Sunday, October 27, 2013

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The Arab American News wire

Doha-based Qatar Airways is pleased to announce it will be sponsoring the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington

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WASHINGTONOct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Doha-based Qatar Airways is pleased to announce it will be sponsoring the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington (BGCGW) at the 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). The airline, a patron of the WIHS, provided young members of the Boys and Girls Club with a behind the scenes tour of Barn Night, the show's signature youth event, and a chance to meet the riders.
Barn Night, Thursday, October 24, featured the WIHS Shetland Pony International Steeplechase—the first time Shetland ponies raced over jumps indoors in the U.S—and the Halloween-themed Gambler's Choice Costume class, during which top riders and their horses tackled a course of jumps dressed in creative outfits. The event also hosted a scavenger hunt and contests for Largest Group, Best Banner, Best Spirit, and Best Video for young riders at local barns.
Qatar Airways, which commenced service to Dulles International Airport in 2007, has previously hosted BGCGW kids on a tour of a Boeing 777, as part of a STEM outreach program.
"At Qatar Airways, our goal has always been to connect with the communities we serve, both in the air and on the ground. In that spirit, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the Boys and Girls Club by giving these young men and women the chance to experience the Washington International Horse Show," said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker.
While the goal of the 777 event was to inspire interest in science, technology engineering, and math, especially in the field of aviation, the WIHS is a chance to introduce the kids to a cultural experience they might not have previously experienced. The nation of Qatar, which is a major stakeholder in the airline, has a long tradition of breeding champion horses and encourages education about equestrian sports throughout the world.
"It's important that our kids are exposed to cultural experiences outside of their comfort zones. Attending the Washington International Horse Show is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity our kids will benefit from greatly. Additionally, we are grateful to be able to work with Qatar Airlines for the second time and applaud their commitment to helping our youth have great futures," shares Pandit Wright, BGCGW CEO & President.  
Qatar Airways is one of the world's fastest growing airlines, currently flying a modern fleet of 127 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations worldwide. Along with their growth they have put an emphasis on outreach with charitable organizations, especially children's charities.  Along with their work with the Boys and Girls Club, the airline is a major sponsor of Educate a Child, an initiative begun by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, which aims to significantly reduce the number of children worldwide who are missing out on their right to education.
About QatarQatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. At the recent Skytrax World Airline awards at the 2013 Paris Air Show, the airline was awarded Best Business Class in the World, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East, and Best Business Class Lounge in the World. In October 2012, Qatar Airways became the first of the major Gulf carriers to officially announce plans to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, or to make reservations, or call 1.877.777.2827
About the Washington International Horse Show
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 20,000 spectators to the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for nearly half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday), the $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier (Saturday night) and Kids' Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information visit
For further information contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069

Friday, October 04, 2013

Government shutdown could result in a crime boom, Florida criminal attorney warns

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Government shutdown could result in a crime boom,
Florida criminal attorney warns

Ft. Lauderdale, Fl – Prominent criminal defense attorney John P. Contini said Thursday (Oct. 3, 2013) that an extended length Government Shutdown will have the unintended impact of increasing crime, similar to the tragic violence now unfolding in Washington DC.

Contini’s legal practice is recognized for successfully representing defendants in State and Federal cases involving murder, drugs, white-collar, sex, and federal crimes.

Contini said that if the shutdown continues, Americans can expect to see a rise in crimes involving food stamp fraud, unemployment compensation fraud, IRS tax return fraud, identity theft, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, and every other fraud and miscellaneous crime creeping into your neighborhood. 

“There is going to be even less government oversight and less law enforcement involvement, let alone the pursuit of the fast growing number of criminals,” Contini warned.

“Unfortunately, this isn't just a political battle between President Obama and the Republican leadership, or one over healthcare. Criminals out there will see this as an opportunity to exploit government programs like food stamps believing no one will be watching. That’s what criminals do.”

Contini added that the idea of important government workers being described as “non-essential” is misleading.

“The Government tells us that ‘only’ the ‘non-essential’ federal employees are being ‘furloughed,’ the fancy word for ‘shut down’ or sent home without pay,” Contini said.

