Arab Americans have been woven into the quilt of the United States for hundreds of years. We have been your neighbors, teachers, cashiers, doctors, firefighters, and entertainers.
The immigrants that spoke Arabic arrived in various times in US history from the 22 Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa, also called MENA.
Arab Christians first started coming to America during the time of the pilgrims, shortly followed by their Arab Muslim relatives. Today, they make up 63% of the total Arab population.
Arabs all came to America for the same freedoms that were promised to other immigrant grandparents. By 2008, there were 3,500,000 Arab Americans, accounting for 1.14% of the US population.
I have compiled this list inspired by all the women’s marches that were organized in the US in January 2017. I will update links to these notable women as I research them. If you are a visual person, check out this list on Crafty Arab American Women on Pinterst.
Here are 99 Arab American women that you may already know.
Reem Acra , is a fashion designer
Hanan Alattar, is an operatic soprano and actress
Paula Abdul, is a songwriter, singer and actress
Susan Abulhawa, is a writer and human rights activist
Diana Abu Jaber, is a writer
Saddeka Arebi, is a social anthropologist and author
Rosemary Barkett, is a United States Circuit Judge and Chief Justice
Cherien Dabis, is a director, producer, and screenwriter (Amreeka and May in The Summer)
Fadwa El Guindi, is a professor of anthropology and actress
Isra Girgrah, is a professional world champion female boxer.
Adele Khoury Graham
Lisa Najeeb Halaby (Queen Noor of Jordan)
Suheir Hammad is a poet, author, performer, and political activist.
Sanaa Hamri, is a film director, music video director, television director, and television producer
Anissa Jones, is an actress
Kerri Kasem, is a radio personality
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, is a lawyer
Callie Khouri, is a film and television screenwriter, producer, and director
Laila Lalami, a novelist and essayist.
Lisa Suhair Majaj, poet and literary scholar
Laura Nader, an anthropologist
Kathy Najimy, is an actress and comedian
Nawal M Nour
Naomi Shihab Nye
Mary Rose Oakar
Judge Jeanine Pirro
Dina Habib Powell
Yamila Diaz Rahi
Diane Rehm, is a public radio talk show host
Linda Sarsour, activist and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York
Nada Shabout, is an art historian and professor
Donna Shalala, a US Secretary of Health and Human Services
Alia Shawkat, is an actress
Helen Thomas, is an author, reporter, member of the White House press corps
Marlo Thomas, is an actress, producer, and social activist
Mary Tuma, is an artist
Moon Zappa, is an actress and author
Rosemarie Said Zahlan, historian and writer
Maysoon Zayid, is an actress and comedian
Helen Zughaib, is an artist
Looking for the Arab American men? Check out
Interested in more 99 projects that teach about the Arab world? Check out