AAI Celebrates Third Annual Iftar

Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Blog
By Hanane Lahnaoui Summer Intern, 2014 The Arab American Institute hosted its third annual Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Iftar on Tuesday, July 15th at AAI’s office. The event was well attended by young Arab American professionals and students as well as friends from the DC area.
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Together We Came

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Blog

Sam Maloof, arguably America’s number one wood craftsman, was born in 1916 in Chino, California to Lebanese immigrants.

Sam’s father, Nasif, peddled vegetables and dry goods from a horse-drawn carriage, out of which Sam’s mother also sold her handmade lace, embroidered linens, and crochet work. They arrived to the United States from the mountain village of Douma in northern Lebanon, and were counted among the first Arabic-speakers in California. Sam took much pride in his Arab heritage, and carried on his parents’ traditional values of respect and hard work....

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Together We Came

Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Blog
Poet, songwriter, and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 to a Palestinian father and American mother. A strong advocate for mutual understanding and respect between Americans and Arabs, Naomi has created a cultural space in America for people to come together to celebrate their commonalities alongside their differences. Her artistic spirit has inspired millions, perfectly demonstrating how art can be used to promote acceptance and love throughout the world and for generations to come.
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FX’s “Tyrant” and the Thin Ice of Stereotypes

Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Blog

By Myles Teasley Summer Intern, 2014

Take a deep breath and cross your fingers as FX’s new original series “Tyrant” premieres on Tuesday, June 24th. Just months after ABC’s “Alice in Arabia” got nixed for ‘insidious stereotyping’, this political drama follows Bassam ‘Barry’ Al-Fayeed, a California pediatrician and family man who fled his role as the son of an unpopular dictator in order to escape the brutal politics and intrigue.

In the series, he reluctantly ends his self-imposed exile and returns to his country for his nephew’s wedding where he and his...

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White House Recognizes DACA Recipient Kamal Essaheb as “Champion of Change”

Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Blog
By Emily Cooke Summer Intern, 2014 On Monday, the White House honored a group of outstanding immigrants who had been granted legal residency under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Kamal Essaheb, a Moroccan immigrant and leading immigration reform advocate, was among those honored.
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Together We Came

Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Blog

In light of his recent passing, we want to take this time to share how exceptional and dear Casey Kasem was to the heart of the Arab American community. Best known for his radio countdown show American Top 40, disc jockey and radio personality Casey Kasem was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1932 to Lebanese immigrants.

More than an entertainer, AAI President James Zogby reflects, “Casey is more than the most recognized voice of his generation, what he said mattered. He inspired us to be positive, to strive for...

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The Human Rights Watch Film Festival features stories from the Middle East

Posted by Margaret Lowry on June 13, 2014 in Blog
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival opened yesterday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC Center in New York City. With their festival, Human Rights Watch aims to bring to light human rights violations through film while creating a forum for discussion and exploration of these issues.
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Together We Came

Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Blog

Ralph Nader was born in 1934 in Connecticut to parents who had immigrated to the U.S. from Zahle, Lebanon. Nader’s parents’ Arab heritage played an influential role in his formation.  Growing up, Ralph was taught Arabic proverbs to instruct every aspect of his life and engrain in him strong values of social justice and respect. Ralph was brought up not only with his parents’ cultural heritage, but also with their outspoken political minds. Mr. Nader opened a bakery and restaurant in Connecticut where, as Ralph says, ‘for a dime...

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Together We Came

Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Blog

Farouk El-Baz was born in the Nile Delta village of Zagazig, Egypt in 1938. At the early age of twenty, El-Baz completed dual degrees in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University in Cairo. El-Baz then immigrated to the United States where he spent time conducting extensive research at the highly esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He went on to earn a Masters of Science and a PhD in geology at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

After holding brief teaching positions in Egypt and Germany, El-Baz joined NASA’s...

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Together We Came

Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Blog
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1936 into a Syrian family, Diane Rehm is a renowned journalist and public radio talk show host. She is best known for her nationally and internationally distributed National Public Radio (NPR) program, The Diane Rehm Show, which she has hosted for more than 30 years.
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