Washington Watch: Why I Accused Israel of Cultural Genocide

Posted on January 06, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I became embroiled in what The Jerusalem Post termed a "Twitter war" which they claimed "raised eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic". 

What started the heated exchange was my response to a tweet by celebrity chef Rachael Ray in which she called "Israeli"—"meze, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, beet dip, eggplant and sun-dried tomato dip, walnut and red pepper dip, and tabouli".  

I hadn't intended a war, but my blood boiled when I saw Ray's tweet and so I tweeted a response—"Damn it! This is cultural genocide. It's not Israeli...

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Annual iftar brings together community in times of hardship

Posted by Guest on June 23, 2017 in Blog

By Dina Al Zubi

Growing up, iftars have always been my favorite part of Ramadan; water after a long day, a feast with wonderful food, and being surrounded by a feeling of celebration and appreciation for community (and the meal, of course). 

Last week, on Thursday, June 15th, AAI hosted its fifth annual Generations Iftar. The AAI team, Generations network, friends, and family gathered to break the fast of the day, share a meal, and connect. Those of us who are new to the AAI family had the chance to...

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Together We Came: Alia Shawkat

Posted by Guest on June 19, 2017 in Blog

By Sarah Decker

"I used to be less outspoken. But as a woman, an Arab-American, and a member of the LGBTQ community, I have to use whatever voice I have. There's no more delicacy in being quiet.”

This is how Alia Shawkat explains her newfound sense personal agency, telling Out Magazine that she has recently come to terms with using her voice as a queer Arab American. She feels that this agency is reflected in her career as an actress and artist.

The daughter of an Irish-Norwegian mother and Iraqi father, Shawkat...

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Palestine Posters: Symbols of Resistance

Posted by Guest on May 25, 2017 in Blog

By Haley Arata

This year, many articles have surfaced recognizing the signs and posters activists carry at various protests across the country. The March for Science saw a spectrum of poster art: kid-crafted colored pencil masterpieces of dinosaurs, trees, and rocket ships; signs with science puns such as “up and atom” and more serious calls for action such as “the oceans are rising and so are we”; and a more layman declaration of “no science, no beer.” As protests span mission and medium, posters often serve as symbols of resistance. With the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation approaching on June...

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Kahlil Gibran Gala 2017 Recognizes the Spirit of Humanity

Posted by Meredith Pahowka on May 01, 2017 in Blog

Hundreds of guests came out for the 2017 Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala, hosted by the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) on April 27th. The 19th annual Gibran Awards brought the Arab American community together to recognize individuals, corporations, organizations and communities whose work, commitment and support make a difference in promoting coexistence and inclusion in all walks of life. The Master of Ceremonies for this year was Ayman Mohyeldin. Mohyeldin is a distinguished journalist who is currently a foreign correspondent for NBC News and an anchor...

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Announcing #GibranGala Awardee Kamal Boullata, Renowned Palestinian Artist

Posted by Arab American Institute on April 12, 2017 in Blog

Join us at this year’s Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards, as we honor and celebrate the work of the remarkable Palestinian artist, Kamal Boullata. We are especially proud to have Kamal with us because we know that 2017 marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, an agreement by foreign powers that resulted in the eventual dispossession of indigenous Palestinians. It is also the 70th anniversary of the partition of Palestine. And in just a few short months, it will be 50 years since the...

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Arab American Heritage Month Kicked Off With Style in DC

Posted by Heba Mohammad on April 06, 2017 in Blog

An energized crowd turned out for the kickoff of National Arab American Heritage Month hosted by ArabAmerica.com on April 5. As attendees enjoyed traditional Middle Eastern food and a surprise dabkah performance, they reveled in the uniqueness of their shared Arab heritage while celebrating the community’s many achievements. Several special guests were in attendance to deliver messages of unity and hope. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reaffirmed her support for Arab Americans at the event, calling the community an invaluable asset to the city, and...

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Arabic Food is Culture, Resistance and Home

Posted by Guest on March 02, 2017 in Blog

By Raneem Alkhatib The Middle East Institute’s Art and Culture Program held an event on March 1 titled, “Food for Humanity.” MEI coined the event as a conversation “about the political, emotional and symbolic significance of food for displaced and diaspora communities.” The panel included Laila El-Haddad, Michel Moushabeck, Hazami Sayed, and Honey Al Sayed as the moderator. Food in the Arab world goes beyond just sustenance. It’s a vital characteristic of Arab culture and is heavily incorporated in traditional...

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The Origin of the #YallaVote Campaign's Ammu Sam

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on October 07, 2016 in Blog

Growing up in the shadow of 9/11 was not easy, especially as a young Arab American and an American Muslim. Popular culture, the news media and the like all told me that my existence as an Arab American was a discrepancy, an oxymoron. How could I be an Arab and an American? An American and a Muslim? These questions often dizzied my young head as a I struggled to understand what it means to be an American of non-European descent. As I began my digital media work with...

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Together We Came: Jamie Farr

Posted by Hannah Locop on June 28, 2016 in Blog

A veteran of American television, Jamie Farr entertained audiences as a homesick Army Corporal in the 1970s television series M*A*S*H. Born Jameel Yusuf Abud Farah in Toledo, Ohio, Farr is one of many Arab Americans who have graced both the silver and the small screen. Raised in a Lebanese community, Farr is not only proud of his heritage, but he makes sure to incorporate his own life experiences into his work.   Farr’s mother, Jamelia Maalouli Abidili Abud Farah, was a seamstress. His father, Saleem Abud Farah owned...

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