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Arab American philanthropist announces $2 million legacy gift to ACCESS’ Arab American National Museum


DEARBORN, Mich. — Longtime ACCESS supporter, businessman and philanthropist Russell J. Ebeid made a landmark announcement during the ACCESS 43rd Annual Dinner at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center on April 12, sharing his decision to make a $2 million legacy gift to the Arab American National Museum (AANM).

The gift, which Mr. Ebeid is leaving in his will, serves as the first of its kind in ACCESS’ 43-year history and will endow the Museum’s Arab American Community Archives. This collection is central to the mission of the Museum and showcases the hard work and contributions of Arab Americans, while relating the Arab American immigrant story as the American story.

“I have decided to make this endowment because I believe in our community,” explained Ebeid during the announcement last Saturday. “I believe in supporting our institutions and creating a loud and proud historical heritage for our children, grandchildren and the public for generations to come. I trust that this legacy contribution in my will can promote and enhance the Museum’s prestige, as well as honor our admirable predecessors. Therefore I hope to inspire and challenge my fellow Arab Americans, such as those gathered here tonight to participate with me in this noble cause.”

“This is a tipping point in the way we engage our individual donors,” states ACCESS Deputy Executive Director and CFO Maha Freij.  “This contribution is five times larger than any other individual gift we’ve ever received.  We are so thankful to Mr. Ebeid for breaking the glass ceiling, for his leadership and for believing in us.”

Mr. Ebeid is a longstanding supporter of the Arab American National Museum and the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), another national initiative of ACCESS. Through his scholarship program, housed at CAAP, he supports the educational endeavors of students of color and exemplifies the Center’s mission of strategic giving in the Arab American community.


Grounded in the Arab-American tradition of hospitality, ACCESS has a 43-year history of providing social, health, education and legal services in greater Detroit to empower people to lead healthy, informed and productive lives. Today, ACCESS extends that mission to a national platform through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy. Visit us online at