Attend the 2020 Kahlil Gibran Awards Gala

Posted on February 05, 2020 in Kahlil Gibran Awards Gala

Join us on April 15, 2020, for the 22nd annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.

The MENA Artisan Initiative Launches

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 06, 2020 in Blog

The Arab American Institute Foundation is delighted to launch The MENA Artisan Initiative - a new endeavor that aims to connect American small businesses with local artisans from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Artisan Initiative launches with a focus on Tunisia and will be expanding to neighboring MENA countries.

The Artisan Initiative is the first project of the U.S.- MENA Experiential Partnership—a one of a kind, pioneering initiative led by the Arab American Institute Foundation, with support from the U.S. State Department...

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Will the 2020 Election Heal or Deepen the Divide?

Posted on November 13, 2019 in Washington Watch

For a growing number of Americans on both sides of our ever-deepening political divide, the 2020 presidential election has become a critical contest about the future of our country. While so many significant policy concerns are at stake in November 2020, this will be an election about Donald Trump and what he has done to our politics.There can be no doubt that, by any measure, Donald Trump has been the most outrageous president in our history. In fact, it is a role he appears to relish. It isn't just the policies he has pursued. It is the way in which...

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Listen to the Lebanese People

Posted on November 02, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

In 2012, I wrote an article about Lebanon that still rings true today. It ended with a quote from one of my favorite pieces written by Kahlil Gibran "You Have Your Lebanon, I Have My Lebanon."

I am including below some of my July 2012 article, followed by a few comments on current developments: "With neighboring Syria imploding, tensions with Iran mounting, and Israel ever threatening, Lebanon appears to be on the brink of conflict. But then that has been the story of Lebanon for decades now. This remarkably beautiful country filled...

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“Attention Must Be Paid” to the Sufferings of the Palestinian People

Posted on October 26, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

With mass protests roiling Lebanon and Iraq, unsettling developments in Syria and Yemen, and the latest episode of the continuing soap opera that calls itself Israeli politics, little attention is being given to the plight of the Palestinians. One consequence of this neglect is that both Israel and the Trump Administration feel they have been given a free hand to accelerate the oppression of the beleaguered Palestinian people.  

Two reports passed my desk this week, both of which make this point and require our attention. First, as a result of the loss of...

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In the Wake of Trump's Broken Promises: The Need for an Arab Strategy

Posted on October 19, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

When Donald Trump was first elected, I warned Arab friends to be careful not to put their all of their eggs in a basket that I had every reason to believe would soon unravel. Back then, many Arabs, having felt let down by the initial hope they had in the promise of the Obama Administration, were keen to believe that Trump would develop a firm policy on Syria and Iran and deliver on his pledge to craft the "Deal of the Century," bringing a just end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.In fact, in polling we...

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The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back?

Posted on October 12, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

I have never forgotten a political cartoon that appeared in the midst of the Watergate impeachment investigation. It caricatured the strange relationship evangelical Christians had with then President Richard Nixon, and speaks to me today of way the current group of right-wing preachers are dealing with President Donald Trump.The cartoon was made up of a series of eight separate boxes. Shown in the background of each box was Richard Nixon speaking on the phone. Pictured in the foreground of each box was the face of a prominent evangelical Christian preacher. In the first seven...

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Our Democracy in Crisis?

Posted on October 05, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

I don't know which metaphor to use to describe the current crisis in our politics because so many come to mind. Are we at a tipping point? The edge of a cliff? Or sitting on a volcano waiting for it to explode? You can choose one or all, because we are in a place we've never been before and it's dangerous.    

The problem didn't start with the election of Donald Trump. Nor did it begin with the Democrats launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump. This is a developing crisis that has been growing like...

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AAI Statement on Refugee Resettlement

Posted on September 27, 2019 in Press Releases

Last night the Trump administration announced its intention to cap refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2020 at 18,000 individuals, the lowest refugee admissions goal in the history of the program. The decision to abandon tens of thousands of refugees in their time of greatest need, while Americans stand willing and able to welcome them, is a shameful, embarrassing, and cruel abdication of moral responsibility. 

This Presidential Determination represents the Trump administration's third straight decline in refugee resettlement goals, from 45,000 for FY 2018 and 30,000 for FY 2019 to now 18,000 in FY 2020. Historically, the annual goal...

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The Only Way Israelis Can Form a Government: Betrayal

Posted on September 21, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

As expected, the outcome of Israel's second national election was as murky as the first round in April. During the next few weeks, Israeli leaders will be engaged negotiations in an effort to form a government. The double-dealings and the betrayals that will need to occur for them to form a governing coalition will make "House of Cards" look like a tea party. The reasons for this are simple. The results of the election were close and inconclusive with no grouping, neither the one led by Prime Minister Netanyahu nor that of the main opposition led...

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