The 20,000-member Arab American community has played a key role in the growth of Flint and Genesee County.
For almost 40 years, it has done so with the help and encouragement of the Arab American Heritage Council (AAHC). The organization has worked to broaden understanding and appreciation of Arab culture and encourage Arab American involvement in civic, economic, and humanitarian efforts in the community. It also provides immigration and citizenship counseling and works to breakdown the stereotypes of Arab Americans in this post 9/11 world.
For 23 years AAHC has hosted its annual Ensure the Legacy Banquet and Awards event to help continue improving and growing its services. This year it will be held on Wednesday, October 30, at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Downtown Flint.
Farid “Fredwreck” Nassar, LA music producer for Eminem and Snoop Dogg and community activist, will be honored as Arab American of the Year; Dr. Robert McMahan, president of Kettering University, as Community Contributor of the Year, and the Michigan Health Specialists as Physicians of the Year. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will introduce Nassar.
In addition, two scholarships will be awarded to local Arab American students.
The Ensure the Legacy Banquet and Awards event will bring together the Arab American community of Flint and Genesee County as well as hundreds of attendees from Michigan. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 6:00 p.m.
“One of the main challenges of any immigrant coming into the United States is how do we maintain our history and our heritage and our culture while at the same time becoming good American citizens,” says Ghassan Saab, AAHC founding and advisory council member and CEO of Sorensen Gross Construction Services.
“This is what the heritage council is all about – becoming good American citizens, productive in the community while at the same time preserving our heritage and the good things about it.”