Arab Americans Score Major Breakthroughs

Posted by on October 25, 2010 in Blog

On Wednesday, October 20, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP)’s 5th annual gala. Secretary Clinton reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to viable Palestinian statehood where “the indignity of occupation would end,” noting that the US position on Israeli settlements has not changed, and promising that the Obama administration will not turn its back on Palestinians and Israelis in their struggle for a just and lasting peace.

On Thursday, October 21, Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (TYO) hosted former President Bill Clinton and former British first lady Cherie Blair at their gala in Washington. TYO is a non-profit...

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Rachel Audi: A Profile of Dedication to Prince George’s County

Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Blog

Rachel Audi is the Republican candidate running for Maryland’s 47th district seat for the House of Delegates. Audi always embraces the inevitable questions about her last name with a laugh, saying, “People always ask about my name. People ask if I’m German or if I have an Audi car.” The answer to both is no. Audi is a proud American of Arab descent and she announced her candidacy in July to represent Prince George’s County just a month before her father, Norman Audi, passed away of cancer. Audi affectionately discussed how her father exhibited unwavering support for...

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Stand up for Nick!

Posted by on October 05, 2010 in Blog

Congressman Nick Rahall, an Arab American Democrat, has served West Virginia's 3rd District with distinction for 34 years. As Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Nick has been fighting for jobs, mine safety, energy independence, ending war in the Middle East and caring for Americans veterans.

It should not be surprising that in a nasty election year, he is under attack. What is disturbing, however, is that the line of attack has focused on Nick's national leadership role in the Arab American community.

Listen to this ad (video below) being run on West Virginia television by the West Virginia...

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A Conversation with Secretary Ray LaHood

Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Blog

In Currents this week, New Yorker correspondent Ray Lizza interviews Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. A proud Arab American, longtime friend of AAI, and winner of the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service, LaHood retired from his seat in Congress (R-IL) in 2008.  A well respected voice in Washington, he was confirmed as the Obama Administration's Secretary of Transportation in 2009. His commitment to public service and bi-partisanship are legendary and admirable. Take a moment to hear Secretary LaHood's thoughts on the stimulus package, infrastructure development, and the US economy.

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Losing Iowa

Posted by on September 10, 2010 in News Clips

Iowa may be the Achilles' heel in the fabled power of the Israel lobby. Unfortunately, Jews are losing the state.

There are about 6,000 Jews in Iowa according to the latest Statistical Abstract of the United States. That means only one in 500 Iowans is Jewish. By comparison, New York, California, and Illinois have 1.6 million, 1.2 million, and 278 thousand Jews, representing 8.3 percent, 3.3 percent, and 2.2 percent of their respective state populations. The challenge to maintain basic religious services in Iowa leaves little leadership to defend Israel and the Jewish people.

And yet, contrary to the coastal...

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Vincent Sheheen: Moving South Carolina Forward

Posted by on September 02, 2010 in Blog

Vincent Sheheen is your friendly neighborhood state legislator, a conservationist, an avid outdoorsman, and a family man – and he just might be South Carolina’s next governor.  On June 8th of this year, State Senator Vincent Sheheen became the official Democratic candidate for Governor of South Carolina.  He intends for November 2nd to be the day he officially takes on that role.  The Sheheen family has a long history in South Carolina.  Vincent’s great grandfather came to the U.S. from Lebanon, arriving in Virginia and walking down to Camden, where he ended up settling down and opening...

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Today is Primary day in Arizona, Florida, Alaska, and Vermont

Posted by on August 24, 2010 in Blog

Elections today in four states. If you live in Arizona, Florida, Alaska or Vermont, make sure you visit your local polling place today. For more information on how and where to vote, click here.  We also have some Arab Americans on the ballot in Arizona -- five candidates in total, including Matt Heinz who we recently featured! Check back for updates on how their races went.  

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Frontline Democracy: Colorado State Representative Joe Rice

Posted by on August 06, 2010 in Blog

The epithet “dedication to public service” is often overused by politicians to the point of cliché. Yet a recent conversation with District 38 Colorado State Representative Joe Rice (D) presented a rare and inspiring image of a public servant dedicated to his country and constituents.  At the age of 17, Rice signed up with the US Army Reserves and has since served on active duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq. In public office, Rice first served as a Councilman, then Mayor of Glendale, Colorado, and finally as a State Representative since 2006.

In discussing his heritage, Rice explained...

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Matt Heinz: Healing Arizona with a Superhuman Work Ethic

Posted by on July 02, 2010 in Blog

Working the graveyard shift as a medical professional can be an extremely taxing experience. How about negotiating that with the demands of a daytime job as well? Arab American Arizona State Representative Matt Heinz does just that—legislator by day, doctor by night, Heinz serves his community in a multitude of ways.  Born in Michigan, Heinz is half Lebanese and half German. His grandfather immigrated to Colorado, where his mother was born. Describing visits with his grandfather as a child, Heinz recalls his welcoming nature interspersed with occasional inappropriate remarks in Arabic. Heinz attended Albion College in Michigan...

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is charging ahead in his political career

Posted by on July 01, 2010 in Blog

There is a pause to ponder in almost every interview, a hiccup in the stream of words, a groping for just the right phrase, and then it emerges: “With Ray, what you see is what you get.”

He has worked for three decades in Washington, capital of spin, of parsing, of nuance, of cunning, of backstabbing intrigue, where half-truths are too common to refute and many a flat-out lie goes without rebuke.

Amid all of that, Ray LaHood, the most out-there secretary of transportation in history, is that rare mammal in modern Washington: a regular...

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