AAI Joins 150 Civil Rights Orgs to Demand Federal Action on Chapel Hill Murders

Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Blog

AAI joined a coalition of 150 civil rights organizations in a letter sent this morning to Attorney General Eric Holder imploring him to direct the FBI to open a federal hate crime investigation into the tragic slaying of three Arab American Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat (23 years old), Yusor Mohammad Abu Salha (21 years old), and Razan Mohammad Abu Salha (19 years old), who were brutally murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 10th.

 With hate crimes targeting Arab Americans and American Muslims on the rise, we expect our country’s highest elected officials and the Department of Justice to...

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Jay Farhat: Moving Jacksonville Forward

Posted by on February 03, 2015 in Blog

When you speak to Jay Farhat you can feel how deeply he cares for the city of Jacksonville, Florida. His dedication and commitment to public service is evident in his 23 year history with the city. It is no wonder that when his family and friends insisted he run for Sheriff, Farhat took it as an even greater opportunity to serve his community. 

Jay’s father immigrated to Jacksonville from Ramallah, Palestine in 1947. He quickly established their family grocery store as a staple business in the community. It was in his family’s grocery store...

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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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Arab and Muslim Americans Had a Rough 2014

Posted by on January 07, 2015 in Blog

With 2015 now underway Arab Americans and American Muslims are hoping that this year will be better for them than 2014. Throughout most of 2014, reports of hate crimes against Arab Americans and American Muslims across the country were frequent and seen on both the micro and macro level. Just last month, a Somali taxi driver was beaten unconscious by three men who accused the driver of being a “terrorist”. This past November the state of Alabama overwhelmingly passed an anti-Islam amendment that was marketed to voters as a ban on “foreign and international laws”. This is

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UAE has ‘unique’ relationship with Iran, says poll author

Posted by The National on December 18, 2014 in News Clips

ABU DHABI // The author of a poll that surveyed more than 7,500 Arab-speaking adults said the UAE held a “unique” relationship with its neighbour Iran, which could help explain some of the surprising figures.

As hundreds of thousands of Iranians call the UAE home and Dubai is one of Iran’s top trading partners, it puts the UAE in a different basket to other surveyed countries.

“There are strong historic ties, especially in Dubai, with Iran,” said Dr James Zogby, managing director of US-based research centre Zogby Research and a contributor to The National’s opinion pages. “There is a very...

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The U.S. and the Veto

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 17, 2014 in Blog
Reports began leaking hours ago that the U.S. has decided to veto the Palestinian resolution. The prospective U.S. veto is nothing but an old tactic repeated ad nauseam.
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Report: More data would make 2020 census more accurate

Posted by Philadelphia Inquirer on December 15, 2014 in News Clips

As the government looks ahead to the 2020 census, some civic leaders are seeking changes they say will paint a more vivid picture of an increasingly diverse United States.

"Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America," a report released last month by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a coalition of 200 civil rights groups, promotes a series of changes in how the data on race and ethnicity are gathered by the census and its companion American Community Survey.

Among the recommendations: Add a new ethnicity category for people of Middle Eastern and...

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Todays Middle East: Pressures and Challenges

Posted on December 15, 2014 in Arab American Institute

Zogby Research Services conducted a November 2014 poll for the Sir Bani Yas Forum, an annual event cohosted by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, "Today's Middle East: Pressures & Challenges," surveyed eight Middle East and North African countries on the emergence of ISIS, the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, the growth of sectarianism, the future of Syria and Iraq, Iran's nuclear program, and more. While the poll confirms many prevailing assumptions about regional outlooks, it reveals some surprising shifts in public opinion. A key finding is that despite deep regional...

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Legislation Over Lamentation

Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Blog
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee convened a group of law makers and policy advocates to discuss the current state of civil and human rights in this country. Led by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the hearing focused on the need to reform several aspects of the United States’ criminal justice system and law enforcement agency practices that target and negatively impact minority populations.
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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: DOJ Profiling Guidance Revisions Fail to Ban Profiling

Posted by on December 08, 2014 in Blog

Today, Attorney General Eric Holder and the White House unveiled much anticipated revisions to 2003 Department of Justice Guidance on the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies (“Guidance”). The DOJ has finally expanded the definition of profiling to prohibit to the use of gender, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to race and ethnicity. While this is a small sign of progress, the Guidance fails to address homeland security and border integrity loopholes as well FBI mapping practices that have created space for routine and egregious constitutional and civil liberties violations.

Holder’s new guidelines...

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