Tuesday, September 28, 2004

PR NATIONAL: Palestinian AMerican Congress National salutes Palestinian resistance & Intifada

The Palestinian American Congress

Press Release

Media Contact: Marwan ElMasri
Boston, September 28, 2004

The Palestinian American Congress salutes the Palestinian people on the fourth anniversary of the Intifada. This is an uprising against the most brutal form of occupation in modern history. As such, Palestinians are struggling against the continuous attempt by Israel to eradicate the Palestinian identity, the constant confiscation of Palestinian land, the destruction of more than one million olive trees, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the presence of over 300 check points, the illegal detention of 8000 political prisoners, and the list of atrocities goes on.

While the United States administration is lending its full support to the illegal Israeli occupation, the rest of the world recognizes this uprising as the rightful and legitimate form of resisting the Israeli occupation. This uprising has clearly shown that the Palestinian will and determination cannot and will not be broken.

The Palestinian American Congress stands firmly with the Palestinian people in their struggle as they enter into the fifth year of the

The Palestinian American Congress is a national grass roots organization that defends and represents the interests of Palestinian Americans. Its current member base is distributed over twelve chapters throughout the United States

Monday, September 27, 2004

PR NEW YORK: Gunmen kidnap CNN Producer in Gaza

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA
Phone: (212) 465­1004 Fax: (212) 465­9568
Web: www.cpj.org E-Mail: media@cpj.org
Contact: Joel Campagnae-mail: info@cpj.org
Telephone: (508) 259-5351
ISRAEL and the Occupied Territories: CNN producer kidnapped in Gaza City

New York, September 27, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the kidnapping this evening of a CNN producer in Gaza City by unknown gunmen.

CNN reported that Riyadh Ali, a veteran producer for the station, was seized at gunpoint from a car in which he was a passenger with CNN colleagues, including correspondent Ben Wedeman.
In an interview on CNN, Wedeman said a gunman emerged from a white Peugeot, came toward the CNN team, and demanded to know which of them was Ali. After the CNN producer was identified, he was taken from the car by the gunman, Wedeman said. Several other armed men were with him.

The CNN team, which arrived in Gaza just a few hours before, was traveling on a main road when Ali was abducted about 6:30 p.m. local time. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that two other members of the CNN crew were beaten and their equipment stolen.

Wedeman said the kidnappers did not wear masks or any clothing to conceal their identities, nor did they say why they were abducting Ali. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction, or issued any demands in exchange for Ali’s release.

News reports said that Ali is a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship. CNN said Ali had handled a number of assignments in Gaza and the West Bank over the past several years. Several Palestinian journalists have been threatened or assaulted by masked gunmen in the past year in Gaza and the West Bank.

“We call on Riyadh Ali’s abductors to release him immediately and unconditionally,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.

CPJ is a New York–based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit www.cpj.org.

Hani Sabra Researcher Middle East and North Africa
Committee to Protect Journalists 330 Seventh Avenue 12th Floor New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 465-1004, x-104 Fax: (212) 465-9568 Web: www.cpj.org

Saturday, September 25, 2004

PR CHICAGO --Backlash play Sept. 20, Oct. 1

Stories of Backlash and Fear: "We’ve Come Undone"
Reveals Effects of USA PATRIOT Act
Theatre Piece Comes to Chicago
Contact - Rachel Romanski - 312.371.3376

September 15, 2004, Chicago, IL - Theater artist and social critic Kayhan Irani comes to Chicago, Illinois as part of The Single File Festival, performing her acclaimed one-woman show, "We’ve Come Undone" September 30th – October 2nd.

Written and performed by Kayhan Irani, "We’ve Come Undone" presents the stories of women and girls directly affected by legislation created for the "War on Terror" and are struggling to make sense of life in an America caught in the grip of uncertainty and doubt. With over 30 performances in the United States and Canada, "We’ve Come Undone" is poised to come to Chicago, a city dealing with its own issues of post 9/11 backlash and anti Muslim sentiment. "I started this show thinking I’d be done with it in months, it’s been over a year now and people are still booking performances, that’s how important these issues are to us", said Irani.

Though New York was the site of the terror attacks, post 9/11 legislation has placed country-wide guidelines on certain immigrants. Irani states that, "In the panic to do something we have created legislation that will harm us in the long run and leave us more vulnerable that when we started. I want to address this, with regular citizens, address their fears, their thoughts. Theater can do that."

