Commemorating “Little Syria”

Posted by on November 02, 2011 in Blog

By Maha Neouchy

Ground Zero has occupied the attention of Americans for over a decade. But a little known fact about the site, which is now being brought to the attention of Americans everywhere, is that it was once home to one of the first Arab American neighborhoods in the U.S. From the 1870s to the 1940s, the Lower West Side in Lower Manhattan on Washington Street was once an Arab American community known as “Little Syria”, “The Mother Colony”, “Bowling Green Village”, or “The Syrian Quarter.” It ran from Battery Park through the current location of the 9/11 Memorial...

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Chicago Celebrates Annual Arab Heritage Month

Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Blog

By Maha Neouchy

During the month of November, the Advisory Council on Arab Affairs, one of eight advisory councils of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR), will host its annual Arab Heritage Month in Chicago.

Arab Heritage Month was created to help “eliminate discrimination, bigotry, and racism against people of Arab descent by educating the public about Arab culture, civilization, and contributions to society.” The Advisory Council on Arab Affairs has successfully hosted Arab Heritage Months every year since 1991.

Roxane Assaf, a member of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Arab Affairs, is ecstatic...

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Turaath: Celebrating Arab Culture in America

Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Blog

By Maha Neouchy

AAI Intern

If you will be in Washington D.C. this Veteran’s Day Weekend, be sure to attend “Turaath: Celebrating Arab Culture in America” at the historic Lincoln Theatre on November 10. The event, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., is a part of a new initiative created by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to celebrate the achievements of successful Arab American women and the rich culture of the Arab American community as a whole. This is one of the first events being held by the initiative, which “combines the dynamism and acumen of a national consortium of...

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Music Hath Charms�

Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Blog
The Nazareth Polyphony Youth Ensemble is performing a special concert at the U.S. Department of State on June 29. It’s a fitting venue for an orchestra that seeks to “transcend cultural and social boundaries to educate both performers and listeners in the art of listening.”
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Cheer Up Newt, There’s Nowhere to Go But Up!

Posted by on June 09, 2011 in Blog
After facing steadily-declining support, and a number of highly critical news stories, the Associated Press has reported that the senior staff of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has resigned “en masse.” Campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, and spokesman Rick Tyler have all tendered their resignations from Gingrich’s campaign today.
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Arab American Service Day

Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Blog
On May 14th, the Arab American Institute Foundation and the Network of Arab American Professionals hosted a storytelling and bookmaking workshop for local youth, as part of the National Arab American Service Day. Service Day was hosted in conjunction with National AmeriCorps Week to further the discussion and growth of national service in the public realm.
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What if an Arab-American ran for president?

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in News Clips

There's been a lot of talk in the past few years about Barack Obama's unusual-sounding -- to Western ears -- name. It turns out one of the possible GOP presidential contenders, Mitch Daniels, might well have been named Mitch Esau -- if the "Daniels" had not been tacked on to his Syrian grandfather's name at Ellis Island.

It was at an Arab American Institute award ceremony earlier this month that Daniels told the story of Elias Esau Daniels' arrival in America as a "penniless and illiterate" 21-year-old from Syria in 1905. Daniels' Syrian background was not previously well known, so...

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Daniels to receive Arab American award

Posted by Associated Press on May 10, 2011 in News Clips

An Arab heritage organization is honoring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for his work in the public sector.The Arab American Institute will present Daniels with the Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service during their 13th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala in May.The group says in a news release that the award is also in recognition of Daniels' pride in his ethnic heritage. The governor's paternal grandparents are from northern Syria.Daniels says he's grateful the institute thought of him, and the award reminds him of the opportunity that his penniless, illiterate grandparents had found in America.Daniels' spokeswoman says the...

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Gov. Daniels says White House speculation reinforced Syrian roots

Posted by on May 04, 2011 in News Clips

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said the increased notoriety from speculation he may run for president has helped him reconnect with his Syrian ancestors.

Daniels, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Syria to western Pennsylvania, said the new connections have also deepened his concern for the country's people.

While accepting an award for public service Wednesday from the Arab American Institute at a dinner in Washington, Daniels told the audience how speculation he may seek the GOP's 2012 White House nomination was covered in the Syrian press, which prompted two people to contact him."I got emails from people there who had...

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Accepting award, Mitch Daniels highlights Syrian background

Posted by on May 04, 2011 in News Clips

Mitch Daniels drew extensively on his Syrian heritage in accepting an award from an Arab-American group Wednesday night, connecting his own family’s journey to the United States with the uprisings unfolding in his ancestral homeland and elsewhere in the Arab world.“There have been the same stirrings, same yearnings for freedom that have busted loose elsewhere," the Indiana governor said during his second public appearance of the day in Washington. “May Syria and all the lands near it soon become places of peace, and freedom and self-determination.” Daniels, who gave a major education speech earlier in the day...

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