Posted by Wtana on April 23, 2010 in News Clips

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addressed the Arab American Institute’s Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala Wednesday night. Amid the glitz and glamor of a Washington gala, Rice gave a rousing endorsement of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s statehood plan:

“We strongly support [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad’s two-year plan and will do everything to make it happen.”

The Palestinian prime minister has worked tirelessly to ready the Palestinian territories for statehood – improving civil infrastructure in the West Bank, improving transparency in the government, and boycotting settler goods in the West Bank economy. Fayyad’s plan states the Palestinian Authority will be ready for statehood in August 2011. Whether the PA intends to declare statehood unilaterally in August or will continue to work the diplomatic angle with Israel and the peace-brokering United States remains murky.

The AAI Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala was held Wednesday night April 21 at the stately Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. The awards honored Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley for Individual Achievement in recognition of his leadership role in Chicago’s “Sister City” program between the Illinois city and Arab capitals.

The Awards also honored Judge Rosemary Barkett with the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service, which recognizes “excellence in government service by an American of Arab descent,” AAI says. Barkett is a judge in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The award for Institutional Excellence went to the The Corporation for National Community Service. CNCS is the nation’s largest grant-giving corporation, supporting community service and volunteerism among all ages.

Others recognized were Arab-American entrepreneur and philanthropists Juma al-Majid (International Commitment award) and Mr. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, “whose extraordinary story of adversity amidst false allegation of terrorism and deeds of heroism during Hurricane Katrina were the inspiration for best selling author Dave Eggers’ book Zeitoun,” AAI says.

The Arab American Institute was founded in 1985 to foster the “civil and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.”


Original Article