Posted by Nadia Aziz on October 12, 2016 in Blog

The Arab American Institute is pleased to introduce your Michigan Yalla Vote Field Organizer, Bayan Jaber.

Bayan.pngQ: What is your educational background? 

My educational background has been based in Dearborn. I’m proud to consider myself a product of the Dearborn Public School System, one that has employed both my mother and sister as dedicated elementary school teachers on the East Side of the city.  I am currently attending the University of Michigan – Dearborn, pursuing a degree in International Studies and a minor in Political Science.  I accredit my activist awakening to my time spent on the U of M-D campus, one with a prominent Arab American student body. 

Q: What interested you most about the Yalla Vote Field Organizer Position? 

I have always been fond of the work that the Arab American Institute has done and the essential awareness that it has helped bring to the Arab American community on a national scale.  When I became aware of the position I was really excited to have a chance to engage with my community during a historic time in our nation.  Throughout my time in college, I have become conscious of the importance of politically mobilizing our community and I am so excited to be able to finally do so.

Q: What would you like to say to the Arab American community in your state? 

We have so much power in Michigan, but we need to organize!  Our perspectives and opinions as minorities are essential to creating a more progressive, empathetic, and inclusive American society.  We have been a part of this country’s history since the 19th century and we have played an essential role in placing Dearborn, and in turn Michigan, on the world stage.  Organizing and making our voices heard this November – both locally and nationally – could lead to positive lasting changes for our state and our country as a whole.

Q: What are you most excited about in your new role as a Yalla Vote Field Organizer? 

I am really looking forward to being able to engage with my community regarding our role in both local and national politics and policies through my capacity as a Yalla Vote Field Organizer.  I am surrounded by my fellow Arab American community members who are making amazing and important moves every day, and I am so excited to be a means to spotlighting that. 

Q: How do you envision the Arab American community in your state mobilizing ahead of the Election? 

It is no secret that there has been an unfavorable and undeserved spotlight on the Arab American and American Muslim community this election cycle.  I envision my city and my state organizing to prove that bigotry and discrimination have no place in our country.  We are an invaluable part of American society, and our mobilization will play into reshaping the current rhetoric into one that is more positive and honest.

Q: Why is the Arab American vote in your state important? 

The Arab American vote in Michigan will be important because as a minority voice, we bring a unique perspective to the national arena that needs to be heard.  Through our vote, we can place people in office who will speak on behalf of our best interest.  Not only is our presence in the presidential election necessary, but even more so in our local and state elections.  So Yalla, Vote! 

To contact Bayan and learn about how you can get involved ahead of November 8th, e-mail YallaVoteMI@gmail.com