Arab Indianapolis Documentary Now Streaming

Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History, directed and produced by local filmmaker Becky Fisher and shot by Vinnie Manganello, reveals a new chapter in the diverse history of central Indiana. It explores the first Arabic-speaking neighborhood in Indianapolis, the founding of St. George Church in the 1920s, the establishment of a prominent Arab American business on Monument circle, the service of Arab Americans in World War … Continue reading Arab Indianapolis Documentary Now Streaming

Arab Indianapolis Book of Stories & Photographs

An accessible, intimate look at the oft-neglected history of Arab Americans in Greater Indianapolis who have made a remarkable impact on the region since the late 1800s. Order here or at your favorite local book store. From establishing local businesses to working in the fields of health care and education, Arab Americans have made indelible contributions to the cultural vitality, economic growth, and social fabric … Continue reading Arab Indianapolis Book of Stories & Photographs

$250,000 Grant to Prevent Discrimination against Africana Religions

I am proud to join Professors Danielle Boaz (UNC Charlotte) and Youssef Carter (UNC Chapel Hill) as co-principal investigator in a multi-year project, funded by the Religion and Theology Program of the Henry Luce Foundation, that amplifies community efforts to prevent discrimination and violence against practitioners of Africana religions. The first stage will engage practitioners of African ancestral religions such as Lucumí (Santeria), Candomblé, Obeah, … Continue reading $250,000 Grant to Prevent Discrimination against Africana Religions

New Arab Indianapolis Heritage Trail

Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Sites along the Arab Indianapolis Heritage Trail! Click on this link to Clio.Com. The Arab Indianapolis Heritage Trail there will give you directions to each stop along the route and tell you why the site is important. It is possible to walk from the Historic Syrian Quarter to Monument Circle, the Indiana War Memorials, Mass Ave, and the Indiana … Continue reading New Arab Indianapolis Heritage Trail

Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest

The American Midwest is often thought of as uniformly white, and shaped exclusively by Christian values. However, this view of the region as an unvarying landscape fails to consider a significant community at its very heart. Muslims of the Heartland uncovers the long history of Muslims in a part of the country where many readers would not expect to find them. Edward E. Curtis IV, … Continue reading Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest

Arab American Heritage Month 2021

It was a busy and fun Arab American Heritage Month for me. I tweeted @EdwardECurtisIV every day of the month about Arab Americans in Indianapolis and other parts of the state. Among the highlights were two original maps charting the growth of Syrian-owned grocery stores from 1915 to 1940 designed by Jeffrey Wilson, professor of geography and Associate Dean for Research at the IU School … Continue reading Arab American Heritage Month 2021

Concluding My Service to the Journal of Africana Religions

After a decade of work to create a viable journal devoted to the study of religion in Africa and the African diaspora, I told my board last week that I was ready to step down. It is a good time for me to do so since the journal is in an incredibly strong position. In addition to co-founder Sylvester Johnson, its editorial team now includes … Continue reading Concluding My Service to the Journal of Africana Religions

First Mini-Documentary for Arab Indianapolis is Released

It was so much fun to work with Vinnie Manganello, chromapros.com, on the trailer for ArabIndianapolis.Com, my community history project on the contributions of Arab Americans to Greater Indianapolis. IUPUI Honors student Mickey Yoder and Prof. Paul Mullins provided invaluable assistance on the historical content for the piece. We shot the stand-ups on a Sunday morning and then finished the voice-overs later. I found the … Continue reading First Mini-Documentary for Arab Indianapolis is Released

Indianapolis’ Syrian Colony, Buried under Lucas Oil Stadium

Joy supreme has reigned in the Syrian colony on Willard Street since 3 o’clock on Wednesday morning when David Freije hugged to his breast for the first time in eight years his wife Martha and their seven year old daughter Salomey, whom he had never seen before. Indianapolis Morning Star (1905) It took all of grocer David Freije’s hard-earned $400 in savings, the equivalent of … Continue reading Indianapolis’ Syrian Colony, Buried under Lucas Oil Stadium

How Anti-Muslim War Makes U.S. Democracy Impossible

Originally published in Mondoweiss, January 14, 2020: The “usual suspects” are already being rounded up. U.S. citizens with Iranian names and backgrounds are being selected for special screening at the border. City police departments in New York and Los Angeles have vowed to be on alert for Iranian terrorists. It’s been the same story for decades. Nearly anytime the United States has a military conflict … Continue reading How Anti-Muslim War Makes U.S. Democracy Impossible