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.Read more
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...Read more Original Article
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...Read more
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.Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
Posted on June 09, 2010 in Arab American Institute
• State Senator Paula Aboud (D-28th District) for reelection: Won www.paulaaboud.com • State Representative Matt Heinz (D-29th District) for reelection: Won http://www.heinzforarizona.com • State Representative Michele Reagan (R-8th District) for State Senator (8th District): Won http://votereagan.com
• Sam Abed for Mayor of Escondido: Wonhttp://www.samabedformayor.com
• Bill Dalati for Anaheim City Council: LostCandidate Statement
• U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-49th District) for reelection: Won • Ferial Masry (D) for 37th Assembly District: Lost
Posted by on May 20, 2010 in Blog
Sunday night Rima Fakih, a Muslim immigrant from Lebanon who now calls Dearborn, Michigan her home, was crowned Miss USA.
Fakih’s win became a source of great pride for many in the Arab American community. And without any commentary on the role of beauty pageants and their depiction of women, as a beauty queen, Ms. Fakih is now as all-American as apple pie and baseball.
That could be the end of this nice story, but no. Because of Ms. Fakih’s ethnicity or faith, it is unfortunately just the beginning.
Talking heads from the right...Read more
Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Blog
On Thursday, April 22, the Arab American Institute (AAI), in cooperation with the National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC), hosted over 80 Arab American leaders from across the country for an Arab American Leadership Day in Washington DC. The day included a White House Leadership Briefing, followed by a Capitol Hill Meet and Greet Lunch with members of Congress.
AAI worked closely with the White House Office of Public Engagement to organize the briefing with senior Administration officials to discuss issues affecting the Arab American community. Samuel Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at...Read more