“If they're ‘non-essential,’ then we don't need them right? But the truth is, these are the people we need most! They're the secretaries and all of the administrative personnel and the vital, internal support system for the body of the Government and all of its federal law enforcement agencies! Think of it like your body: the frame and skin and even the skeletal system seems to be intact, but all of your internal organs are shutting down! Pretty soon the body will die.”

Contini has long been a critic of the failure of government, noting that corruption by government employees also can be expected to increase. In 2010, Contini was recognized by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for championing the rights of Husien (Hussein) Shehada, an American Palestinian Tourist who was on vacation in South Beach, Florida when he was shot and killed in 2009 by a controversy plagued Miami Police officer. The officer viewed Shehada as a gun-toting Arab terrorist and alleged he thought he was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, which turned out to be false. The officer shot Shehada in the head at point blank range as the victim pled for his life. (Click here to read more) The Miami police officer had been involved a prior controversial killing and was later suspended after he was found to have drugs in his system months later and subsequently resigned.

“Everything has a consequence. After World War II, we saw a dramatic increase in soldiers coming home, getting married and having babies, resulting in the baby boom that many did not recognize as a challenge until years later,” Contini said.

“In the same way, a prolonged government shutdown will have a consequence we might not see or even feel right away, resulting in a crime boom that we won’t fully comprehend for many years to come.”

Contini added, “We cannot afford to let our guard down in protecting our borders, and this is happening now with the shutdown forcing the ‘furlough’ of the so-called ‘non-essential’ support personnel for the Agents of U.S. Customs and Homeland Security. We lead the world in per capita prison population, and the shutdown directly impacts that level of security and protection within our prisons.’

A highly experienced and high powered, seasoned veteran of criminal law, John Contini has successfully represented thousands of criminal defendants in Florida and throughout the United States for over twenty (25) five years.

A former Broward County felony trial prosecutor based in Ft. Lauderdale in South Florida, Contini has defended the criminally accused since 1987.

Contini is recognized as one of the nation’s top faith-based legal authorities on individual rights and freedoms. He has authored several books on crime including “Danger Road: A True Crime Story of Murder and Redemption”  (2006) and “Feeling the Heat: an Interrogation of the Soul” (2007), both published by Liberty Press.

For more information visit www.JohnContini.comYou can order John Contini’s books by calling Toll Free 1- 800. 266.5564.

# # #

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer John Contini
Ft. Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer John Contini
Prominent Civil Rights Attorney John Contini


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Israel buries case involving murder of civilian Bassem Abu Rahmeh, Bil'in Village resident, by soldiers

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10 September 2013

Press release – for immediate publication
MAG closes file in 2009 killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh
Four and a half years have passed since the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh by a tear gas canister fired at him directly from a short range. The death was documented by three video angles, the state announced it is closing the case citing lack of evidence

Military Advocate General (MAG) Maj. Gen. Danny Efroni decided to close the case file in the investigation of the circumstances of the killing of Bil’in resident Bassem Abu Rahmeh, citing lack of evidence. The MAG made this decision in late July, and it was recently conveyed to the Israeli High Court of Justice as part of an updating statement by the Office of the State Attorney in a petition filed by Subhiya Abu Rahmeh, Bassem’s mother, together with Bil’in Village Council and Israeli human rights organizations B’Tselem and Yesh Din. According to the statement signed by Senior Deputy at the Office of the State Attorney, Att. Michal Michlin-Friedlander, and Assistant to the State Attorney, Att. Udi Eitan, also former Deputy State Attorney Yehoshua Lemberger had reached the same conclusion.

30-year-old Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a resident of the village of Bil’in, whose story was told in the film “Five Broken Cameras” nominated for Best Foreign Film in the Academy Awards, was killed in April 2009 after he was struck in the chest by an extended-range tear gas grenade during a demonstration against the Separation Barrier in his home village of Bil’in. Three video segments filmed during the demonstration prove that Abu Rahmeh was situated to the east of the barrier, did not act violently, and did not endanger the soldiers in any way. An analysis of the video footage of the incident, by visualization experts determined that the grenade was fired directly at Abu Rahmeh, in complete contravention of open-fire regulations.

