CSE celebrates Arab American Heritage Month with crafts and snacks

The event featured crafts guided by local artist Malika Ayubbi and Middle Eastern snacks.

The CSE community came together on Thursday, April 18 to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month. Organized by PhD student Meron Demissie, with assistance from CSE Outreach and DEI Administrative Coordinator Sarah Snay, DEI Project Manager Taj Williams, and CSE DEI Chair Prof. Nikola Banovic, the event welcomed students, staff, and faculty for some creative craft activities and snacks highlighting Arab American culture.

Held every April, Arab American Heritage Month honors and celebrates Arab American culture and shines a light on the contributions of Arab Americans past and present. The University of Michigan and Southeast Michigan more broadly are home to a large and vibrant Arab American population, and CSE sought to highlight this integral part of our community with its first Arab American Heritage Month celebration.

Local artist Malika Ayubbi guided attendees through two craft activities, including cards with colorful paper cut-outs of Arab-inspired skylines, as well as hanging decorations featuring glittery Islamic stars. While crafting, attendees enjoyed a variety of tasty snacks, such as baklava, basbousa, saffron rice pudding, and Adeni Yemeni tea.

“We were excited to have the opportunity to come together as a community to highlight and celebrate Arab culture and heritage,” said Meron.

Students sit at a long table with a yellow tablecloth. They are working on craft, attaching colorful paper cutouts to cards. The student on the right is smiling  at the camera.
CSE students work on crafts at the Arab American Heritage Month celebration
Several long tables with yellow tablecloths. About 20 people are seated at the tables working on crafts and eating snacks.
Attendees enjoy snacks and work on crafts
A closeup shot of one of the crafts. Overlapping paper cutouts in blue and purple are attached to white cardstock.
Local artist Malika Ayubbi guided attendees through crafts, such as making cards with colorful paper cutouts
Three women standing side by side smiling at the camera.
From left, CSE Outreach and DEI Administrative Coordinator Sarah Snay, CSE PhD student Meron Demissie, and guest artist Malika Ayubbi