Irani created We’ve Come Undone out of a sincere desire to open communication "post 9/11". Precisely because there are so few channels to facilitate the exploration of these doubts and fears communally, she finds joy in creating a safe space for open dialogue and interaction. Post-performance, Irani activates discussion and uses theater techniques, to involve her audience as both spectator and participant to activate community dialogue on all sides of these issues. Her work has been called "Moving" by Jews for Racial and Economic justice, "wonderfully performed" by The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and The New York Times said "We’ve Come Undone … is a tool for education and raising awareness."

"We’ve Come Undone" in Chicago All shows at the Athenaeum Theater, Studio #3, 2936 North Southport.

September 30th at 7:30 PM, October 1st at 9:30 PM, October 2nd at 5:00 PM
Ticket information: TicketMaster: 312/902-1500 or
www.ticketmaster.com or at the theatre box office day of show.
For additional information please visit
www.singlefilechicago.com .

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

PR WASHINGTON: ABA reviews ICJ ruling on Wall 9-23-04


Release: ImmediateContact: Robert SnoddyPhone: 202/662-1093
E-mail: snoddyr@staff.abanet.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 10, 2004 - A recent advisory opinion of theInternational Court of Justice ruled that thebarrier wall being built by Israel in the WestBank was in breach of international law, andcalled on the Israeli government to tear it downand compensate Palestinians harmed by itsconstruction.

The court also called on the UnitedNations Security Council to issue a stop-workorder to ensure that construction on the barrierceases.

Two prominent lawyers familiar with thedecision-Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.,president of the Foundation for Middle EastPeace, and Professor Douglass Cassel, Director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern School of Law in Chicago-will discuss the legal questions and implications ofthis advisory opinion on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 p.m. in the John Marshall Conference Room ofthe ABA Washington, D.C. office located at 740 15th Street, N.W.

There is no charge for membersof the press, although reservations are required.WHO: Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace Professor Douglass Cassel, director of the Center forInternational Human Rights at Northwestern Schoolof Law
WHAT: International Court of Justice AdvisoryOpinion on Israel Barrier
Issue: Panel Discussion
WHERE: American Bar Association office John Marshall Conference Room, 9th floor 740 15thStreet NW
WHEN: Sept. 23, 2:30-4:00 p.m.

Disabled Arab Writer Overwhelmed by Hate Mail!, 9-22-04

Disabled Arab Writer Overwhelmed by Hate Mail!

Chicago, Illinois / Arab writer and Chicago resident Aladdin Elaasar is overwhelmed by the hateful responses his article on the third anniversary of 9/11 generated in the US.

Mr. Elaasar wrote an article titled "Let's not let fear cripple us expressing the viewpoint of the Arab and Muslim communities in the US."

The article was written for the Progressive Media project and distributed by the Night Ridder/ Tribune Information Services. The article was published by six newspapers around the US and was posted online by the Free Republic, a self-declared conservative republican activism group in the US. Members of the Free Republic group poured their outright hatred and prejudice against the writer, Islam and Muslims in the USA.The response of the members of the group has angered and saddened Arab and Muslim Americans. The group posted abrasive hateful commentary referring to Mr. Elaasar's article and to Islam and Muslims in the US as follows: "There is no god but the moon demon allah and mo-ham-head (piss be upon him) is his prophet, Anyone who worships a demon via a book written by a mass murdering baby raper who says the way to heaven is to kill non believers, and that ragheads are the master race can go to hell, . There are no innocent muslims, If you don't like it, get the Hell out! The people of this planet will only be safe when the lie that is islime is completely destroyed, burned with fire, and it's foul memory obliterated.

Elaasar sustained back injuries in a car accident in 2003 before Christmas time and resigned as Vice-President of the National American Arab Journalists in the USA. He lives in Chicago with his wife and four children. He is author of “Silent Victims, the Plight of Arab and Muslim Americans in post 9/11 America. We're not the enemy. Arab and Muslim Americans can be our best asset to win the War on Terror. They should not be blamed, feared or scapegoated. The terrorists behind 9/11 and al-Qaida wanted to divide us as a nation and spread fear amongst all Americans. We should not let them achieve that. My article was meant to heal the nation and call for tolerance. This is why I wrote this article and dedicated my book Silent Victims for the victims of 9/11. I have always spoken out against hate. My wife and I are saddened by the amount of hate out there and we are trying to shield our children from that, said Mr. Elaasar.No one should be singled out for hatred, prejudice or blame based on his or her ethnicity or religion. American unity and democracy is founded on this immortal ideal. "Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital components. Hate destroys one's sense of values and objectivity...It causes those so inflicted, to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true", Said Elaasar quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-END-For inquires about this press release, please contact:

