Smithsonian, Arab American National Museum tell the Story of America’s Diversity

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Blog

On April 25, the Arab American National Museum was a part of a national discussion on the role that “culturally specific” or “ethnic” museums play in the United States. Helen Samhan, who is a founding member of AAI and the current Senior Outreach Advisor for the Museum, was invited to participate in a day-long symposium hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. The symposium, called “(Re)Presenting America: The Evolution of Culturally Specific Museums,” sought to address the debate on whether these museums serve to divide the nation along ethnic lines or whether they instead offer a more thorough look at...

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DC Activists Mark Al-Nakba

Posted by on May 08, 2012 in Blog

On Tuesday, May 15th, hundreds of people are expected to gather in front of the White House at 6:30pm to commemorate the Nakba, marking the 64th anniversary of Palestinian dispossession. 64 years ago, over 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes with the creation of Israel, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were razed. The flyer for next week’s event says: “Come congregate with us….531 of us (1 for every village lost) for a memorial.”

Nora Burgan, one of the event organizers, said “as long as there is no acknowledgment of the Nakba or justice for the Palestinians who...

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“Ana Masry: Still Living in the Square” Showcases Multidimensional Egyptian Identity

Posted by on May 02, 2012 in Blog

By Jessica Malaty

Please join us on Sunday for "Ana Masry: Still Living in the Square," a concert showcasing the multidimensionial Egyptian identity as it was and continues to be represented in Tahrir Square. The concert will feature Nubian songs, Coptic and Islamic hymns, and classical and original Egyptian music. Ana Masry is proud to be sharing the stage with Diana Calenti and her Egyptian folkloric dance troupe, as well as the hilarious Said Durrah as MC. The event will be held at the Lisner Auditorium in George Washington University at 7:00 pm. Tickets range from $15-$35 with...

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The 14th Annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala

Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Blog

On April 18, more than 500 Arab Americans from across the country gathered at the Renaissance Hotel for the 2012 Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala, hosted by the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF). At a time of unprecedented challenges, the Gibran Awards brought the Arab American community together to honor leaders in fostering greater understanding and promoting the common good.

Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Syria and president of AMIDEAST, received the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service. After he was presented the award by U.S. Secretary of...

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Arab American Leadership Day

Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Blog

By Danielle Malaty

On Thursday, April 19th, the Arab American Institute (AAI), in cooperation with the National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC), hosted over 100 Arab American leaders representing over 20 states across the country for Arab American Leadership Day in Washington DC. The day included a White House Leadership Briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, followed by a Capitol Hill Meet and Greet Lunch with members of Congress at the House Visitor Center.

AAI worked closely with the White House Office of Public Engagement to organize the briefing with senior Administration officials to discuss issues affecting the...

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Gibran is Finally Here!

Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Blog

Today, after months of preparation, hundreds of Arab Americans and friends from all walks of life will come together to celebrate the astonishing accomplishments of a few who have worked to change the world around them. The Kahlil Gibran “Sprit of Humanity” Awards Gala, now in its fourteenth year, honors those whose work promotes inclusion, cooperation, and greater understanding among people of diverse backgrounds, both at home and abroad - a task particularly important for a community still grappling with the realities of a post-9/11 environment. "This year the gala could not have come at a more important time...

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Arab Americans Commemorate Hala Maksoud’s Memory

Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Blog

On Sunday, April 22nd, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University, and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) are holding a commemorative evening to honor the late Dr. Hala Salaam Maksoud.

Maksoud was a dedicated Arab American leader who co-founded several organizations, including the American Committee on Jerusalem, the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, and the Arab Women's Council. She also served as ADC’s president from 1996-2001. Speaking about next week’s commemoration, ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub said:

"Dr. Hala embodied the true characteristics of a leader.  She was one...

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Watch AAI Hill Briefing: Religion and Conflict in the Middle East

Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Blog

In case you missed it, check out the video below for our hill briefing on the current situation of religious minorities in the Middle East.

The End of Pluralism? Religion and Conflict in the Middle East

A Discussion hosted by the Arab American Institute featuring:

Father Simon Faddoul – President, Caritas Foundation

Qamar-ul Huda – Senior Program Officer, US Institute of Peace

Dr. James Zogby – President, Arab American Institute

After over a thousand years of relatively peaceful co-existence, religious communities in the Middle East are increasingly threatened as a result of recent conflicts and political developments. The...

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Media Freedom & the Middle East

Posted by on April 06, 2012 in Blog

Today’s news that MJ Rosenberg is leaving Media Matters due to pressure from so-called “pro-Israel” groups reminds us once again that even in the freest country on earth, people cannot have open and healthy debate on all issues. Nonetheless, the American system is light years ahead of government-controlled media environments that characterize most autocratic countries, including all across the Middle East. But as people increasingly utilize social media to get around government censorship, and as governments across the region are forced to open up due to their peoples’ courageous uprisings, what becomes of the media in the Arab World in...

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WATCH: AAI Co-Hosts Hill Briefing on the Arab Peace Initiative

Posted by on April 03, 2012 in Blog

Last week, the Arab American Institute (AAI), along with J Street and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, hosted a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Arab Peace Initiative (API) 10 Years Later. Speakers included AAI President Jim Zogby, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, Carnegie’s Marwan Muasher, and Yitzhak Rabin’s son Yuval Rabin.

Jeremy Ben-Ami delivered the opening remarks, introducing the panelists, reviewing J Street’s approach to promoting peace, and praising the API. Ben-Ami said that the API “offered and still offers possibilities that we in the Jewish peace community only had dreamed about for decades beforehand,...

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