In honor of Arab American Heritage Month, join us for a film screening of Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History, followed by a conversation with young Arab American professionals of Indianapolis further exploring complexities around identity, belonging and family traditions.
As many European immigrants left behind economic pressures for better opportunities in America, Arab-speaking immigrants have called Indianapolis their home since the late 1800s. A rich history and culture often hidden and buried in plain sight and not acknowledged, Arab American labor and contributions continue to make an enduring mark on the framework of Indianapolis. These stories further point to the great diversity of Hoosiers who make this city possible.
Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History, directed and produced by local filmmaker Becky Fisher and shot by Vinnie Manganello, with author and IUPUI Professor Edward E. Curtis IV and other Arab Americans on their search into the diverse history of central Indiana. An official selection of the 31st annual Heartland International Film Festival, Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History debuted on WFYI Indianapolis on June 16, 2022, and is underwritten by the Arab Indianapolis Foundation, Inc., and Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
FREE. Limited walk-ins are available.
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Light refreshments
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Film screening and conversation
Arrive early and show your registration to visit the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center for free. Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Moderated by Sara Hindi with Ezzeldeen Elsayed, Arwa Ghalawan and Maria Nimri
Sara Hindi (she/her) is a proud American of Palestinian-Jordanian descent. She was born in Amman, Jordan, and lived between Indianapolis and Amman when she was younger. She has been in Central Indiana for about 21 years. She is currently the Chief Communications Officer for the Indianapolis City-County Council. Previously, she was a legislative intern with a local lobbying firm and had served the refugee community in Indianapolis for 7 years at Exodus Refugee Immigration. As a passionate community volunteer and member of several nonprofit boards, she focuses her volunteer efforts on civic engagement, equity, and inclusion, and mentoring undergraduate students. Hindi holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Public Affairs from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. She is also an alum of Hoosier Women Forward and IndyHub’s 1828 Leadership Project.
Ezzeldeen Elsayed (he/him) is a proud American of Egyptian descent. He recently graduated with a double major in Political Science and International Studies from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Elsayed is a strong advocate for justice and equality, and he hopes to one day become a professor and inspire young people, especially Muslims, to pursue a career in politics. He is currently a history and English teacher at a private Islamic school called Legacy Learning Center, located in Indianapolis.
Arwa Ghalawan (she/her) is a Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Infosys located in the Indianapolis Technology and Innovation Hub. In this role, Arwa creates innovative solutions to strengthen diversity, inclusion and cultural competencies across the organization. Arwa is a key leader in enabling Infosys’ ambitious plan to attract diverse talent to Indiana as Infosys continues to build a world class tech hub. Arwa has established multifaceted innovative programs that connect the Indy Tech Hub to the local and global tech ecosystem, stakeholders, and strategic partners. Arwa serves on the board of Girls Scouts of Central Indiana, Immigrants Welcome Center, Women & Hi-Tech Diversity & Inclusion Committee member, and Pass the Torch for Women Foundation Committee member. Arwa has been recognized as a Tech 25 Class of 2019 by TechPoint. Arwa earned her associate degree from Ivy Tech Community College and is currently completing her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Maria Nimri (she/her) is a proud first-generation daughter of Jordanian immigrants, and has been a longtime advocate for social justice, equity, and inclusion. Currently, she is a Senior Analyst at CVSHealth where she strives to bring diverse representation to her organization and industry. Maria is native to Indianapolis and is a proud member of its Arab community. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in public health from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and a graduate degree in public health administration from Everglades University, with concentrations in community health and epidemiology. In her free time, you can find her at a local coffee shop or immersed in a book club.