Yousif Ghafari on Immigration and the Economy

Posted by on July 05, 2012 in Blog

Metromode Media wrote a great profile piece on prominent Arab American Yousif Ghafari, from Dearborn, MI. Ghafari speaks about why immigration can help move the US economy forward:  Ghafari is one of Southeast Michigan's most prominent Arab American professionals and philanthropists. As he looks out on Michigan Avenue from his modern office in Dearborn, he sees the future not so much in the young talent graduating from the area's universities -- who, he believes need considerably more knowledge in mathematics and technological sciences -- but in hungry immigrants who are well-educated, skilled, and willing to take risks and out-work their...

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Voting Rights Threatened in 27 States

Posted by on July 03, 2012 in Blog

Protecting the voting rights of disadvantaged and minority Americans has been a challenge in the United States since its first elections, and despite widespread laws to prevent racism and discrimination at the polls, the problem of voter suppression persists today. In 2011 and 2012, 27 states around the country saw legislation introduced with the purported goal of combatting voter fraud. However, the Brennan Center for Justice, among other groups, has pointed out that these laws could disenfranchise as many as 5 million eligible voters who don’t have easy access to things like government-issued photo IDs or voter...

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Polyphony Youth Orchestra Unites Palestinian and Jewish Israelis

Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Blog

By Sara Jawhari

2012 Summer Intern

This June, the Polyphony Youth Orchestra, comprised of Israel’s most talented young Arab and Jewish musicians, will come to the United States to share not just their artistic gifts, but their vision for a just and equal future in their divided home country.

Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar was born in Nazareth and witnessed firsthand the lack of opportunities that Arab children face there every day.  A classically trained violinist, Abboud-Ashkar recognized the power music had to bring people together and resolved to bring greater access to children in his...

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Success of Dearborn Arab American Festival Obscured by Protesters

Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Blog

Every June, Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb with one of the country’s most concentrated Arab American populations, holds an Arab International Festival, a celebration of Arab food, culture, music and Dearborn’s thriving Arab American community. In the last few years, though, the festival has also attracted all manner of anti-Muslim protesters, from Islamophobes warning of the imminent Sharia takeover to Christian missionaries interested in converting Muslims. This year’s festival, which took place this past weekend, was no exception. The event drew multiple groups of anti-Muslim protesters who shouted slogans like “Jesus Akbar,” in response to shouts of...

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17th Annual Dearborn Arab International Festival ~ June 15-17, 2012

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Blog

By Johara Hall

It’s that time of the year again! The American Arab Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2012 17th Annual Dearborn Arab International Festival, this weekend, June 18-20 where people from across the country and the Middle East come to join in cultural celebration in one of the largest free street festivals in the nation.

Activities include carnival rides, henna designs, crafts and jewelry, and more. Of course, no Arab festival is complete without Middle Eastern food, live music, performances, and dance. The festival takes place Friday: 5-10pm, Saturday: 11am-10pm, and Sunday: 11am-8pm, on Warren Avenue between...

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Smithsonian, Arab American National Museum tell the Story of America’s Diversity

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Blog

On April 25, the Arab American National Museum was a part of a national discussion on the role that “culturally specific” or “ethnic” museums play in the United States. Helen Samhan, who is a founding member of AAI and the current Senior Outreach Advisor for the Museum, was invited to participate in a day-long symposium hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. The symposium, called “(Re)Presenting America: The Evolution of Culturally Specific Museums,” sought to address the debate on whether these museums serve to divide the nation along ethnic lines or whether they instead offer a more thorough look at...

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Islamophobes Fail to Incite Michigan Media Frenzy, Cry About It

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Blog

Despite repeated attempts to incite a media frenzy surrounding their “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” in Dearborn, Michigan this Sunday, the Islamophobes did not succeed this weekend in garnering the press attention they wanted, and now they are crying about it. On her website, Pamela Geller, the conference’s main organizer, vents about her event’s lack of media coverage: “There is something fundamentally broken in our culture. Imagine a society that extols the supremacist tyranny of the sharia while smearing and defaming human rights activists fighting for freedom and individual rights over gencdercide [sic] and gender apartheid.”...

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AAI Community Town Hall Shatters Anti-Muslim Narrative

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Blog

Yesterday, more than a hundred people gathered at a town hall at the Doubletree Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan to stand in solidarity with the Arab American and American Muslim communities against Islamophobia. The town hall, organized by AAI and local community groups, was held in response to an anti-Muslim conference at the Hyatt in Dearborn, organized by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and other leading Islamophobes.

Islamophobes try to portray themselves as “the real Americans” defending America from the allegedly foreign presence of Muslims, but it was our community town hall that was attended by many elected officials,...

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Anti-Islam gathering in Dearborn protested, defended

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in News Clips

Anti-Islam advocates from across the U.S. gathered Sunday in Dearborn for a conference to bring attention to what they say is a problem of Muslim honor killings.

About 150 gathered at the Hyatt in Dearborn for the Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference, named after a 20-year-old Arab-American Muslim woman who was killed by her stepfather last year in Warren.

But at another conference in Detroit, about 100 people gathered earlier in the day to oppose the anti-Islam conference, saying it was the latest attack on metro Detroit's Arab-American and Muslim communities. Dearborn has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the...

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Arab-Americans unite against Islamophobes

Posted by on April 30, 2012 in News Clips

In response to an anti-Islam conference in Dearborn, Arab-Americans and their supporters held a separate conference in Detroit Sunday against bigotry.

“We stand for America,” said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab-American News, at a panel held at the Doubletree Hotel in Detroit. “And they (anti-Muslim activists) stand against America and against the American way of life.”

Siblani’s views were echoed by others who gathered for a conference organized by the Arab American Institute and supported by several other Arab-American groups to counter another conference held in Dearborn on Sunday by anti-Muslim activists called the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights...

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