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Arts & Life

Arab American museum places community's stories into greater national narrative

The Arab American National Museum aims to share the stories of its diverse population.
Courtesy of the Arab American National Museum
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The Arab American National Museum aims to share the stories of its diverse population.

 

Arab-Americans receive more suspicion and misunderstanding than most social groups. These misconceptions give the Arab American National Museum an important job: sharing the stories of Arab Americans.

Located in Dearborn, the museum opened in 2005, and although it has only been around for little more than a decade, it has been chosen as an affiliate of the Smithsonian.

 

 

Visitors in the courtyard of the Arab American National Museum.
Credit Courtesy of the Arab American National Museum
Visitors in the courtyard of the Arab American National Museum.

Devon Akmon is the executive director of the museum. He joined Stateside to talk about the museum’s goals and its importance in the contemporary world.

One of the museum’s most important missions is to counter xenophobia. “What we continuously try to do is just tell an accurate depiction of our community,” Akmon said.

In the next decade the museum hopes to play a role in the changes taking place in southeast Michigan.

 

“We’re looking at the changes in southeast Michigan and we’re asking ourselves, ‘how do we play a role in that as a cultural institution?’” Akmon said. “And for us, it’s really about putting the Arab-American story in context with the greater American narrative.”

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GUEST Devon Akmon is the executive director of the Arab American National Museum.

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