In its response, the state did not explain the rationale behind its decision, limiting itself to the following laconic wording: “There is not enough evidence needed for criminal proceedings for adopting legal measures against any of the soldiers involved in the incident.” No information was given regarding the findings of the investigation, which the state argued had included “comprehensive and rigorous investigative actions,” or about the versions provided by the soldiers who had been questioned. Neither did the statement provide the contents of the opinions given by experts of the Israeli military and police and their interpretation of the findings disclosed by the video footage.

Ever since Bassem Abu Rahmeh was killed, his family – aided by NGOs Yesh Din and B’Tselem – has been continuously striving to have the truth of the incident brought to light and to have those responsible for their son’s death prosecuted. Their efforts have been repeatedly thwarted by the sluggish conduct of the MAG Corps. Due to the initial refusal by the MAG at the time to launch a Military Police investigation, the investigation was opened a year and half later than it should have. The foot-dragging and procrastination in the case have continued even once the investigation was launched over three years ago. Only a petition to the High Court of Justice finally brought about a decision in the case.

In response to the statement submitted by Office of the State Attorney, Att. Emily Schaeffer of Yesh Din’s legal team said: “The decision to close the file in the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh is unacceptable, particularly in view of the expert opinion that determined that the tear-gas grenade was fired directly at Abu Rahmeh from a close range. Despite three separate videos that recorded the killing of Bassem, the MP and police have failed to find the factors that caused the death of an unarmed demonstrator. The conduct of law enforcement bodies in this case is further proof of the feebleness of the authorities in cases of Palestinian casualties. Moreover, it seems that there might be no intention of finding out the truth or prosecuting the offenders even in extreme cases such as this, in which there is clear-cut and unambiguous evidence. Bassem’s family, together with B’Tselem and Yesh Din, will continue in its struggle to bring the parties responsible for his death to justice.”

Att. Yael Stein, Director of Research at B’Tselem, said in response: “The unbearable procrastination taken by the authorities in this case, and the fact that the MAG only made a decision due to a High Court Petition, once again demonstrate that the MAG Corps must adopt the recommendations of the Turkel Commission without delay. This includes determining a pre-defined schedule for each stage of the investigation, and ensuring that each stage is brief. Also, the statements made by investigative bodies about their decisions must include the reasoning underlying the decision so as to enable lodging effective appeals.

For additional information:
Sarit Michaeli, B'Tselem, 050-5387230

Reut Mor, Yesh Din: 054-9323332

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


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Dearborn, Mich. (July 10, 2013) – Engaging storytelling by established talents and emerging voices abounds among the titles selected to receive the 2013 Arab American Book Award, presented by the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

This national literary competition – the only one of its kind in the United States – is designed to draw attention to books and authors dealing with the Arab American experience. The program has attracted increasing numbers of submissions from authors and publishers across the nation in its brief, seven-year history.

Four winners emerged from the multitude of eligible books published in 2012 that were submitted for consideration; five honorable mentions were also selected. The winning titles were chosen by genre-specific review committees comprised of selected readers from across the country, including respected authors, university professors, artists, librarians and poets.


Winner - Fiction
Lebanese Blonde by Joseph Geha (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012)

Winner - Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)

Winner - Poetry
Atrium: Poems by Hala Alyan (New York, NY: Three Rooms Press, 2012)

Winner – Children/Young Adult
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya (New York, NY: Dial, 2012)


Honorable Mention - Fiction
Flying Carpets by Hedy Habra (March Street Press, 2012; Reprinted: Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2013)

Honorable Mentions - Non-Fiction
The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2012)
Even My Voice is Silence by Soha Al-Jurf (CreateSpace, 2012)

Honorable Mention - Poetry
Sea & Fog by Etel Adnan (Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2012)

Honorable Mention – Children/Young Adult
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2012)

Further information about the winning books and their authors appears below and at

This year, the Arab American Book Award ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, Michigan. Further details on the invitation-only event will be released later this summer.


