Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Arab Americans come together during troubled times   

The National - 22 April, 2012
Author: James Zogby

With all of the dramatic and sometimes discouraging developments taking place across the Arab world, the challenges faced by the small but vibrant Arab American community are often given short shrift. This week we took time to acknowledge the threats to the community's security and well-being and the efforts being made to address these challenges.

On Wednesday, the Arab American Institute hosted its annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Dinner, giving special recognition to the community's resilience, personal resources and the courageous allies who stand in defence of Arab American rights.

In the past year, the seriousness of these dangers has come to light. In some cases, threats have emanated from "hate groups" that have been emboldened in their efforts to defame the community. Once-marginal websites that have long spewed propaganda against Arabs and Muslims have now become mainstream, finding their hate echoed on Fox News or in the rantings of some presidential candidates. They paint all Muslims as a danger and make no distinction between "Arab" and "Muslim". Targeting an entire community, they promote intolerance and fear.

While Arab Americans have relied on law-enforcement agencies to defend against violence, threats of violence and acts of discrimination, all is not well on that front either. CNN has reported that training manuals used by the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies are filled with gross misrepresentations of Arab culture and Islam, and other recent reports (in a series of AP articles that just won a Pulitzer prize) show that the New York City Police Department has implemented a massive domestic-spying operation targeting Egyptians, Syrians, Palestinians and Muslims in general.

Arab Americans have drawn on their resources and their allies to fight back. One of the groups honoured with the Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" award was the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights organisation born in the Deep South during the struggle for African-American rights. Today, the Center has become a leading voice speaking out against Islamophobic hate groups and discrimination in all forms.

Also honoured was a remarkable initiative launched by an Arab American, Dean Obeidallah, and an Iranian American, Negin Farsad. Their effort, "The Muslims Are Coming" comedy tour, last year travelled across the South, even to communities that had tried to block the construction of mosques. The tour relied on comedy to educate and break stereotypes.

The awards also recognised the work of the Arab Thought Foundation, an institution that promotes learning, cultural pride and self-reflection.

Each year the Gibran awards recognise an Arab American who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of public service. The Najeeb Halaby public service award was presented to former US ambassador Ted Kattouf for his three decades in the foreign service and his leadership of AMIDEAST, one of the largest US NGO's serving people in the Arab world.

The award was presented by US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, himself a former recipient. As unremarkable as all this might appear, the fact that a Lebanese American presented an award named after a Syrian American to a Palestinian American makes a statement itself about rising above divisions.

The night concluded with a tribute to Anthony Shadid, whose untimely death in February took a writer who had devoted his life to serving as a bridge between Americans and the Middle East.

Despite the challenges Arab Americans have faced and continue to face, the community remains proud of its heritage, and prouder still of its accomplishments in America.



James Zogby is the president of the Arab American Institute

On Twitter: @aaiusa
 
Prevention by law, not on whims
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-30
Author : Khaled Al-Sulaiman
The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP) has made an important clarification in response to a newspaper report about its refusal to incriminate people who store porn videos on...
Segregation of the medical profession
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-30
Author : Tariq A. Al-Maeena
In a land often accused of extremes, there is bound to be a varying degree of opinions on what constitutes proper social norms. Having said that, one must understand that...
Women driving is not a complex issue
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Shafi Al-Wasaan
It is true that women driving is not a big issue and does not require all this hue and cry. But in order to prove the objectivity of our stand...
PMU, Hezbollah and the Iranian design
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Diana Mukkaled
It is no coincidence that there are strong parallels between Iraq's People's Mobilization Units (PMU) and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia....
As Aleppo's fall looms, Syria dynamics shift for Trump
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Joyce Karam
With its forces closing in on opposition-held areas in East Aleppo, capturing 40 percent of the country’s largest city, the Syrian regime is eying a significant victory that could turn...
The Iranian 'maritime police' project
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Experienced in fighting proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, the Iranian leadership is aware of the important role the military plays in imposing Tehran's foreign policy in the...
Sectarian mix a problem
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Michael Jansen
The simultaneous campaigns against Daesh in eastern Aleppo and Mosul adhere to the same pattern. The attacking forces surround the two cities, cut them off from reinforcements and supplies and...
Middle East and Donald Trump!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Hussein Shobokshi
Now that the dust has settled, the world is coming to terms with the shocking outcome of the US presidential elections. There is readiness to accept the victory of Donald...
Trump's Syria problem
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Andrew Bowen
Constant bombardment and decimation of Aleppo is a stark reminder of the horrors of Sarajevo. While Secretary Clinton was expected to take a harder line on Moscow, Tehran and Damascus'...
The dangers of legitimizing 'Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi'
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Baria Alamuddin
In a measure, which moderate Sunni politicians are already describing as "the last nail in the coffin of reconciliation," the Iraqi Parliament on Nov. 26 approved a law integrating the...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Tue Dec 6, 2016| 06-ربيع أول-1438هـ
Yemen forces prepare assault on Houthis near key strait
Kuwait supports IAEA's role in achieving peaceful world
Islamic State strikes back to slow Iraqi forces in Mosul
GCC influencers urge support for Syrian refugees
Bahrain court upholds three bomb blast death sentences
A warm UAE welcome for the Saudi monarch
Larijani rails against Washington for sanctions renewal push
Inter-trade in GCC surges to $115bn
OPEC deal has potential to balance oil market
Qatar Emir to welcome King Salman; visit to 'consolidate ties'
Ties with Qatar very strong: China envoy
Brunei-Oman discuss optimisation in times of low oil prices
Carter says US military needs to remain in Iraq
GCC summit key to face challenges - Bahraini MPs
Saudi-Peruvian cooperation accord in the works
Rouhani submits $486 billion budget bill to Majlis
Assad forces tell opposition: Leave or die
  Op-Ed
Protect endangered cultural heritage
Stiffer penalties needed to make UAE roads safe
A JASTA fix
A warm UAE welcome for the Saudi monarch
More>>  
    Reports
NBK Report on oil markets
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
The Benefits of NATO-GCC Strategic Ties
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
For the GCC States, a different Europe to deal with
    GRC Commentary
Climate COP 22 in Marrakech Important for the Region
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Domestic Ramifications of the JCPOA for Iran
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   26-- 26 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 26 - 26--en--sess-enreq-en-coming