Aladdin ElaasarTel: 773-396-3019 Cell
Or Email: omaraladin@aol.com
For more info on hate expressed by members of the Free Republic, please visit:

Saturday, September 18, 2004

FEATURE: Anniversay of Post Sept.11 hate backlash killings

Fighting for the last victims of September 11
Sept. 18, 2004; Arab American Media Services Permission granted to reprint in full
By Ray Hanania

Everyone is familiar with the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered when al-Qaeda operatives hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field outside of Philadelphia.

Very few people are aware that eight or more Americans were killed in the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks, as a result of Sept. 11th linked hate backlash.

While the families of the Sept. 11 victims qualify for funding and public support, the families of victims killed because they were either Arab, Muslim or because they simply "looked Middle Eastern" have gotten scant attention. Scant attention, that is, from everyone but a petite Jewish woman who lives in a suburb of Chicago who believes the post-Sept. 11 backlash victims deserve the same compassion as the nearly 3,000 who died on Sept. 11.

"Three of these murders are incontrovertibly linked to Sept. 11," says Anya Cordell, who launched the Campaign for Collateral Compassion in February 2002 to bring attention to these subsequent Sept. 11 killings.

"There is no question at all that these three victims were the result of hate backlash linked to Sept. 11. At least five other murders are highly probably linked to the 9/11 hate-backlash."

Cordell, who has followed reports of Sept. 11 related hate backlash incidents closely, says the majority of the cases she has focused on took place in the three months after the terrorist attacks in New York. Yet none of the murder victims have been officially categorized as Sept. 11 related killings, and none of the families or relatives of these murder victims have qualified for any of the more than $2.9 billion raised to help Sept. 11 victims.

"I focused on the murders, because I knew that if I couldn't get attention for those victims, then I certainly would not be able to do anything for the victims of assaults and vandalism," Cordell said.

"They deserve to have their experience validated and have the public recognize what happened to them."

In most cases, reports of the Sept. 11 hate backlash were restricted to local news stories and local police investigations.

Cordell said she doesn't understand why none have been relieved by any of the primary Sept. 11 funds created to raise money for Sept. 11 victims' families.

"The victims should be treated exactly the same as if they had died in the World Trade Center," said Cordell.

That sentiment was echoed by New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt who has championed the cause of one of the victims' family member who faced deportation because the murdered victim was his family's sponsor for citizenship at the time of the killing.

Most of the other victims were already citizens. Several of the murders occurred in California and Texas, but crisscrossed the nation from New York to Michigan to Oklahoma to Tennessee. There was no conspiracy linking the killings other than the killers were driven by Sept. 11 related anger and hate. Although some of the killers were arrested and later convicted, still many others remain at large and uncharged.

Some of the victims

Cordell has compiled a list of potential Sept. 11 hate backlash victims from newspaper and police reports, and from firsthand interviews and meetings she conducted with surviving family members.

Three cases are crystal clear, Cordell says.

Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down on Sept. 15, 2001 in Mesa, Arizona. The turban-wearing Sikh was killed outside his gas station. Sodhi's killer spent the hours before the murder in a bar, bragging of his intention to "kill the ragheads responsible for September 11." He has been convicted and sits on death row.

Waqar Hasan of Dallas, Texas was also murdered on Sept. 15, 2001. The 46-year-old Pakistani, was shot to death in a convenience store he owned. Hasan was murdered by Mark Stroman, who was convicted of also murdering Vasudev Patel days later in nearby Mesquite, Texas.

Cordell noted that Stroman admitted to authorities to blinding a third victim, a Bangladeshi, in between the murders of Hasan and Patel. After his arrest Stroman bragged, "I did what every American wanted to do after Sept. 11th but didn't have the nerve."

Cordell says the Sodhi, Hasan and Patel cases are indisputable examples of having links to Sept. 11 related hate backlash. Yet, none of the three families have received any compensation from any of the September 11th funds.

"There are certainly others that likely fall into this category," Cordell said.

Other probable Sept. 11 linked hate backlash victims include:

Adel Karas, 48, a grocer from Egypt and a Coptic Christian, who was killed Sept. 15, 2001 in his San Gabriel, California store.

