From Northwestern Syria to Southwestern Pennsylvania: An Immigration Story

Posted by Joan Hanna on June 26, 2017 in Blog

William "Chad" Hanna, back left; Senator John F. Kennedy, right.

At the age of 14, in 1904, George Hanna emigrated from Mashta al-Helu, Syria to Pennsylvania, settling in the town of Clymer, 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. George supported himself as a businessman, selling housewares in a cart to local coal miners. He was charismatic, an astute entrepreneur, and spoke four languages. Through his military service in World War...

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How Your Local City Can Oppose the Muslim Ban

Posted by Nadia Aziz on February 02, 2017 in Blog

There are important legal challenges moving forward against President Trump's Executive Order banning Syrian refugees and temporarily suspending our refugee program. Before, during, and after these legal challenges are considered by federal courts, AAI is calling for cities and states to pass resolutions condemning the Muslim Ban. Below we have provided draft text that Arab Americans and our allies can present to their state and city legislators to be introduced and voted on. It is important for individuals states step up to denounce President Trump's un-American...

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Philly Arab Americans Create Local Action Plan

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 23, 2017 in Blog

Building on the release of AAI's "Advocacy Road Map," Government Relations Director Nadia Aziz joined activists in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 22 to discuss the community's immediate priorities and help develop them into an action plan.  "The November election jolted many in our community, especially given our stance for immigrant rights and religious freedom. So, it's important for us to get together, as a  community, to figure out how to deal with the potential domestic and foreign challenges. This meeting went a long way in developing that strategy," said Marwan Kreidie, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Arab-American Development Corps and an AAI...

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Arab Americans on the Ground in 2016: Millennials in Pennsylvania

Posted by Guest on October 05, 2016 in Blog
A lot has been made about the millennial vote in this election - hear from two of ours who will be voting for the first time.
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Meet Pennsylvania's Yalla Vote Field Organizer

Posted by Nadia Aziz on September 28, 2016 in Blog
Meet your Pennsylvania Yalla Vote Field Organizer, Summar Elgogari! A student at Temple University, Summar is working with AAI through the election to connect with Arab Americans in Pennsylvania.
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Sheriff Joe Hanna Wears his Heritage as a Badge of Pride

Posted by Joan Hanna on September 13, 2016 in Blog

Crediting his heritage and the way he was raised with making him the person he is today, Sheriff Joe Hanna said, “You have to know where you came from to know where you’re going.” This statement could not be more fitting for Hanna’s professional career. Hanna, who was elected last November as Sheriff of Lehigh County in Pennsylvania, is half Syrian and half Italian. He identifies strongly with his Arab American heritage, wearing it as a “badge of pride.” Like many Arabs who immigrated to the...

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Yalla Philly Welcomes Delegates to DNC Convention

Posted by Jennifer Salan on July 29, 2016 in Blog

Kicking off a week of outreach and education programming, the Arab American Institute Foundation hosted Arab American delegates to the Democratic National Convention for Arabic food in Philadelphia on Tuesday. With nearly 50 delegates to the DNC in 2016, the room was filled to capacity with old and new friends alike along with the local Arab American Philadelphia Host Committee. Delegates and guests shared their stories of how they became involved in activism and public service while sharing their advocacy on behalf of Palestine, civil liberties, and other...

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AAI Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 4

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on July 29, 2016 in Blog

Last night, Hillary Clinton took the stage to accept the Democratic Party's nomination marking the end of the two-week long infomercial that was the 2016 presidential nominating conventions. Here it is, your last AAI Daily Dispatch from the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention:Arab Americans at the Convention INTERVIEW: 21 year old Syrian immigrant Ayla Kadah explains what she thinks it will take to get Bernie supporters united behind Hillary. Arab American PLEO delegate Jack Hanna, was interviewed by Early Returns and highlighted how his Syrian...

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INTERVIEW: Arab American Democrat Ayla Kadah

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 28, 2016 in Blog

Ayla Kadah is an Arab American delegate from Washington, where she supported Senator Bernie Sanders. Ayla is 21 years old, making her the youngest ever delegate from Washington State, and the youngest Arab American delegate at the 2016 Democratic Convention.  Q: When and why did you immigrate to the United States?  Though I was born in California, I was raised in Damascus, Syria. I moved back to the US in 2013 to attend the University of Washington in Seattle.  Q: What about Senator Sanders...

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AAI Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 3

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on July 28, 2016 in Blog

It was a packed night last night. The Convention was bursting from the seams with Democrats eager to salute the Party's top elected officials - Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. We also got a first hand look at Hillary Clinton's pick for Vice President, Senator Tim Kaine. There's a lot to cover on all fronts, so here is your DNC Day 3 dispatch: Arab Americans at the Convention In addition to throwing a pretty spectacular party on Tuesday night, we're here at the DNC convention to educate delegates and inform...

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