “Not many people from countries outside the Middle East hear or look up what’s going on here. It’s important that she’s sharing our story.”
Wearing a flowing white cut-out dress, and flanked by backup singers and a live band, Elyanna included hits like “Ghareeb Alay” and “Ana Lahale” in her 45-minute set, and a cover of the classic Egyptian ballad “Awhak,” which she performed with her brother and collaborator Feras.
“For me to be there … singing in my own language and doing my own dance styles is too crazy,” she said. “We literally made history last Saturday and we’re going to make it again next Saturday.”
Source: Toronto Star
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