By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks nears, the Arab American National Museum is doing its part to commemorate the day.
From Sept. 8 through Sept. 10, the museum, along with its parent organization, Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services, and National Network of Arab American Communities will present a series of panel discussions called “U.S. Rising: Emerging Voices in Post-9/11 America,” at the museum, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University in Detroit.
“They will be focused on the challenges of the world, and will feature the democratic uprisings in the Middle East,” museum Deputy Director Devon Akmon said.
Hassan Jaber, executive director of ACCESS, said the presentations will also honor the victims of the attacks and focus on the progress made in the Arab and Muslim communities since 9/11.
“It’s really four days of events honoring the event and reflecting on the last 10 years,” he said.
The panel, organized by the museum, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and UM-D, will deal with the legal impact of the attacks on the community.
Jaber said a one-day conference on Sept. 10 to conclude the discussions will feature guest speakers including U.S. Reps. John Dingell (D-Dearborn), John Conyers (D-Detroit) and Hansen Clark (D-Detroit).
Also at the museum, StoryCorps, a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, N.Y., that allows people to record their personal experiences, will have a booth in the museum’s Library and Resource Center on the ground floor from Sept. 8 to 10. The booth will allow residents from across the state to share their personal stories on how the world has changed post-9/11.
“This is really the experiences of ordinary people who have lived through extraordinary circumstances,” Akmon said.
According to the StoryCorps website, the program records one story for each life lost during Sept. 11 since 2005.
Jaber said the programs have been in the works for four months, but the most serious discussions took place over the last two. He said the original idea was to have the events in New York City, but instead chose Dearborn because the stories are meant to show the effects on Muslim communities.
Akmon said the museum will also host a performance by Los Angeles-based hip-hop artist Omar Offendum, who sings about his experiences as an Arab American. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at the museum.
All those interested in registering for the StoryCorps video can make appointments at www.usrising.org or by calling (313) 624-0205.
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)