Another victim was Ali Almansoop, an American citizen and father of four. He was murdered six days later on Sept. 21, 2001 at his Detroit, Michigan home. Almansoop was a Yemen native. Prosecutors charged a Garden City man with first-degree murder in his shooting death. Allegedly, Almansoop was dating the ex-girlfriend of his killer, although the killer reportedly claimed he was glad he shot him because of Sept. 11.

Jawed Wassel of Queens, New York was an Afghani American (according to a friend of his family). Wassel had just finished producing a film about Iraq when he got into a dispute with one of his film's investors. The investor was later charged with decapitating Wassel and chopping up his body in the days after Sept. 11.

"It was as if Sept. 11 gave the investor permission to vent his rage against this guy. He had some conflict. Maybe he would have assaulted him. But would he have decapitated him and chopped his body into pieces, if not for the climate after 9/11?" Cordell asked.

The day before Abdo Ali Ahmed, 51, was murdered, he found a note on his car threatening to kill him and deriding his ethnicity. Ahmed, a Yemeni shopkeeper in Reedly, California, showed the note to friends and family but threw it away after concluding the threat was little more than typical post-Sept. 11 rage.

The next day, on Sept. 29, Ahmed was found murdered. Police have never charged a suspect in the case and they did not find the note he showed to his friends and family. Ahmed was a father of eight. The family lived in California for 35 years. The killing so frightened his surviving family members that they moved and till this day remain in hiding.

Abdullah Mohammed Nimer, 53, was a door-to-door salesman who lived and worked in Los Angeles, California. The motive in his Oct. 13, 2001 murder did not appear to be robbery. When his body was found, his car was unlocked and filled with valuable merchandise worth thousands of dollars. Police found several hundred dollars in cash with the victim that was also untouched.

Hate Crimes Escalate

Cordell said the killings fit into a 1700 percent increase in the number of overall assaults and vandalism cases reported by Human Rights Watch during the first year after Sept. 11.

"In the cases where the murderers are still at large, there were no witnesses. So they have been categorized as homicides. But in every single one of those cases, no money was taken. Cash registers were left open and filled with money. Wallets were untouched and other valuables remained at the scenes," Cordell said.

There were no post-Sept. 11th backlash murders in Illinois, but there were many acts of violence Irshad Khan owns a gas station in Naperville, Ill., with his uncle, Jafar Khan. They filed a defamation lawsuit saying it was the only way to save their business.

The Khans filed the lawsuit against several people who the Khans alleged spread rumors immediately after September 11th via the Internet that the Khan gas station had become a shrine, of sorts, to alleged Sept. 11th mastermind and al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden.

Bin Laden's face has been posted on American buildings across the United States and in Afghanistan where he is reportedly in hiding, but the Khans said that people spread rumors that they had put up a picture of Bin Laden to glorify him and praise his terror. There was no such picture, but rumors are powerful in America, especially those targeting Arab and Muslim Americans.

The Khans reported that their gasoline and grocery sales had fallen by about a third after the e-mail rumor circulated. "Some people are just looking for scapegoats, and they're just pointing fingers at other ethnicities," Khan was quoted as saying. "I was losing my whole business."

Across the country in Houston, 30-year-old Iraqi Hassan Al-Asfur was shot in the leg while sitting in his car on Sept. 21, 2001. Police said a man approached Al-Asfur's car, held a gun to his head and said, "Your people killed my people."

Further west in California, Swaran Kaur Bhullar, a Sikh, was stabbed in the head at a traffic light in early October 2001. The attackers fled when another car pulled up to the victim's car. Said Bhullar, "If that car hadn't driven up, I might have died."

But Arabs and Muslims were also among the nearly 3,000 people who died in the World Trade Center buildings when they collapsed.

They include: Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old laboratory technician from Bayside near Queens left home September 11th to work at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, at the Rockefeller Center, in Manhattan. He never returned.

He was trained in emergency medical assistance. Relatives believe he climbed aboard an ambulance headed for the World Trade Center after the first of the planes hit. He never even got to his office. Salman was a Muslim born in Karachi, Pakistan who came to America at the age of one.

Other World Trade Center victims include Samad Afridi, Omar Namoos, Asad Samir, Yusuf Saad, Talat Hussain, Azam Ahsan, Qasim Ali Khan, Naseema Simjee, Ashraf Ahmad Babu, Mohammad Chaudhury, Jumma Haque.

