The Muslim American Heritage Celebration was created to help promote public appreciation of “Muslim-Americana” – the diverse contributions Muslims have made to our nation’s culture and progress. The program provides resources for schools, civic groups, congregations, and even individual families to celebrate both the accomplishments of Americans of Muslim heritage and the fundamental freedoms that have enabled us to thrive.
From the early days, Muslim Americans embraced their country’s entrepreneurial spirit, propelling the country’s development forward. The ice cream waffle cone was created at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by Syrian-American Ernest Hamwi. Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American called the “Einstein of structural engineering,” created a structural system that established and continues to define America’s skyline.
Today, Muslim Americans embody the American dream – and spirit – and are an integral part of the realization of democracy and freedom. We have also played major roles in the economy, with well-known entrepreneurs and executives like Farooq Kathwari, the president, chairman and chief executive officer of Ethan Allen; Michael Chowdry, founder of Atlas Air; Tariq Farid, co-founder of Edible Arrangements; Syed Javaid Anwar, CEO of Midland Energy; Mohamed A. El-Erain, former chief executive officer of PIMCO; Fuad El-Hibri, founder of Emergent BioSolutions; and Shahid Khan, owner and CEO and Flex-N-Gate. All of these individuals embody the American dream.