Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit


Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit 2023

Connecting and Empowering Arab Americans from Across the U.S.

Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4, 2023,

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida.


Saturday, October 28, 2023

It is with regret we inform you that the Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit, scheduled for November 3-4 in Orlando, Florida, has been unilaterally canceled by the Doubletree Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.

The stated reason for this last-minute unilateral cancellation by the hotel is security, based on several phone calls received by the hotel asking why Hilton was hosting our summit. We believe this to be part of an overarching and systematic machine vowing to shut down all Arab American voices.



Amidst the tragic crisis in Gaza, we implore you to join us at the summit, offering essential support and resources. Your presence will symbolize solidarity with the Palestinian people at this critical time and unity with attendees who are striving to amplify our voices collectively.

The Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit 2023 is your chance to engage with a diverse community of like-minded individuals, visionary community leaders, and influential speakers.

Moreover, our program is evolving as we have curated a panel addressing the issue of unfair tropes and media coverage, featuring experts on stress management, and a portion of our fundraising dedicated to humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Join the annual Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit 2023!  This extraordinary Summit is set to unfold on November 3-4, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821, located in the heart of Orland’s tourist attractions.

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience as you engage with a diverse community of like-minded individuals, visionary community leaders, and influential speakers. The summit will cover a range of topics, including entrepreneurship, women empowerment, youth leadership, and commemoration of our rich heritage.

Immerse yourself in the learning and networking opportunities that await you, enabling you to broaden your horizons, forge lasting connections, and acquire valuable knowledge that will propel you forward both personally and professionally.

As an optional bonus, Sunday, November 5, offers the chance to take advantage of discounted tickets to Orlando’s fabulous attractions and the lively Moroccan Festival.

So, don’t miss this incredible chance to be a part of our transformative journey of enjoyment, empowerment, and success. Together, let’s embark on this remarkable adventure. Yalla!

Arab America Foundation Announces Connect Arab America: Empowerment Summit November 3-4, 2023 in Orlando, Florida

Welcome Letter from Mayor Jerry L. Demings, Mayor of Orange County

FRIDAY, November 3:

8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Arab America Foundation 1st Annual Golf Outing

Falcon’s Fire Golf Club is recognized both regionally and nationally as one of the finest public Golf Courses in Orlando. This Rees Jones-designed championship Golf Course and the spacious Clubhouse offers Guests a spectacular venue. It’s an immaculate Golf Course featuring the highest level of service and amenities, with the latest technology, including GPS navigation. Breakfast and Lunch included.  

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Registration and Information

Exhibits Open

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Kick-Off Lunch for State Team Leaders

Join us for a captivating and empowering Kick-Off Lunch as we gather Arab America Foundation’s dedicated State Team Leaders. This dynamic breakout meeting aims to foster a deep sense of connection and camaraderie among the leaders, providing an opportunity to embrace the essence of our movement. Together, we will explore the unique opportunities and challenges faced by State Team Leaders

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Connecting with the Movement–Yalla Cousins!

Step into the heart of a transformative movement as we present this informative panel. Join us for an enlightening discussion as we showcase the incredible strides made by the Arab America Foundation in promoting Arab heritage, educating Americans about Arab identity, and empowering Arab Americans nationwide.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Connecting with Ultimate Well-Being: Dealing with Stress in a Turbulent World

In the quest for well-being, it’s vital to harmonize the mind, body, and soul. Arab Americans face a unique set of challenges, balancing everyday stresses while navigating complex issues like cultural identity, parenting, immigration, and discrimination. Moreover, the emotional weight of worrying about family in turbulent homelands adds another layer of complexity. Join us to explore strategies for managing stress, fostering resilience, and achieving holistic well-being in the face of these multifaceted challenges.

