Saturday, December 31, 2005

Chicago's Arab Heritage focus of Comcast Cable TV show

Jan. 1, 2005

Arab Americans and their history in Chicago is the subject of a documentary to be broadcast this month by Comcast Cable TV in 51 Chicago suburban communities. The show entitled "Arabs of Chicagoland" is based on the book of the same name published by Arcadia Publishing and Chicago author, syndicated columnist and Palestinian Arab standup comedian Ray Hanania.

The show, "30 Minutes" will provide a photographic montage of historical images of the Arab American community along with a reading from the book and a 20 minute interview with the author by NPR's award winning program "848." The radio interview was originally broadcast Nov. 22 on WBEZ 91.5 FM in Chicago.

The show, "30 Minutes," can be seen in most South and Southwest suburban communities including Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, and Orland Park, suburbs of Chicago that have large Arab American constituencies. It is available on Channel 19 on Comcast Cable every Friday night beginning at 8:30 PM.

Hanania is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writings appear in the Southwest News Herald, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, the English language web site of Israel's largets newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the Arab American News in Detroit, the Future News of Chicago, and more than two dozen Arab and American newspapers around the country.

For more information visit

-- ET --

British Government praises release of hostages in Gaza, Palestine

London, 31 December/GNN/ --
News Release issued by the Government News Network on 31 December 2005

"We are glad that these last few days are over and we would like to expressour gratitude to the Palestinian Authority, the British Government and allgroups and individuals in Gaza and worldwide who have been supporting usand working around the clock to secure our release. We are in good healthand have been treated extremely well through the ordeal. Kate Burton plans to stay in the region and continue working with thePalestinian people. The incident was just one in the context of a severelyincreasing state of insecurity in the Gaza Strip, and Kate remains committedand passionate about working alongside the Palestinians to improve theirexternal image and alleviate the difficult conditions being suffered by the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.After these difficult few days, the family strongly requests that they beleft in peace to recover with close friends and relatives."

FCO Press Office: 020 7008 3100Press Office, Downing Street (West), London SW1A 2AL Telephone: 020 70083100 Fax: 020 7008 3734

New York Arab Comedy Festival in LA


The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is coming to
Los Angeles from January 24-26, 2006

December 31, 2005 (New York, NY) – Today, organizers behind the groundbreaking New York Arab American Comedy Festival (NYAACF) announced that they will be taking their critically acclaimed Festival on the road for the first time ever as they travel to Los Angeles for three nights: Tuesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 26, 2006. This LA run follows the overwhelming success of the third annual NYAACF held in New York City from November 13-17, 2005 and which saw over one thousand people attend the five nights of sold out events.

The NYAACF - the only festival in the country exclusively dedicated to celebrating the humor of Arab-Americans - now comes to Los Angeles to bring its unique brand of edgy comedy to the West Coast with two nights of comedic theater shows and one night of stand up comedy. No topic is off-limits as the theater pieces comedically tackle such topics as Hollywood's casting of Arabs, Arab-Americans fear of Arab terrorists, and even lessons on how to be a “real Arab.” The stand up comedy show will present the top Arab-American comics in the country as these award winning comedians from NY and LA come together for one special show.

Created in 2003, the NYAACF is both a showcase for talented Arab-American performers and writers as well as a vehicle to dispel negative stereotypes about Arab-Americans. Given the difficulties persons of Middle Eastern descent have faced over the last several years, in this country and abroad, the Festival provides a powerful mix of unique political observations and comedic relief. In its first three years, the Festival has attracted positive media coverage for both the artists involved and the Arab-American community. The NYAACF has received positive media coverage literally around the world as it has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC and in newspaper articles from New York to Australia. Past participants have included two-time Emmy award winning actor Tony Shalhoub, award winning actress Kathy Najimy and most recently M*A*S*H's Jamie Farr.

The LA festival will showcase the best plays, actors and comedians from the first three years of the NYAACF as these talented performers travel from New York to LA. The performers scheduled to appear in LA include, Leila Sbitani, the current host of the popular Nickelodeon show, Hi-Jinks; Actor Ramsey Faragallah who starred Off-Broadway in the highly acclaimed Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, as well as being featured in the hit movie, The Interpreter; Actor Piter Marek, who co-starred in the TNT mini-series The Grid; LA based comedians Ahmed Ahmed, who receieved the Richard Pryor award at last year's Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and Aron Kader, who has been featured on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Fox’s “The Bernie Mac Show; Israeli-Arab actress Hend Ayoub who is co-starring in the award winning and critically acclaimed feature film "Private" which recently opened in LA; and Festival co-founders Dean Obeidallah, a comedian who was awarded this past October, The Bill Hicks Spirit Award for "thought provoking comedy" by the NY Underground Comedy Festival and who has appeared recently on CNN, NPR, and the national Air America radio network, and Maysoon Zayid, comedian and actress, who has been featured on NBC's Nightly News, MTV, and As the World Turns. The theater shows will be held Tuesday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 25 at 8:00 PM at the Hudson Mainstage Theater and tickets can be purchased through Plays411 at or by calling (323) 960-7745. The stand up comedy show will be held Thursday, January 26 at 7:45 PM at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood and tickets can be purchased by calling (323) 656-1336 or by visiting the Laugh Factory’s website:

For more information about the Festival, please visit: or call Dean Obeidallah at 917-607-4047.
New York Arab-American Comedy Festival in LA: January 24-26, 2006

Theatre Nights
Tuesday, January 24 – 8 pm
Wednesday, January 25 - 8 pm

Hudson Mainstage Theater
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca 90038

Theater Tickets: $20
Tickets exclusively available through
Plays411 at or
by calling (323) 960-7745.

NYAACF Play Selections for Los Angeles
(in alphabetic order by title)

“A” Date
Playwright: Lameece Issaq
Director: Shoshana Gold
Performed By:
Lamia ….. Leila Buck
Inass …… Lameece Isaaq
Miriam .... Maysoon Zayid
Ibrahim … Laith Nakli
Maher ….. Sam Younis*
Featuring: …. Maha Chehlaoui

And now a word from one of our sponsors…
Playwright: Dean Obeidallah
Director: Dean Obeidallah
Performed By:
Mustapha …. Ramsey Faragallah*
Marwan …… Waleed Zuaiter*
Mona ………. Hend Ayoub
Featuring: Neil Potter and Aron Kader

(Selected scenes from the full-length play)
Playwright: Sam Younis
Director: Abigail Marateck
Performed By:
Malek………...Sam Younis* Omar…………Waleed Zuaiter* Vijay…………..Piter Marek*
Casting Director …… Neil Potter
Sherry ……. Bethel Caram
Hi Joan
Playwright: Maysoon Zayid and the Nibras Ignition Workshop
Director: Nathalie Handal
Performed By:
Joan …. Leila Sbitani*
Dania … Tamar Vezirian
Susan …. Maha Chehlaoui
Featuring: …. Ryan Shrime

Love in Las Vegas
Playwright: Jana Zenadeen
Director: Piter Marek
Performed By:
Bride ….. Jana Zenadeen
Groom … Ryan Shrime

Playwright: Neil Potter & Bethel Caram
Director: Ahmed Amer
Performed By:
Renee ….. Najla Said
George … Joseph Kamal*

*These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

Stand Up Comedy Night

Thursday, January 26 – 7:45 PM
The Laugh Factory
8001 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, Ca. 90046

For Reservations,
Please call (323) 656-1336 or Visit

Tickets $20 each plus
2 Drink Minimum

Comics Scheduled to Appear:
Ahmed Ahmed
Aron Kader
Ronnie Khalil
Nasry Malak
Helen Maalik
Dean Obeidallah
Maysoon Zayid

Palestine Red Crescent Society Release on continued human rights violations

Press Release for the period 10-16 December 2005

During this reporting period, the Israeli Army has continued to violate International Humanitarian Law and Fundamental Human Rights, by restricting freedom of movement to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances and its medical teams. Delays, denial of access and arbitrary searches had a negative impact on wounded and sick in Al-Ezariyeh, Al-Bireh, Jenin & Nablus.

Al Ezariyeh, 14/12/2005, 03:00 AM: A PRCS was stopped and denied access, at Zay’im checkpoint, while on route to transport a woman in labor from Abu Deis Suburb to Al Maqased hospital in east Jerusalem. The soldiers took the crew’s Identity cards for check. After 20 minutes had elapsed the soldiers ordered the crew to return back. The crew tried to explain to the soldiers the urgency to transport the woman to hospital. The soldiers ignored their request. The woman in labor was allowed to enter into Jerusalem by taxi. The ambulance was subjected to arbitrary search and the crew was obliged to turn off their communication equipments. After one and a half hour had elapsed the crew was allowed to return back.

Al-Bireh, 13/12/2005, 14:30 PM: A PRCS ambulance was stopped and denied access by the Israeli soldiers at Kalandiya checkpoint, while on route to transport a woman in labor from the checkpoint to hospital. The crew tried to cross the checkpoint in an attempt to administer emergency medication to the woman in labor, but the soldiers prevented them and threatened the emergency medial technician using their weapons. When the woman was almost ready to give birth, her accompany carried her, crossed the checkpoint and delivered her to the PRCS crew. The crew immediately began to assist the woman who delivered her baby within a couple of minutes inside the ambulance. Its worth mentioning that this is not the first incident in which women in labor denied access to hospitals and delivers at the above mentioned check point.