Winner - Fiction

Lebanese Blonde by Joseph Geha (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012)

Lebanese Blonde takes place in 1975-76 at the beginning of Lebanon's sectarian civil war. Set primarily in the Toledo, Ohio, "Little Syria" community, it is the story of two immigrant cousins: Aboodeh, a self-styled entrepreneur; and Samir, his young, reluctant accomplice. Together the two concoct a scheme to import Lebanese Blonde, a potent strain of hashish, into the United States, using the family's mortuary business as a cover. When Teyib, a newly arrived war refugee, stumbles onto their plans, his clumsy efforts to gain acceptance raise suspicion. Who is this mysterious "cousin," and what dangers does his presence pose? Aboodeh and Samir's problems grow still more serious when a shipment goes awry and their links to the war-ravaged homeland are severed. Soon it's not just Aboodeh and Samir's livelihoods and futures that are imperiled, but the stability of the entire family.

Joseph Geha is the author of Through and Through: Toledo Stories (Graywolf, 1990), a collection of short stories inspired by his experiences growing up in an émigré Arab American community. He is a Professor Emeritus of the creative writing program at Iowa State University.

Winner - Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid (New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)

In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, cuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he went home. Not to Boston or Beirut where he lives or to Oklahoma City, where his Lebanese American family had settled and where he was raised. Instead, he returned to his great-grandfather’s estate, a house that, over three years earlier, Shadid had begun to rebuild. House of Stone is the story of a battle-scarred home and a war correspondent s jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this poignant and resonant memoir, the author creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside his family s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. In the process, Shadid memorializes a lost world, documents the shifting Middle East, and provides profound insights into this volatile landscape.

Anthony Shadid (1968-2012), author of Night Draws Near (Picador, 2006) and House of Stone (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), was an unparalleled chronicler of the human stories behind the news. He gained attention and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his front-page reports in the Washington Post from Iraq. More recently, as Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, he covered the Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya (where he was held captive in March, 2011) to Syria. In 2010, he earned his second Pulitzer. Tragically, on February 16, 2012, he died while on assignment in Syria. Shadid was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Arab American Book Award ceremony.

Winner - Poetry

Atrium: Poems by Hala Alyan (New York, NY: Three Rooms Press, 2012)

In Atrium, Hala Alyan traces lines of global issues in personal spaces, with fervently original imagery, and a fierce passion and intense intimacy that echo long after the initial reading. Alyan was recently tapped as a finalist in the Nazim Himet Poetry Competition, and has left her mark on other award-winning poets who are universal in their praise. Among them is fellow Arab American Book Award winner Naomi Shihab Nye, who said, “Don’t miss the dazzling Hala Alyan. Wow. When she says ‘the poetry like a spear,’ she isn’t kidding.”

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American poet who has lived in various cities in the Middle East and the United States. Currently, she resides in Brooklyn, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree in the field of psychology. Her stunning originality in her poetic work has been heard in performances worldwide. Her poem Maktoub was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Winner – Children/Young Adult

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya (New York, NY: Dial, 2012)

This is the inspiring true story of demonstrators standing up for the love of a library, from a New York Times bestselling illustrator. In January 2011, in a moment that captured the hearts of people all over the world, thousands of Egypt's students, library workers and demonstrators surrounded the great Library of Alexandria and joined hands, forming a human chain to protect the building. They chanted "We love you, Egypt!" as they stood together for the freedom the library represented. Illustrated with Susan L. Roth's stunning collages, this amazing true story demonstrates how the love of books and libraries can unite a country, even in the midst of turmoil.

Susan L. Roth was born on Leap Year in New York City. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, earned her bachelor’s (art) and master’s (printmaking, art history) degrees from Mills College in Oakland, California, and now makes her home back in New York City.  Roth has written or illustrated more than 40 books; her most recent titles - The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families and Dream Something Big: The Story of the Watts Towers – are both 2012 ALA Notable Children’s Books.

Karen Leggett Abouraya grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, surrounded by writing and books: her father was a journalist and her mother is a retired school librarian. She was a broadcast journalist for many years on ABC Radio WMAL in Washington, D.C., where she began reviewing and discussing children’s books. She has also reviewed children’s books and interviewed authors for the New York TimesBaltimore SunChildren’s LiteratureWashington Parent and others. Currently, Abouraya writes for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuge System), Voice of America, International Educator magazine (NAFSA), and others. Karen graduated from Brown University (international relations) and met her Egyptian husband in Washington.