No funds for hate victims

None of the families of victims murdered as a result of alleged Sept. 11 linked hate backlash, including those identified by Cordell, have ever received support from any of the various charitable funds that were established to raise money to support the surviving families.

These organizations include the September 11th Fund, the Red Cross and the Families of Freedom Fund which provided scholarships to the children of victims. With other 9/11 charities, they raised more than $2.9billion, disbursed to surviving families and relatives, and to owners of businesses and homes damaged in the attacks.

The amount doesn't include the Government Victim Compensation Fund, which is also distributing $7 billion to survivors and family members. Ironically, Arab Americans donated $90,000 to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund for 9/11 families, but received nothing when they were victimized.

Ironically just before his murder, Cordell said, Balbir Singh Sodhi emptied the contents of his wallet, $75, into a Red Cross 9/11 Fund relief jar--though when he became the victim, his family received nothing.

Cordell said she is most surprised by the failure of the September 11th Fund to donate money to the survivors of hate backlash victims, considering that more than 58 percent of their donors expressly indicated they wanted funds to be used for that purpose.

"The Fund specified the category of Sept. 11 backlash in their survey, and then conducted the survey twice, in October of 2001 and again in November 2001. Donor intent for relief to flow to the hate-backlash victims rose from 40 to 58 percent by November. This represents millions of donors and many millions of dollars," Cordell explained.

"The Fund highlighted on their web site the point that donors had expanded their view of who should be treated as a Sept. 11 victims. And then they utterly ignored that completely, violating the public trust with which they had been charged. I never received an explanation of why they did so."

Cordell said that she is also driven by the fear of another backlash if there is another terrorist attack in the United States. The country has been placed on a heightened state of alert and officials of the Bush administration have warned they expect an attack to occur.

"It's not just to relieve these people who are suffering because of their losses for the last three years but to also prevent this from happening again if there is another terrorist incident and more innocent Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Arabs, or others have to suffer the consequences," Cordell said.

The attacks and assaults have been ongoing since September 11, with new ones reported every week, though not on the radar of the national news media.

Cordell charged that comments made by civic leaders may have even contributed to the climate, such as the remark by North Carolina Congresswoman Sue Myrick, who, speaking about terrorism said, "Look who runs the convenience stores in every little town in this country."

On the first anniversary of Sept. 11th, Lynn Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, said "we don't want that pap about diversity."

Cordell said that she was particularly moved to feel compassion and to work for these victims because she is Jewish. "As a Jew, whose community has experienced such enormous intolerance, I believe that Jewish people should be front and center when our neighbors are experiencing any irrational tolerance," Cordell said.

Cordell has produced a 28 minute audio CD of her meetings with the victims, her very unique post 9/11 journey, and the personal story of how she came to be so driven by this mission.

Information on the CD, which is priced at $8 to cover the costs of production and distribution, can be found on her web site at www.CollateralCompassion.org.

(Ray Hanania is an award-winning nationally syndicated Palestinian American columnist, author and writer based in Chicago. His web page is www.hanania.com.)


Thursday, September 16, 2004

PR New York -- US Bahrain Free Trade Agreement signing 9-22-04

Historic Free Trade Agreement Celebration in New York City
September 16, 2004
CONTACT: Nino Kader (202) 486-1185

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday September 22nd thecelebration of the historic signing of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (USBFTA) will take place at the NewYork Palace Hotel with an elaborate luncheon in the VillardRoom from 11:30 – 2:30pm.

Reservations -

In attendance will be envoys from the United States TradeRepresentative, dignitaries from the Kingdom of Bahrain,top executives of several Fortune 100 corporations and themedia.

This Free Trade Agreement comes three years after 9/11 andwill help, "promote the President’s initiative to advanceeconomic reforms and openness in the Middle East and thePersian Gulf moving us closer to the creation of a MiddleEast Free Trade Area," according to Robert Zoellick, U.S.Trade Representative who signed the agreement at a formalceremony earlier this week in Washington."

The celebratory day—September 22, 2004—will be anopportunity for corporations from both countries tosolidify—or, in some cases, establish—their presence asleaders of a new era of business between Bahrain and theUnited States," added Dr. Naser Al Belooshi, EconomicRepresentative of the Kingdom of Bahrain.The private sector has also shown its support for thisagreement with Citigroup, Alcoa, HP, ExxonMobil and otherssponsoring the luncheon event.