4:00 pm 

End of Afternoon Activities

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Ahlan Networking Reception and Dinner

Ahlan! Welcome to the much-awaited opening reception of the CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit! This is the moment we’ve all been eagerly anticipating—a joyous kick-off where we come together for the first time to forge new connections. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey of empowerment, inspiration, and community. 

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Fann Wa Tarab Concert Cultural Evening

An evening with Simon Shaheen, one of the most influential Arab musicians, performers, and composers of our time. Experience the magic of Fann Wa Tarab on Friday evening, November 3, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld. Shaheen will be accompanied by his ensemble from New York, featuring Syrian American vocalist, Nano Raies, Firas Zreik on qanun, Gilbert Mansour on percussion, and Rami Abuolaya on nay. Don’t miss this captivating evening of extraordinary Arab music sure to fill you with pride for the rich heritage and culture of the Arab world.

10:00 pm

Candle Vigil: Healing and Hope

In partnership with Arab Socials.


SATURDAY Daytime, November 4:

8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Registration and Information

Exhibits Open

8:00 am – 9:30 am

Man’oushe, Foul, and Qahwa Networking Breakfast

Indulge your senses in an authentic Arab and American delicacies and prepare yourself for a delightful morning as you mingle and connect with fellow summit attendees, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and get acquainted with like-minded Arab Americans from various backgrounds. 

9:30 am – 12:30 pm

CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit

Connecting and empowering Arab Americans across the country with presentations by community leaders, influential women, rising leaders, and awesome performers.

9:30 am – 9:45 am

Opening Remarks

9:45 am – 10:00 am

Kick-Off Speaker

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Connecting Connecting with National Arab American Heritage Month: Promoting Identity, Countering Misinformation, and Embracing Our Narrative

It is crucial that we share our authentic story. Proactive communication ensures our narrative is rooted in facts. National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM), observed every April, offers a significant opportunity to educate Americans. Since its inception in 2017 by Arab America, NAAHM has evolved from limited recognition to garnering support from the government, numerous states, municipalities, and institutions. The potential to further enhance NAAHM is vast, inspiring more states, institutions, and public servants to participate. By actively engaging in NAAHM, we can spread the message of unity and pride in our Arab American identity, presenting an accurate portrayal of who we are.

10:45 am – 11:00 am

Cultural Performance

11:00 am – 11:45 am

Connecting with Arab American Women: We Hear You, We See You

This panel aims to celebrate the strength, resilience, and accomplishments of Arab American women while highlighting the pivotal role they play in shaping our community and beyond. Together, let’s shatter boundaries, challenge preconceptions, and pave the way for a future where Arab American women’s voices are more heard, valued, and celebrated.

11:45 pm – 12:00 pm

Recognition of State Team Leaders

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Rising Leaders Recognition

Come and join our Zeffa celebration as we honor the Rising Leaders of 2023! This special initiative aims to highlight the outstanding talents and valuable contributions of Arab Americans in three distinct age groups: 40 Under 40, 30 Under 30, and 20 Under 20. These exceptional individuals represent the rising leaders of our community, and we take immense pride in acknowledging their unwavering dedication and hard work. Over 300 Arab Americans have been recognized since 2020.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Sahtein Networking Lunch

Join us for the Sahtein Networking Lunch and seize the opportunity to connect with Arab American attendees hailing from various parts of the United States.

1:30 pm – 3:15 pm

CONNECT Arab America Empowerment Summit

Connecting and empowering Arab Americans across the country with presentations by community leaders, influential women, rising leaders, and awesome performers.