Honorable Mention - Fiction
Flying Carpets by Hedy Habra (March Street Press, 2012; Reprinted: Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2013)

Flying Carpets is a story collection in the grand tradition of Arab storytelling. In it, Habra masterfully waves her writing wand and takes us on a journey as we read about people and places far away and encounter temples and mountain villages, gliding boats and fragrant kitchens, flaming fish and rich tapestries. The stories recover lost, partially forgotten and imaginary spaces, progressing from the concrete to the universal. The first two sections move between Egypt and Lebanon with a touch of magic realism. In the second half of the collection, the characters become less rooted in time and space as the dreamlike elements intensify.

Hedy Habra is the author of a poetry collection, Tea in Heliopolis and a book of literary criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa.  She has an MA and an MFA in English and an MA and PhD in Spanish literature, all from Western Michigan University, where she currently teaches. She is the recipient of WMU’s All-University Research and Creative Scholar Award. Habra has published more than 160 poems and short stories in journals and anthologies.

Honorable Mention - Non-Fiction
The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2012)

Award-winning filmmaker and writer Sophia Al-Maria’s The Girl Who Fell to Earth is a funny and wry coming-of-age memoir about growing up in between American and Gulf Arab cultures. With poignancy and humor, Al-Maria shares the struggles of being raised by an American mother and Bedouin father while shuttling between homes in the Pacific Northwest and the Middle East. Part family saga and part personal quest, The Girl Who Fell to Earth traces Al-Maria’s journey to make a place for herself in two different worlds.

Sophia Al-Maria was born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1983. After graduating from the American University in Cairo with a degree in Comparative Literature, she earned an MA from Goldsmith’s University, London where she began researching Gulf Futurism. Currently she is based between Cairo, Doha and Tunis where she is preparing for her feature film Beretta. Her work has appeared in Harper’s MagazineTriple Canopy and Dazed & Confused. She is a contributing editor at Bidoun Magazine. This is her first book.

Honorable Mention - Non-Fiction
Even My Voice is Silence by Soha Al-Jurf (CreateSpace, 2012)

When Soha Al-Jurf goes in search of her father's Palestinian village, she believes she is embarking on a journey that will help her reconcile the conflicted parts of her identity as a Palestinian American Muslim woman. Instead, what she had anticipated would be the end of her long journey proves only to be the beginning of an elusive search for her true self, mired in the painful realization of what it means to be a refugee. Through exquisite storytelling and deep personal inquiry, Al-Jurf offers readers a rare and intimate perspective on one woman’s struggle to reconcile her life in the U.S. with the one her parents left behind, instilling in her a longing for a homeland with which her own connection is uncertain.

Soha Al-Jurf is a Palestinian American Muslim writer who was born in the West Bank city of Nablus and raised in Iowa City, Iowa. She works as a speech-language pathologist in San Francisco. Her writing focuses on issues of identity and "finding one's own, authentic voice" by exploring themes of politics, spirituality, and personal story. Her writing has appeared in Turning Wheel, Critical Muslim, ElevenEleven, and al Majdal magazines, as well as online on CounterPunch and Transform.

Honorable Mention - Poetry
Sea & Fog by Etel Adnan (Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2012)

These interrelated meditations explore the nature of the individual spirit and the individual spiritedness of the natural world. As skilled a philosopher as she is a poet, in Sea & Fog, Adnan weaves multiple sonic, theoretical, and syntactic pleasure at once.

Etel Adnan is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including the groundbreaking novel Sitt-Marie Rose. She is a recipient of a 2010 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award. She lives between Sausalito, California; Paris; and Beirut.

Honorable Mention – Children/Young Adult
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2012)

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever. In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a riveting dystopian world, a thrilling superhero story and an unforgettable heroine.

Tahereh Mafi is a girl. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Orange County, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste. When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons and old receipts. Shatter Me is her first novel.


