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Arab American Heritage Month

  • Culture Appreciation
Arab American Heritage Month
National Arab American Heritage Month Banner

April is Arab American Heritage Month, a time our district and schools celebrate the Arab American heritage and culture and pay tribute to the contributions of Arab and Arabic-speaking Americans.

An estimated 3.7 million Americans have Arab roots, according to the Arab American Institute, with ancestries traced to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and others.

These cultures are part of the fabric that make our district one of the most diverse in the state — a strength we embrace and weave into the culture of our schools, and education of our scholars.

Throughout April we look forward to sharing how our schools are celebrating Arab American Heritage with assemblies, art projects, musical performances and more. We want to share these experiences with the entire district, so be sure to email photos to

View additional recognitions in the FWPS Cultural & Religious Calendar here:

FWHS Showcases Arab American Authors and Artists for Arab American Heritage Month

Federal Way High School is highlighting books and stories authored by Arab American writers as part of their celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month. Having the books displayed gives all scholars the opportunity to see the writers’ narratives and perspectives – and perhaps, discover new insight or see their own story reflected in a book.

FWHS Libary Arab American Heritage Exhibit
FWHS Libary Arab American Heritage Exhibit

Along with literature, FWHS Instructional Coach, Diya Bailey, is bringing attention to other forms of art. Ms. Bailey stated that “one of the things that we wanted to do, in addition to highlighting the books, was to also highlight the artist as well… By putting up some of their artwork, it also generates [more] interest when they come in and then they'll ask things about that as well.” For example, scholars could see works from Arab American artist, Helen Zughaib, showcasing her viewpoint through painting.

Scholar with school staff in library

Ms. Bailey (left) and scholar Isaiah (right) discuss the display pieces in the FWHS library.

Ms. Bailey was right about the impact the exhibit has on students who come through the library. Scholar Isaiah stopped by and noticed the prominent display, commenting on the importance of seeing all scholars represented throughout the schools and that “it's very important because we are a very diverse high school, and it makes people feel welcome.”

Federal Way High School staff are committed to our goal for scholars to see themselves reflected in their school and learning. FWHS staff helped to make this possible this Arab American Appreciation Month in celebrating our diversity and promoting inclusion.

Valhalla Elementary School Scholars Celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month

Valhalla Elementary School provided a unique hands-on learning experience for their scholars as part of celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month. Held in the Valhalla school gym, teacher Ms. Older led a lesson where students tried their hand at writing out the Arabic alphabet in calligraphy and were aided by classmates who have Arab heritage. The event gave participants the opportunity to collaborate and learn of letters other than the English alphabet, and scholar leaders also read out what each letter sounded like when said aloud. Ms. Older jumped at the chance to prepare the learning event saying, “I was so eager to take on this assignment… to help our scholars share what they practice at home and feel proud about it, where otherwise many of them might be shy.”

Valhalla Arab American Heritage presenters at Valhalla Elementary
Student in hijab helping others with Arabic alphabet
scholars presenting at school assembly
scholars presenting at school assembly in front of computer
scholars presenting at school assembly

Along with the alphabet writing event, students are also offered a visual insight into Arab culture with a presentation of items and keepsakes from staff and scholars with an Arab heritage or experienced life with Arab culture. Displayed in the school’s lobby, students and visitors see signage, books, clothing, dolls, and food that are representative of Arab culture. Ms. Adams, a teacher at Valhalla who lived in Saudi Arabia, stated, “seeing the language, the script, signs—these are all things they’d see in their home.”

National Arab American Heritage Month display
National Arab American Heritage Month display



FWPS is appreciative of our staff, students, and families in helping scholars get a glimpse into Arab American heritage and contribute to building an inclusive learning environment. We believe diversity is a strength fortified and enriched by the contributions of our school community.  Thank you to Valhalla Elementary for leading the way and creating a sense of belonging in our diverse school district!

presenter group photo for National Arab American Heritage Month

Lakota Middle School Shares Quotes in Celebration of Arab American Heritage Month

National Arab American Heritage Month, quote
National Arab American Heritage Month, quote
National Arab American Heritage Month, quote


Handwritten by scholar groups of Lakota Middle School’s leadership class, quotes from Arab American figures that resonated with our scholars can be found on posters throughout the hallways of the school. This is one way that Lakota students and staff are celebrating Arab American Heritage Month – through phrases and sayings.

scholars in front of their quote poster
scholars in front of their quote poster


Lakota Middle School is invested in honoring Arab American Heritage Month and scholars see the value of the posters, quotes and language showcased in the school to build an inclusive learning environment. Lakota scholar, Margaret (pictured first photo, left), provided a reason behind the leadership team’s work in sourcing and creating the quotes saying, “Lakota is really big on diverse cultures... We take pride in our school having so many cultures. … We wanted to show support for [our students and staff]."

group of scholars in a school garden

The leadership class teacher who provides guidance to these scholars, also talked about the purpose behind the posters. “[These efforts] are ways that the scholars are recognizing and celebrating their diversity. They’re ways to highlight the people and the voices from the Arab American community through these quotes from our scholars.”

Throughout the hallways and in the assignments, Lakota is a great example of how FWPS staff and scholars are excited in celebrating diversity and encouraging inclusion.