Home to Ford’s international headquarters and the largest collection of Arabic-speaking peoples in the United States, Dearborn is rightly known as “the town that Ford built.” There was little here but farmland when Henry Ford was born in a small white farmhouse at the corner of Ford Road and Mercury Drive.
While in Dearborn, make time for at least a taste of its Arabian culture. Most of Dearborn’s Arab citizens live in the neighborhoods that line Warren and Dix. (The Dix neighborhood lies in the shadow of the Ford Rouge Plant, one of the largest factories in the world.) Its working-class residents are more than 90 percent Arab, primarily from Yemen.
The south end boasts signs that are in both English and Arabic, headscarves are common on women, and many men wear traditional skullcaps. The restaurants and shops along Dix offer sights and sounds heard in the Arabian peninsula, including a call to prayer broadcast five times daily from a local mosque.
Take some time to visit the fascinating Arab American National Museum (13624 Michigan Ave., 313/582-2266, www.arabamericanmuseum.org , 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Wed. and Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs., noon–5 p.m. Sun., $6 adults, $3 children 6–12), the first museum in the world devoted to Arab American history and culture.