Together We Came: Dr. Mohamed El-Erian

Posted by Natalie Nisco-Frank on June 22, 2016 in Blog

Wildly successful economist, academic, journalist, author and consultant, Dr. Mohamed El-Erian, was no match for his 10-year-old daughter who revealed to him in an astute letter the one job where he wasn’t exceeding expectations: being her dad. This letter poignantly listed 22 milestones, “from her first day at school… to a Halloween parade,” that her father had missed that year due to his demanding work schedule. And just like that, El-Erian went from overseeing the management of almost $2 trillion of assets for PIMCO to co-scheduling a private father-daughter holiday with a...

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Shining a Light on Teachers: Melody Arabo Excels

Posted by Joan Hanna on May 06, 2016 in Blog

Arab Americans can be found in all professions and industries, so it should come as no surprise that many of them shine in the field of education. For the past three years, Michigan’s Department of Education has selected teachers, who happen to be Arab American, as Teacher of the Year. Melody Arabo is one of these, honored with the title in 2015 and for good reason. Arabo has been a third grade teacher at Keith Elementary in Walled Lake, Michigan for the last 14 years. Recognized for...

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Meet our 2016 Spring Interns

Posted by Yasmin Hussein on February 05, 2016 in Blog
We are looking forward to working with our Spring 2016 interns, selected from a competitive field for their impressive history, experience, and motivation. Each person has unique skill sets and many have already produced excellent research and reports. Learn more about this spring's interns here and look out for their work on our blog!
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Department of Education Pushes Back Against Discrimination

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on January 20, 2016 in Blog
The Department of Education (DOE) is urging schools and colleges across the country to thwart any harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin. In an open letter to educational leaders, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and acting Secretary John B. King, Jr. discuss the importance of ensuring a safe learning environment for students at a “time when fear and anger are heightened, and when public debate sometimes results in the dissemination of misinformation.”
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Organizing for Arab American Professional Excellence

Posted by Rawan Elbaba on October 09, 2015 in Blog
Arab Americans are an integral part of America's growth and success with individuals from the community leading in a range of professional fields from science and medicine, to engineering and architecture and beyond. The Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects (AAAEA) is one of the many professional organizations in the United States that mobilizes Arab American professionals in their respected fields. AAAEA is dedicated to helping professionals and students in the fields of engineering, architecture and computer science network with one another via various social, technical and educational events. In an interview, Maher Abdel-qader, a co-founder and current President of the Tri-state area chapter of AAAEA, spoke about their mission, how they organize their members around issues that are important to Arab Americans and the organization’s annual gala.
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Farewell to our Summer 2015 Interns

Posted by Yasmin Hussein on August 14, 2015 in Blog
As the summer comes to an end, so does another chapter of phenomenal interns with us here at AAI. From the beginning of June to mid-August, our summer interns have worked tirelessly in the areas of government relations, research, communications and programming. From attending hearings on Capitol Hill, assisting in organizing briefings and touring government landmarks like the Department of State and White House; our interns got hands on experience on the ins and outs of Washington, DC.
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The War of Narratives

Posted by Nicole Khamis on August 06, 2015 in Blog
In the battle to control the narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on campuses, Title VI funding for Middle East Studies is caught in the crossfire. As the 10th reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) will be completed by the end of this year, threats to completely defund Middle East Programs created by Title VI are mounting, and should be a concern for all who believe in the integrity of academia.
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Transforming Higher Education

Posted by Nicole Khamis on July 27, 2015 in Blog

Discussion of the Higher Education Act, a hot topic on the Hill ahead of its budget reauthorization this fall, was accompanied by talk of decreasing federal regulations and de-mystifying financial processes for students who are struggling to pay and stay in college.

A hearing, titled “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Exploring Barriers to Innovation” was held in the Dirksen Senate Building Wednesday morning to discuss problems and possible solutions to the flawed post-secondary education system. 

Signed into law by President Johnson in 1965, the HEA must be reauthorized every five years. Last reauthorized in 2008, members of Congress have been...

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Women and Education in the Middle East

Posted by Neveen Hammad on July 01, 2015 in Blog
The panel featured international development advisor, Nadereh Chamlou; author, feminist, and former co-chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, May Rihani; Vice President of Education for Employment, Taleb Salhab; and senior correspondent of Al-Arabiya TV, Nadia Bilbassy. The collective message from the panelists was that education for women is key, and a lack of progress has been a huge impediment to Middle Eastern societies and economies within the post-revolutionary paradigm. Opening the discussion, Bilbassy said that social progress she and many others strive for will take immense effort and time, “It might take us a generation – and I’m not being pessimistic here – to go where we want this go to.” Radical Islamist groups such as ISIL and the Muslim Brotherhood not only exclude women from government and social affairs, but they also coerce them into staying at home. In Egypt, for example, a law was passed that prohibited girls under eighteen from getting married. When the Muslim Brotherhood took power, however, they repealed this law. The panel argued that this reversal combined with women’s social isolation lead to deterioration in women’s health (due to limited medical access), as well as stunted educational, economic, and social advancements.
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Together We Came: Dr. Michael DeBakey

Posted by Arab American Institute on June 17, 2015 in Blog
Michel E. Dabaghi was born in Louisiana in September 1908. He was the oldest of five children and was raised by his Lebanese parents Shaker and Raheeja Debaghi. Later, his name would be anglicized to Michael DeBakey and he would become one of the most prominent medical minds of the 20th century. Considered by many to be the greatest surgeon who ever lived, Dr. DeBakey credited much of his surgical success to his Lebanese mother, who taught him to sew and knit.
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