Star Ledger Lead editorial: The Arab American Story

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The Arab-American story

It is widely known that New Jersey has long been a gateway to America, luring people from all over the world in search of a better life. But even longtime residents may not realize that the Garden State has the second-highest percentage of Americans of Arab ancestry of any state.

The New Jersey Arab-American Heritage Commission recently created by Gov. Jon Corzine will help remedy that by educating students and the public about Arab-Americans’ many contributions to the state and nation.

The 25-member commission has a worthy story to tell. Arab- Americans serve at the highest levels of the military and the government and hold leading spots in the sciences and the arts.

New Jersey is one of the most prominent centers of the Arab- American population in the country. The 70,000 Arab-Americans here make up nearly 1 percent of the Garden State’s population, a percentage that is second only to the community’s presence in Michigan.

Spreading knowledge and information about the state’s numerous ethnic groups is vital. New Jersey is a diverse place and is getting more diverse. That diversity is one of our greatest strengths, ensuring the state a steady supply of new ideas, new energy, and fresh perspectives.

The beauty of America has always been that, despite the challenges it presents, diversity has ultimately enriched rather than divided us as a people. The state Arab-American Heritage Commission will contribute to that proud history.

©2008 Star Ledger

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