Arab Americans on the Ground: Sam Jammal on getting involved

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on September 26, 2017 in Blog
As a young college student, Sam Jammal had dreams of going into business to support his immigrant family who worked tirelessly to raise him and his siblings. When September 11th happened, however, his plans changed.
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Download our #YallaVote Voter Registration Toolkit Here!

Posted by Arab American Institute on September 17, 2017 in Blog

Download our #YallaVote Voter Registration Toolkit Here! Launched in 1998, the #YallaVote campaign is the foundation of our grassroots voter mobilization and education programming. With high concentrations of Arab Americans living in some of the largest and most politically contested states – including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia – we know our community can make a difference on issues that matter to all Americans. That’s why it’s important for our community to be registered and at...

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AAI at the Michigan Response to Hate Conference

Posted by Heba Mohammad on September 07, 2017 in Blog

If you are the victim of a hate crime, you are more likely to remain silent than to report it to law enforcement authorities. That is a highlight of the most recent Department of Justice Hate Crime Victimization Report, and the context in which the Michigan Response to Hate Conference occurred last week. Marking its tenth year, the conference, orchestrated by the Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes (MIAAHC), has drawn invested community partners annually to share strategies for preventing hate crimes, supporting victims, and encouraging reporting of hate crimes. On September 6th, I joined representatives of community organizations, law...

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Depicting the Diversity and Nuance of Our Community is Hannah Allam's Passion

Posted by Guest on August 02, 2017 in Blog

by Dina Al-Zu'bi It is not news that Arabs and Muslims are misrepresented (and often conflated) in U.S. news and entertainment media alike. The consequences of this misrepresentation are ones that Arab Americans and American Muslims know all too well. In more pleasant features, we are exoticized and condescendingly mystified, and in less pleasant ones we are terrorists or otherwise backward individuals to be feared or avoided. These archetypes are boringly cliché and absurd to those of us who have been aware of their presence all our lives, but...

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Lobbying Isn’t Just for K Street

Posted by Guest on August 01, 2017 in Blog

by Oday Yousif When you call your member of Congress’s office and ask them to help a population of people who are living in a difficult situation, you would never think of yourself as a lobbyist. Throughout this summer, as an external intern at No One Left Behind (NOLB), I went to congressional offices weekly to advocate on behalf of Iraqi and Afghan translators who were being threatened in their home countries for helping the U.S. military. Never would I have considered the work I was doing on behalf...

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Michigan's 2017 Arab American Primary Candidates

Posted by Joan Hanna on July 28, 2017 in Blog

As Michigan prepares to head to the polls in a little over a week, AAI is excited to highlight Arab American candidates running for office in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. Local voters will be able to cast ballots for Mayor, the City Council and City Clerk. These local elections are vital because residents have the chance to create personal and professional relationships with their elected officials and discuss issues that most affect them. We’ve provided short biographical profiles on each of the 12 Arab Americans running for office in...

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It’s in his Genes: Bazzi Runs for Dearborn Heights City Council

Posted by Joan Hanna on July 24, 2017 in Blog

Bill Bazzi is a Marine Corps veteran, longtime Michigan resident and a candidate for Dearborn Heights City Council. He is hoping to serve his country again, but this time through public service: “I joined the military because I wanted to do something more. I wanted to serve my community and my country. It’s one of the reasons I am running for City Council. I want to give back and to honor my mother, who believes civic involvement is so important.” With a passion for...

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AAI Interns Hear from Congressman Ellison

Posted by Guest on July 05, 2017 in Blog

By Zaina Ujayli

Brown Bag lunches with the Arab American Institute always promise the most interesting guests. So, on Friday, June 23, the interns gathered outside of AAI to meet Representative Keith Ellison in his office.

Friday was my first time anywhere near Capitol Hill. Walking down the white hallways, spotted with flags from the different states, representatives’ names engraved on metal plates beside the wooden doors, I could not help but feel like I was walking on the other side of the field. Organizations like AAI advocate for the...

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Washington Watch: What an Italian American Leader Did for Arab Americans and for Me

Posted on July 01, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Fred Rotondaro, an Italian American leader, died on June 26th. He was, by every measure, a remarkable man. On hearing of his passing, my brother John commented, "Fred was a creation God would be proud of. He was a smart, elegant man who never forgot where he came from".  To this I would add that I feel fortunate, because for nearly four decades Fred was my friend and my mentor.  When, in the 1970's and 1980's many in Washington refused to work with Arab Americans, Fred took me under his wing and taught me, often...

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Maram Abdelhamid: Leading the way forward for immigrants to succeed

Posted by Guest on June 30, 2017 in Blog

By Maram Abdelhamid

My family and I immigrated to the United States from Egypt in the fall of 1988. We moved here after my family lost their business in times of intense corruption in the country. 

I remember moving here to a beautiful townhouse in Woodbridge, New Jersey, seeing snow for the first time and having our landlord bring us a turkey and an old black and white television for Thanksgiving.

The first few years in America were difficult. We moved a lot from New York to California to Los...

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