CAAP and ACCESS are incredibly pleased and proud to announce that this year’s prestigious Arab American of the Year award will be presented to distinguished international advocates and philanthropists Basem and Muna Hishmeh at ACCESS’s 48th Annual Dinner on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

Basem and Muna’s extraordinary commitment to numerous worthy causes has helped them uplift the voices of countless individuals and communities in various parts of the world. Their unwavering support of various impactful causes embodies the spirit of compassion that is at the heart of ACCESS’ efforts to empower our communities.

Originally from Palestine, Basem and Muna are deeply committed to their Arab American heritage and cultural identity, focusing on breaking barriers and uniting people of all backgrounds. The Hishmehs – founders of the foundation that bears their names – provide critical support to programs that increase opportunities for the cultural and artistic expression of youth in various geographic areas. Among their foundation’s beneficiaries is William Paterson University in their home state of New Jersey and the Arab American National Museum, along with countless other institutions in both Palestine and the United States. In addition, they have served on boards of several charitable and nonprofit organizations, including CAAP’s very own national advisory board.

Their strategic philanthropic work has been accompanied by remarkably accomplished careers. Basem currently serves as chairman and CFO of Sigma-Netics in Riverdale, New Jersey, a manufacturer of electromechanical components for construction and aerospace industries, among others. He has worked in managerial and executive positions in the Cleveland area and in Saudi Arabia and owned and operated companies in New Jersey, South Korea and China. Muna has volunteered her time and considerable talents with many schools, museums and charitable organizations, fueled by her strong belief in the power of art and its impact on youth, especially those with limited opportunities.

We are tremendously honored that Basem and Muna will be accepting our 2019 Arab American of the Year award. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of our signature annual event, as we recognize these distinguished award recipients.

Learn more about the Basem and Muna Hishmeh Foundation.

The ACCESS 48th Annual Dinner will take place at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2019. For more information, contact Nissrine Hussein at 313.842.4748 or

Purchase tickets here.

One comment on “Basem and Muna Hishmeh: Arab Americans of the Year”

  1. 1
    Judy Stone on March 8, 2021

    I have known Muna and Basem for years and I was maid of honor at their wedding! Muna (Shami) and I met in 7th grade and I literally spent my teen years with her entire family. Muna has always had an adventurous spirit, a tremendous work ethic and a kind heart! Basem is truly her soul mate and the two of them working together are the “dynamic duo”. So very proud of my longtime friend and her family!

    Judy Stone

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