Below is the archive of press releases issued by AAI and stories in which AAI appears. If you are a member of the media and interested in talking with us, please contact Omar Baddar at 202-429-9210.

AAI Marks Tragic Anniversary by Calling for Passage of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act

Posted on August 12, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner, twaggoner@aaiusa.org | (202) 429-9210 

August 12, 2019 

On Tragic Anniversary, AAI Joins Families and Civil Rights Organizations to Call for Action on Hate Crime 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)-  On the anniversary of the 2016 murder of Khalid Jabara in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the 2017 murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement: 

“August 12 is a day indelibly seared in our memories. In 2016, Khalid Jabara was murdered on his front porch by a neighbor with a long history of hate speech, intimidation and violence directed towards the Jabara family. One year later, the world was aghast as the grounds of the University of Virginia and the streets of Charlottesville were gripped by hate, and Heather Heyer was murdered while peacefully taking a stand against it.  

Today, August 12, 2019, AAI is humbled to work with the families of Khalid and Heather in support of improved hate crime data collection and a more effective response to hate crime in our communities. 

We need members of Congress to understand that hate can’t wait. Alongside these brave families and a broad coalition of civil rights organizations, we urge Congress to pass the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.” 


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On Tragic Anniversary, AAI Joins Families and Civil Rights Organizations to Call for Action on Hate Crime

Posted on August 11, 2019

MEDIA ADVISORY 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner, twaggoner@aaiusa.org 

(202) 429-9210 

August 11, 2019 

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the deaths of two victims of hate crime.  

Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer were killed on the same day, August 12, one year apart: Khalid, in 2016, standing on his front doorstep in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Heather, in 2017, marching peacefully in Charlottesville, Virginia. While the devastating murders of Khalid and Heather were prosecuted as hate crimes in state and federal court, respectively, neither was reported in official hate crime statistics.  

These omissions underscore the systemic issues with underreporting in our official hate...

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AAI Statement on Tragic Death of Jimmy Aldaoud

Posted on August 08, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner (202) 429-9210 twaggoner@aaiusa.org

August 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Yesterday, the Arab American Institute was horrified to learn about the death of Jimmy Aldaoud, an Arab American who was deported to Iraq, despite having never lived in the country. Having several chronic medical conditions, but unable to speak Arabic and having no family in the country, Jimmy died homeless on the streets of Baghdad. 

Jimmy did not have to die. He was likely deported pursuant to Executive Order 13768 which, among other things, attempts to strong arm countries to...

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AAI Mourns Hate-fueled Violence

Posted on August 05, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 

August 5, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the white supremacist mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which killed six people and wounded others. We mark this devastating anniversary in the midst of a new tragedy, as the nation reels from back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 29 people and injured many. The El Paso shooting, which left 20 dead and dozens wounded, appears to also be motivated by white supremacy, as the shooter allegedly published a manifesto decrying the

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AAI Dismayed by DHS Failure to Re-designate TPS for Syria

Posted on August 01, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  CONTACT: Tess M. Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 August 1, 2019

Washington, D.C.- Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will extend, but not re-designate, temporary protected status (TPS) for Syria. The failure to re-designate TPS for Syria abandon’s the moral and legal obligation of the United States to protect recently-arrived Syrians in the United States from being forced to return to life-threatening conditions in Syria.

TPS allows citizens of specified war-torn or disaster-impacted countries to live and work in the U.S. Syria has been designated for the TPS program since...

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AAI CONDEMNS EGREGIOUS BIGOTRY

Posted on July 18, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 

July 18, 2019

Washington, D.C.- On Thursday, July 18, 2019, AAI issued the following statement: 

Behind the seal of the President of the United States, Donald Trump incited a gathering of his followers into chants of “send her back” about a sitting member of Congress. The scene targeting Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at last night’s event in North Carolina should send chills down the spines of every American of conscience.

This is not about the President of the United States anymore. His racism predates even his birther conspiracies about the country’s first black President,...

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James Zogby Condemns President's Remarks

Posted on July 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 

July 15, 2019

Washington, D.C.- On Monday, July 15, 2019, AAI President James Zogby issued the following statement: 

President Trump's recent two day Twitter tirade targeting four women Members of Congress was nothing more than a frightening racist appeal to what he considers his "base." This is not a racist dog whistle, this is a siren marking the unmistakable intent of this president to make the spread of bigotry and animosity among Americans the centerpiece of his electoral strategy.

On the one hand, we have seen this before:...

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AAI Responds to Presidential Concessions Regarding 2020 Census

Posted on July 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

(202) 429-9210 

July 11, 2019

Following the conclusion of a press conference in which President Trump announced the issuance of a new executive order, AAI Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement, 

"President Trump's latest executive order is acknowledgement of his failed extralegal efforts to politicize the decennial census. With that, democracy won. He and his administration have failed and despite their best efforts, we will be counted. Arab Americans are a community that understands the threat posed by the misuse of data in violation of our rights, we will work to...

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AAI Celebrates Omission of Citizenship Question on Decennial Census

Posted on July 03, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

(202) 429-9210

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

July 3, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Following news reports that the Department of Commerce has initiated the printing of 2020 Census forms without the citizenship question, which was the subject of a decision by the Supreme Court last week, Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry issued the following statement: 

"This news marks a major victory for all advocates for a fair and accurate Census count and for our democracy. We are grateful for the oversight and accountability mechanisms our nation's systems afford us, which will permit us all to move forward with...

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AAI Welcomes Introduction of Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act

Posted on June 27, 2019

June 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

twaggoner@aaiusa.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Arab American Institute (AAI) welcomed the introduction of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, which would promote more accurate hate crime data collection and assist hate crime victims and their communities. The bill represents the efforts of a broad coalition determined to improve the federal, state, and local response to hate crime, and is named after Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer, two victims whose murders were prosecuted as hate...

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