Despite the heat, #YallaVote takes on California

Posted by Guest on July 23, 2018 in Blog

By Johanna, Yalla Vote Field Organizer: CA

As election day fast approaches, #YallaVote in California has been extending its programming to the Inland Empire, serving Arab Americans in the San Bernardino and Riverside counties, which are home to two of the biggest Arab American communities in the state.  On Friday, July 20, we joined the community to encourage them to vote and remind them how showing up at the polls can make sure their community gets the representation it deserves.

Despite a record-breaking heat wave, families were happy to discuss the upcoming elections and...

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MEPI Students Speed-Network at AAI

Posted by Guest on July 12, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

On Wednesday night, AAI hosted a networking event with students from Georgetown University’s Student Leaders Program, which is supported by the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Students from Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza visited the office for a meet-and-greet learn more about the work of the Institute.

Looking to develop the leadership skills of its participants, the program teaches students to build relationships between citizens, civil society, and the government; to settle local issues; and gain a better understanding of...

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Finding My Place in DC

Posted by Arab American Institute on June 29, 2018 in Blog

By Lea Kayali

I live three blocks away from the White House. I pass the Organization of American States and the World Bank on my way to work every day. I have protested in front of the Supreme Court and toured the monuments on a Saturday afternoon. In many ways, living in DC has been more fantastic than I ever could have hoped – I thrive off of the atmosphere of policy wonks and political activism.

Simultaneously, I no longer see the city through a rose-colored filter. These are trying times.

For instance, it is clear that the ripple effects...

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Together We Came: Dr. Adel Mahmoud

Posted by Guest on June 29, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

On June 11, a brain hemorrhage claimed the life of a man whose work made incredible impacts on science and medicine. His legacy will remain as his vaccines continue to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

Dr. Adel Mahmoud was born on August 24, 1941 in Cairo to Abdelfattah and Fathia Osman. When he was ten years old, his father became ill with pneumonia. After rushing to the

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Together We Came: Reem Assil

Posted by Guest on June 27, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

“My work as a food activist is cultural work.”

Reem Assil uses her expert cooking skills as a way to unite her community, scrapping prejudice whenever possible.

Growing up in Boston, there were times when Reem’s Arab heritage made her different from her fellow students, like bringing Arabic food when everyone else was eating peanut butter and jelly. Her mother would react with open arms and invite the children to learn how to make baklawa, “food was...

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Together We Came: Ayman Mohyeldin

Posted by Guest on June 25, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

Throughout his career, Ayman Mohyeldin showed immense bravery, risking his life on dangerous assignments as a foreign news correspondent. His thorough and heartfelt reporting earned him a spot as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people.

Ayman lived in his birthplace, Cairo, until the family moved to Kennesaw, Georgia when he was five years old. His father, Medhat Mohyeldin, is Egyptian and his mother, Abla Awwad,...

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Together We Came: Dr. Najat Khelil

Posted by Guest on June 18, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

Dr. Najat Arafat Khelil is a pioneer in the field of science, becoming the first woman in Texas to earn a doctorate in nuclear physics in 1974. Since then, she has dedicated her life to education and the development of young leaders, whether in the field of science or to assist in conflict resolution in the Middle East.

Born in Nablus, Khelil’s father always emphasized the importance of education and encouraged...

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Together We Came: Josie Totah

Posted by Guest on June 13, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

June is pride month and Arab American teenage actor Josie Totah is a powerful force for the LGBTQ community, reminding everyone to be proud of who they are.

Totah was born in Sacramento, California to a family with Palestinian, Lebanese, and Italian ancestry. As a child, she was aware of the stereotypes and protocols of how young children were supposed to act. Girls played dress...

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Together We Came: Callie Khouri

Posted by Guest on June 11, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

The movie Thelma & Louise took the world by storm when it hit theatres. Although controversial at first, it eventually became a classic, with its strong female leads resonating well amongst audiences. The writer of the screenplay, Callie Khouri, used her passion and creativity to be an advocate for women’s rights throughout her life.

Khouri was born November 27,1957, to a Lebanese American doctor and a “

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Together We Came: Abie Abraham

Posted by Guest on June 01, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

“I was never one of those guys, hero guys wearing medals and all that,” Abie Abraham once said. His bravery in WWII and his continued service after, however, tell a different story.

Abie was born on July 31, 1913 in Lyndora, Pennsylvania to Syrian immigrants Elias and Esther Thomson Abraham, the third of 11 children. His father arrived on Ellis Island on May 18,...

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