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Wisdom of Young Arab-American Artists

Rarely when discussing Arab-American civil rights and culture does one hear about the opinion of children and young Arab Americans. This is especially strange considering that in the wake of tragic events such as Columbine and September 11, therapists and counselors were invited to schools all over the US to discuss the traumatic events. At a time when young Arab-Americans are facing extreme scrutiny, from their classmates and elsewhere, there seems to be no clear and organized efforts from the community to encourage a sense of expression.
As part of the effort to initiate programs for young Arab Americans, ADC held its first annual ‘Youth Activism Art Competition‘ Meant to encourage art as a means of expression, participants were asked to answer the question “What does being Arab American mean to you?” The only stipulation was that all entries had to fit on a 13 by 13-inch piece of paper.
The results were remarkable. From intricate collages exhibiting cultural and political components and figures of the Middle East, to caricatures and self-reflective poems, the entries far exceeded ADC‘s expectations for the competition‘s first year. It turns out that kids have a lot to say, and are very creative in their methods of expression.