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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Middle East Institute Honors Asfari and Gabr at 68th Annual Banquet

Posted by Joan Hanna on October 16, 2014 in Blog
Asfari and Gabr will be honored at the Middle East Institute’s 68th Annual Awards Banquet. Asfari will receive the Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence, which recognizes exceptional contributions of Arab men and women in the fields of politics, culture, business and philanthropy. Gabr will be accepting MEI’s Visionary Award, which recognizes an Arab individual or institution for their exceptional work in the region.
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Joseph Haj, an Arab American Pioneer in the World of Theatre

Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Blog
By Eddie Bejarano Fall Intern, 2014 Arab American theatre director Joseph Haj recently received the 2014 Zelda Fichandler Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. The award is named after Zelda Fichandler, one of the original founders of the American regional theatre movement, and is awarded to directors whose artistry changed the American regional theatre scene.
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Reclaiming Culture: Syria Relief and Development Discusses Upcoming Event, “Art in Exile”

Posted by on October 08, 2014 in Blog

By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014

In times of conflict, individuals have often found art to be an effective device to document experiences and to address political and social grievances.

The artists and filmmakers featured in the Syria Relief and Development’s upcoming event in Washington, D.C. on October 13 and 14, called “Art in Exile,” are no different. Each artist included in the affair will present a piece that revolves around political themes and discussions of political events and exile.

However, perhaps more interestingly, the event will provide attendees with a human perspective on...

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