The month of April within any city is usually pretty average for most people. However, for the Arab-American community in Malden, the month carries additional meaning, as Mayor Gary Christenson officially recognized Arab-American Heritage Month within the City of Malden. Needless to say, this was something that was supported all-around.
In an interview with Mayor Christenson, he stated that he was persuaded to go forward with this by a resident, Faten Shelbayah, who reached out to him in March to go forward with the idea. The Mayor stated that he received positive feedback from the Arab-American community and that he believes the Arab-American Heritage Month to be a success in Malden.
In addition to proclaiming the holiday, the Mayor has also taken part in various events hosted by the Arab-American community within Malden, including wishing Eid Mubarak to the Arab community at the Outreach Community and Reform Center. However, with COVID-19, in-person gatherings have been significantly less in number, and the Mayor has stated that during these times, the proclamation serves to reinforce community bonds.
The Mayor has made April the month for the Arab-American community, but he does not intend to stop there. He has said that he will provide additional months for the various communities in Malden, due to the fact that Malden is a very diverse city. To quote the Mayor: “[learning about diversity is his] favorite part of the job” and “learning and sharing traditions and cultural events.” Needless to say, it is safe to assume that Malden will continue honoring its diversity with Mayor Gary Christenson at the helm.
This article has been corrected to say Arab-American in the first paragraph. It previously stated African-American.