Al Bireh, 12/12/2005, 10:00 AM: A PRCS crew was attacked and its emergency medical technician was detained by the Israeli soldiers, at Shufat camp checkpoint. For more information go to:

The following table lists incidents of delays of access during this reporting period.
PRCS Branch
Delay of access (unless indicated 'denied access')
70 minutes

70 minutes
60 minutes & denied access

60 minutes & denied access

During this reporting period, a total of 11 deaths & 24 injuries were reported in the West Bank and Gaza.

These practices constitute a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which are legally applied to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In particular, they violate articles 20 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which guarantees the protection and respect of persons who engage in the search for, removal and transport of and caring for wounded and sick civilians, and article 63 which stresses that ” Subject to temporary and exceptional measures imposed for urgent reasons of security by the Occupied Power, recognized National red cross and red crescent societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined by the international Red Cross Conferences…”. In addition to articles 12 and 15 of the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva conventions which guarantees that “ Medical units shall be respected and protected at all times and shall not be the object of attack and shall have access to any place where their services are essential” and article 16 which stresses that, “Under no circumstances shall any person be punished for carrying out medical activities compatible with medical ethics, regardless of the person benefiting there from.”, in addition to article 21, which stresses that,” Medical vehicles shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units under the Conventions and this Protocol.”

For full text see:

**************************************************For more information please contact Press Office at: phone: +972 2 240 6515/6/7E-mail:

Thursday, December 29, 2005

DAIR -- Israelis planning to Ban Jerusalem Christians and Muslims from voting in Palestinian elections

Press Release
Dec. 29, 2005
The Department of Arab and International Relations (DAIR)

alerts of banning Jerusalemites from participating in 2006 PLC elections.

By the time that both Palestinians and their leadership are insisting to
accomplish the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections on the due
date (Jan. 2006) – which is crucial to attain democracy and freedom-,
Israeli official statements are proclaiming that the Jerusalemites are to be
banned from participating in the PLC elections.

The Israeli measures prohibited the Palestinian Central Election Commission
from registering Jerusalemites voters; the offices were closed and the
employees were threatened; in an attempt to avert PLC elections.

Escalating the Israeli measures in the Occupied Jerusalem and preventing the
Jerusalemites from participating in the Palestinian democracy and electoral
process, are not more than aimed steps to Judaization and sever Jerusalem
from any Palestinian surroundings.

According to the UN resolutions, East Jerusalem is an occupied city where
International Laws are applied on just as the Palestinian lands that were
occupied in 1967. So, the Jerusalemites have the right to participate in the
PLC elections inside their occupied city; the right that cannot be denied by

DAIR calls upon the UN and Quartet, especially USA to intervene to allow the
Palestinians inside the Occupied Jerusalem participate in the PLC elections,
and guarantee the proper conditions to hold the elections without any
Israeli Interference. Without Jerusalem, no elections will take place
because Jerusalem is the eternal Palestinian capital and the Palestinian
people and their leadership will never give up this right.

The Department of Arab and International Relations

Dec. 29th 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

"Free" Iraqi government imprisons and threatens journalists and free speech

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Judy Blank
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 ext. 105

December 23, 2005

His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Prime Minister
C/o Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
1801 P St., NW
Washington, DC 20036

By Facsimile: 202-462-5066

Your Excellency:The Committee to Protect Journalists wishes to express its grave concern about the criminal prosecution of Ayad Mahmoud al-Tamimi and Ahmed Mutair Abbas, editor-in-chief and managing editor respectively of the now-defunct Iraqi daily Sada Wasit, a local newspaper in the southern city of Kut. Both men face more than 10 years in prison or heavy fines if convicted of four separate defamation charges brought by local government officials in Wasit Province in response to critical articles that they published in 2005.

Al-Tamimi and Abbas, are charged under article 226 of the Iraqi penal code of defaming local police and the judiciary. Their trial is set for December 25, 2005.

The Judiciary Council brought a defamation charge over one article titled “The Men of the Judiciary and Judges of Bremer,” which compared Iraq’s judicial system today with that of the former Baathist regime.

Police brought a charge over another article about an Iraqi allegedly abducted by Iraqi Special Forces. When the family of the abducted man went to City Hall to inquire about his whereabouts they, too, were arrested.

A third story, based on an article in the Washington Post, discussed corruption in the Iraqi police force. The last article sparked separate judicial complaints from the police and former Wasit governor Mohammed Ridha al-Jashaamy.

The criminal charges against al-Tammimi and Abbas are part of a larger pattern of judicial harassment. In 2004, Abbas and al-Tammimi were jailed for seven months and five months respectively, in response to separate articles they wrote that allegedly defamed al-Jashaamy by criticizing his governorship.

A free press is a cornerstone of democracy and in order for it to function properly, journalists must be able to carry out their jobs without interference from authorities and the fear of imprisonment. Journalists should never be imprisoned for what they write. If individuals feel that their reputations have been harmed they should have recourse to civil, not criminal, remedies.

We believe the criminal prosecution of Ayad Mahmoud al-Tamimi and Ahmed Mutair Abbas sends a troubling message to all Iraqi journalists. If both men are sentenced to jail it would deal a serious blow to press freedoms in Iraq. We therefore call on you to assert your leadership and examine all possible legal options to ensure that that the criminal charges against them is dismissed and that they no longer face the threat of imprisonment for their work.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your reply.

Ann Cooper
Executive Director

His Excellency Jalal Talabani
His Excellency Abul Hussein Shandal
His Excellency Mohammed Ridha al-Jashaamy
The Honorable Zalmay Khalilzad
American Society of Newspaper Editors
Amnesty International
Article 19 (United Kingdom)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Fred Eckhard, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Freedom Forum
Freedom House
Human Rights Watch
Index on Censorship
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International PEN
International Press Institute
Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Glyn T. Davies, Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
The Newspaper Guild
The North American Broadcasters Association
Overseas Press Club
Reporters Sans Frontières
The Society of Professional Journalists
World Association of Newspapers
World Press Freedom Committee

Rev. Elias Chcour to visit Chicago area March 24

FR. Elias Chacour, the noted theologian and peace activist, will be here the weekend of March 24th.
We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the
special events. Plan to be energized and electrified.
Please plan on attending as many as you can.
There will be different messages at each one.
You won't be disappointed.
Proceeds are tax deductible and go to Mar Elias Schools in the Holy Land where students of all faiths are welcome.
Sponsored by Pilgrims of Ibillin, Olive Branch Chapter, a Non profit 501-C3.
To volunteer or order tickets, please call 630-653-8309.
Watch for your invitation.
Father Elias Chacour’s
visit to Chicago Land Area
MARCH 2006
P.M. Chicago
P.M. The Lodge
Mc Donald’s Corp. Hqtrs.
A.M. First Presbyterian Church
P.M. St. Matthew Catholic
Glendale Heights
A.M. Christ Church
P.M. Chicago Temple

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Saudi King Abdullah calls for Unity, Tolerance among Muslims

December 7, 2005

Saudi Information Office
(202) 337-4076


[Washington, DC] [December 7, 2005] -- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today called for unity and tolerance in order to address the challenges faced by the Muslim world in remarks opening the third extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

“Let us bid farewell to the age of division and disintegration in order to usher in a new era of unity and dignity,” King Abdullah said. “I look forward to a united Muslim ummah [community] and good governance that eliminate injustice and oppression for the sake of the comprehensive Muslim development that eradicates destitution and poverty.”

The King denounced extremism and stressed that unity must be achieved through tolerance, not bloodshed. “How painful that the ideology sprouted forth by criminal minds has unleashed wanton evil and corruption on earth,” he said. “Islamic unity will not be achieved by bloodletting as the miscreants – in their misguided waywardness – insist on claiming. Fanaticism and extremism cannot grow on an earth whose soil is embedded in the spirit of tolerance, moderation, and balance.”

The two-day summit has been convened in response to a call made earlier by King Abdullah. Its goals include strengthening Islamic unity to fight common challenges, developing a plan for reforming the OIC, and addressing the issues of disaster relief, poverty and disease.

For a full transcript of King Abdullah’s remarks, please visit

This is distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Monday, December 05, 2005

Pope Benedict Receives FIrst Citizen Passport for Bethlehem, Palestine

Press Release: 5 December 2005

Pope Benedict - First New Citizen of Bethlehem
President Abbas comments on presentation of passport

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has become the first new citizen of Bethlehem, having been presented with a Bethlehem passport by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in a meeting at the Vatican on Saturday 3 December.

Commenting on the meeting, President Abbas said today (5 December): "His Holiness was moved to receive this accolade from the people of Bethlehem and paid special attention to the message of the passport."

The passport bears the stamp of the municipality of Bethlehem and of Open Bethlehem and states that: "The bearer of this passport is a citizen of Bethlehem; that they recognise this ancient city provides a light to the world, and to all people who uphold the values of a just and open society; that they will remain a true friend to Bethlehem through its imprisonment, and that they will strive to keep the ideals of Bethlehem alive as long as the wall stands; we ask you to respect the bearer of the passport and to let them pass freely."

Bethlehem faces a state of emergency following the completion of an eight metre high illegal cement wall at the entrance to the city that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem and other Palestinian towns. With the Israeli wall and other closures, including militarised fences and illegal Jewish settlements, Bethlehem has been reduced to its urban core: a modern-day ghetto town.

