Washington Watch: The Two Conventions

Posted on July 30, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby After back-to-back Republican and Democratic conventions, the stage is set for a 100-day mad dash to the November presidential contest. There were telling differences between the two events. To begin with, the conventions revealed the state of play within each party. Both Republicans and Democrats confronted insurgencies with dramatically different outcomes. On the Republican side, one of the insurgent candidates, Donald Trump, vanquished the establishment leaving the party in some disarray. Many national GOP leaders boycotted the convention and refused to endorse Trump. Those who endorsed the victor did so either because they...

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Yalla Philly Welcomes Delegates to DNC Convention

Posted by Jennifer Salan on July 29, 2016 in Blog

Kicking off a week of outreach and education programming, the Arab American Institute Foundation hosted Arab American delegates to the Democratic National Convention for Arabic food in Philadelphia on Tuesday. With nearly 50 delegates to the DNC in 2016, the room was filled to capacity with old and new friends alike along with the local Arab American Philadelphia Host Committee. Delegates and guests shared their stories of how they became involved in activism and public service while sharing their advocacy on behalf of Palestine, civil liberties, and other...

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AAI Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 4

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on July 29, 2016 in Blog

Last night, Hillary Clinton took the stage to accept the Democratic Party's nomination marking the end of the two-week long infomercial that was the 2016 presidential nominating conventions. Here it is, your last AAI Daily Dispatch from the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention:Arab Americans at the Convention INTERVIEW: 21 year old Syrian immigrant Ayla Kadah explains what she thinks it will take to get Bernie supporters united behind Hillary. Arab American PLEO delegate Jack Hanna, was interviewed by Early Returns and highlighted how...

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INTERVIEW: Arab American Democrat Ayla Kadah

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 28, 2016 in Blog

Ayla Kadah is an Arab American delegate from Washington, where she supported Senator Bernie Sanders. Ayla is 21 years old, making her the youngest ever delegate from Washington State, and the youngest Arab American delegate at the 2016 Democratic Convention.  Q: When and why did you immigrate to the United States?  Though I was born in California, I was raised in Damascus, Syria. I moved back to the US in 2013 to attend the University of Washington in Seattle.  Q: What about Senator Sanders...

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AAI Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 3

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on July 28, 2016 in Blog

It was a packed night last night. The Convention was bursting from the seams with Democrats eager to salute the Party's top elected officials - Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. We also got a first hand look at Hillary Clinton's pick for Vice President, Senator Tim Kaine. There's a lot to cover on all fronts, so here is your DNC Day 3 dispatch: Arab Americans at the Convention In addition to throwing a pretty spectacular party on Tuesday night, we're here at the DNC convention to educate delegates and inform...

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AAIF Hosts "Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Climate of Suspicion" at the 2016 DNC Convention

Posted by Eddie Bejarano on July 28, 2016 in Blog

As Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) explained, "what you hear from a lot of Americans ever since 9/11 is, 'Don't we have to give up a little liberty in order to be safe?'... as if giving up liberty is going to make us safe." This fundamental question set the tone for the Arab American Institute Foundation's panel,  "Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Time of Suspicion" at the Democratic National Convention. As part of an effort to bring civil rights and civil liberties issues to the...

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AAI Talks Palestine at the Democratic National Convention

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on July 28, 2016 in Blog

"Palestinians and Israelis on the ground are paying the price with human life and massive destruction for the inability of the U.S. not only to hold Israel to account but to follow through on its policy talk with policy action." - Sam Bahour

  AAIF hosted an expert panel to debate how President Obama and the next President of the United States can end the occupation of Palestine. The panel featured AAI President Dr. James Zogby, Palestinian American businessman Sam Bahour, columnist and author Peter Beinart, and President of Americans for Peace Now Debra DeLee....

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AAI's Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 2

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on July 27, 2016 in Blog

What's done is done and our 2016 presidential race officially has nominees from the two major US political parties! In a history-making moment, the Democratic Party has nominated it's first female candidate for President last night. Here's your DNC Day 2 Daily Dispatch! Arab Americans at the Convention Our block party - Ahlan Wa Sahlan Philly! - was a huge success! We had music, dabke, food, hookah, some stand up comedy, and a ton of fun saluting the nominee! Check out some early pictures and stay tune for our wrap up of...

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AAI Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 1

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on July 26, 2016 in Blog

Ahlan wa sahlan Philadelphia! Your slightly rested and ready to go AAI staff arrived in Philadelphia to continue our coverage of the 2016 nominating conventions and to highlight the role Arab Americans are playing this election cycle. Keeping on theme with the Republican convention, Day 1 of #DemsInPhilly was punctuated by drama. However, there Democrats seemed to come through the other end of it by the end of the night thanks to many powerful speeches. Here's your Day 1 Dispatch. Arab Americans at the Democratic Convention AAI President Dr. James Zogby spoke at a panel,...

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Dr. Jim Zogby on "Progressives for Palestine" Panel Shares Key History on the Issue

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 26, 2016 in Blog
Before the 2016 Democratic National Convention officially kicked off, AAI President Jim Zogby shared a powerful and personal story of how the Democratic Party has shifted its approach to the issue of Palestine over the past three decades. From the days of Jim's work on the 1988 Jesse Jackson campaign - when Palestinian self determination was first introduced to the Platform, and when Dr. Zogby was told he would destroy the Democratic Party by introducing the language - to 2016, when the Party adopted language calling for two states for two people and acknowledging the rights of Palestinians, the Party has moved forward. Jim, however, stressed that there is a long way to go and the 2016 language was far from perfect, especially on Jerusalem and BDS. He further lamented the fact that there is a new, illogical resistance to calling what is happening an occupation. He said, "We [the Sanders appointees] wanted to strike the BDS line out, we wanted to strike a line on Jerusalem out. I thought that would be the fight. I had no idea the fight would be over occupation and settlements."
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