Getting to know an imam and seeing Muslims in the new light

Posted by AAI on May 01, 2015

By Rachel Newcomb April 30 at 3:09 PM

Rachel Newcomb is associate professor of anthropology at Rollins College, where she also directs the Program in Middle Eastern and North African Studies. IF THE OCEANS WERE INK An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran

By Carla Power

Henry Holt. 336 pp. Paperback, $19 Since Sept. 11, 2001, popular media has tended to represent Islam as monolithic and menacing, a faith whose adherents spend their time plotting to murder infidels, oppress women and instill sharia law in Western democracies. While the actions of...

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Salma Hayek receives humanitarian award from Arab American Institute

Posted by Lebanese Examiner on May 01, 2015

April 30, 2015 (WASHINGTON, DC) — Actress and film director Salma Hayek received the “Spirit of Humanity” Kahlil Gibran Award from the Arab American Institute on Thursday during an annual gala in Washington DC honoring successful Arab-Americans.

Hayek returned from a three-day trip to Lebanon on Tuesday, where she launched her new animated film “The Prophet”, which is based on Gibran’s book.

The animated film, which draws on the 1923 book by Lebanese-born writer Kahlil Gibran, tells the story of Almitra, a headstrong girl who forms a friendship with imprisoned poet Mustafa.

The Washington DC ceremony was held at the...

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Rice: Obama Administration Firm on Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution

Posted by AAI on May 01, 2015

By Mohamed Elshinnawi

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice strongly reaffirmed the Obama administration's commitment to the two-state solution that leads to a sovereign Palestinian state. 

“The U.S. remains firmly committed to an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, living alongside a democratic Jewish state of Israel in peace and security.” Rice said. 

Her remarks came in a keynote address to hundreds of Arab Americans from around the country Wednesday at the Arab American Institute Foundation's Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.  

Rice said while reassessing the U.S. approach to the Palestinian Israeli conflict, President Obama made...

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Obama’s retroactive request for war authority to combat Islamic State is ‘puzzling’

Posted by National Catholic Reporter on February 24, 2015

In 2013, the Islamic State group began an extermination campaign in the Levant, ripping through Syria and later Iraq in a brutal effort to establish a caliphate. In August, the U.S. began dropping bombs in response.

Now, six months later, President Barack Obama is asking Congress for war authority in that fight.

While the threat the Islamic State poses is clear, the president's retroactive request for Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) could be described as confusing.

On the one hand, it proposes to sunset military action after three years and ban "enduring offensive ground operations."...

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Should the US census count Arab Americans differently?

Posted by KPCC on February 06, 2015

The U.S. Census Bureau is weighing a new category to more accurately count Arab Americans. The proposed classification is referred to as “MENA,” for Middle Eastern-North African.   Arab American advocates say the idea is a long time coming.   “We’re an ethnic constituency, and the challenge is that sometimes the U.S. doesn’t do ethnicity very well because they’re fixated on race," said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C.

Census bureau officials have been gathering input, public comments and opinions from experts and Arab American groups. They say they plan to test the category...

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UAE has ‘unique’ relationship with Iran, says poll author

Posted by The National on December 18, 2014

ABU DHABI // The author of a poll that surveyed more than 7,500 Arab-speaking adults said the UAE held a “unique” relationship with its neighbour Iran, which could help explain some of the surprising figures.

As hundreds of thousands of Iranians call the UAE home and Dubai is one of Iran’s top trading partners, it puts the UAE in a different basket to other surveyed countries.

“There are strong historic ties, especially in Dubai, with Iran,” said Dr James Zogby, managing director of US-based research centre Zogby Research and a contributor to The National’s opinion pages. “There is a very...

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Report: More data would make 2020 census more accurate

Posted by Philadelphia Inquirer on December 15, 2014

As the government looks ahead to the 2020 census, some civic leaders are seeking changes they say will paint a more vivid picture of an increasingly diverse United States.

"Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multiethnic America," a report released last month by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a coalition of 200 civil rights groups, promotes a series of changes in how the data on race and ethnicity are gathered by the census and its companion American Community Survey.

Among the recommendations: Add a new ethnicity category for people of Middle Eastern and...

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The U.S. Census Is Trying To Get A More Accurate Count Of Arab Americans

Posted by FiveThirtyEight on November 24, 2014

The first time Rashad Al-Dabbagh saw a census form, he didn’t know how to respond.

Sex? Male. Age? 20. But race? Al-Dabbagh, who moved to the United States from Saudi Arabia in 1998, scanned the 2000 census form looking for himself. He wasn’t white or black or Chinese or Samoan or any of the 10 other categories listed.

This is how the U.S. Census currently asks about race.

“I went through it and looked for Arab or Middle Eastern or Palestinian or anything I could identify...

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