The U.S. Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, upon ratification byCongress, will result in an immediate lifting of duties on100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial products and 81percent of U.S. agricultural exports.

U.S. exports toBahrain totaled more than half a billion dollars last year.Bahrain will receive duty-free access for 96 percent of itsindustrial and agricultural exports to the U.S. and willenjoy Most Favored Nation treatment.

Total U.S.-Bahraintrade was $887 million in 2003.The agreement will result in the creation of new jobs andwill expand opportunities for US exports of "aircraft,machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical and agriculturalproducts." It also covers key service and financial sectorsas well as intellectual property rights protections.Notably, Bahrain will open its services market wider thanany previous Free Trade Agreement partner.

The deal is the "result of a strong commitment by thepolitical leadership in both countries to further developthe two nations’ close relations," said Bahrain’s NationalEconomy Minister Abdulla Saif.

He went on to say that thisagreement, "will benefit the people of America andBahrain."The history of Bahraini-U.S. friendship extends back morethan one hundred years. Americans founded the firsthospital in Bahrain in 1893 and established the firstAmerican school there in 1911.

Today, the two countriescooperate closely in economic, financial, political,defense and security matters. Bahrain is widely known asthe "Gateway to the Gulf" due to its strategic location andstatus as the financial center of the Middle East.

For a detailed event program and to reserve a seat please RSVP no later than September 17th at http://www.bahraingateway.org/rsvp
- 30 -

PR-Chicago: New Jersey Congressional Candidate hosts fundraiser Sept. 19

Join the Arab-American Community of Chicago in welcoming
George Ajjan
Candidate for US Congress, NJ 8th District

الجالية العربية ﺘﺮﺤﺐ
ﻦﺎﺠﻋ ﺝﺮﻮﺠ
ﺲﺮﻐﻧﻮﮑﻠﻠ ﺢﺸﺭﻤﻠﺍ

11 am – 1 pm, Sunday September 19th, 2004

1322 South Prairie Avenue clubhouse
( from E. Roosevelt Rd. near Lake Shore Drive, take Indiana Ave. south, go left on E. 13th St., then right on S. Prairie Ave. )

Arrive early for limited free parking at the corner of Roosevelt Rd. and Indiana Ave.

Suggested donation of $50 per person
Casual attire, light appetizers

For more information, please call

PR-Chicago: Peace Now/Yalla Salam! host speakers Oct 2, 3

On Oct 2 and Oct 3 Palestinian and Israeli groups in Chicago will work together to host two speakers, Mark Rosenblum of Americans for Peace Now and Omar Dajani a Palestinian peace activist and former PLO representative

... all the events are FREE.

Oct. 2, 2004, SaturdayPalestinian American Congress Hall, 6000 W. 79th Street, Lower Level Hall, Burbank IL 60459, 6 PM (FREE)

October 3rd, 2004, SundayK.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation, 1100 E. Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago, IL, 10:30 AM

A second synagogue location is being set for the afternoon. Check www.chicagopeacenow.org for updates ...

Also, on Thursday Sept. 30, the Society of Professional Journalists is planning a panel discussion on Chicago media coverage of the Arab and Muslim community at St. Xavier College, 3700 W. 103rd Street, Warde Center, Butler Reception Room, 6 PM (free) ... this is a good event to attend in order to meet many of the local Chicago area reporters who cover the Arab and Muslim community ...

PR CHICAGO -- Dinner honoring officials who backed Mosque plan Sept. 30

Invites you to
Dinner with Mayor Dan McLaughlin of Orland Park
and Cook County Clerk David Orr
Both men supported and defended our community's aspirations to build a mosque in Orland Park. Help us thank and honor them.
Thursday September 30, 2004
6:30 PM (please be on time)
Niko’s Restaurant
7600 S. Harlem
Bridgeview, IL
$20 (dinner included)
Limited seating for this event. Please RSVP by September 27th.
For more information, call:
Khalil Shalabi, (708) 692-1248
Khaled J. Elkhatib, (773) 616-0775

PR SAN FRANCISCO -- Arab film festival this month


Golden Thread Productions Proudly Presents
ReOrient 2004—Sixth Annual Festival of Short Plays Exploring the Middle East

Eight plays presented in two alternating series, representing Iran, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Armenia and the United States!

Series 1: Thursday & Saturday
Series 2: Friday & Sunday

Don’t miss Three-for-One previews Thursday & Friday night!!!

