Museum of the City of New York announces the expansion and new opening
date for the exhibition A Community
of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York City, Originally scheduled
to open on November 17, 2001, the show has taken on a new and greater
significance in the aftermath of the events of September 11 and has been
relocated to a larger gallery space within the museum.
consultation with the exhibition’s advisory team, which includes
scholars, community representatives, and artists, the museum has decided
to enlarge the scope and content of the exhibition. It will open on March
2, 2002, and will run through Labor Day.
York City claims distinction as the oldest port of entry for Arab
immigrants to the United States. As such it supports one of the
country’s most diverse populations of citizens of Arab descent. A
Community of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York City, the first
exhibition on the history of the City’s Arab populations, will introduce
visitors to this diverse group of New Yorkers, who share a linguistic
heritage-Arabic- and cultural traditions dating back more than 1500 years.
It will tell the
story of how and why people from Arabic-speaking countries first came to
the City, where they have chosen to live, and how their presence has
changed the food ways, the sound
waves, and the look of some of
the City’s neighborhoods. Antique Istanbuli mother-of-pearl
inlaid Syrian chest.
exhibition will emphasize the long history and diversity of New York’s
Arab population, which includes Christians, Muslims, and Jews, people of
many ethnic and national background, and recent immigrants as well as
citizens whose roots in the City go back for generations.
More than one hundred
archival and contemporary photographs, documents, books, costumes,
textiles, and household objects, illuminate the cultural and commercial
contributions Arabs have made to the City and the values and traditions
that have connected them over five generations.
The Museum of the City of New York
presents A Community of Many Worlds as part of its mission to foster
understanding of the City’s diverse heritage. The need for tolerance in
these troubled times makes this mission particularly pressing. For
centuries, New Yorkers of all backgrounds have sought to maintain personal
and cultural traditions while adapting to a heterogeneous culture. New
York City’s Arab communities have in the past and continue to exemplify
Funding for exhibition implementation
was provided by a challenge grant from the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs, which was matched by a major contribution from the
Olayan Group. Additionally, important support was received from Council
member Kenneth K. Fisher, the George Sayour Foundation, the Palestinian
Heritage Foundation, the Islamic Heritage Organization, Arab Bank plc, the
Arab American Institute Foundation, Gulf Bank International, and many
The Museum of the City of New York is a
private, non-for-profit, educational corporation founded in 1923 for the
purpose of presenting the history of New York City and its people as a
significant learning resource. The museum advances its mission through
exhibitions, educational activities, and publications and by acquiring,
preserving, and documenting original cultural materials which reflect New
York City’s history.
Palestinian Heritage Foundation will celebrate its 15th
Anniversary in April 2002. This event will coincide with Palestine
Land Day, celebrated each year, in memory of seven Palestinians from the
village of Sakhnin, Upper Galilee, who gave their life in defense of their
this special day, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation and the
Arab-American community will honor Professor Walid Khalidi.
Khalidi was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. In 1945 he received his Bachelor
Degree from Oxford University. Upon completing his Masters Degree he
became a University lecturer at Oxford where he stayed until 1956.
of Professor Khalidi’s rich academic career included the position of
Professor of Political Studies, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
(1957-1982), Research Associate, Princeton University (1960-1961), Fellow,
Center for International Relations, Harvard University (1976-1978),
Visiting Professor of Government, Harvard University (1978-1981) and
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard
Khalidi has written many articles in Arabic dailies and periodicals,
including Al-Ahram, Al-Hayat, Al-Nahar, etc. He has written for English
periodicals such as Foreign Affairs, The Middle East Journal, Journal for
Palestine Studies, Politique Etrangere, World Today, and for English
dailies such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe and others.