President Mahmoud Abbas said: "The warmth of the meeting between the Palestinian delegation and His Holiness the Pope underlines the positive role that the Vatican can play in making the Holy sites accessible to all people, tourists, pilgrims and local worshippers. In accepting the Bethlehem passport, His Holiness reaffirms not only the importance of Bethlehem to our world heritage, but also the importance of the relationship between this ancient city and the Vatican, and the role that the Vatican can play in safeguarding the sacred relationship between Bethlehem and Jerusalem."

The Mayor of Bethlehem, Dr Victor Batarseh, said: "It is the multi-faith character of Bethlehem that makes it so important to an open democratic Middle East. The fear and loss of hope inspired by the wall is driving our citizens abroad, and this exodus is most pronounced among the Christian community."

Leila Sansour, chief executive of Open Bethlehem, said: "We are appealing to the Pope as well as citizens of the world to help us uphold the message of hope and renewal that was born in our city. We hope that the millions of people who hold Bethlehem close to their hearts will act for Bethlehem now, as it faces the most serious threat in its history."


Notes for editors:

* Open Bethlehem was launched by the Mayor of Bethlehem on 9 November, declaring Bethlehem an open city and announcing the issue of a Bethlehem passport.
* Open Bethlehem is a city initiative that aims to promote Bethlehem as a prime destination for tourists, bold initiatives and investment. The core of its message is that Bethlehem is a city of openness and diversity, with a centuries-old tradition of welcoming travellers, refugees and pilgrims from across the world.

For more information and photographs please contact:

London: Patrick Orr: (44) 207 2225479; (44) 7909534430 Charlotte Carson: (44)7768305897
Bethlehem: Carol Dabdoub T. (972) 2 2741241 ext. 2470; M. (972) 545439841

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Arabesque Chicago monthly showcase deuts Dec. 14, 2005

ARABESQUE CHICAGO Arabesque Chicago is a monthly showcase of Arabic music held in the intimate performance space of Raven Theatre's East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago.

The debut of Arabesque Chicago on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m. features vocalist and ‘ud player Naser Musa, accompanied by percussionist Souhail Kaspar.Musa, a Jordanian of Palestinian descent, is a composer and arranger as well as a musician. He has toured and recorded with major Arab musicians worldwide, and is an instructor at the Mendocino Middle East Music Camp and Heartland Seminar on Arabic Music. His area of special interest is Bedouin music.

Kaspar, a native of Lebanon, was trained at Nadi al-Fonun al-Arabia in Aleppo, Syria. He has performed with Fairuz, Farid al-Atrache, Sting, and other high-profile entertainers and has recorded with Ali Jihad Racy, Kadim al-Sahir, and the Kronos Quartet.Musa and Kaspar collaborated on the CD “Khaliji: Songs of Love and Passion from the Arabian Gulf.”The Raven Theatre, in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, produces critically-acclaimed dramatic works ranging from American classics to contemporary plays.

Xauen Music of Chicago ( is dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Armenian, Turkish, and Sephardic music. Xauen Music produces concerts and tours; records and distributes CDs; publishes scores, magazines, and books; and conducts educational seminars.

Tickets, at $8 for students/seniors and $12 general admission, are available at TicketWeb. For information, please call 847-830-8277. January's concert, on the 11th, will feature Iraqi musician Amir ElSaffar.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Committee to Protect Journalists criticizes Egyptian elections

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465‑1004 Fax: (212) 465‑9568 Web: E-Mail:
Contact: Joel Campagna
Telephone: (212) 465-1004 ext. 103

EGYPT: Journalists covering elections harassed and attacked

New York, December 2, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the assault and harassment by Egyptian authorities of journalists covering parliamentary elections. CPJ sources and press reports confirm over a dozen cases in which journalists have been attacked, detained, or prevented from working since the first round of voting in the three-round election began on November 8.

The ruling National Democratic Party and security forces have ordered supporters to beat and harass voters and journalists, the CPJ sources and press reports said. Harassment has increased as Muslim Brotherhood members, whose candidates run as independents because the authorities have barred them from forming a party, have gained ground.

Police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds outside polling places and prevented some voters from reaching polling booths, the sources said. Journalists covering these events were assaulted or jostled by security forces who confiscated tapes and equipment, and who briefly detained some reporters.

“It is outrageous that Egyptian authorities should tolerate the harassment and intimidation of journalists covering an election,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “We call on the government to ensure that all harassment of the local and foreign media stop immediately.”

On November 26, Asmaa Ali Hraiz, a reporter for the opposition weekly newspaper Al-Karama, was attacked, blindfolded and kidnapped near a polling station in the city of Shoubra al-Kheima, north of Cairo, by security agents, the paper’s editor-in-chief, Jamal Fahmy, told CPJ. Her kidnappers told her they were from the state security service and they took her cell phone, camera and a gold necklace. They threatened to rape her. The officer in charge ordered two female assailants to beat Hraiz unconscious. She was then dumped under the Six October Bridge in Cairo. She suffered broken ribs, serious injuries to her right arm, and bruises on the spine. The attack was reported to the Attorney General’s office, but no investigation has been launched, according to Fahmy.

On December 1, Ahmad Bayoumi, a freelance reporter for the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera, and the channel’s cameraman Mohammad Ezzedin were assaulted at the Ben Aibad polling station in Mansoura, north of Cairo, by supporters of the National Democratic Party candidate Hassan al-Neer. Bayoumi was punched in the face and kicked in the back, while Ezzedin was shoved and pushed. They were threatened with knives and told to leave the area immediately. Security forces detained Mahmoud al-Maleegy, cameraman for Al-Jazeera, in the Nile delta town of Kafer Sheik, for an hour. They destroyed his camera and tape.

Security officers in civilian clothing held Amil Khan, a British citizen and correspondent for Reuters, at a polling station in Sandoub, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Cairo, for an hour. They questioned the authenticity of his press card and demanded to see his passport. After Khan began telephoning the Ministry of Information and the British embassy they let him go.

The Muslim Brotherhood has made significant gains, winning 76 seats so far, nearly five times the seats the group held in the last parliament. However, it won no seats in the final election round after police barred thousands of their supporters from voting.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Middle East Christians praise US MidEast stand


Church Leaders Commend Rice's Leadership in Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, Ask for More

Washington,November 16, 2005 -- The State Department received on Monday a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from the national leaders of 21 Christian churches and church-related agencies encouraging her active engagement in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. The church leaders, through the coalition Churches for Middle East, signed the letter which was distributed to all members of Congress.

One of the signers, Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary the of National Council of Churches, today commended Secretary Rice for her persistent role in facilitating the negotiations that resulted yesterday in an agreement related to Gaza's border crossings and movement between Gaza and the West Bank. Quoting from the letter, "Hope is difficult to sustain as Israel continues to block movement of Palestinian people and goods," Edgar said he was newly encouraged by Secretary Rice's comment that "this agreement is intended to give the Palestinian people the freedom to move, to trade, to live ordinary lives."

Marie Dennis, who signed the letter as Director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, stressed the church leaders' appeal for U.S. leadership toward a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. "We believe that you and the President, working cooperatively with the Quartet, have the power to bring both sides to the negotiating table." She further said, "We cannot emphasize enough the significance of this moment and the imperative of the U.S. leadership."

The letter reflects the long-time interest of the U.S. churches in urging that Jerusalem be shared by the two peoples and the three Abrahamic faiths. The signers asked Secretary Rice to "ensure that Palestinians in East Jerusalem are able to participate fully in Palestinian legislative elections in January." Bishop Vicken Aykazian, signing for the Armenian Orthodox Church, sees it as a good sign that Israel complied with President Bush's insistence that building in the E1 area (near East Jerusalem) cease. "We are grateful that the Administration has continued to demand that settlement activity cease, and disappointed that Israel has ignored that request and other requirements of the Road Map."

Churches for Middle East Peace is a coalition of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches and church-related agencies that advocates for U.S. policies that are conducive to peacemaking between Israel and the future state of Palestine. CMEP's Board members and staff meet with Congressional offices and with Administration officials, and provide advocacy guidance to church members and congregations across the country.

Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace is a Washington-based program of the Alliance of Baptists, American Friends Service Committee, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Church World Service, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Franciscan Friars OFM (English Speaking Conference, JPIC Council), Friends Committee on National Legislation, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Maryknoll Missioners, Mennonite Central Committee, National Council of Churches USA, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church (GBCS and GBGM).

For further information, see

For information, contact: Corinne Whitlatch, 202-543-1222; Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350,

Ramadan to be honored annually in Illinois


Roskam introduces measure recognizing Muslim holy month

The citizens of Illinois should respect and honor the faith and tradition of Muslims: Peter Roskam

For Immediate Release

Springfield, IL – In deference to the many adherents to the Muslim faith in Illinois, Senator Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) has introduced a measure to recognize October as the holy month of Ramadan.

“America is a diverse country with many different people from many different cultures and backgrounds,” Roskam said. “We have, as a country, made it a point to set aside various months and weeks throughout the course of the year to celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. I see no reason why we cannot focus a little attention on Muslims and their culture. After all, this country has and always will be a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.”

Senate Resolution 493 states that, “the citizens of Illinois should respect and honor the faith and tradition of Muslims; therefore by it resolved by the Senate of the Ninety-Fourth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, that we recognize October as the holy month of Ramadan.”