ReOrient Week 1- Special Events:
Thursday and Saturday – Series 1
Special performances by Bay Area native Betty Shamieh. Excerpts of CHOCOLATE IN HEAT - GROWING UP ARAB IN AMERICA, a critically acclaimed play of monologues about love, sex, and privilege told through the eyes of Arab-American characters.

*** FREE EVENT *** Saturday, September 18 at 4 pm, Noh Space
“Tazieh,” a Traditional Iranian Passion Play
Historical context & contemporary experiments
Presenters: Rebecca Ansary Pettys, theater scholar and artist, Haleh Hatami, poet

Sunday, September 19, 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Z Space. Tuition $50
Playwriting Workshop
Developing a Solo Performance Text. Led by Betty Shamieh

Staged Reading of Shooting Magda has been rescheduled for October 20th at Ashby Stage.

Playwriting workshop by Yussef El Guindi has been cancelled.

ReOrient 2004
September 16 through October 10
Noh Space, 2840 Mariposa St., San Francisco

October 15 through 24
The Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley

Previews - 3 admitted for the price of 1: September 16 & 17
Opening Night Performance & Reception: September 18, $25
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm & Sundays at 7 pm Matinees at 3 pm on Sunday, October 17 and 24

General Admission $18, TBA/Student/Senior $12
Info/ reservations: 510.986.9194 http://www.goldenthread.org/


SERIES 1: Thursdays & Saturdays
Chocolate in Heat, Growing Up Arab in America by Betty Shamieh
Bay Area native will present excerpts of her critically acclaimed monologues about love, sex, and privilege told through the eyes of Arab-American characters. Performed by the author opening weekend ONLY.
Disheartened by Melis Bilgin directed by Hal Gelb
Set in a post apocalyptic world, two boys’ search for food produces an unimaginable outcome.
Between the Eyes by Naomi Wallace directed by Amy Mueller
An Israeli man remembers his father’s mistreatment of their Palestinian house-keeper. A deeply moving monologue by this recipient of the McArthur Fellowship, the Genius Award.
Falling by William Borden directed by Arlene Hood
An imaginary conversation between two people jumping off one of the Towers on 9/11.
Taziyeh by Novid Parsi directed by Arlene Hood
A Taziyeh troupe enlists an Iranian-American to play Shemr, the man who murders Hussain. It is a part no one wants to play, and no one will?
[“Taziyeh” is a Shiite passion play about the martyrdom of Hussain in Karbala.]

SERIES 2: Fridays & Sundays
Don’t Eat the Tomatoes by Fatma Durmush directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
Misery turns humans into a tomato. A Turkish couple first reject and then explore the commercial possibilities of this phenomenon.
Compression of a Casualty by Kevin Doyle directed by Lara Hope Owen
CNN news reporters stuck in the narrative of an American soldier’s death in Iraq. They can neither tell the deeper tale, nor move on.
Dinner/ Khnamakhos by Lilly Thomassian directed by Meredith Weiss Friedman
Two Armenian families gather to celebrate the union of their son and daughter. The only problem is, the daughter has become entirely invisible!


Saturday, September 18 at 4 pm, Noh Space
“Tazieh,” a Traditional Iranian Passion Play
Historical context & contemporary experiments
Presenters: Rebecca Ansary Pettys, theater scholar and artist, Haleh Hatami, poet

Sunday, October 3 at 4 pm, Noh Space
Playwrights’ Roundtable
Join the artists in an informal discussion on writing and the Middle East

Staged Reading Series:
Plays from Palestine, Israel, Turkey & Iran
Shooting Magda by Joshua Sobol directed by Amy Mueller.
The line between fact and fiction blurs during this overnight film shooting by Israeli and Palestinian artists.
Wednesday, September 29@ Noh Space
The Beauty Inside by Catherine Filloux directed by Jessica Heidt
A touching story of an unexpected friendship between two very different women. Based on the true case of an honor killing that is averted in Turkey.
Tuesday, October 5 @ Noh Space
Guest of a Few Days by Mohsen Yalfani directed by Torange Yeghiazarian
A love triangle exposes the political conflict between two friends whose paths diverted in pre-revolutionary Iran.
Monday, November 1 @ A Traveling Jewish Theatre
Bounty of Lace by Susan Merson, directed by Rebecca Novick
This play follows a delicious afternoon tea party among four Israeli women which disintegrates into an exploration of the romantic boundaries of the politically fraught region.

