Meet Ammar Campa-Najjar, the young Latino Arab American who wants us all to be at the table

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on October 23, 2017 in Blog

Born in southern California to a Mexican mother and a Palestinian father, Ammar has lived at the crossroads of cultural identity: half Latino, half Middle Eastern, and an all American boy. He spent some of his formative years in Gaza, reconnecting with his estranged father. Living in Gaza as a young boy, Ammar admits, was a menacing and gut-wrenching experience at times. “I saw war and violence and a lot of loss and death—just things better left imagined than described,” he said.Life in Gaza gave Ammar thick...

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Fayrouz Saad Pours Her Passion Into Serving Community

Posted by Joan Hanna on October 19, 2017 in Blog

“My earliest memories of civic engagement are volunteering for my oldest sister, Samar, who actually worked with AAI in Michigan. Samar, my other sister, Mariam, and I would go to naturalization ceremonies and register people to vote. Those experiences were very powerful as a teenager. And it must have had an impact on me given the direction in which my career has progressed and the things I’ve worked on, because I believe our vote is...

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Nadeen Hayden is Dedicated to Making a Difference

Posted by Joan Hanna on October 12, 2017 in Blog

  Nadeen Hayden has never run away from a challenge, on the contrary, she’s embraced them with enthusiasm. This is due, in part, to characteristics that her parents taught her and her siblings: hard work and the importance of education. “There was no other priorities in our home except diligence and education. Because my father was a refugee, he lived under the impression that you could have nothing in an instant. He stressed that we had to...

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Working with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in the Fight Against Hate

Posted by Guest on October 02, 2017 in Blog

by Sarah Seniuk Founded in 1963 by direction of President John F. Kennedy, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law fights to ensure the equal protection of and justice under the law, particularly for marginalized and under-protected groups. Following the election of President Trump and the ensuing rise of hate crimes across the country, the Lawyers Committee expanded their work to target hate crimes, both responding to reports of hate and attempting to prevent the crimes and incidents entirely. The new Stop Hate initiative seeks...

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#YallaVote Campaign for National Voter Registration Day a Success

Posted by Guest on September 27, 2017 in Blog

by Sydney Roeder

“Any day upholding American democracy... is a day well spent.” Zane Alkoor with Davidson College noted about the #YallaVote campaign launched by the Arab American Institute Foundation last week. 

September 26th was National Voter Registration Day. Like every other year since #YallaVote’s conception in 1998, AAIF took to the streets to register eligible voters. Nearly 30 organizations across 20 states followed suit, hosting their own #YallaVote tables or events. 

Alkoor’s sentiment about voter registration was felt across other organizations as well. The Middle Eastern Cultural Organization at Denison University registered...

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Arab Americans on the Ground: Sam Jammal on getting involved

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on September 26, 2017 in Blog
As a young college student, Sam Jammal had dreams of going into business to support his immigrant family who worked tirelessly to raise him and his siblings. When September 11th happened, however, his plans changed.
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Download our #YallaVote Voter Registration Toolkit Here!

Posted by Arab American Institute on September 17, 2017 in Blog

Download our #YallaVote Voter Registration Toolkit Here! Launched in 1998, the #YallaVote campaign is the foundation of our grassroots voter mobilization and education programming. With high concentrations of Arab Americans living in some of the largest and most politically contested states – including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia – we know our community can make a difference on issues that matter to all Americans. That’s why it’s important for our community to be registered and at the polls...

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AAI at the Michigan Response to Hate Conference

Posted by Heba Mohammad on September 07, 2017 in Blog

If you are the victim of a hate crime, you are more likely to remain silent than to report it to law enforcement authorities. That is a highlight of the most recent Department of Justice Hate Crime Victimization Report, and the context in which the Michigan Response to Hate Conference occurred last week. Marking its tenth year, the conference, orchestrated by the Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes (MIAAHC), has drawn invested community partners annually to share strategies for preventing hate crimes, supporting victims, and encouraging reporting of hate crimes. On September 6th, I joined representatives of community organizations, law...

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Depicting the Diversity and Nuance of Our Community is Hannah Allam's Passion

Posted by Guest on August 02, 2017 in Blog

by Dina Al-Zu'bi It is not news that Arabs and Muslims are misrepresented (and often conflated) in U.S. news and entertainment media alike. The consequences of this misrepresentation are ones that Arab Americans and American Muslims know all too well. In more pleasant features, we are exoticized and condescendingly mystified, and in less pleasant ones we are terrorists or otherwise backward individuals to be feared or avoided. These archetypes are boringly cliché and absurd to those of us who have been aware of their presence all our lives, but...

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Lobbying Isn’t Just for K Street

Posted by Guest on August 01, 2017 in Blog

by Oday Yousif When you call your member of Congress’s office and ask them to help a population of people who are living in a difficult situation, you would never think of yourself as a lobbyist. Throughout this summer, as an external intern at No One Left Behind (NOLB), I went to congressional offices weekly to advocate on behalf of Iraqi and Afghan translators who were being threatened in their home countries for helping the U.S. military. Never would I have considered the work I was doing on behalf...

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