Roskam, a Republican candidate for Congressional 6th District, which is currently represented by Congressman Henry Hyde, said the impetus for the legislation came from a local community activist and York Township Trustee, Moon Khan.

The Month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and Muslims are required to fast the entire month. The Fast of Ramadan has strict regiments that forbid eating or drinking during the daylight hours. In addition smoking and sexual activity are also not allowed. The fast is broken at the end of each day with prayer and a meal called the Iftar. The end of Ramadan is celebrated as Eidul Fitr, which was observed on November 3rd.

The Illinois Senate session began in the final weeks of October, and Roskam immediately introduced the resolution, which, however, takes time to go through several procedures. Senate Resolution 493 has been filed and awaits assignment to a Senate committee.“This is an historic moment for Muslims in Illinois because for the first time the state legislature has undertaken such a broad measure to recognize an important Islamic tradition,” said Khan. “Working together is the key to understanding.”

For more information about the measure, please contact Ryan McLaughlin, Campaign Manager Peter Roskam for Congress (IL-6) at 630- 221-0006 or Moon Khan at 630-889-0588.

The Illinois Senate session began in the final weeks of October, and Roskam immediately introduced the resolution, which, however, takes time to go through several procedures. Senate Resolution 493 has been filed and awaits assignment to a Senate committee.

“This is an historic moment for Muslims in Illinois because for the first time the state legislature has undertaken such a broad measure to recognize an important Islamic tradition,” said Khan.
“Working together is the key to understanding.” For more information about the measure, please contact Ryan McLaughlin, Campaign Manager Peter Roskam for Congress (IL-6) at 630- 221-0006 or Moon Khan at 630-889-0588.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chicago's Jordanian Consul express condolences following terrorist attacks in Amman

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

CHICAGO -- Jordan's Honorary Consul General in Chicago Ihsan Sweiss today expressed his condolences to the people of Jordan and the Jordanian community in Chicago in the wake of the terrorist attack that took place in Amman, Jordan today, Nov. 9.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this very critical time," said Sweiss, who has served as the Honorary Consul General for Jordan in Chicago for Jordan since 2000--.
Three suicide bombings struck three hotels in Amman on Wednesday evening claiming the life of tens of innocent civilians and wounding many others. The fatalities continue to mount by the hour.
Sweiss said that he has also been in constant contact with leaders of the American Jordanian community who have also expressed their shock and concern over the terrorism.
In a Royal Court statement His Majesty King Abdullah II condemned the terrorist attack in Amman saying that such acts are perpetrated by a misled and misleading group. The King affirmed that "such terrorist operations will not dissuade Jordan from pursuing its role in fighting terrorism and the criminal terrorist groups and those who are behind them and justify their acts".
"The Criminals who with their cowardly acts have targeted innocent and secure civilians will be brought to justice and Jordan will remain a secure and stable country the King noted"

Mr. Sweiss said there are about 250,000 Americans of Arab Heritage in the Chicago land area. A significant number trace their origins to several cities and towns in Jordan.

"We continue to pray for the well-being of our people and are prepared to provide any assistance that is needed."


Saturday, October 29, 2005

IBDAA Debka Troupe in Chicago November 6


Palestinian Folkloric Dance Troupe comes to Chicago

Sunday, November 6th, 2005 at 7:00pm

Harris Theater in Millenium Park
205 East Randolph in downtown Chicago

The talented Ibdaa (Arabic for "to create somethingout of nothing") comes to Chicago from Dheishehrefugee camp in the West Bank. This troupe of dancersare undertaking a difficult journey from Palestine to come and tell us their story. They perform modern theatrical choreography interwoven with traditional Palestinian debka dances, poetry and song. Allproceeds from this tour will be given to the IbdaaCultural Center in Dheisheh for their children'sprogramming, women's cooperative and the camp'sproposed first medical center. This national tour is sponsored by the Middle East Children's Alliance and Not In My Name.For tickets call the Harris Theatre Box Office at(312)334-7777 or visit

General admission tickets for adults are $15-$20, foryouth (ages 15 and under) $12-$15, and Premium DonorPackages are $40-$80.For more information email, call773-251-6934 or visit and

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Palestinian Israeli Day of Peace Rallies

Freedom and Independence Day
Towards A Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Comprehensive Peace Now. From Gaza to West Bank & East Jerusalem
Today Saturday 24 September 2005

A Freedom and Independence popular rally will be held at the Muqata'a in Ramallah at 5pm on Saturday 24 September 2005. And, a Peace Rally will be held in Israel the same night Saturday 24 Sept 2005 outside of the Prime Minister's residence in West Jerusalem (Paris Square) in conjunction with international demonstrations against war and occupation in many cities of the world.

The goal is to celebrate the evacuation of Israeli colonial settlements from the Gaza Strip and to call for an end to Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Immediate negotiations should follow for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the 1967 occupied land with Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution for Palestinian Refugees according to UN Resolution 194.

The Palestinian people calls for pulling down the Apartheid segregation WALL built illegally inside occupied Palestinian land, for the dismantlement of Israeli colonial settlements in the West Bank, for the reversal of Israeli unilateral measures to isolate Jerusalem and evict its Palestinian inhabitants, and for the rejection of a transitional Palestinian state with temporary borders.

The Palestinian people have an address, and Israel has a partner for peace, and it is the Palestinian National Authority.

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the rally, which will also feature other speeches, poetry, music and dance.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Detroit Chaldeans honor Mary Rose Oakar and other women of achievement

The Arab American and Chaldean Celebrate Women of Achievement
September 21, 2005
Detroit, Mich., - On Saturday, September 24th at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, 6 p.m., the Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC) will host Celebrating Women of Achievement at its 26th Annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala.

The evening's theme is a tribute to all women, honoring their extraordinary leadership and accomplishments. President and CEO of the Chrysler Group Dieter Zetsche is the evenings Keynote Speaker and recipient of the 2005 International Leadership Award. DaimlerChrysler has been identified by ACC as the leading Detroit based corporation in recognizing the pioneering spirit of women and promoting their accomplishments.

The evening's program will be emceed by specialty reporter Paula Tutman of WDIV Channel 4. This year’s 2005 honorees are:- Jane Arraf, Senior Baghdad Correspondent, CNN- Mary Sue Coleman, President, University of Michigan- Helen Daoud, Philanthropist- Irma Elder, President/CEO, Elder Automotive Group- Barbara Farrah, State Representative, State of Michigan- Maya Hammoud, M.D., University of Michigan- Priscilla Khoury, ACC Board Member- Captain Katrina Mathews, Salvation Army- Iman Mohamed, M.D., Medical College of Ohio- Honorable Mary Rose Oakar, President, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC)- Nida Samona, Michigan Liquor Control Commission, State of Michigan

ACC is proud to celebrate as we continue to make a difference in our communities as the leading educational, employment and healthcare human services organization. This year's gala will attract more than 1,500 guests, including leaders representing national and state policy-making, members of the judiciary, leaders of the corporate world and health care industries, and educational institutions and foundations. Last year, ACC hosted The Prince of Jordan His Excellency Prince Hamzah and Princess Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Tickets are still available; please call 248-559-1990 for more information.

ACC is the largest non-profit human service organization to provide services to the Middle Eastern Community in Southeast Michigan. For more information onACC services, please visit us at

Palestinian political prisoners still important issue

Press release
Sep. 21, 2005

The ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli jails

The Department of Arab and International Relations/ P.L.O. warns of the Israeli policy against the Palestinian and Arab prisoners in the Israeli jails. Although all prisoners are confined under sever and harsh conditions, Palestinian detainees from Jerusalem are to suffer from an added burden as they have been placed in isolation - away from the rest of the prisoners. The step is not only a tool to break the solidarity of prisoners , but is also directed towards any possible future negotiations with regard to the release of prisoners as the Israeli authorities are planning to exclude the Jerusalemites from such negotiations.

Since 1967, 650,000 Palestinians have been detained, which means that 20% of the Palestinian population in West Bank and Gaza Strip has been arrested at some point; 8600 are still imprisoned in 28 Israeli jails and detention centers, 116 of whom are women and 288 are underage. 1000 Palestinians are placed under administrative detention and are still held in Israeli prisons although they were not found guilty, 950 of the Palestinian prisoners who suffer from serious health problems are deprived access to proper medical treatment.

The Department of Arab and International Relations appeals to the International community, UN organizations and friends all over the world to interfere immediately to save the lives of 950 Palestinian prisoners who were diagnosed with serious hert and lung diseases, diabetes, immobilization and cancer.

By this brief and quick release, we hope to draw your attention to the crises and to urge you to exert your influence and power towards the release of Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli jails. We also believe that serious pressures are to be directed towards the Israeli occupation authorities in order for such authorities to abide by the International Humanitarian Laws, namely the Geneva Fourth Convention on prisoners.

Palestine Liberation Organization
The Department of Arab and International Relations
Ramallah – Palestine.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Christian Palestinians urge moderation and "genuine dialogue" at Bethlehem Conference

Palestinian Lutheran Bishop Challenges Religions to Work for Genuine Dialogue
Meeting in the Holy Land Is a Sign of Solidarity with Other Christians

LWF Council Meeting in Jerusalem/Bethlehem,

31 August - 6 September 2005

JERUSALEM/GENEVA, 31 August 2005 (LWI) Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan of theEvangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) has calledfor a self critical analysis of individual churches and other religions, inorder for dialogue among religions to contribute to peaceful co-existence inthe world.