Playwriting Workshops by Today’s leading Arab-American Playwrights
Developing a Solo Performance Text. Led by Betty Shamieh
September 19, 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Z Space. Tuition $50
Structuring a Scene, Crafting a Play. Led by Yussef El Guindi CANCELLED
October 4 & 6, 6:00 to 10:00 PM at Z Space. Tuition $100

Golden Thread Productions has been invited to present a play from last year’s ReOrient Festival at the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre in September 2004. Fundraising performance on 9/20 at Cell Space, 2050 Bryant St. San Francisco. Suggested contribution $10.

Golden Thread Productions is a San Francisco Bay Area ensemble dedicated to exploring Middle Eastern culture and identity as represented throughout the globe. We define the Middle East broadly and inclusively.

131 Tenth St. San Francisco, CA. 94103 TEL. 415.626.4061 www.goldenthread.org

Monday, September 13, 2004

al-Arabiya reporter killed by US-led forces -- 33 killed so far 9-12-04

IRAQ: Al-Arabiya reporter killed, two other journalists wounded in Baghdad fighting
Committee to Protect Journalists

New York, September 12, 2004-A reporter for Al-Arabiya television was killedand two other journalists were wounded today after a U.S. helicopter firedmissiles and machine guns to destroy a disabled American vehicle,international news reports said.

Mazen al-Tumeizi, who was taping a report today during some the heaviest fighting in the capital in weeks, became the 33rd journalist killed in Iraq by Iraqi forces, armed groups, and U.S. troops since hostilities began inMarch 2003.

At least 25 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 injured in thecapital today, according to news reports.Fighting broke out on Haifa Street in the center of Baghdad around dawn,when a U.S. Bradley armored vehicle caught fire and its four crew memberswere evacuated with minor injuries, according to news reports. As a crowdgathered, one or more U.S. helicopters opened fire.

Video aired by al-Arabiya showed al-Tumeizi was preparing a report nearbywhen an explosion behind him caused him to double over and scream, "I'mdying, I'm dying." He died moments later, the Dubai-based station reported.Two other journalists were reported wounded in the helicopterstrike.Military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan told The Associated Press that a U.S. helicopter fired on the disabled Bradley vehicle to prevent looters from stripping it.

Reuters quoted a statement it said was issued later by the military, which offered a different account.

"As the helicopters flew over the burningBradley they received small-arms fire from the insurgents in vicinity of thevehicle," the statement said. "Clearly within the rules of engagement, thehelicopters returned fire destroying some anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinityof the Bradley."

Seif Fouad, a camera operator for Reuters Television was hospitalized after being wounded in the attack, the news agency said, but the precise nature ofhis injuries was not immediately disclosed.Ghaith Abdul Ahad, a freelancephotographer working for Getty Images, suffered head wounds while coveringthe clashes and the helicopter attack, the AP reported.A militant group linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said it carried out thecampaign of violence in Baghdad today.



Hani SabraResearcherMiddle East and North AfricaCommittee to Protect Journalists330 Seventh Avenue12th FloorNew York, NY 10001Tel: (212) 465-1004, x-104Fax: (212) 465-9568Web: www.cpj.org

Friday, September 03, 2004

PR WASHINGTON DC: Arab Journalists denounce kidnapping of journalists in Iraq, call for Frence journalist's release 9-03-04

September 3, 2004


The Washington Association of Arab Journalists (WAAJ), an organization of about 40 journalists representing most of the key media in the Arab world, condemns in the strongest terms the continued kidnaping of journalists in Iraq and calls for the immediate release of the two French correspondents now being held as hostages by an Iraqi-based insurgent group.

Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, who are with Le Figaro and Radio France International respectively, have been reportedly kidnaped by the Islamic Army of Iraq since August 19. They were in Iraq as were other journalists from all parts of the world trying to cover the deplorable conflict; and their cruel incarceration does not in any way promote, in fact has to date been injurious to the national interests of Iraq. More sadly, it has given Arabs and Muslims alike a bad image, particularly in the West – something that they can ill-afford during these turbulent times.

We appeal to all those involved in this sordid case to exercise caution so that the two hostages be released forthwith unharmed. WAAJ wishes to underline once more that journalists, like other humanitarian groups, are only in Iraq to report on this bloody conflict as honestly as possible. In no way should they become pawns to serve the interests of one group or another.

George S. HishmehPresidentWashington Association of Arab Journalists

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