The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves and presents Arab American history, culture and contributions. It is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization. Learn more at and

The Arab American National Museum is a proud Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Read about the Affiliations program at

The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI, 48126. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is $8 for adults; $4 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under and Museum Members, free. Call 313.582.2266 for further information.


Friday, June 28, 2013

“All roads lead” to prominent Michigan Accident attorney Joumana Kayrouz, writes Neal Rubin of the Detroit News

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“All roads lead” to prominent Michigan Accident attorney Joumana Kayrouz, writes Neal Rubin of the Detroit News

Metro-Detroit, Michigan -- Recently, The Detroit News newspaper’s humor columnist, Neal Rubin, penned an entertaining and informative column on Page 2 about the widespread and successful advertising campaign that Michigan Accident Attorney Joumana Kayrouz launched to market her legal services.

Rubin detailed the attention Kayrouz has received for her law firm, the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz PLLC, and reactions it received from many people in the Metro-Detroit region.

Kayrouz, who received her Masters Degree from Yale University Graduate School and her law degree from Wayne State University, is the most recognized attorney in Michigan, the column affirms.

It is a marketing move that many in the legal and marketing industries describe as ingenious for its results. The advertising campaign to promote her legal services appears on billboards, tri-county buses and on bus shelters and benches, and is estimated to cost more than $350,000 a month, a staggering record amount that reflects the celebrated success for her legal services to those in need.

“That kind of money will get you heaps of notoriety and hordes of clients, and if it doesn’t also get you at least a little bit of friendly teasing, the rest of us aren’t paying enough attention. “Injured?” asks the heading on the ads. No, but we’re increasingly entertained,” Rubin writes in his column.

The innumerable placement of billboards and bus advertising targets people who have been injured in automobile accidents. The advertisements ask, “Injured? 1-866-Your Rights.”

Each billboard features a bigger-than-life portrait head-shot of Joumana Kayrouz that personalizes the media campaign and has prompted what Rubin described as “a bit of friendly teasing” from a few uninjured Metro-Detroit residents “with a lot of time on their hands.”

Several games were created using Joumana Kayrouz. One fan created a game that is much like one played by children throughout the country called “Punch Bug” (or “Slug Bug”): when a passenger in a vehicle sees a Volkswagen Beetle, Rubin notes, they playfully punch the arm of someone next to them.
In a new game called “Count the Joumanas,” players score points by identifying one of Joumana’s billboards, bus wraps, bus shelters, benches, or anything else related to Joumana Kayrouz.

Writes Rubin, “In the Slug Bug that bruises shoulders on school buses across the land, whoever sees a VW Beetle first gets to punch his seatmate in the arm. A yellow Beetle rates two punches. Keep in mind, though, that Volkswagen has sold only 21 million or so Bugs, and you might ride a few miles without seeing one. With Joumana Slug Bug, the fists churn like pistons.”

Rubin’s point is not lost in his column. The marketing campaign that Joumana Kayrouz has launched has also launched her career to unprecedented public heights, making her the most recognized and sought-after attorney in Michigan.

Some readers of the column observe that the game creator had too much free time on her hands while others writing in the Detroit Newspapers online comments section say that they admire Joumana Kayrouz for her brilliant advertising moves that continue to gain extensive recognition for her important legal services.

For her part, Kayrouz says she is flattered by all the attention and she enjoyed Rubin’s entertaining writing.

“I am flattered by it all, of course. But my real concern remains to reach those motorists in Michigan and Metro-Detroit who have unfortunately experienced injuries in accidents. I want to champion their rights by giving them the best legal representation they deserve,” Kayrouz says.

“When you are at the top of your field in serving the public, naturally, you can expect some teasing. I believe I am at the top but only because I know that I give my clients the best, most professional, and most effective legal representation that they deserve.”

The “Joumanamania,” as Rubin reports, is catchy and a “great marketing ploy” that has made Joumana Kayrouz one of the most recognized people in Michigan.

“The actual Joumana Kayrouz was born in Lebanon, speaks four languages, attended law school at Wayne State and leases two floors at the Southfield Town Center,” Rubin writes. “In the three years since she started plastering her face across Metro Detroit, she has become one of the two or three most famous lawyers in Michigan — and she didn’t have to keep Jack Kevorkian out of jail to get there.”

