Laura Blundy: Committed to Justice and Civil Rights

Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Blog

Two weeks ago, the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) appointed Arab American Laura Blundy to its Florida State Advisory Committee. Laura will be the only Arab American and American Muslim serving on the Florida committee. The USCCR is an incredibly important body, one that is required to fill its advisory committees with a balanced, diverse representation of political and philosophical viewpoints; Laura’s appointment is a huge step forward in giving official capacity to the Arab and American Muslim communities. USCCR is charged with “studying issues relating to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex,...

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50 Years After Selma: Our Past, Our Future

Posted by on March 07, 2015 in Blog

Today, President Barack Obama is in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the iconic marches that turned violent. Aptly referred to as “Bloody Sunday,” the march in Selma was an important turning point in the civil rights movement. Worldwide TV coverage broadcast powerful and shameful images of police officers brutally attacking nonviolent marchers who were attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The resulting media attention and government intervention to protect future civil rights marches helped spur the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) just five months later,...

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AAI Celebrates Black History Month

Posted on February 19, 2015 in Arab American Institute

Throughout the month of February, AAI will be celebrating Black History Month by revisiting the lives and stories of African American leaders in the civil rights movement who paved the way for greater justice and equality.

  A Common Cause: Police Profiling Plagues Arab American and Communities of Color

By Eve Soliman

Winter Intern, 2015

The historic civil rights movement that has seen so much progress continues to be extremely important in pushing for greater equality and confronting societal ills. One of those battles is the use profiling by government law enforcement agencies. Over the...

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Whitewashed: American Sniper and its Version of the Iraq War

Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Blog

By Maha Elsamahi Winter Intern, 2015

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper about former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, recently, had one of the largest January weekend box office open in recent history.  The star-studded cast brought to life Kyle’s claims to have been one of the deadliest snipers in American History. Despite its apparent popularity with moviegoers, the movie has garnered some criticism over the whitewashed portrayal of its protagonist and the 2003 Iraq war. Still, others praised its sensitive portrayal of a war weary and troubled soldier struggling to adjust to life after the intensity of war....

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Bridging the Divide in Andrews, North Carolina

Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Blog

For the Lebanese El-Khouri family in Andrews, North Carolina, having a bridge dedicated to the late Joe El-Khouri, a revered community leader, is a high honor. Late last month, the North Carolina Department of Transportation publicly recognized Bridge No. 92 as the “Joe El-Khouri Bridge.” No one is prouder than George El-Khouri, Joe’s oldest son. When his family moved to Andrews, North Carolina in 1955, George recalls that the El-Khouri’s were the first “Catholics, Yankees and foreigners” – in other words, they were not accepted right away. Through years of service and community activism, Joe El-Khouri...

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How Stereotypes Gain Their Power: Alsultany on Hollywood’s Arabs and Muslims

Posted by on December 09, 2014 in Blog
By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014 Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, there was an influx in television programs in the United States that focused on the Middle East and included Arab characters. These series, including 24, Homeland, and Tyrant, remain extremely popular with American audiences.
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Turaath: Arab Music from Baghdad to Andalusia

Posted by Shadi Matar on December 08, 2014 in Blog
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee held the Turaath concert last week at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.. This year's event, "Arab Music from Baghdad to Andalusia" celebrated musical collaborations throughout the world.
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The Arab American Comedy Festival Kicks Off Next Week in NYC

Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Blog

Through comedy, Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid have not only contributed to changing perceptions about Arab Americans and Muslim Americans, but they've also helped redefine how Arab Americans and Muslim Americans view themselves. Obeidallah and Zaid cofounded the Arab American Comedy Festival in 2003, and since then the festival has gone through a remarkable evolvution. In an interview with Time magazing, Obeidallah reflected on how things have changed, saying the festival's comedians have moved past the  “‘We’re not all terrorists [jokes]’” into something that, years later, is now considered an event that celebrates Arab heritage. “It’s saying,...

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Arab American Makes National Book Award Shortlist

Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Blog
By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014 Last week, award-winning Arab American author Rabih Alameddine was named as one of the finalists for the 2014 National Book Awards for Fiction, Nonfiction, Young People’s Literature, and Poetry.
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Revolutionary Women: Beirut-Based Artist Marwa Arsanios Discusses Art and Jamila Bouhired

Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Blog

By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014

In the history of the Algerian post-colonial struggle, Jamila Bouhired stands as one of the most striking and pervasive figures of the revolution. Bouhired, who was recruited by her brother to join the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1956, was among several French-educated Algerian women who strategically donned the veil in order to carry bombs, money, or messages to different areas of Algiers. Bouhired was arrested in 1957 for carrying a bomb, but ultimately released due to pressure from international human rights groups and French intellectuals....

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