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Belt Publishing

Arab Indianapolis

Regular price $20.00 USD
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by Edward E. Curtis IV

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.

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 of central Indiana. Arab Indianapolis features the stories of Arab Americans—some famous, some not—who have shaped the Capital City’s past and will continue to define its future. It details a history hidden in plain sight, one sometimes buried beneath Indianapolis’s most iconic landmarks such as Lucas Oil Stadium, Monument Circle, the Indiana War Memorials, the Governor’s Residence, and Riverside Park. Highlights include:

  • Helen Corey, the first Arab American to hold statewide elected office and the author of one of the most famous books on Syrian cuisine
  • Jeff George, a Syrian American from the region who went on to play quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts
  • The Syrian Christian community and the building of St. George Orthodox Church
  • Indianapolis's connection to St. Jude Children’s Hospital
  • Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana governor and grandson to Syrian immigrants

Through short essays, over eighty beautiful photographs, interviews, and even a few recipes, this collection embraces the full humanity of Arab Americans in the Midwest. It will give you a deeper sense of the myriad lives of Arab-descended Hoosiers who call Indianapolis home.

Arab Indianapolis is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to know the full story of how Arab Americans continue to shape one of the Midwest’s most iconic cities.

Edward E. Curtis IV, a descendant of the first generation of Arabic-speaking people to settle in the American Midwest, is the William M. and Gail M. Plater Chair of the Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The founder of the Arab Indianapolis community project, he is the author or editor of over a dozen books about Muslim, Black, and Arab American history and life, including Muslims of the Heartland and Muslim American Politics and the Future of US Democracy.

June 7, 2022 | ISBN: 9781953368270 Hardcover | $30.00 | 160 pages 6 x 9

Praise for Arab Indianapolis

"People assume that Midwest history is largely homogeneous and white. Arab Indianapolis makes the case otherwise." —Rashika Jaipuriar, Indianapolis Star

"Dr. Curtis takes a scholarly look at the often-neglected history of Arab Americans in Indianapolis, who have made significant impacts on the region since the late 1800s." —Andrea Watts, Indianapolis Monthly

See also: 

The Indianapolis Anthology 


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