One member of the public interviewed in the column is a former marketer for a boutique law firm in Troy, who was quoted as saying, “I have a great appreciation for what she does. It’s genius, frankly.”

For more information on Joumana Kayrouz, visit

(Arabic translation available):

كل الطرقات تؤدي إلى" المحامية المرموقة جمانة كيروز المتخصصة في الحوادث في ولاية ميشيغن. هذا ما كتبه نيل روبين، الصحفي في جريدة ديترويت نيوز.
مدينة ديترويت الكبرى، ولاية ميشيغن – منذ وقت قريب، نشر الكاتب الهزلي نيل روبين على الجريدة الإخبارية ثي ديترويت نيوز، عمودا في الصفحة الثانية يجمع بين التسلية والافادة، حول الحملة الاشهارية الواسعة والناجحة التي أطلقتها المحامية المتخصصة في الحوادث جمانة كيروز في ولاية ميشيغن، لتسويق خدماتها القانونية. ويعرض روبين بشكل مفصّل الاهتمام الذي حظيت به المحامية جمانة كيروز وشركة المحاماة التابعة لها، والتي تحمل اسمها. كما يتحدث في نفس العمود عن ردود الفعل الصادرة عن سكان منطقة ديترويت الكبرى على الحملة المذكورة.
حصلت جمانة كيروز على شهادة الماجستير من كلية الدراسات العليا بجامعة يال، وحصلت على شهادة العلوم القانونية من جامعة الولاية واين، وهي المحامية الأكثر شُهرة في ولاية ميشيغن، حسبما يقول كاتب العمود.
ويصف الكثير من المتخصصين في مجالي القانون والتسويق الحملة الاشهارية التي أطلقتها جمانة كيروز بأنها إبداعية، بالنظر إلى النتائج التي حققتها. وتشمل هذه الحملة الاشهارية للخدمات القانونية التي تقدمها جمانة كيروز يافطات عملاقة على الطرقات، ويافطات على حافلات النقل العام التي تعبر مقاطعات ثلاث، وعلى مآوي ومقاعد محطات الحافلات. وتٌقدّر تكاليف الحملة بـ 350 ألف دولار شهريا، وهو رقم قياسي مُذهل يعكس مدى النجاح الذي يشهد الجميع لها به في الخدمات القانونية التي تُقدّمها لمن هم بحاجة إليها.
"مثل ذلك المبلغ المالي يحقق لك حجما كبيرا من الشهرة وأعدادا غفيرة من الزبائن، هذا إن لم يُكسبك أيضا قدرا ولو قليلا من المداعبة اللطيفة، أما البقية، فيبدو أننا لم ننتبه بما فيه الكفاية. وتطرح اليافطة الاشهارية سؤالا : "هل أنت متضرر؟" كلا، ولكننا نشعر بقدر متزايد من التسلية". هذا ما يكتبه روبين في عموده.
وتستهدف اليافطات الموجودة بكثافة على الطرقات والحافلات أولئك الأفراد الذين تضرروا في حوادث السيارات. وتسأل اليافطة : "هل أنت متضرر؟ اتصل بالرقم 1-866-your rights"
وتتوسط كل يافطة صورة عملاقة تُظهر وجه جمانة كيروز، التي تُشخّص الحملة الدعائية والتي أطلقت ما يُسميه روبين "قليلا من المداعبة اللطيفة" بين بعض سكان منطقة ديترويت الكبرى غير المتضررين ممن "لديهم كثير من وقت الفراغ".
أصبحت جمانة كيروز محورا للعديد من الألعاب. وأبدع أحد المُعجبين لعبة تشبه تلك اللعبة التي يُحبها الأطفال في كل أمريكا، والتي يُطلقون عليها اسم "لكمة الخنفساء". ويشرح روبن اللعبة قائلا: كلما رأى أحد الراكبين في عربة سيارة من نوع فولكسفاجن خنفساء، يُسدّد لكمة مداعبة لذراع الشخص الجالس إلى جانبهم. أما في اللعبة الجديدة والتي يُطلقون عليها "كم جمانة ترى؟" يُسجّل خلالها اللاعب نقطة كلما رأى صورة لجمانة على يافطة أو حافلة أو مأوى محطة حافلة أو مقعد أو أي شيء آخر له علاقة بجمانة كيروز.
