Arab American Writes Award Winning Fantasy Novel

Posted by on December 05, 2013 in Blog
By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013 Arab American author Saladin Ahmed debuted his first fantasy novel earlier this year. In Throne of the Crescent Moon, the first novel of three planned installments, Ahmed creates a rich Middle Eastern backdrop for his story that takes place in the fictional city of Dhamsawaat.
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Arab American Author Releases Children’s Book, “My Grandfather’s Masbaha”

Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Blog

By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013

Susan Daniel Fayad is an Arab American author who has spent most of her professional life working in education. She taught primary grades at an international charter school before moving forward in her career as a State Department-sponsored educational adviser with AMIDEAST Lebanon. In her new children’s book My Grandfather’s Masbaha, Fayad uses her experience as an educator to teach an important life lesson to her young readers. “The main message is be thankful for every single thing you have because it is truly precious,” Fayad said,...

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Gabr Fellows Sit Down with HuffPost Live

Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Blog

By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013

Four participants of the inaugural class of Shafik Gabr Fellows sat down with HuffPost Live yesterday to talk about the prestigious program and their misconceptions and newfound realizations about the United States and Egypt. The fellowship incorporates discussion sessions, action projects and trips to Egypt and the United States. Back in June, the 10 American fellows visited Egypt, all for the first time.

“I never knew the depth of Egyptian history and how much contribution they made to the world. In the discussions with my friends, [we saw the desire] to...

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Gabr Fellowship Brings Together Egyptian and American Leaders to Listen, Engage and Impact

Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Blog

By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013

With a foot in two countries and knowledge of the inner workings of politics in two regions, Arab Americans uniquely understand that dialogue, discussion and engagement are necessary tools in improving the poor state of U.S.-Arab affairs and bridging the divide between two seemingly different regions and cultures.

On Saturday, AAI President James Zogby conveyed a message his mother taught him to 22 young professionals from the United States and Egypt. He said: “If you want someone to listen to you, listen to them first.” The young leaders Dr. Zogby addressed...

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Photographer Rania Matar Captures People’s Similarities Despite Cultural Differences

Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Blog
By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013 Rania Matar is an Arab American photographer born and raised in Lebanon who moved to the U.S. in 1984 to study at Cornell University. Originally an architect, she expanded her trade beyond shooting portraits of her children when she grew displeased with the negative depiction of her homeland in western media.
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Why ‘Wadjda’ is Important

Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Blog
By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013 A recent comment by Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan from Saudi Arabia drew outrage over the weekend as women in the country prepare for a campaign on October 26 to grant women the right to drive. This weekend’s events play out as "Wadjda," a movie from Saudi Arabia drawing critical acclaim and attention, begins to roll out in cinemas across the United States.
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Bringing a Palestinian Perspective to DC

Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Blog
By Margaret Lowry The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival opens this Saturday with a photography exhibit and reception featuring the work of Palestinian artist Samar Hazboun. The festival, which is entering its third season, aims to bring DC’s various communities closer together through art, and catalyze invigorating discussion about film and culture using the lens of Palestinian filmmakers as an entry point. The stories told through the festival are not necessarily about the Palestinian/Israel conflict, nor are they necessarily stories about Palestinians, but they are stories that reflect the dynamic formation of a transnational identity common to Palestinians and diasporic communities more generally.
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Samar Hazboun: Palestinian Photographer and Artist Exposing the Occupation

Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Blog
By Margaret Lowry Samar Hazboun is a Palestinian photographer and artist who was born in Jerusalem and raised in the West Bank. She received a degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster in 2011. Since graduating, she has focused her work on women’s rights with an emphasis on the Middle East. For Hazboun, her art is a form of political expression. Two of Hazboun’s documentary photography series, “Before the Wall” and “Detained: Confessions of Palestinian Children Imprisoned by Israel,” will be on display in Washington DC next weekend in an exhibit curated by the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.
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Ghattas Captures Feelings on US Foreign Policy that Resonate with Many Arab Americans

Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Blog
By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013 Kim Ghattas’ recent book chronicles her experience as a BBC correspondent who traveled with Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. Arab Americans � or any American with a foot in two countries � understand that it is sometimes frustrating to observe American foreign policy when you have a unique lens into another dimension of a country, issue or crisis. Ghattas, who is Dutch-Lebanese, easily relates, saying that during the Lebanese civil war, those who thought “America was the source of all [their] trouble�also believed it had the answer to [their] problems, and this elicited hope and disappointment in people like a roller coaster.”
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Through Architecture, Zaha Hadid is Breaking Down Barriers

Posted by Joan Hanna on September 18, 2013 in Blog
Although the field of architecture has been primarily male dominated, Zaha Hadid has been changing that norm. She is slowly gaining household name recognition around the world in countries such as the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Later this month, Hadid will unveil her first permanent structure in central London, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. But you can catch her right here in Washington, DC in November, when the Middle East Institute recognizes her extraordinary accomplishments at its 67th Annual Banquet. Hadid will receive MEI’s Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence, which recognizes exceptional contributions of Arab men and women in the fields of politics, culture, business and philanthropy.
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