In times of crisis, every penny counts, but most importantly to know that we have shoulders to lean on has been the most comforting.

We’re excited to announce that CAAP has granted a total of $80,000 to 19 Arab American nonprofit organizations across the U.S.

The grants, which range from $2,000 to $5,000 each, aim to support nonprofit organizations in maintaining operations and providing relief services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten of the organizations awarded focus on arts and culture, and the other nine provide human services along with education and advocacy efforts to their local communities.

“As we all collectively face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arab American organizations across the country are in need of flexible, immediate support,” says Maha Freij, CAAP Director. “CAAP is proud to provide funding to these organizations that are doing incredible work in the areas of arts and culture, and direct services,” she continued.

As most available funding is being redirected to COVID-19 relief, arts-based nonprofits have faced budget challenges in addition to the adjustment of working from home. Some organizations have carried on by shifting to online programming, which has allowed for them to maintain operations, along with a sense of community, while continuing to practice physical distancing.

Maintaining community is especially important to the Pennsylvania-based organization Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, a CAAP grant award recipient. Rooted in Arab arts and language, Al-Bustan aims to engage and connect its Western Philadelphia community with the rich Arab heritage through cross-cultural educational programming.

Hazami Sayed, Executive Director and Founder of Al-Bustan, says, “We’re grateful for the support of CAAP—particularly in this time when Philadelphia schools and non-essential businesses remain closed for an undetermined period. Our office and gallery/event space have been shuttered since March 14, though we are still obligated to cover rent and utility expenses. The funding we received from CAAP will be critical in enabling us to continue with our operations remotely through virtual and other means of communication.”

CAAP recognizes its responsibility as a community-based organization to support efforts equally rooted in community. This pandemic has shed light on the many inequities vulnerable and minority communities already face and has increased the need to elevate these voices. The reality is all the more dire for families struggling to fulfill the basic needs for survival.

“To know that our own national Arab American community foundation has stepped up and provided support and relief to Arab American organizations across the country in times of crisis speaks to our solidarity and how connected we are as one community,” said Nareman Taha, Co-founder and Director of Arab American Family Services. “As our families’ needs grow in these challenging times—food, supplies, etc.—it is a sigh of relief to know that CAAP is able to lend a hand. In times of crisis, every penny counts, but most importantly to know that we have shoulders to lean on has been the most comforting.”

The CAAP 2020 grant award recipients include

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