Posted by on September 22, 2014 in News Clips

Organizations in key states will participate in the Arab American Institute’s Yalla Vote campaign in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day on September 23 to register voters and engage the public on issues important to our community. AAI Executive Director Maya Berry, says American Arabs will push voter awareness Sept. 26

National Voter Registration Day is tomorrow, September 23, and the Arab American Institute (AAI) is making sure our community remains a part of the national conversation. This week, Arab Americans across the country join thousands in hosting voter registration drives for the largest one-day effort of the year to register voters. This year, an Arab American Voter Registration Day has been added for Friday, September 26.

With high concentrations of Arab Americans living in some of the largest and most politically contested states – including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia – we know our community can make a difference and remains a key demographic group going into the 2014 and 2016 elections. The issues that matter to us matter to all Americans. Whether surveillance, profiling, immigration, or U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, our community must be at the forefront of the national conversation.

AAI’s “Yalla Vote” initiative will be at over ten university campuses in key states, making our community’s presence known and talking about the issues we care deeply about. This November, 471 members of Congress are on the ballot and 36 states are electing governors, making National Voter Registration Day as important as ever. Here are some other key facts:

Since its creation in 1998, Yalla Vote has become the cornerstone of the Arab American Institute’s voter mobilization and education work, and has been adopted by countless communities across the country to coordinate “Get Out the Vote” efforts. The Yalla Vote website provides state voter guides and demographics information as well as information on key issues important to the Arab American community.

Arab Americans remain an important voter bloc and are one of the most active and politically engaged ethnic constituencies in the country. A 2012 AAI poll found that there is a growing independent base in the Arab American community. Arab Americans are slowly shifting away from the Republican Party, but there was also a 15% drop in support for President Obama in 2012 from 2008.

According to our latest AAI poll, Americans who say they know either Arabs or Muslims have significantly higher favorable attitudes toward both and also have greater confidence in their ability to serve in important government positions. A majority of Americans say that they feel that do not know enough about Arab history and people or about Islam and Muslims. This is why our voter outreach and community engagement is important!

Arab Americans are as diverse as their countries of origin, with unique immigration experiences that have shaped our ethnic identity in the United States. While the majority of Arab Americans descend from the first wave of mostly Christian immigrants, Arab Muslims represent the fastest growing segment of the Arab American community.

Campus organizations and community members participating are open to sharing their experiences with the press. For these inquiries or to request an interview with AAI’s Executive Director Maya Berry, please contact AAI Communications and Policy Associate Marc Sabbagh at or 202-652-4980.

Follow @AAIUSA and #YallaVote and #MyArabAmVote this week for more.

What: National Voter Registration Day and Arab American Voter Registration Day

When: Tuesday, September 23 and Friday, September 26

Where: See a full list of Yalla Vote registration drives by clicking here.

Many other American Arab organizations are also supporting the National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 23 and the AAI day on Sept. 26 including the American Human Rights Council (AHRC) which issued this release today also:

AHRC : The Right to Vote is a precious Human Right:

The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) joins the nation celebrating September 23, 2014 National Voter Registration Day in America. The right to vote is a precious basic human right to every person and not a privilege. Voting is key element of the democratic process and is a civic duty. Voters help shape the future by selecting and electing the right candidates for different posts at the local, state and national levels. There is no excuse for any eligible voter not to register to vote or to miss the opportunity to vote. Voting is the way to render the desired change advancing the interests of the people and influencing policies to advance humans rights and human dignity.  The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) as it celebrates this day with fellow citizens across the nation reminds all that the voter registration deadline is Monday- October 6, 2014 for the general elections that will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. To register contact you city clerk. You can also register online via:

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