In partnership with the Arab American community, the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) proposes to establish an endowment devoted to the preservation and promotion of Arab American history.
The Immigration History Research Center is a unit of the University of Minnesota dedicated to fostering research on and understanding of the history of American immigration. One of the nation's leading repositories of original source material on immigration and ethnicity, the IHRC locates, collects, preserves, and makes available for research the records of ethnic groups originating in eastern, central and southern Europe and the Near East. The Center also produces and sponsors a wide variety of public programs, conferences, exhibits, educational workshops, and publications aimed at building appreciation for the importance of immigration in American life.
Among the IHRC's vast holdings of archival material is a substantial body of documentation on the Arab American experience. The centerpiece of this collection is the personal archive of the eminent Princeton historian of Near Eastern Studies, Philip K. Hitti. These papers provide rich information on Arab American community life and political affairs in the early-to-mid-20th century. They are joined by significant collections from other prominent Arab American figures such as James Ansara, Mary Mokarzel, and Fuad Al Akl. The IHRC also holds several files of key Arab American newspapers and periodicals, including Al-Hoda, The Syrian World, The Palestinian Voice, Al-Wafa, The Federation Herald, Al-Islaah, and many more.
Because of the unique value of this documentation, used by researchers from around the world, its care and development require the ongoing commitment of knowledgeable staff. The Arab American Studies Fund will provide staff support, research awards, and outreach services to the Arab American community.
(Photo: Celebration in front of the Al-Hoda (The Guidance) Publishing Company, New York City. From Mary Mokarzel collection)
The first goal is to fully fund the the Francis Maria Graduate Fellowship in Arab American Studies for qualified graduate students. This fellowship will annually support a graduate student who has research interests in the history and culture of Arabs in the United States or the Arab diaspora. The fellowship opportunity will be regularly announced on a national level and will gain identity as a prominent educational award for emerging scholars. As such, it will serve as a permanent investment in stimulating and nurturing new research talent in the area of Arab American studies. Interest from this investment in the fellowship fund is matchable on a 1:1 basis by the University of Minnesota Graduate School's 21st Century Fellowship Match. A total of $150,000 needed ultimately to endow it fully.
The creation of this fund raises public consciousness of Arab American history, fosters wider understanding of the contributions of Arabic-speaking immigrants to American life and makes a significant investment in future scholars of the Arab experience in the United States.
Follow the University of Minnesota Foundation link to make an online gift through the University of Minnesota Foundation's secure site.You may also submit a pledge through the same Web page.
To contribute to the Francis Maria Graduate Fellowship in Arab American Studies: Type in the designation "IHRC: Francis Maria Fellowship (Fund 6610)"
To contribute to the general Arab American Studies Fund: Type in the designation "HRC: Arab American Collection (Fund 4601)"