Arab Americans on the Ground in 2016: Andre Sayegh’s Ground Game Wins Him Paterson Council Seat

Posted by Joan Hanna on June 07, 2016 in Blog

Voting is a privilege. Having a voice in how your country is run should not be taken for granted because, in some countries, citizens do not have that right. Yet, some say their one vote will not matter. Some say they do not vote because the system is rigged. Some say they are too busy to do the research required to be properly informed. If a person prescribes to any of those mindsets, do they also consent to having their voice, their...

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Together We Came: Diana Al-Hadid

Posted by Hannah Locop on June 07, 2016 in Blog

Source: A Brooklyn-based artist, Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981. At the age of five, her family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. The daughter of a florist and an insurance agent, Al-Hadid pursued a BFA at Kent State University and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She later attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Al-Hadid uses a variety of materials such as polymer...

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Together We Came: Rami Malek

Posted by Natalie Nisco-Frank on June 05, 2016 in Blog

Capturing American audiences as Elliot Alderson in the “compulsively watchable” TV series, Mr. Robot, Rami Malek was born in Los Angeles to Egyptian parents. Malek cherishes his connection to the Arab world and his ability to advance the representation of Arab Americans on television and in the movies. He has received critical acclaim for his performance as a paranoid cyber hacker on Mr. Robot. After the series’ first season, Malek won “Best Actor in a Drama Series” at the Critics’ Choice Award and was nominated for a number of other awards, including a Golden Globe,...

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Together We Came: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Posted by Hind Omar on June 01, 2016 in Blog

The “whistleblower” of the Flint water crisis, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician recognized as one of the community's key advocates. The daughter of Iraqi immigrants, who first settled in the UK and later moved to Michigan, Hanna-Attisha says her motivation for working with impoverished communities comes from her parents’ experience living through injustice in Iraq. Watching the struggles her parents faced when they first arrived in the U.S. also helped equip her for this work.  She has served as an assistant professor at Wayne State University and associate...

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Share Your Immigrant Story

Posted by Yasmin Hussein on June 01, 2016 in Blog

June is officially Immigrant Heritage Month and throughout the month AAI will be highlighting the contributions and successes of Arab American immigrants to the U.S. An initiative spearheaded by, the goal is to gather and share stories of immigrants who have meaningfully contributed to American life. As part of this celebration, AAI wants to collect YOUR “Welcome” stories to help underscore how our country’s heritage is built on the diversity and contributions of immigrants. In a time when the backlash against Syrian refugees and immigrants in general has become so heated, your voice is needed. Submissions could...

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Remembering Clovis Maksoud

Posted by James Zogby on May 16, 2016 in Blog
Clovis Maksoud was an Arab nationalist, par excellence. He was giant intellect who taught generations of Arabs and Arab Americans the importance of transcending sectarian and country-specific particularities and finding common ground in a shared Arab identity.
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Service: An Arab American Value

Posted by Yasmin Hussein on May 11, 2016 in Blog

Growing up as an Arab American in South Florida, my parents focused on ensuring an awareness of how blessed we were. The values of community service and giving back to my community were instilled at a young age. My mother always taught my sister and I that giving back to those in need comes first because in reality we had all that we needed. My mother also taught us that whatever good we do and whatever vibes we put out into the world, are returned tenfold.  These values of giving back and...

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Jesse Sbaih: An Arab American Betting on Nevada

Posted by Shadi Matar on May 10, 2016 in Blog

Las Vegas has often been called the “City of Lights” but these days Jesse Sbaih is shining just as brightly. His story is one of hard work, dedication, and giving back to the community. He also could be making history later this year as the first Arab American immigrant and Muslim American immigrant elected to Congress.

Born in Jordan, Sbaih moved to the U.S. at age 11 with his family. They ultimately settled in Virginia where Sbaih was quickly accepted by his classmates. “When my family first moved to Virginia I was in...

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Shining a Light on Teachers: Melody Arabo Excels

Posted by Joan Hanna on May 06, 2016 in Blog

Arab Americans can be found in all professions and industries, so it should come as no surprise that many of them shine in the field of education. For the past three years, Michigan’s Department of Education has selected teachers, who happen to be Arab American, as Teacher of the Year. Melody Arabo is one of these, honored with the title in 2015 and for good reason. Arabo has been a third grade teacher at Keith Elementary in Walled Lake, Michigan for the last 14 years. Recognized for...

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A Lesson America Can Teach

Posted on April 23, 2016 in Washington Watch
Europe clearly has a problem with anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and intolerance toward new immigrants. In an effort to examine this worrisome set of concerns, the commission on which I sit as a member—the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom—recently convened a discussion with European Muslims and Jews.
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