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Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

April 4, 2022 (El Cajon) - April is widely recognized as National Arab American Heritage Month and both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will celebrate the cultures, contributions, history, and resilience of Arab and Middle Eastern communities. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Grossmont College:

  • Tuesday, April 5: Understanding Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims; Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., presented by Dr. Noha Ireiqat, who teaches Arabic and English as a Second Language courses.
  • Wednesday, April 6: Arabic Language and Communication, Building 55-524, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. presented by Dr. Sonia Ghattas-Soliman, co-chair of World Languages at Grossmont College and professor of Arabic.
  • Monday, April 11: Henna: A Presentation and Application, Griffin Gate, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 14: Arabic Calligraphy, a presentation on the main six patterns of calligraphy followed by a demonstration by a master calligrapher, Ayman Karkhy. Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 14: Debka (Arabic folk dance) and light lunch, Main Quad, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Monday, April 18: Arabic American Artists Panel featuring Doris Bittar: Lebanese painter; Haneen Oreiqat: Palestinian photographer and others. The paintings and photographs of panelists will be on display at the Hyde Art Gallery. Griffin Gate, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • April 18-April 30: Arabic American Artwork and Photography, Hyde Art Gallery in the Performing and Visual Arts Center (PVAC).
  • Wednesday, April 20: Famous Arabic American Women, Performing and Visual Arts Center (PVAC), from 2:30-4 p.m. Students will dress up and discuss famous Arabic American women.
  • Thursday, April 21: “Amreeka,” PVAC, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. a screening of the film, “Amreeka,” a 2009 independent film reflecting the obstacles and difficulties Iraqi, Syrian refugees and others encountered in their new lives in the United States.
  • Thursday, April 21: Tea Gathering, a replication of the Arab world custom of getting together for relaxation, chatting, and enjoying people’s company over a cup of tea. Career Center in Bldg. 60, 1-2 p.m.
  • Monday, April 25: Sham El-Nessim Celebration marking the beginning of spring, and the celebration of a national Egyptian holiday celebrated the Monday after Coptic Orthodox Easter; Building 55-523, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 27: Arabic Music Concert presented in two parts, first by Farhad Bahrami, adjunct instructor music and his Middle Eastern Ensemble students, and second, famous Lebanese American singer Antoine Caspari, who will sing Arabic songs; PVAC, 3-5 p.m.


Cuyamaca College: (With the exception of in-person events April 14 and April 23, all other events are virtual, with links posted on the college’s Student Affairs web page at listing Culture and Community Circle Workshops.)

  • Thursday, April 14: Colorful Messages from the East, Arabic instructor Aklas Sheai leads a group of Cuyamaca College Middle Eastern Students presenting their talent on social and cultural experiences through art. Student Center, I-207, I-208, and I-209, 1-2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 19: Cultural Diversity in the Middle East; Dr. Shak Hanish will touch on the diversities of the Arab world, such as identity, ecological diversity, regional and local ethnic diversity, religion, family, and class. 6-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20: Middle Eastern Ethnic Identities: Statistically Invisible in America. Discussion on Middle Eastern ethnic identities, what these identities are, who decides them, and kinship of ethno-linguistic groups. 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20: Middle Eastern Stereotypes and Sensitivities. Dr. Elissa Haddad will provide a deep dive into the cultural differences and similarities between Middle Eastern and Western cultures. 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20: Open Mic. Come celebrate the power of our individual voices. Share your work or interests by taking the mic or just drop in to listen or make new friends. 1-2 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 21: Social Justice and Activism through Citizen Diplomacy. This workshop will be focused on the importance of citizen diplomacy work in Palestine. 9:30-10:45 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 23: Chaldean Nation: Past and Present. The Rev. Michael Bazzi will be discussing a newly published book and provide books to all attendees. Student Center, I-207, I-208, and I-209, 10-11 a.m.


Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon. Cuyamaca College is located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon.


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