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Connecting with Professionals: Leadership Development

Discover the road to success as we bring together prominent Arab American business leaders and entrepreneurs to share their inspiring success stories and recommendations for growth. The Arab American community has a rich history of entrepreneurship and business acumen. In this panel, you will have the unique opportunity to learn firsthand from accomplished individuals who have navigated the entrepreneurial landscape and achieved remarkable accomplishments.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Media Coverage, Political Rhetoric, and U.S. Foreign Policy: Strategies to Counter Misrepresentations of Arabs in the Media

The portrayal of Arabs is often simplistic, inaccurate, and disproportionately focused on violence, perpetuating harmful stereotypes that fuel racism, Islamophobia, and bullying. This panel will analyze how media outlets, political rhetoric, and U.S. foreign policy contribute to these damaging narratives, examining incidents such as the Gaza crisis where Palestinians have been dehumanized and depicted solely as terrorists, erasing their humanity in the process. Additionally, we explore the impact of social media on shaping public perceptions of Arabs, providing insights and strategies to challenge and counter these misrepresentations.  

3:15 pm

Daytime Activities End


Breakout Meeting on Palestine

SATURDAY Evening, November 4:

5:30 – 11:00 pm

Al Rabitah Gala Banquet

The Al Rabitah Gala Banquet, is an event deeply rooted in the vision of Arab American writer and philosopher, Kahlil Gibran, who initiated “Al Rabitah” (The Connection) over a century ago. Inspired by his ambition to unite Arab Americans under the spirit of heritage, culture, and identity, we gather to honor our shared roots and create lasting connections. Throughout the night, you will be treated to a plated dinner, rich program celebrating our identity. 

11:00 pm

End of Saturday Evening Activities

Optional: Sunday, November 5:

8:30 am

Arab America Foundation Board of Directors Meeting

10:00 am

Yalla Connect! Farewell Networker at the Pavillion

Join us for one last opportunity to connect and bid farewell to each other. This gathering allows us to come together once more, cherishing the memories we’ve created and celebrating the bonds we’ve formed. Yalla, let’s make the most of this moment and bid farewell with a promise to stay connected and meet again soon!

12:00 pm

Optional: Moroccan Heritage Festival

Optional: Special Discounts to Theme Parks


The CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit will take place at:

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Register for our special discounted group rate of just $139 USD per night. 75 rooms are reserved at this discounted rate. First come, first serve.

To reserve a room online, Register Here


Arab America Foundation speakers for CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit: CLICK HERE for Speaker Bios



If your organization is interested to sponsor the CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit, please contact:

Warren David at: or 313-999-6000

Click Here for Sponsorship Levels



If your organization is interested to exhibit at the CONNECT Arab America: Empowerment Summit, please contact:

Warren David at: or 313-999-6000

Click Here to Purchase an Exhibit Table


As part of the Connect Arab America Summit in Orlando this year, we will be holding an auction to raise charitable funds to support the important work of the Arab America Foundation. We are calling on our incredible members – YOU! – to help us in this effort. 

Click Here to Submit an Auction Item


The Al Rabitah Gala Hafla will begin at 5:30 pm on Saturday, November 4th at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821.


How do I complete registration?

Click the Register tab from this website

Enter to Eventbrite landing page

Click the green TICKETS button.

  • Choose the tickets you want and the number of tickets from the drop-down menus.
  • Click the red GET TICKETS button when done selecting.
  • Once registered, you will receive an email confirmation.

How do I register at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld?

You must register separately at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Hotel SeaWorld link above for room reservations.

Can I register onsite?

You should pre-register online before the summit, but if you have not, you can register upon your arrival. After checking in to the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Hotel SeaWorld, you can immediately go to registration in the lobby. All registrants will receive their name badge, wristband, and event tickets when they register.

Will I have to wear a wristband the whole time I’m at the summit?

Yes, and this is for your benefit. The wristbands must be worn at all times and will be required to enter events. This is the fastest way for security to know you are a paid registrant.

What is your refund policy?

We have spent countless hours and resources planning this summit. For this reason, we will be unable to give any refunds for registrations or events. Thank you for your understanding.

What is the dress code for events?

For all events on Friday and Saturday, we suggest business casual. On Saturday evening for the Gala Hafla, we suggest semi-formal attire.

What if I have any questions?

Email if you have any questions or issues registering or call 877-272-2944