Your privacy is assured

Posted by AAI- Helen Samhan on March 31, 2010

As census forms arrive in households across the country, arguments are surfacing that aim to frighten people — in South Florida and throughout the nation — from participating. They must be corrected. The consequences of avoiding the census are real, because an undercount costs those areas millions of dollars in lost federal assistance that is tied to population totals.

One fear is that individual census responses will not be kept safe. Every Census Bureau employee has taken a lifelong oath to protect the confidentiality of census responses. Any employee who reveals any personal census information is subject to...

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Census to Count Arabs as White, Despite Write-In Campaign

Posted by Suzanne Manneh on March 25, 2010

The Census Bureau says it doesn’t matter if Arab Americans write their race in on their Census questionnaire. Even if they check the “other” box and write in “Arab,” as many community groups advocate, the Census will still count them as racially white. “Anyone from Europe, North Africa or the Middle East [will be classified] as white,” said Roberto Ramirez, chief of the ethnicity and ancestry branch at the Census Bureau. Ramirez said that will be the case no matter how many people write in “Arab,” because the Census Bureau is required by law to...

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Census 2010 Seeks Partnerships with Arab American Organizations

Posted by Arab Detroit on March 22, 2010

Arab American Institute’s Helen Samhan shares the benefits of partnering with the Census Bureau for the 2010 Census outreach efforts. The Census Bureau seeks over 100,000 partnerships for the 2010 Census with organizations, religious institutions, businesses, schools, etc. to increase the reach of the Census, especially in small hard-to-reach communities.

The Arab American Institute (AAI), the lead organization representing Arab Americans’ policy and community interests, was founded in 1985 by James Zogby. Samhan is the Executive Director of AAI and has been working alongside the Census team to encourage Arab American participation in the Census for the past...

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AbiNader, Baadani talk to Army EEO advisors

Posted by on January 21, 2010

On Monday December 14, 2009, Jean AbiNader, AAI board member and COO of the Moroccan Center, and Jamal Baadani, founder of the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military, presented to over 100 U.S. Army Equal Opportunity Advisors studying at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). The presentation at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. afforded a timely opportunity to explore issues unique to Arab and Muslim American soldiers in the field.

“As an AAI member, it is really important to me to continue educating people, especially those who can advocate for our community,...

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How to report instances of airport harassment

Posted by AAI on January 13, 2010

In light of the attempted attack on Christmas day of Northwest flight 253, new policies and practices have been implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that put our community under the microscope. Therefore, in order to serve our community better, AAI has been in contact with the White House, Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), State Department, Department of Justice and other federal agencies in regards to those changes and their affects on our community. Federal officials strongly recommend that any episode of harassment at airports or other border crossings be reported...

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AAI Statement on Aviation Safety and National Security

Posted by AAI on January 08, 2010

The Arab American Institute (AAI) supports efforts by the Obama Administration to review transportation safety and national security policies in response to the attempted attack on Northwest flight 253. AAI endorses improved screening practices that effectively enhance our national security, safeguard American civil liberties, and demonstrate respect for the traveling public.

We are troubled, however, by reports that policies mirroring failed profiling regimes of the past have been introduced. As of this week, individuals traveling from or through Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen will be...

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Take Your Census Form and Fill It

Posted by Rashad Al-Dabbagh on September 01, 2009

The hilarious yet misguided article titled “Take Your Census Form and Shove It” by Ray Hanania, which has recently been circulated online and published in some Arab American publications, including The Independent Monitor, shouldn’t discourage our community from participating in the 2010 Census.

Yes, Arabs still don’t have our own box, and continue to fill in the blank next to the “Some Other Race” box that we check every decennial, but avoiding the Census is like demanding a change in U.S. foreign policy under the condition of opting out of voting, lobbying and campaign contributions.

Let’s face...

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2010 Census data will affect your voice; some call it discrimination

Posted by Zeyad Maasarani on August 12, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — The United States Census has raised uproar in minority communities around the country, particularly amongst Arab-Americans.

"Don’t sit back quietly and accept this!" Ray Hanania, an Arab-American radio personality from Chicago, told IFN. "As a community, we should be screaming discrimination at the top of our lungs and demand our share!"

A comedian and a journalist, Hanania is very vocal about his grievance with the upcoming Census, and thinks Arabs should opt out from filling out next year’s questionnaire.

The 2010 Census, which will define the nation’s demographic landscape...

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The 2010 Census: What’s in it for Arab Americans?

Posted by AAI- Helen Samhan on August 06, 2009

In less than a year, the nation will conduct its once-a-decade census of the U.S. population. The 2010 Census will ask just ten basic questions about each household—like the name, age, gender, and race of each person living there. Arab Americans, who are not a legally recognized racial or ethnic minority, have no “box” to check and some have suggested we should boycott the Census for that reason. This begs the questions: where do we fit and why should we care?

The short answer to the first question depends on who is asking. If you follow the federal...

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