Samar Hazboun: Palestinian Photographer and Artist Exposing the Occupation

Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Blog
By Margaret Lowry Samar Hazboun is a Palestinian photographer and artist who was born in Jerusalem and raised in the West Bank. She received a degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster in 2011. Since graduating, she has focused her work on women’s rights with an emphasis on the Middle East. For Hazboun, her art is a form of political expression. Two of Hazboun’s documentary photography series, “Before the Wall” and “Detained: Confessions of Palestinian Children Imprisoned by Israel,” will be on display in Washington DC next weekend in an exhibit curated by the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.
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Ghattas Captures Feelings on US Foreign Policy that Resonate with Many Arab Americans

Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Blog
By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013 Kim Ghattas’ recent book chronicles her experience as a BBC correspondent who traveled with Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State. Arab Americans � or any American with a foot in two countries � understand that it is sometimes frustrating to observe American foreign policy when you have a unique lens into another dimension of a country, issue or crisis. Ghattas, who is Dutch-Lebanese, easily relates, saying that during the Lebanese civil war, those who thought “America was the source of all [their] trouble�also believed it had the answer to [their] problems, and this elicited hope and disappointment in people like a roller coaster.”
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Through Architecture, Zaha Hadid is Breaking Down Barriers

Posted by Joan Hanna on September 18, 2013 in Blog
Although the field of architecture has been primarily male dominated, Zaha Hadid has been changing that norm. She is slowly gaining household name recognition around the world in countries such as the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Later this month, Hadid will unveil her first permanent structure in central London, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. But you can catch her right here in Washington, DC in November, when the Middle East Institute recognizes her extraordinary accomplishments at its 67th Annual Banquet. Hadid will receive MEI’s Issam M. Fares Award for Excellence, which recognizes exceptional contributions of Arab men and women in the fields of politics, culture, business and philanthropy.
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“Arab American Stories”: Tell Us What You Think

Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Blog

By Dena Elian Fall Intern, 2013

Over the weekend, dozens of viewers attended a special screening of two episodes of the PBS series Arab American Stories hosted by WHUT, Howard University’s public television station. The 13-part series is a joint effort between co-producers Detroit Public Television and ADC president Warren David.

Each roughly half-hour-long episode features three short documentaries that detail the hardships and accomplishments of different Arab Americans. Among the thirty-nine people highlighted throughout the series are actors, civic and community leaders, legendary journalists, authors, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, teachers, musicians, and...

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“The Muslims Are Coming!”—To A Theater Near You!

Posted by on September 06, 2013 in Blog
By Marc Sabbagh Fall Intern, 2013 The wait is over: “The Muslims Are Coming!”� to a theater near you. After about a year of anticipation, the documentary film associated with “The Muslims Are Coming!” comedy tour, recipient of Arab American Institute Foundation’s “Special Recognition Award” at the 2012 Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala, is premiering in six cities this month.
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Four Arab American Comedians Doing Big Things

Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Blog
By Lama Al-ArianSummer 2013 Intern In the past decade, there has been a strong emergence of Arab American comedians who are working to dispel stereotypes and tackle misrepresentations of Arabs and Muslims through satire and humor. From comedy tours to Hollywood films, they are making important inroads in changing the way many Americans with false perceptions of our community view Arabs and Muslims. There are far more Arab Americans comedians doing excellent work, but here are short profiles on four we have been following lately.
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Interview with Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad

Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Blog
By: Matt Haugen and Tess Waggoner Jad Abumrad is a musician, producer, and host and creator of WNYC’s wildly popular radio show and podcast, Radiolab. The show won the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast excellence in 2010 and Jad was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, often called the “Genius Grant” in 2011. After listening to some of Radiolab’s programs on race and identity, and reading a superb interview with him by Discord Music Magazine, we reached out to chat with him about Radiolab, how he understands his identity, the interplay of music and storytelling, and Arabic food.
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We’re Jazzed About Lena Seikaly

Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Blog
By: Margaret Lowry Summer 2013 Intern Lena Seikaly, a Palestinian American classical and jazz vocalist, has emerged as a rising star on the DC jazz scene. Hailed by the Washington City Paper as “one of the contenders for D.C.'s best singer,” and praised by the Washington Post, Lena has played sold out performances at DC staples such as Blues Alley, the Strathmore Mansion, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Twins Jazz, and several Smithsonian venues.
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Arabic Dialects Through Film

Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Blog
By Bentley Brown Bentley Brown is an Arabic researcher at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Brown is the cofounder of Aboudigin Films and the director of the 2012 short film, Faisal Goes West. This summer, Brown is offering the course “Arabic Dialects through Film.”
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A Personal Perspective on the “Dilemma of Diaspora”

Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Blog
By Dana Ballout Summer 2013 Intern This week I watched an old episode of the Lebanese-American comedian Nemr Abu Nassar. In his performance on public television, he said that the Lebanese need to start from zero, that they are nothing and have nothing: no government, no real country and no sense of a nation.I think Nemr was a little harsh but I understand his frustration - and I can’t say I disagree. But I have no doubt that Nemr and I have at some point had the same dilemma: to stay in the US or go back to Lebanon? I call it the “dilemma of the diaspora.”
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