Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Blog

A front page feature in the Washington Post Style section leads with a positive piece on an Arab American -- none other than our own AAI President Jim Zogby. Jim's book Arab Voices:  What They Are Saying to Us and Why it Matters just came out on October 12 and already is changing the conversation about the Arab world and Americans' understanding of it.  

The book makes it possible for not only Jim, but every reader, to speak with even more authority and clarity -- not just to the Washington Post but to your neighbors and colleagues -- about the myths surrounding the Arab world. AAI is leveraging this book at this moment to inform the debate about U.S. policy in one of the most important regions of the world and to change the context in which our community is viewed.  

For example, just this week Laura Rozen of Politico did a piece about the breakdown in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. For years, AAI has been an important voice on this issue and Jim has personally addressed the failure of successive administrations to understand the preconditions for peace. As Jim points out in his book referring to the current Administration: "The United States has failed to consider how important this [settlements] issue was to the Palestinian side." It's one of the reasons why in 2010, Rozen is writing about yet another breakdown in the peace process and yet another delay of negotiations until yet another election season passes. This is why this is such an important book.

Arab Voices has given us the opportunity to change the landscape. Yesterday, it was ranked #2 on Amazon in the category of Middle East and International Relations. That's right. A book by an expert, who happens to be an Arab American, is who the country is going to for information on the Middle East.  Let's get Arab Voices -- and our voice in the process -- to the number one spot. Help us clear up misconceptions about the Arab world. 

Here are five simple steps you can take to do just that:

1. If you haven't already, buy the book.

2. Click here to tell your friends about the book.

3. Share it on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

4. Write your own quick review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

5. Reach out to your local bookstore and make sure they are selling it and suggest they feature it in an end display or on a table.

Today, instead of propagating myths about our community, one of our nation's most prominent newspapers is featuring "James Zogby's Myth Buster Quiz" about the Arab world. This is tremendous progress. Let's work to build on it now.