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 -

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