"Extremists are vocal and can hijack justice. We should not allow them to dothis," Younan told journalists prior to the opening of this year's LWF Council meeting taking place in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, August 31-September 6.

The ELCJHL bishop addressed the media representatives jointly with LWFPresident, Bishop Mark S. Hanson and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr IshmaelNoko.Around 170 participants are attending the meeting hosted by the ELCJHL underthe theme, "The Church: Called to a Ministry of Reconciliation."

This theme was first proposed for the 2001 meeting after the ELCJHL formally invitedthe LWF Council to hold its annual meeting in the Holy Land. Subsequentchange of venue to other places since was necessary in view of anon-conducive political situation in the region.Younan, also LWF Vice-President for the Asian region, stressed thesignificance of the Lutheran communion for the ELCJHL not just individuallyas an LWF member church but also for the Christian community and fordialogue with other religions, in a region in which Christians are aminority.

"Your coming here strengthens us and is important for[inter-religious] dialogue," he said in reference to the respectivedialogues with Muslims and Jews.

Call for Bridges of Peace Not WallsCommenting on the barrier separating Israel from Palestinian territory inorder protect Israel from Palestinian suicide bombers, the Lutheran bishopsaid this was not a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

"We wantpeace not walls. Walls divide, peace builds bridges." He described thePalestinian community as a good example of religious co-existence to otherparts of the world saying, "our people Muslims and Christians have always lived side by side.

"The LWF Council host church ELCJHL has six congregations in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Ramallah and Amman the Jordanian capital. It is committed to ecumenical and inter-religious service and dialogue ascritical in helping to promote peace and reconciliation. The Lutheran church, like others churches in the region, faces many challenges especially the emigration of Palestinian Christians due to the harsh restrictions ofthe Israeli occupation.

Hanson described the theme of this year's Council meeting, "The ChurchCalled to a Ministry of Reconciliation," as befitting in view of the event'svenue and also important because the world's focus is so often on the MiddleEast. To stand in solidarity with Palestinian Christians, he noted isparticularly important during this time.

The theme, he said, challenged the LWF governing body at this meeting "tospeak the truth" concerning several issues among them occupation, violenceand the separation wall. "Yes, the wall protects some, but it separatesothers," Hanson said.

He noted that freedom and justice for the Palestinianpeople is dependent on a secure Israel, inasmuch as a secure Israel is alsodependent on these very principles.Affirmation of Roadmap for PeaceIn view of the Council's discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,and particularly the impact of the separation wall on the Palestinianpeople, Noko said the Roadmap peace process remained an important issue forthe LWF. He reiterated the LWF's position on Jerusalem as a city of twopeoples [Israelis and Palestinians] and the three monotheistic religions[Christianity, Islam and Judaism].

These issues will be addressed when theLWF leaders meet during this week with the President of Israel and thePresident of the Palestinian Authority.Noko said the Council will also be discussing the status of the LWF-runAugusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem inview of a court case over a tax exemption agreement. The LWF is challengingthe intent to revoke a tax exemption agreement between the hospital and theState of Israel. If this tax exempt status were to be lifted, the AVH wouldbe required to remit some USD 400,000 annually, which would threaten theexistence of the hospital that cares mainly for refugees from Palestinianterritories.

There are around 170 participants in this year's Council meeting, includingrepresentatives from the LWF member churches on the 49-member governingbody. Also attending are officials from LWF partner organizations, invitedguests, stewards, interpreters and translators, and LWF staff. The Councilis the annual governing body meeting between Assemblies held every sixyears. The current Council was appointed at the July 2003 Tenth Assembly inWinnipeg, Canada. It comprises the President, Treasurer and 48 personselected by the Assembly. Other members include advisors, who are ordainedand lay persons representing the different LWF regions.

Pauline Mumia, Editor - EnglishThe Lutheran World FederationOffice for Communication Services150, route de FerneyP. O. Box 2100CH-1211 Geneva 2SWITZERLANDE-mail

Friday, September 16, 2005

Lutherans endorse two-state solution Palestine-Israel

Lutherans call for two-state solution in Israel and Palestine -07/09/05

The overseeing council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has reiterated its call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and has affirmed the implementation of a roadmap for peace as crucial to establishing a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, with a shared city of Jerusalem.

The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of Christian churches. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF currently has 140 member churches in 78 countries all over the world, with a total membership of nearly 66 million.In a public statement adopted yesterday at the end of its week-long meeting in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the LWF council said that many of its members had encountered “the [Israeli] separation wall and found shocking its impact on the daily lives of Palestinians.”

The council further endorsed Bishop Younan’s call for an annual gathering in Jerusalem for prayers for peace and reconciliation involving Christians, Muslims, Jews, Palestinians and Israelis.

It also stressed the LWF’s continued support for inter-faith dialogue. They mentioned the Israeli separation wall’s implication for, among others, church members who could not attend services; farmers who were cut off from their fields; school-children delayed in or prevented from reaching their schools; and patients, who were unable to reach hospitals and clinics.In a statement entitled “Challenged to a Ministry of Reconciliation in the Holy Land,” the representatives of LWF member churches from all over the world said their stay in Jerusalem and Bethlehem had opened the “eyes of many of us to the daily sufferings of the Palestinian people, often not shown to us by the media, and in which context our member church speaks boldly a message of hope and reconciliation.”

This year’s LWF council meeting was hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Referring to the opening worship sermon by ELCJHL Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, the Lutheran World Federation council members said: “Healing must begin with truth-telling and with breaking the silence that hides the suffering of those who are vulnerable and violated.”

Only such a start would allow the possibility of healing with justice and forgiveness, they noted. The public statement also pointed to the Palestinians’ significantly compromised freedom of movement that included separation of married persons from their families because they lacked the same required residence permit as their partner or children. It cited the lack of family reunification as among a series of pressures upon Palestinians in the Jerusalem area where houses were being demolished by the Israeli authorities and other facts on the ground were being created with the enlargement of settlements, forcing Palestinians off their land.

“The prevention of home and land confiscation and the creation of additional housing is essential in Jerusalem and other areas to help maintain their human right to housing as well as the demographic status quo,” the public statement declared. The LWF council members say increasing constraints on Palestinians are leading to a decreasing number of Christians in the Holy Land. They stressed the need for financial assistance toward education and other forms of investment in people in order to ensure the “enduring presence” of Christians in the region.

They continued: “Such assistance is an investment in people’s hope for positive change and contributes to preparing a fertile ground for building understanding among Palestinians and Israelis for reconciliation now and in the future.”

Lutheran World Federation member churches are being encouraged to make pilgrimages of peace to the churches in the region, to enable people to experience the living conditions in Palestinian areas and to promote the mutual renewal of faith.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia
St. James

The Moderator

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shaheen Journalism Scholarships for 2005-2006 applications sought

IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER, MAGAZINE OR WEBSITE.PLEASE USE THIS INFORMATION THROUGH MARCH 2006.ALL THE BEST,BERNICE SHAHEEN 9th ANNUAL 2006 JACK G. SHAHEEN MASS COMMUNICATIONS SCHOLARSHIPPurpose: To recognize Arab-American students who excel in Media Studies.Amount: $1000 Eligibility: Juniors, Seniors, or Graduate Students. Must be attending college in the 2006-07 academic year. Must be majoring in Journalism, Radio, Television, and/or Film. Must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be a U.S. citizen of Arab heritage.Applicants will send the following to the ADC Research Institute: A one page statement stating you are a US citizen, explaining your goals, and why you merit the scholarship. Two letters of recommendation from Mass Communication professors. Copies of articles, videos, films, etc. Official academic transcripts including your GPA. Permanent home address, phone number, email address; address and phone number during the school year.Deadline: April 12, 2006 Send material to: ADC Research Institute 4201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 300 Washington, DC 20008Scholarship will be presented at the ADC's 2006 National Convention.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Freedom comes to Palestinians of Gaza with burst of free speech radio stations

September 13, 2005
Press Release


On the day Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip on 12 September, 16 private radio stations in the West Bank and Gaza came together under the banner of AMIN Internews to cover the withdrawal. This meant that from Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip to Jenin in the north of the West Bank and in an exceptional joint broadcast everyone was able to witness firsthand the events of the day.

The “united broadcast,’ as it has become to be known, had two main studios, one based at Al Manar radio station in Gaza and the other at Ajyal in Ramallah. From these sites listeners jointed in the celebration whilst hearing reactions from politicians, community leaders, experts and ordinary Palestinians.

Among the politicians that were interviewed, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr. Ahmad Qurie, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Dr. Nabil Shaath, Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Samir Hulaileh, and Head of the PLO Negotiations Department, Dr. Saeb Erekat.

In this company, the mayors of Rafah, Khan Younis, Dair al Balah and Jenin also had the opportunity to give their views.

The broadcast was not just a platform for the political leaders; AMIN Internews also brought on air several experts, analysts and economists including Timothy Rothermel, UNDP Special Representative in Palestine.

The stations themselves were delighted with the broadcast.

Talal Abu Rahmeh, Manar radio station in Gaza City who co-hosted the united broadcast said “it was one of the most successful experiences he has had since the opening of the station itself.” Mr. Abu Rahmeh went on to say, “We felt it brought us together as one family in this united broadcast.”

