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Wednesday August 27, 2014

Don’t Count On It

While the 2014 primaries wrap up, attention is already turning to 2016 – sure, The Hill’s “65 people who might run for president in 2016” may be just a bit excessive, but there are clear signs that some are laying the groundwork for 2016 presidential bids. We aren’t just talking about Hillary Clinton and Rick Perry, who we all know have been making the rounds. Read More »

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Friday August 22, 2014

On And On

As Arab Americans, we understand the real life impact of profiling and discriminatory law enforcement practices. We know how it can range from “minor” inconveniences while traveling to destroying someone’s professional career. But the death of yet another young African American teenager demonstrates how truly grave the consequences of profiling can be. We stand in solidarity with all victims of profiling and against the militarization of police forces. We stand with those seeking justice in last week’s shooting of Michael Brown, in which we saw the most extreme impact of profiling. There is so much work to be done. Read More »

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Wednesday August 13, 2014

Few Steps Forward, Few Steps Back

The Arab American Institute hosted an important emergency leadership summit in DC last Thursday on U.S. foreign policy and the ongoing crises in Gaza, Iraq and Syria. We heard from National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who spoke to members of our community just as news alerts were coming in about the United States air drop in Iraq and the military strikes against ISIS. With that, our community’s discussions over the troubling U.S. policies on Gaza also turned to the U.S. actions and strategy in Iraq, where important communities, including Iraq’s minorities, are being targeted, excluded and expelled by an “Islamic State.”  Read More »

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Friday August 01, 2014

We All Need A Break

The line between liberty and security continues to blur, as news such as Greenwald’s revelations in the Intercept about NSA surveillance and the FBI’s counterterrorism practices emerge every few weeks. We only need to look at the latest AAI Poll on American Attitudes Toward Arabs and Muslims to understand why these practices continue without much outcry. Read More »

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Friday July 25, 2014

Mic Check: One, Two

It’s been a rough week for Secretary of State Kerry and most of the Middle East. Read More »

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Thursday July 17, 2014

Get Back To Work

This year, the annual White House Iftar was once again not without controversy. Normally a time to celebrate faith and community (as AAI did in our offices the following evening), this year’s White House Iftar was plagued by politics.  Read More »

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Thursday July 10, 2014

Let Freedom Ring?

We told you last week to expect some big news from Glenn Greenwald, who broke many of the Edward Snowden stories. Here we are, just after celebrating the 4th of July, with some new revelations from Greenwald that show major infringements of our civil liberties and basic rights.  Read More »

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Wednesday July 02, 2014

It Just IS

Throughout the past few weeks, Israel has accused Hamas of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and has retaliated by conducting the largest military operation in the West Bank since the second intifada. On Monday, the bodies of the three abducted Israeli teenagers were found in a field in Hebron. “Off the deep end” and “unprecedented,” Israel’s retaliation, which includes over 34 airstrikes in Gaza, has left 13 Palestinians dead and counting, more than 400 Palestinians imprisoned, and numerous buildings and homes destroyed.  Read More »

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Wednesday June 25, 2014

Up In The Air

We’re bringing you six topics this week because we can’t neglect talking about the 2014 roller-coaster primary season. “Countdown” is a countdown to elections after all. Read More »

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Thursday June 19, 2014

Bring It Back

In light of his recent passing, AAI would like to pay tribute and recognize just how unsurpassed and dear Casey Kasem was in the hearts of the Arab American community. Featured in our Together We Came series, Kasem’s nationwide contributions are unparalleled; he truly exemplifies what it means to be an exceptional American. Read More »

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Wednesday June 11, 2014

We’re as Shocked as You Are

Excuse us if we seem all over the place, but we can’t help but be in shock today after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning loss in the VA-07 primary yesterday. Cantor was dealt a sharp blow by a relatively unknown candidate, Dr. Dave Brat, who boasted a campaign war-chest of $200,000. No, we didn’t forget a zero. Read More »

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Thursday June 05, 2014

Welcome to the Jungle

Let the pontificating begin. Some say that Arab countries have "warmed to President Obama." Others are saying Arabs have given the President a "negative 2014 report card." This can only mean one thing – a new Zogby Research Services poll is out. This week, ZRS released a comprehensive poll conducted in 7 Arab countries that looks at how Arabs view President Obama and U.S. policy in the region. Read More »

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Tuesday May 20, 2014

Victories, Defeat, and Victory in Defeat

Arab American House Representative Justin Amash is making a big move to try to squash funding for the NSA’s intrusive intelligence programs. In a preemptive measure to ensure the government surveillance reform bill, the USA Freedom Act, gets its due consideration, Amash filed two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday which include critical sections of the USA Freedom Act.  Read More »

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Thursday May 15, 2014

Congressional Issues on Congressional Issues (And More)

We’ve long covered Arab-baiting in U.S. politics and campaigns and we will continue to do so as long as members of Congress keep finding ways to inject racism against Arab Americans into political discourse. This time, we bring you an attack from Rep. Devin Nunes (CA 22), who called Arab American Congressman and fellow Republican Justin Amash (MI 3) “Al Qaeda’s best friend in Congress” this week after an intra-party disagreement over U.S. surveillance programs and other legislation backed by Nunes. Read More »

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Thursday May 08, 2014

We’ve Got You Covered

On April 25th we hosted our annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala here in Washington and social media was a buzz throughout the event. This year, we honored Senator George J. Mitchell for his extraordinary career in public service, Participant Media for their vision and leadership in social justice, and Martin Luther King III for the legacy of his family and the work he does to keep their vision alive. Gibran was an evening for our community to reconnect, celebrate our achievements, and reflect on the path that lies ahead.  Read More »

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Thursday April 03, 2014

Half Good, Half Bad

Countdown is not exactly known for its coverage of uplifting and inspiring stories. Politics, especially in our line of work, is rather messy. This edition contains some uplifting information and, sorry to say, some frustrating news.  Read More »

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Thursday March 27, 2014

Pulling the Plug

No, not on Countdown. Keep reading: Read More »

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Thursday March 20, 2014

Naughty or Nice?

With elections season on its way, political commentators more often than not love to interpret special elections and significant political events as a sign of things to come in November. The prevailing notion right now - even among some Democrats, it seems - is that Democrats are toast in November because of Obamacare, and will likely lose the Senate as a result.  Read More »

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Wednesday March 12, 2014

Shaking in Their Boots

Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), won’t bash the National Security Agency (NSA) for spying on everyday Americans - in fact she stood by the NSA after the Snowden revelations - but if you spy on her Senate staff, she’s coming after you. That’s the lesson CIA Director John Brennan is learning right now after Senator Feinstein’s heated speech on the Senate floor yesterday.  Read More »

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Thursday March 06, 2014

Back to the Future

Has Mitt Romney been vindicated? After calling Russia the United States’ “number one geopolitical foe” in 2012 and being jibed for his blast from the past rhetoric on Russia by President Obama, it looks like Russian President Vladmir Putin really does deserve Forbes magazine’s 2013 title of “Most Powerful Person.” Read More »

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