In Syria, “America First” means “Allies Last”

Posted by Ryan J. Suto on October 08, 2019 in Blog

In what has become commonplace over the last two years, the Trump Administration issued a surprise, late-night statement on Sunday which took his Republican allies in Washington by surprise. The statement announced that Turkey would begin military operations in northern Syria and that U.S. forces would withdraw from the immediate area (but not Syria entirely). At two paragraphs long, the statement added that the over 11,000 ISIS detainees—currently held by U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)—would now be the responsibility of Turkey.

In a disappointing and deadly manner...

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Posted on September 17, 2019 in Press Releases



CONTACT: Tess Waggoner

(202) 429-9210

Washington, D.C. – The Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) welcomed the inaugural cohort of the U.S. – MENA Experiential Partnership in Washington, D.C. in September. The Partnership is a pioneering initiative spearheaded by the Arab American Institute Foundation, with support from the U.S. State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The partnership pairs Arab American public servants with newly-elected officials in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for a year-long co-mentorship exchange that champions decentralization, good governance and public private partnerships....

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Congressional Briefing Highlights the Success Stories of the Inaugural Tunisian Cohort of the U.S.-MENA Experiential Partnership

Posted by Tess Waggoner on September 13, 2019 in Blog

On September 13, 2019, AAIF hosted a congressional briefing sponsored by Representative Betty McCollum’s office, entitled, Tunisia at a Crossroads: Balancing Political Stability and Economic Prosperity. The briefing was an opportunity to discuss the latest political developments in Tunisia in the aftermath of the passing of President Caid-Essebi, the upcoming presidential elections and their potential repercussions on the stability of the country.  The briefing was organized as part of the U.S. experiential learning trip of the inaugural cohort of the inaugural Tunisian cohort of the U.S. – MENA Experiential Partnership – a year-long, hands-on good governance learning exchange between American and Tunisian public officials, supported by the...

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AAI Hosts Congressional Briefing on Sudan

Posted by Ryan J. Suto on August 26, 2019 in Blog
AAI hosted a Congressional briefing titled, "What Can Congress Do to Support Democracy in Sudan?" on August 22, 2019. 
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An Eye on Sudan

The toppling of former Sudanese strongman Omar Al-Bashir in April brought hope that Sudan would see freedom soon under civilian rule. But negotiations between leaders of the popular protests that brought down the government and the military generals who stepped in to fill the power vacuum collapsed back in June, leading to a brutal military crackdown on protesters in the capital, the killing of over 100 demonstrators, and various other atrocities. But the persistence of the Sudanese people in demanding civilian rule forced a new round of negotiations, leading to a preliminary 

The Israel Exception Gets More Exceptional

When the State Department asked U.S. ambassadors in the Middle East to examine the human rights records of their host countries to see if any were engaged in violations that warranted suspensions in military assistance, Ambassador David Friedman had a message to the State Department: “Don’t second-guess the Israeli military.” David “there is no occupation, Obama is an anti-Semite, Jews who want a two-state solution are traitors” Friedman said he did “not believe we should extend the new [guidelines] to Israel” because “Israel is a democracy whose army does not...


Posted on May 10, 2018 in Foreign Policy

Background Yemen has been experiencing a devastating war for over three years, as a coalition of neighboring countries, led by Saudi Arabia, has launched a large-scale military assault and blockade aiming to reverse the 2015 toppling of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi by Houthi rebels. The war’s many consequences have devastated the people of Yemen. Yemen today suffers what the U.N. calls “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Some 22 million people (three-quarters of the population) are estimated to be in need of aid and protection,...

Congressional Briefing on Mike Pompeo’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric and Ties

Posted by Guest on April 09, 2018 in Blog

By Mollie Todd

In the current administration, politicians with a history of discriminatory rhetoric and actions have managed to become commonplace. Former Director of the CIA and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo is no different. Throughout his political career, Director Pompeo has made several inflammatory remarks about Arab Americans and American Muslims, and has maintained ties to anti-immigrant groups. On April 9, a panel of leading interfaith and rights experts hosted a panel on Capitol Hill to examine Pompeo’s troubled record and its implications for his  appointment as...

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Washington Watch: The Iraq Debate We Should Have Had 15 Years Ago

Posted on February 24, 2018 in Washington Watch

by Dr. James J. Zogby

Fifteen years ago this week, while the Bush Administration was busy beating the drums for an invasion of Iraq, I submitted a resolution calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to oppose this rush to war. The resolution, which was also endorsed by then Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who served with me on the DNC, warned that there were still too many unanswered questions that required examination before we should endorse sending troops to invade and occupy Iraq. I felt it was of critical importance that we have a full debate before,...

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Washington Watch: Fifteen Years Later

Posted on February 17, 2018 in Washington Watch

by Dr. James J. Zogby

Over the next few weeks, I want to take a look back to February and March of 2003, to those fateful days leading up to the Bush Administration's disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. I remember all too well the lies that were told, the hysteria that was created, the bullying tactics that were used to silence debate, and the mass mobilization that was organized in opposition to the war.  

In the end, then President George W. Bush ignored American public opinion and the sage advice of senior Republican statesmen like former Secretary of State...

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