Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Blog
By Matt Haugen
Summer 2013 Intern
This past Friday, Mo Maraqa visited AAI’s office to participate in our weekly Brownbag lecture series, part of AAIF’s summer internship program, to talk about his experience. Mr. Maraqa came to the US at a young age from Kuwait before the first Gulf War, but it wasn’t until recently that he became politically active here. Maraqa was previously apathetic towards US politics, but in 2008 he began canvassing for the Obama campaign before being recruited to work for the campaign in some of its most difficult states. Now, Mr. Maraqa serves as the Director of Data and Targeting for the League of Conservation Voters.
AAIF’s Brownbag lecture series brings in a diverse range of Arab American professionals in D.C .to facilitate discussions with interns regarding a variety of topics: from foreign policy to new media to the functions of government agencies. Maraqa’s unique insights with the Obama campaign and his experience with data analytics made his discussion a particularly interesting one. Maraqa analyzes polling data to develop strategies for targeting voters, constituencies, and officials. He prides both himself and his work on the ability to cut through the spin endemic to D.C. politics.
Maraqa’s ideals originate from his early years in the States, but he approaches politics with a level-head and a passion to serve his community. Mr. Maraqa discussed the rigid political structure of Capitol Hill and prospects for real change. He spoke about how his position at the League of Conservation Voters allowed him to utilize raw data and facts to cut through misconceptions. Maraqa warned against the plethora of misinformation in the Capitol circulated by an overabundance of “experts.” Following his presentation, our interns participated in an in-depth conversation with him about the nature of civic engagement and the role young Arab Americans can play in that process.
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