He’s a Contender

Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Blog

The race to represent New Jersey’s 9th District will be getting even more attention soon. In June, Rep. Bill Pascrell won a tough primary against Rep. Steven Rothman. He did it with no small amount of support from the Arab American community, resulting in some detractors trying to make the race a referendum on Arab-Israeli relations. As a result, the primary got a lot of attention.

Now the general election is getting national press, with the announcement that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has made a $500,000 contribution to Pascrell’s opponent, GOP candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  The impact...

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Arab Americans at the Conventions

Posted on August 15, 2012 in Arab American Institute

Arab Americans at the Republican National Convention


Mayor Sam AbedAlternate Delegate, District 50 

Sam Abed, mayor of Escondido, CA, has been an active member of his community ever since immigrating to the United States from Lebanon in 1987. For Abed, becoming a U.S. citizen “was one of the proudest days of my life”. In 2004, Abed ran for city councilman and won. This was only the beginning of his political career. In 2010, he became mayor of Escondido. As mayor, Abed believes “we have come to a crossroads in the...

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Finally, Arab Americans to be counted in the US Census

Posted by on August 12, 2012 in News Clips

We welcome the recent decision by the US Census Bureau to expand the race categories it uses to count US residents. Notwithstanding, this is a controversial step that will displease many groups, but for Arab Americans, the prospects of being fully counted is a welcome step even though some have expressed reservations.

The recent recommendations released by the US Census stems from new government research on the best ways to count the nation's demographic groups. The objective of the recommendations is to keep pace with rapidly changing notions of race by making broad changes to these surveys that would treat...

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Make Your Voice Heard: Arab American Week of Action

Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Blog

The 2012 elections are heating up, and AAI has been working to keep you informed of key election developments in your state and nationwide. Now, we need your help to ensure that the Arab American community has a voice in the lead up to November.

Join AAI and NNAAC in mobilizing Arab Americans across the country to meet with their representatives in the home district office during our Week of Action from August 13-17. Building and sustaining a relationship with your elected official is one of the most important ways to effectively advocate on your issues. Our...

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Boteach tries to claim a ‘pro-Arab’ mantle

Posted by on July 20, 2012 in News Clips

If Rabbi Shmuley Boteach were Rep. Rabbi Boteach (R-9th Dist.), he would be denouncing Syrian President Bashir Assad from the House floor every day.

And he would call on Congress to place a $25 million price on Assad’s head.

His desire to put human rights front and center makes him the real pro-Arab candidate, Boteach says.

“There is this wide perception that Bill Pascrell is a champion of his Arab constituents,” Boteach said. “What I am saying is that he is utterly unworthy and undeserving of that support. He is not the pro Arab candidate — he is the anti-Arab...

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Sherine El-Abd: An Arab American Community Leader

Posted by on July 09, 2012 in Blog

By Johara Hall

2012 Summer Intern

Sherine El-Abd, an Egyptian born American citizen who immigrated to the United States in 1965, has become an influential Arab American in her community. After leaving a country in which civil society was constrained and political involvement was limited, El-Abd was eager to delve into America’s political sphere. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University, she moved to New York and then New Jersey, where she has become known for her deep political and community activism.

As President of the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women, El-Abd has been working with Republican women, bringing them...

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Voting Rights Threatened in 27 States

Posted by on July 03, 2012 in Blog

Protecting the voting rights of disadvantaged and minority Americans has been a challenge in the United States since its first elections, and despite widespread laws to prevent racism and discrimination at the polls, the problem of voter suppression persists today. In 2011 and 2012, 27 states around the country saw legislation introduced with the purported goal of combatting voter fraud. However, the Brennan Center for Justice, among other groups, has pointed out that these laws could disenfranchise as many as 5 million eligible voters who don’t have easy access to things like government-issued photo IDs or voter...

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In NJ-09, Rabbi Shmuley Says He is the “True Pro-Arab Candidate”

Posted by on July 03, 2012 in Blog

In New Jersey’s newly-drawn ninth congressional district, something interesting is happening. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Bill Pascrell’s Republican opponent for the district’s congressional seat, is trying to court the Arab American vote. Over the weekend, Boteach called up AAI Board of Governors member Sherine El-Abd, who also serves as Chairwoman of the New Jersey Arab American Republican Caucus, and asked her to accompany him during his weekend walk-through of South Paterson. South Paterson is predominantly Arab American and was instrumental to Pascrell’s win over Steve Rothman in the Democratic primary. El-Abd met with Boteach briefly while he was in Paterson. He...

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The Evolution of Chaos

Posted on June 27, 2012 in Countdown
The imagery of the emotional circle of denial reminded us of that Phone-booth scene from "Anchorman."
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Arab American Political Participation Under Attack

Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Blog

Earlier this month, we wrote about a democratic primary in North Jersey between Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, in which we noted a new standard for Arab American engagement in the political process. Jim Zogby said Pascrell’s victory was evidence of an Arab American political "coming of age," showing that the community could come out in support of a candidate, get out the vote and help get them elected. That is precisely what the community did in New Jersey's 9th district for Bill Pascrell, and it is exactly why efforts have been mounted to vilify Arab American voters in New...

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