ويقول روبين في عموده: "لعبة "لكمة الخنفساء" تتسبب في كدمات على أذرع الأطفال الراكبين في الباص المدرسي في كل أمريكا، حيث أن كل طفل يرى سيارة فلكسفاجن خنفساء يسدد لكمة على ذراع صديقة الراكب إلى جانبه. أما إذا كانت السيارة صفراء اللون، فإنها تمنح الحق في لكمتين. ولكن علينا أن نتذكّر أن شركة فولكسفاجن باعت 21 مليون سيارة فقط من نوع الخنفساء، وقد تسافر أميالا كثيرة دون أن ترى واحدة من هذه السيارات. أما في اللعبة المماثلة التي تعتمد على جمانة، فإن اللكمات تتوالى مثل مكابس المحركات".
ولا تمرّ الفكرة التي يطرحها روبين في عموده مرّ الكرام، حيث أن الحملة الدعائية التي أطلقتها جمانة كيروز أوصلت سمعتها المهنية إلى مستويات قياسية لدى العامة، وجعلت منها المحامية الأكثر شهرة وإقبالا في ولاية ميشيغن.  
ويلاحظ بعض قراء العمود أن من أبتدع اللعبة المذكورة له الكثير من وقت الفراغ. لكن عددا آخر من قراء جريدة ثي ديترويت نيوز كتبوا في تعليقاتهم على الموقع الالكتروني للجريدة أنهم يحملون الكثير من الاعجاب بجمانة كيروز بالنظر إلى استراتيجيتها الدعائية المُبدعة والتي لا تزال تُكسبها المزيد من الاعتراف بنجاح خدماتها القانونية.
ومن جهتها تقول جمانة كيروز أنها تشعر بالامتنان لكل هذا الاهتمام بها، كما أنها استمتعت بالعمود المسلي الذي كتبه روبين.
وتقول جمانة كيروز: "بالطبع أنا أشعر بالإطراء، ولكن اهتمامي الحقيقي يبقى الوصول إلى مستخدمي السيارات في ولاية ميشيغن ومنطقة ديترويت الكبرى الذين جُرحوا في حوادث سير أليمة ومؤسفة. أنا أسعى إلى الدفاع عن حقوقهم، من خلال تقديم أفضل تمثيل قانوني لهم، لأنهم جديرون بذلك.
وتضيف: "عندما تكون على قمة مجالك المهني في خدمة العامة، من الطبيعي أن تتعرض إلى بعض المشاكسة. أعتقد أنني في القمة، لأنني أعرف أنني أوفّر إلى زبائني خدمة أفضل وأكثر مهنية وتمثيلا قانونيا أكثر نجاعة، لأنهم جديرون بذلك".
ويقول روبين إن "الهوس بجمانة" ينتشر بسرعة، "وأنه عمل تسويقي ناجح" جعل من جمانة كيروز أحد أكثر الشخصيات شهرة في ولاية ميشيغن.
"أما جمانة كيروز الحقيقية، فهي من مواليد لبنان وتُجيد أربع لغات، وقد حصلت على شهادتها في القانون من جامعة الولاية بواين وهي تستأجر طابقين في مبنى ساوثفيلد". ويُضيف روبين أنها "وخلال السنوات الثلاثة منذ أن بدأت تنشر صورتها عبر منطقة ديترويت الكبرى، أصبحت أحد المحامين الاثنين أو الثلاثة الأكثر شهرة في ولاية ميشيغن، وهي لم تكن بحاجة إلى حماية جاك كيفوركيان من السجن لبلوغ تلك الشهرة".
ومن بين الناس المُستَجوبين في العمود شخص متخصص سابق في مجال التسويق بشركة محاماة بمدينة تروي والذي ينقل عنه كاتب العمود قوله :" أنا لديّ احترام كبير لما تفعله جمانة كيروز. وبكل صراحة، إنها عبقرية."
للمزيد من المعلومات عن جمانة كيروز، زوروا موقعها