Zaid Shalbak, owner of the Jenin-based Al-Balad radio station, said the “coverage of the untied broadcast was not only excellent but comprehensive.” He went on to add: “This was an event that concerned all Palestinians. As individual radio stations, and due to the political problems we all face, we were not able to provide coverage of the event that our listeners deserved. However, due to the help of AMIN/ Internews, Al Balad and other stations succeeded beyond all our expectations.”

In Hebron, Ayman Qawasmi, owner of Al Hurriya radio said “the listeners felt that they are close to what’s going on in Gaza. People followed with interest what was happening there.” Ayman continued, “This coverage made the listeners feel that they are in Gaza not in Hebron.”

Ihab Barahmeh, who owns Qamar radio station in Jericho, believes that people welcomed this coverage. “Listeners told me this is what they want to hear often in the station,” he said. Moreover, he added, “It was great to feel that united efforts lead to great results and achievements.”

Commenting on the united broadcast, Khaled Abu Aker, Executive Director of AMIN/Internews, said “the success of this experience was a result of the full and strong cooperation of the stations and their conviction of the importance of uniting the broadcast for such an important occasion. They are convinced that joint work is much better than individual effort and that joint work produces great and remarkable results, as was the case.”

AMIN/ Internews is involved in training and development of local radio stations, and is part of an E.U funded project.

This training has already taken the form of helping and improving journalistic writing, reporting and broadcast skills. Alongside this AMIN/Internews has run courses on panel discussions in addition to technical training, the first of its kind in Palestine.

The united broadcast is the second such collective effort in Palestine managed and produce by AMIN/Internews. The first was during Palestinian Presidential Election Day on January 9, 2005.


Arab-Jewish & Chicago comics perform for Hurricane Relief 9-13-05

"Clean Out Your Closet And Make Someone's Day,"
Improv Olympic
3541 N. Clark Street, Chicago

Tuesday Sept. 13 at 7:00-8:00pm.

Aaron Freeman, B.J. Jones, Sandy Shea Bogan, Ray Hanania & more Chicago area comics will be performing at a special comic concert

Admission: Gently Used/New Winter Clothing, Blankets, Linens, Etc.
Donations of $20 or more

The clothing will be delivered directly to the Red Cross Welcoming Center on Racine and given directly to hurricane evacuees now living in Chicago. (Towels, blankets, sheets, gently-used clothing. Please place in a bag and drop off at the entrance of the club.)

We will provide non-alcoholic refreshments & food & clean up.

Contact Sandy Shea Bogan (847)-849-0559 or (818)-621-2878


US helps preserve Muslim site in Jericho

USAID West Bank/Gaza

9 September 2005
Public Affairs Office:

JERICHO, West Bank – The American people are funding a project to protect an important Islamic cultural heritage site known as Hisham’s Palace and to make it into a busy tourist center.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing $1.3 million for the preservation of this rare archeological structure dating from the early Islamic period.
The one-year effort, implemented by ANERA’s Job Opportunities through Basic Services (JOBS), will improve the quality of life in the Jericho district, one of the least developed areas in the West Bank.
The construction of the different facilities at the site will alleviate high unemployment by creating about 250 jobs. A vast amount of the USAID contribution will be spent on wages used to pay for the preservation tasks.
The lasting economic gains for the 30,000 residents of Jericho are quite significant. The new tourist site is expected to attract 25,000 visitors annually bringing income to the municipality and countless business owners.
A professional team of architects and planners will protect and facilitate tourists’ access to the unique baths, mosques and colonnaded courts of Hisham’s Palace, which was a country residence of the Arab-Umayyad dynasty that ruled large areas stretching from India to France.
The mosaics and stucco ornaments, fine examples of early Islamic art, will be preserved under the supervision of Al-Quds University Institute of Islamic Archeology and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Hisham’s Palace holds one of the most beautiful mosaics in the word known as the Tree of Life.
The USAID funded project encourages the increasing development efforts in the West Bank and Gaza done under the newly elected democratic leadership.
USAID has spent more than $1.7 billion in the West Bank and Gaza to combat poverty, create jobs, improve education, build roads and water systems, construct and equip medical clinics, and promote good governance.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Farouk Systems to donate to help rebuild hair care industry in Gulf Coast States ravaged by Katrina

Farouk Systems Extends Its Support To Hurricane Katrina Victims

Houston, TX – As our country and industry supported the victims of September 11, 2001, once again Farouk Systems comes to the forefront aiding the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Over $2,000,000 worth of products will be distributed to survivors, fellow hairdressers, salons and distributors to help rebuild lives and re-open businesses.

Farouk Shami, Founder and Chairman of the Board for Farouk Systems has personally experienced the effects of devastation. Tragedies, like Hurricane Katrina, not only destroy material items but also one’s life. As a result of this destruction hitting our shores, the Farouk Systems family joined together putting a relief package in place. In fact, Beverly Bernard-Morrison a partner of Mr. Farouk Shami and native of Louisiana returned to the corporate headquarters to head-up the entire relief effort. In addition, Miss Beverly coordinated thousands of gift bags for the Red Cross, the Houston Astrodome and countless shelters around Houston, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Mr. Farouk Shami has devoted his entire career to the healthy and safety of his fellow hairdresser. His commitment and continued devotion will help salons re-open their doors by donating over $1,000,000 is products. This generosity even extends to his eleven (11) Armstrong McCall Distributor Stores also located in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama by donating $100,000 in product to each store. This will total over $2,000,000 to help our industry recover.

According to Mr. Shami, “It is vital for our industry to step up to the plate and help our industry recover from this overwhelming tragedy. I will not allow my fellow hairdressers to give up. They must know that we care and that we are behind them. Together, we can help rebuild their salons, rebuild their businesses and rebuild their faith in humanity.”

Kindest Regards,Janice R. McCaffertyJESSICA TAYLOR MEDIAPublic Relations Consultant forFarouk Systems, Inc.BioSilk, Silk Therapy, BadAzz, Hair Toys, CHI, Deep BrillianceWWW.FAROUK.COM(773) 736-9034 - Office(773) 220-8580 - Cell(773) 202-8074 - FaxThe Official Hair Care Sponsors for Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA 2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005

American Muslims Pledge $10 million for Hurricane Katrina relief at ISNA convention

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Major American Islamic groups form task force to coordinate humanitarian aid

(CHICAGO, IL, 9/4/05) – A coalition of major American Islamic groups meeting at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Chicago today announced a pledge to raise $10 million in humanitarian relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The coalition also announced the formation of a Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force (MHRTF) to coordinate the aid effort. MHRTF members include (in alphabetical order) Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA), Islamic Relief, ISNA, Kind Hearts, Life for Relief and Development, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Muslim Ummah of North American (MUNA).

Other groups who agree to the task force’s guidelines will be added as the relief efforts develop. MHRTF guidelines for collection and distribution of funds will focus on financial transparency and accountability as set forth in relevant government regulations and standards. No proselytizing of hurricane victims will be allowed by any member of the task force.

“It is a national and Islamic obligation to assist one’s neighbors when they are in need,” said ISNA Secretary General Sayyid Syeed. “The American Muslim community pledges to do its part in helping those Americans, of all faiths, who suffered such great losses in lives and property.”

Syeed said MHRTF will announce a comprehensive list of Muslim relief group that promise to adhere to the task force’s guidelines.

The initial MHRTF action plan includes an assessment of the humanitarian needs that can be met by American Muslim financial and human resources, as well as a similar assessment of the Islamic community’s ability to meet those needs.

More than $2 million in hurricane aid has already been disbursed by Islamic charities. Muslim relief workers are currently on the ground in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Other task force efforts will focus on evaluating the material and spiritual requirements of Gulf Coast Muslims.

There are an estimated seven million Muslims in the United States.

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
Adina Lekovic, 213,383-3443,
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Saudi Arabia offers support for victims of HUrricane Katrina

August 31, 2005

Saudi Information Office


[Washington, DC] [August 31, 2005] – King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today called U.S. President George W. Bush offering condolences to the victims of the disaster and the people of the United States from the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the loss of life and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

King Abdullah affirmed that Saudi Arabia stands with the United States as it faces this tragedy, and is ready to provide assistance to mitigate its effects and consequences.

On Monday, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi stated that Saudi Arabia stands ready to immediately increase its crude oil production to 11 million barrels per day, and sustain that level to replace any market shortages resulting from the effects of Hurricane Katrina in order to stabilize world crude prices.
# # #

California (Garden Grove) Arab American Festival Sept. 18

ADC Press Release:
Participate in Arab American Day Festival in California

Washington, DC, August 31--The Arab American Council will be holding its 10th Annual Arab American Day Festival in Village Green Park, California, to celebrate the community’s culture and contributions in the US and elsewhere.The three-day Festival will take place between Friday, September 16 and Sunday, September 18, and will include folkloric performances, amusement rides, Arabic food stands, and exhibits. For more information about the Festival, sponsorship, or how to register a booth please contact the Festival Director, Ahmad Al-Alam at (714) 758 3507 or visit

When:Friday September 16 (6pm-10pm) Saturday
September 17 (12am-10pm)Sunday
September 18 (12am-10pm)

What:Friday: folkloric performances, amusement rides
Saturday & Sunday: amusement rides, Arabic food stands, exhibits, and cultural performances

Where:Village Green Park 12762 Main Street, Garden Grove, CA92840

CAIR urges Muslims and all faiths to support victims of Hurricane Katrina


CAIR asks Americans of all faiths to offer prayers of support

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/31/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to offer whatever assistance they can to help alleviate the suffering of those impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

This week, Katrina left a trail of death and destruction along the Gulf Coast. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is declaring Wednesday a day of prayer.

