Kayal Fund

The Arab American community is diverse, often misunderstood, underrepresented and understudied. With this in mind, Dr. Philip Kayal, chairman emeritus of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Seton Hall University, approached CAAP with his idea to support Arab American research. The Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research was established, fulfilling Dr. Kayal’s desire to support young Arab American scholars and social science research on the Arab American community.

There is an enormous need for factual information on Arab Americans, and as an academic of Syrian ancestry, I wanted to help fill the void. I set up a research fund with the gracious help and support of CAAP, which made both the grant application and distribution process seamless. I never expected to be so pleased with the results. – Dr. Philip M. Kayal

In its first year, the Fund provided grant awards to six scholars across the country, with research topics ranging from stereotyping of Arab American adolescents to Palestinian cinema, to Yemeni farm workers and more. 2015 Grant awardee Claudia Youakim at the University of Florida, who is researching Arab American identity constructs among college students, says “I am honored to be a grant recipient of the Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research! I am excited to share my research on Arab American ethnic identity with others at upcoming conferences, and the opportunity to collaborate with fellow scholars.” To view the 2015 Kayal Fund Awardees, visit our grants database.

In 2016, the Fund provided grant awards to 4 scholars across country, with research topics ranging from Arab American feminism through dance to Palestinian activism of college students, to Arab American caregivers of children with developmental disabilities to the collaboration of the Muslim Rights and Black Lives Matter movements.

2016 Kayal Fund Awardees

  • Dr. Shatha Almutawa, Willamette University, studying the relationship between secularism and gender through Muslim and Arab American women who dance the tango
  • Serene Habayeb, Catholic Unversity of America, researching Arab American caregivers of children with autsim and other developmental disabilties
  • Saliem Shihadeh, San Francisco State University, studying how political engagement in Palestinian student activism contributes to identifications of Palestinian-American students
  • Hajar Yazdiha, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researching how different groups can seek commonality through shared experiences, specifically, the Muslim Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement in New York City

By supporting effective research through the Kayal Fund, you will strengthen programs serving the community, educate Americans about the contributions of the Arab American community to this country. Enable Arab Americans to have a stronger voice to shape their future within American society – give to the Kayal Fund!

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