The Arab American News

Posted by The Arab American News on October 22, 2015 in News Clips

DEARBORN  The conflicts in Syria and Palestine will be among the topics of discussion when Arab American leaders and politicians from across the country meet in Dearborn this weekend for the Arab American Institute’s National Leadership Conference.

The three-day summit, which will begin Friday, Oct. 23 and end Sunday, Oct. 25, aims to connect specific issues relevant to the Arab American community directly with presidential campaigns. The conference will also allow Republican and Democratic leaders to make a case for why their party should receive the Arab American vote. 
Presidential candidate former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-Maryland) will speak during the conference, and other candidates, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio) are expected to attend. 
A dinner party will honor Dearborn activists who helped to progress the Arab American community politically. Honorees include Suzanne Sareini, Ali Baleed Almaklani, Joe Borrajo, and Ismael Ahmed. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence are among the special guests.
Maya Berry, the executive director of the institute, said the conference aims to empower the community politically ahead of the presidential elections. 
The Arab American Institute is based in Washington, but Berry, who is a Dearborn native, said it is important to hold the conference here because of the size and impact of the Arab American community.
"Michigan is our state," she said. "When we talk about 5 percent of the vote, that can be very impactful."
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