Honor was the theme of the 17th annual “Ensure the Legacy” dinner and Awards Banquet hosted by the Arab American Heritage Council. Three prominent members of the
community received awards for their outstanding dedication to bettering Flint. Dr. Nita Kulkarni was honored as the Community Contributor of the Year while Mrs. Lennetta Bradley Coney received the Community Leader of the Year award, and Dr. Elmahdi Saeed was the Physican of the Year honoree. The evening also served as a platform to present the AAHC scholarships to two deserving local high school students: Josalien Abuaita and Andrea Sahouri. The goal of the AAHC is to preserve and celebrate Arabic heritage, as well as to support Arab Americans in the Greater Flint region. “Our services,” clarifies Mona Sahouri, Executive Director of the AAHC, “are not confined to Arab Americans. We want to bring the entire community together by building and facilitating relationships that help people overcome preconceptions and misrepresentations.”
The AAHC works to broaden understanding and appreciation of Arabic culture through educational and cultural events, such as the Arabic Art and Film night presented on November 10. At this event, an Academy Award-nominated documentary, titled 5 Broken Cameras, was shown following a photography exhibit called Lahza and a talk by Rola Nashef, Director of the new film, Detroit Unleaded, which has won numerous film festival awards and premiered on the big screen in mid-November. “We host, on average, one community event per month,” Mona reports, “with the intention of celebrating the diversity of our community and introducing people to a new culture.” The AAHC also encourages Arab American involvement in civic, economic and humanitarian efforts by participating in national Arab American Service Day. “We want to break down barriers and foster an appreciation of Arabic culture,” she says, “and we have so much fun doing it!”
PHOTOS BY SARAH REED
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