In a statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said:"We join Gov. Blanco in urging Americans of all faiths to pray for the victims of this unprecedented national disaster. As stated in the Quran, Islam's revealed text: 'Seek help with patience and prayer: for God is with those who are patient in adversity.' (2:153) We also offer condolences to the loved ones of those who died as a result of the hurricane's impact and urge everyone to contribute whatever they can, in both financial and human resources, to help alleviate the ongoing suffering."

CAIR asked mosques and Islamic centers throughout the Untied States to hold special blood drives, prayers and fundraising efforts for disaster relief.

Saudi expert to speak at series on US-Saudi relations Sept. 26-29, 2005 (Illinois Tour)

August 30, 2005
Contact: Sarah Silhan (773) 238-1086
For Immediate Release
Mary Morrissey (773) 238-3028 President, Council on American-Saudi Dialogue, and Former White House Aide, Les Janka, to speak on currentU.S. and Saudi Arabia relations

What: A discussion of the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the challenges which lie ahead for the Bush administration and its foreign policy.Who: Mr. Les Janka, President, Council on American-Saudi dialogue and former Pentagon and White House senior international affairs staff member to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.

When: A series of appearances beginning Monday, Sept. 26 and ending Thursday, Sept. 29.Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m. Peoria World Affairs Council Barrack’s Cater Inn, 1224 Pioneer Parkway, Peoria, Ill.

Tuesday, September 27 at 6 p.m. Rotary Club of Chicago, Rogers Park, Devon Bank, 6445 N. Western Ave., lower level.

Wednesday, September 28 at 7 a.m. Rotary Club of Central DuPage County Fairways Restaurant, Cantigny Golf Club, Mack Road, Wheaton, Ill.

Thursday, September 29 at noon, Chicago O’Hare Rotary Club The Great Escape Restaurant, 9540 W. Irving Park Road, Schiller Park, Ill.

*Mr. Janka will be available for interviews at each of these events, as well as between appearances. Please call Sarah Silhan to set a date and time to speak with Mr. Janka.

Background: Mr. Janka worked for the US Information Agency from 1964 to 1968, then served as the Assistant Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies until 1971, when he was appointed Special Assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger on the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House. He became Senior NSC Staff Member for Legislative and Public Affairs in 1975. Moving to the Department of Defense in 1976, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern, African and South Asian Affairs, and was awarded the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal in 1978.

Before joining the Reagan Administration, Mr. Janka worked as a consultant assisting major European corporations in marketing advanced military technology to the Pentagon. In 1983, after serving in the White House as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he joined Neill and Company, one of Washington’s premier foreign policy lobbying and public affairs consulting firms. As Executive Vice President, he led that firm’s extensive international political and trade advisory practice in the Middle East and Africa.

A native of California, Mr. Janka received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Redlands and his Master of Arts degree in International Economics and MiddleEastern Studies and Arabic from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the John Hopkins University.


Morrissey Public Affairs1917 W. 103rd Street, Ste. 5Chicago, IL 60643773-238-1086 direct773-550-5537 mobile

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Palestinian American Congress criticizes media coverage of Gaza evacuation

Press Release: The Palestinian American Congress
Israeli settlers evacuation from occupied Gaza and the Poor Media Coverageof the Gaza "Disengagement"

Media Contacts:Marwan El-Masri 617-694-3597
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD Tel 203-676-2986

New York 8/20/05-The Palestinian American Congress is appalled at the media coverage of the Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The media is projecting the evacuation of Jewish settlers as an Israeli sacrifice filled with emotional scenes. No such coverage wasaccorded the destruction (with no compensation) of thousands of Palestinian homes. We urge the media to include a better and widerperspective beyond the hype of removing the Gaza settlers who representless than 2% of colonial settlers in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

According to International Law, all 450,000 settlers (half in East Jerusalem) are illegal and have been illegal for the past 38years. The media fails to mention the plight and the suffering of thePalestinians under Israeli occupation, the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank at an alarming rate, the continued confiscationof Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, and the continued constructionof the separation wall on Palestinian land.

"While the evacuation of Israeli presence from any portion of theoccupied territories is welcomed, it must be part of a negotiated planwith the Palestinians as dictated by the U.S. envisioned road map toencompass a future contiguous Palestinian state" said Sameer Tuffaha, Chairman of the Board of the Palestinian American Congress.

We call on the US and the International Community to insist that Israelcomply with International Law and International Human Rights standards.PAC has available a list of speakers in all major US cities and inseveral states who can provide a Palestinian perspective on issues likethe disengagement smokescreen, the wall being built on Palestinianland, settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and refugees.(resources below)

The Palestinian American Congress (PAC)P.O.Box 2302, Astoria, New York 11102

Monday, August 22, 2005

Racist Washington DC radio host fired for anti-Islamic remarks

DC RADIO HOST FIRED OVER ANTI-ISLAM REMARKSContact WMAL to show support for its decision(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/22/05) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a Washington, D.C., radio station's decision to fire a talk show host who stated repeatedly that "Islam is a terrorist organization."The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said media reports indicate that WMAL-AM fired host Michael Graham last Friday after he refused to retract his anti-Islam statements, make an on-air apology and conduct additional outreach efforts to the Muslim community and others offended by his words.The controversy began last month when Graham stated: 1. "Islam is a terrorist organization." 2. "Islam is at war with America." 3. "The problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam." 4. "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam." Other listeners said that Graham even encouraged a public "backlash" against Muslims. (Graham later claimed he meant a backlash of social pressure, not violent attacks on Muslims.)In response, CAIR initiated a public campaign against WMAL and the station's advertisers after receiving complaints from listeners who heard Graham make those anti-Islam remarks. While WMAL initially stood behind Graham, it changed its position after hundreds of people responded to the group's action alerts by contacting the station and its sponsors."Just as Michael Graham has the right to hold bigoted views, so, too, does our society have the right to live free of hatred and incitement," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "We are saddened that Michael Graham would not take responsibility for his hate-filled words, but we do welcome WMAL's action as a step toward reducing the level of anti-Muslim bigotry on our nation's airwaves."Awad thanked the local Metropolitan-D.C. Muslim community, interfaith leaders and the many people in America and worldwide who contacted WMAL and its advertisers to express their concerns over Graham's bigoted comments.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED:1. CONTACT WMAL to thank the station for making Michael Graham's suspension permanent. CONTACT: Mr. Chris Berry, President & General Manager (202-895-2333), and Mr. Randall Bloomquist (202-895-2327), Program Director, WMAL, 4400 Jenifer Street NW, Washington DC, 20015. Switchboard: 202-686-3100 FAX: (202) 537-0009 (To be on a WMAL talk show, call 202-432-WMAL, toll free 888-630-WMAL.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

AAI Foundation event celebrates Arab American achievements July 29

Washington, DC Foundation Honors Farmington Hills Councilman John Akouri

-AAIF Celebration fetes Michigan Arab Americans in Public Life-

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) will pay tribute to Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri - who has made a difference in civic and community life in Michigan this Friday, July 29th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the newly opened Arab American National Museum located at 13624 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Michigan.
"As AAI celebrates two decades of service, we are pleased to honor John Akouri who has dedicated his career to public service and has truly made a difference in his community," said AAI National Field Director Abdallah Al-Zuabi. "We hope this celebration will encourage participation in the upcoming elections and inspire a new generation of Arab Americans to run for public office."

Akouri will join will join other leading Arab American Public Officials throughout Michigan, who will be honored for their significant contributions to the civic and political empowerment of the Arab American community. These include Dearborn Councilman Bob Abraham, 3rd Circuit Court Judge David Allen, State Representative Barbara Farrah, Oakland County Probate Judge Linda Saoud Hallmark, State Board of Education Member Marianne Yared McGuire, Dearborn Councilwoman Suzanne Sareini, Michigan Women's Commission, Office of Governor, Sally Shaheen Joseph, and Oak Park Councilman Kirk Yousif. Michigan is home to 490,000 Arab Americans living in 82 of the state’s 83 counties.

"AAI is a respected organization that is mobilizing voters across the nation to stand up and be counted" Akouri said. "It is always humbling to be recognized for the achievements and contributions one makes while in office. As I thank AAI for saluting these accomplishments, I am honored to receive this tribute and look forward to continue working with AAI in the future."

Akouri began serving on Capitol Hill as Washington Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to US Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) in 1999. Akouri is a longtime member of the DC-based AAI National Policy Council, and was featured as a distinguished panelist at the 2003 AAI National Leadership Conference and at last years Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee Convention in Washington, DC. Akouri also led Republican efforts in 2004 as Co-Chairman of the Bush/Cheney Re-Election Campaign in Oakland County. Most recently he participated along with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa and dignitaries from around the world in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the long awaited ACCESS Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.

For a complete Bio and Photo of John Akouri, visit

For more information on Michigan’s Arab Americans, visit

CONTACT: or 202.494.9858

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Egyptian candidate seeks international election monitors

Press Release For Immediate Release

Egypt?s Presidential Candidate Calls for International Monitors for elections

Chicago, Illinois, USA (7/20/05) Author turned politician, Aladdin Elaasar who announced his candidacy for president of Egypt recently called on the international community today to send international monitors for the upcoming presidential elections in September in Egypt. ?In spite of the several attempts of presidential candidates for Egypt to get their names on the ballot, the Egyptian government still refuses to acknowledge any of them. If Mr. Mubarak is really serious about change in Egypt and giving democracy a chance, why does not he allow other candidates to run?, Elaasar said.

