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 Welcome to the Arab-American Educational Foundation

The Arab-American Educational Foundation, Inc. (AAEF) was established in Houston in 1985 as a non-profit organization with
the mission to promote understanding of Arab culture, history and language, through the endowment of university chairs and
the sponsoring of academic programs, lecture series, cultural performances, scholarships, and research.

The AAEF has produced many successful events in the Houston area to educate the local community. The AAEF has also established the first Chair of Arab Studies in Houston, initiated at Rice University. Currently, the AAEF has successfully raised the necessary $1 million in an endowment campaign to establish a second Chair of Arab Studies in the area, at the University of Houston. We are very proud of our achievements on behalf of the Arab-American community, and invite you to join us in making as well as preserving history.


Current Projects



Establishing a Houston Center for Arab Studies

The AAEF is conducting discussions with the two chairs of Arab History and Middle East studies in Houston and university leadership to create a Center for Arab Studies. Please check back soon for more information.

AAEF President Featured in Three Videos

Dr. Aziz Shaibani was honored by the Arab American Cultural and Community Center at its annual gala in December 2017 with an award for his dedication to the community. See the video at

Dr. Shaibani gave a lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston on Brain Science and Visual Art on 
October 26, 2017. See the video at

The AAEF cosponsored with the Arab American Cultural and Community Center a conversation with the Syrian thinker Professor Aziz Al Azmeh on secularism, moderated by Dr. Aziz Shaibani. See the video at

Articles by Dr. Ussama Makdisi, AAEF Chair at Rice University

The Mythology of the Sectarian Middle East  

Trump's Executive Order Pits Muslims Against Christians
Annual Nijad and Zeina Fares Arab-American Educational Foundation Lecture at the University of Houston

"The Early History of the Arab-American Community"
Professor Akram Khater
North Carolina State University

February 19, 2019

University of Houston Hilton
Waldorf-Astoria Ballroom

6:00 pm Reception
6:30 pm Lecture

4800 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77004

Parking is available at the hotel's underground garage and also in the Welcome Center garage next door. Click here to see the flyer.

Celebration of First Chair of Arab Studies at the University of Houston


Endowment Campaign for the University of Houston Chair of Modern Arab Studies


We invite you to view our endowment campaign video and lecture videos at the links below.

Celebration of Chair of Arab Studies at University of Houston, April 2015

Shawqi Kassis Lecture at Rice University, November 2014

Robert Fisk Lecture at Rice University, May 2014

Charles Hirschkind Lecture at Rice University, April 2014

Ussama Makdisi Lecture at Rice University, March 2014
Marcel Khalife Lecture at Rothko Chapel
, April 2012

Anthony Shadid Lecture
, October 2011

Poet Adonis Lecture
, October 2010

Contact Us

The Arab-American Educational Foundation
P.O. Box 270333
Houston, Texas 77277-0333

Phone: 832-350-8477

Facebook: @ArabAmericanEF



Historical Highlights


Enjoy this fascinating archived document about Syrian and Lebanese Texans.