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
 
'We will not allow terrorists, fanatics to hijack our faith'
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Khaled Aljenfawi
Despite the spread of terrorism, tolerant non-Muslim people around the world will continue to separate between Islam as a religion of peace and terrorism....
Bring back Ahmadi
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Adeeb Shuhaiber
Ahmadi is Kuwait's oil town founded in 1946 with the discovery of oil. Designed on an American model, the town is well planned and laid out and offers plenty of...
Yes your highness, Kuwait is too tough for terrorism
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Abdullah Bwair
Kuwait was recently targeted by the largest terrorist attack since Saddam's invasion in 1990. The horrible incident involved an IS suicide bomber blowing himself amongst worshippers at Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque...
The rise of the radicals
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Michael Jansen
The Daesh peril depends on two widely spaced hubs: Libya in North Africa and Iraq in West Asia....
The alarming divorce rate
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Ahmad As'ad Khaleel
A ministry of Justice report showed there were 33,954 divorces and 434 cases of khula (petitioning for a divorce without the husband’s consent and without having to prove any grounds...
Dubai matters
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Hussein Shobokshi
In a region of conservative, autocratic countries long chained to the boom and bust cycles of the oil industry, Dubai stands out for creating an open economy that has diversified...
Hot stocks in Ramadan
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
Domestic workers, whom some people like to call housemaids, become the hot topic, or to be precise talk of the town, with the approach and start of each Ramadan over...
World must fight Daesh with all its might
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Mustafa Al Zarooni
Standing up to extremist ideology which promotes bloodshed is never going to be easy, but in the wake of the terrorist attacks in three continents recently, it is important to...
Terror in city of tranquility
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
The city of Taif is located just north of the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. It is part of Makkah Province. It is located on the slopes of the Sarawat...
The nature of conflicts in ME
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Amir Taheri
Faced with the growing threat of terrorism, western officials and analysts seem hard put as to how to deal with something they find difficult to understand....
The changing face of Madinah
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
Arriving at the Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah early Friday morning to visit my sisters, I missed all the excitement the previous evening when Custodian of the...
Taking full advantage of foreign scholarships
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Saad Al-Dosari
It has been more than 10 years since the beginning of King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP). The initiative heralded the dawn of a new era. This move was totally in...
Global importance of Saudi Arabia
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-07-06
Author : Talal Al-Harbi
In an attempt to find concrete solutions to the ongoing conflicts in the region, the Kingdom has adopted a very different approach. It is using all possible means to check...
Who lost Iraq?
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2015-07-05
Author : Hisham Melhem
The victory of communist forces led by Mae Zedong against the American supported nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949 and the establishment of the People's Republic of China, gave...
DNA Conundrum
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-07-05
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
Kuwait will adopt a new law requiring everyone's genetic fingerprints to combat terrorism after the National Assembly referred this law to the government....
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 Jul 7, 2015| 20-رمضان-1436هـ
Iran demands end to UN missile sanctions, West refuses
US airlines' claims against Gulf carriers make no sense
Warplanes bomb Saleh party's HQ
Saudi is said to be planning sale of local currency bonds
Obama: 'This is a long-term campaign. ISIL is opportunistic, and it is nimble'
Drastic correction in Dubai property market unlikely
Saudis among 26 held for Kuwait blast
Bahrain passes budget after six-month delay
Gender Balance Council a new step toward empowering UAE women: Mohammed
Kuwait inflation at 3.3% in May
Islamic State takes ground from Syrian Kurds after air strikes
Greek crisis: Little impact seen on Qatar, GCC economies
Ministry announces six MERS infections
Iraq to tap retail investors in $5bn domestic bond offer
Yemen government raises prospect of truce, warplanes bomb Sanaa
Russia seen as biggest oil market loser when Iran returns
  Op-Ed
A nothing vote
Greek situation needs to be dealt with earnestly
Educating Syria's refugee children
Nuclear power - Iran and Saudi Arabia contest
More>>  
    Reports
Regional Situation Report For Syria Crisis: UNFPA
GCC Earnings Review – 1Q15
GCC Markets Performance – May 2015
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
Oman-ASEAN Relations
UAE-ASEAN Relations
Kuwait-ASEAN Relations
    GRC Commentary
Reduce your Footprint in Ramadan
A Gulf Perspective on the 'Obama Doctrine'
Water Issues in the GCC: Cooperation is Key
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Demography, Migration, and the Labour Market in the UAE
GCC–Turkey Relations: Dawn of a New Era
Demography, Migration, and the Labour Market in Bahrain
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   13-- 13 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 13 - 13--en--sess-enreq-en-coming