The Egyptian government runs most of the media outlets which gives Mr. Mubarak an edge over any other candidate. Mr. Mubarak uses public funds and resources for his campaign. He passed a law recently through the People?s Assembly, which the overwhelming majority of its members belong to the NDP- Mr. Mubarak?s party. This law prohibits any candidate from running without getting the endorsement of 250 members of MR. Mubarak?s party! Mr. Mubarak holds all the power in his hands. His government will be running the elections and counting the votes through his Minster of the interior! Which is unlawful? Elaasar said.

?What Mr. Mubarak is afraid of? Why does he feel threatened by other candidates and myself? If he is so sure of his popularity, why does not he open the door for democracy for real, instead of lip service? It seems that Mr. Mubarak?s government is afraid of change and competition and they?re finding every excuse not to include any other candidate on the ballot. The Egyptian constitution gives the right to every Egyptian, man or woman, to run for the office of president of Egypt. The attempts to bar Egyptian expatriates and those with dual citizenship from running is unconstitutional. I call on Mr. Muarak to include all candidates on the ballot. I also call on him to release MR. Ayman Nour and all other political prisoners in Egypt immediately and end the state of the Emergency Laws?, Elaasar, the author of a book titled ?Silent Victims?, demanded today.


For more info, please contact:
Aladdin Elaasar,
President and Founder of
Committee for Freedom and Democracy in Egypt
1015 Higgins Quarters, Suite 115
Hoffman Estates,
IL 60194
Tel 847 310-0342847 668-4206

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Il SOciety of Professional Engineers to hold conference in Chicago

for information go to:

Map to Conference Site

Conference Site Layout
Mark your calendars for the 2005 Annual Conference! ISPE again offers 12 professional development hours, lively entertainment, and fellowship among engineers over the 2 1/2 day event. Conveniently located off I-88 at Naperville Road, the Wyndham Lisle serves as an ideal conference venue in Chicago's western suburbs.Bring your co-workers, your spouse and your children for our fun and educational event. There will be plenty of activities in the area for all ages while PEs participate in engaging professional development sessions.
Regular Registration: July 1, 2005 - July 20,2005
Registration Closes: July 20, 2005, 5 PM
ISPE PAC Golf Outing: July 28, 2005
ISPE Annual Conference: July 29-30, 2005
Sponsorship/Exhibit Information
ISPE PAC Golf Outing Information - Thursday, July 28, 2005
Schedule at a Glance
Education Sessions
Special Events
Guest Activities
Conference Fees
Hotel Information
First Time Attendee "Tex" Scholarship

Thursday, July 28, 20051P - 6:30 P
PAC Golf Outing, Klein Creek Golf Club
6:30 P - 9P PAC BBQ,
Klein Creek Golf Club
5:00 P - 8 P Pre-Conference Packet Pick-up, Wyndham
6 P - ?? Hospitality Room Open, Wyndham
Friday, July 29, 2005
7 A Conference Packet Pick-Up
8 A Welcome
8:30 A Education Sessions (2 PDHs)
10:00 A Guest Activity - Morton Arboretum Tram Tour & Luncheon
10:30 A Education Sessions (2 PDHs)
12:30 P Legislative Luncheon
2:15 P Education Sessions (3 PDHs)
5:30 P Sponsor/New Engineer Reception
All Day - Exhibits Open
All Day - Hospitality Room Open
Saturday, July 30, 2005
7:30 A Awards Breakfast
9:00 A Education Sessions (2 PDHs)
10:00 A Guest Activity - Naper Settlement or DuPage Children's Museum Visit
11:00 A Education Sessions (2 PDHs)
12:45 P Keynote Luncheon - Bill Rancic from TV's "The Apprentice"
2:15 P Education Sessions (1 PDH)
3:30 P ISPE Annual Business Meeting
6:30 P Installation Banquet
8:30 P Casino Night & Raffle
All Day - Hospitality Room Open
Friday, July 29, 2005
8:30 A - 10:15 A (You will be asked to Select One Session): Session 1 - Successful Women in Engineering (2 PDHs) / Session 2 - Workplace Labor Issues (2PDHs) / Session 3 - Rebuilding Iraq (2 PDHs)
10:30 A - 12:15 P (You will be asked to Select One Session): Session 4 - Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology Primer (2 PDHs) / Session 5 - LRFD - Not just a 4-Letter Word (2 PDHs) This session brings you up to speed with the basics of Load & Resistance Factor Design. / Session 6 - Contract Management, Risk Allocation by Design (2 PDHs)
2:15 P - 4:15 P (You will be asked to Select 7 & 10, 8 & 10, or 9): Session 7 - An Insight into Some of Illinois' Major Projects - Project Profiles (2 PDHs) / Session 8 - Context Sensitive Solutions (2 PDHs) / Session 9 - Fermi Lab Tour 2:15 P - 5:30 P (Limited to 50 registrants only - 3 PDHs)
4:30 P - 5:30 P (May not be Selected if Attending Session 9 - Fermi Lab Tour): Session 10 - Public Construction & Transportation Panel (1 PDH)
Saturday, July 30, 2005
9:00 A - 10:45 A (You will be asked to Select One Session): Session 11 - Introduction to the LEED Green Building Program (2 PDHs) / Session 12 - Recycled Plastics on the Molecular Level (2 PDHs) / Session 13 - Lean Construction I (2 PDHs)
11:00 A - 12:45 P (You will be asked to Select One Session): Session 14 - Understanding HEC-RAS Design Software (2 PDHs) / Session 15 - Uninterruptable Power Supplies/Power Quality (2 PDHs) / Session 16 - Lean Construction II (2 PDHs)
2:15 P - 3:15 P (You will be asked to Select One Session): Session 17 - HEC-RAS Design Software: Your Questions Answered (1 PDH) / Session 18 - Why Machines Fail - ME/EE Forensic Engineering (1 PDH) / Session 19 - Directional Boring (1 PDH)
Exhibits Friday All Day
Be sure to check out our firms, suppliers and other vendors show casing in the exhibit area on Friday. Visit with them and earn ISPE Bucks to use for casino night or raffle prize entries!
Legislative Luncheon Friday Noon
Area legislators have been invited to share the latest transportation funding and other issues affecting the practice of engineering.
New PE and Sponsor Reception Friday Evening
Meet our newest engineers, visit with our sponsors and exhibitors, and network with colleagues and friends during this reception with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres.
Awards Breakfast Saturday Morning
ISPE honors outstanding members and firms, scholarship recipients, and Order of the Engineer Inductees with the 2005 ISPE Awards Breakfast.
Keynote Luncheon Saturday Noon
Gain insights from TV's "The Apprentice" - Bill Rancic - whose post TV project for Donald Trump was to oversee the development of the Trump Towers in Chicago.
ISPE Annual Business Meeting Saturday Afternoon
All members are encouraged to attend as we kick off the new Society year. Share your recommendations for YOUR professional society today.
2005 Installation Banquet & Casino Night Saturday Evening
Come celebrate as we swear in the 2005-2006 ISPE Officers and present our top Society awards. Then try your hand at Casino Night and enter our raffle for great prizes donated by the ISPE Chapters.
ISPE Hospitality Room Open Throughout the Conference
Relax, enjoy refreshments, play cards and visit with fellow ISPE members during breaks, downtime and the evening hours in the Hospitality Room.
Morton Arboretum Tram Tour and Luncheon- $25/person Friday 10 A - 2 P

Naper Settlement Museum Village OR DuPage Children's Museum - $10/person Saturday 10 A - 12 P Guests will have the opportunity to choose to visit the Naper Settlement Museum Village or the DuPage Children's Museum, both conveniently located in near downtown Naperville.
Regular Rates* (Registrations Received from July 1, 2005 - July 20, 2005)**
$275 ISPE Member
$400 Non-Member
$125 Current Student or Recent Graduates (BS or BA in last 5 years)
Guest Events & Add-Ons (Add Guest Events or Guest Meals to Your Registration a la cart)
$25 Friday - Morton Arboretum Tram Tour & Luncheon
$25 Friday - Legislative Lunch
$25 Friday - New PE & Sponsor Reception
$18 Saturday - Awards Breakfast
$10 Saturday - Naper Settlement or DuPage Children's Museum Visits
$25 Saturday - Keynote Luncheon
$75 Saturday - Installation Banquet & Casino Night
* Includes education sessions and all meals and events July 29 & 30. Does not include lodging or any ISPE PAC events.
** All registrations must be received by the ISPE office by 5PM CT, July 20, 2005. No registrations will be accepted after that time.
Not an ISPE member? Send us an e-mail with your contact information and we will send you membership materials today!
REGISTRATION: There are 3 ways to Register:
(1) Register on-line* NOW with your Visa or Master Card. (On-line registration is now OPEN!)
(2) Download and print a paper registration to mail to ISPE at 600 South Second Street, Suite 403, Springfield, IL 62704 with your check, Visa or Master Card number.
(3) Download and print a paper registration to fax to ISPE at 217-528-6545 with your Visa or Master Card number.

for more information go to: