Friday, April 27, 2007

Israeli military exstremists protect settler fanatics, arrest peace activists

Phone: (517) 484 3178 Fax: (517) 484-4219 Email: Website: Fr. C. Peter Dougherty cell: 517-303 0116 For Immediate Release:


James Coady, a member of the Michigan Peace Team (MPT), was briefly detained by the Israeli military Wednesday April 25 in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Coady, along with MPT member Karen Donahue and other internationals, had been observing and intervening as Israeli soldiers held up Palestinians who were walking near the Ibrahim Mosque, and had also intervened as Israeli settlers were throwing stones at Palestinians while the Israeli military stood by and watched, doing nothing. Coady and Donahue used a video camera to document this behavior of the settlers and the soldiers.

In response to this international intervention, the soldiers later in the morning stopped every international human rights worker and wrote down their passport numbers. When they did come to Coady, who for awhile had evaded the soldiers, they called to him and said they needed to "check him." When he asked if he was being arrested, they said "we just want to talk to you." They drove away with him in a military vehicle. As the internationals and a Palestinian-led human rights organization were trying to find out where Coady was taken and were deciding if an urgent action appeal was needed, Coady soon returned to the internationals' apartment, having been released. "Just another wonderful day in a police state. It is all such madness," quipped Donahue.

Two other MPT members, Martha Larsen and Loretta Johnston, are staying in the Jordan Valley with a Bedouin family to help prevent the demolition of their home by the Israeli military. MPT, which now has a continual team presence in the West Bank, works with Israelis, Palestinians, and other internationals to reduce violence in the Occupied Territories and create space for those in the conflict to work for a just resolution of the conflict. Michigan Peace Team was founded in 1993.

It provides trainings in active nonviolence designed for the specific needs of the participants, and deploys peace teams into places of conflict (both domestically and internationally) to reduce violence. MPT convenes, supports, and participates with local peace action groups and gatherings, and mentors individuals seeking experience with international teams in places of conflict. It also educates the public to the vision and practice of active nonviolence. MPT has deployed peace teams into areas of potential violence around the world.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

PLO blames Israel incursions for blocking peace

Press Release

Vicious military incursions are the Israeli way to escape Peace obligations

With formation of the Palestinian National unity government, the 19th Arab summit have agreed that the Arab Peace Initiative is the key towards a dialogue with Israel in order to reach a comprehensive Peace agreement and to establish the independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Israel on the other side is using all its power to divert away from its obligations towards peace.

The latest Israeli military invasions against Gaza strip, Jenin, and Nablus leaves the Palestinians and Arabs with no partner in their serious search for Peace; the Israeli government is escalating its terror in an attempt to bring the Palestinian unity government to a deadlock and to minimize any positive impacts for President Abbass efforts to break the International siege against the Palestinians.

For months now, and while the Palestinian Authority has been working to bring situation in Gaza to calm, the Israeli government has been sabotaging all those efforts and manipulating all excuses to avoid being reengaged in concrete steps towards the Arab initiative that is seen by all as the key to the solving the Palestinian issue.
After the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the Palestinians hopes were lifted high as they looked forwards for expanding the scenario to the West Bank; again, the Israeli measures on ground defeated all hopes.

DAIR –PLO confirms that the Palestinians are committed to the Arab Peace initiative as the road to an Independent Palestinian State, they are- more than ever- ready to embark in a comprehensive Peace talks with Israel as they are the most harmed of the current absurd situation.

Department of Arab and International Relations (DAIR)
April 23rd, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

RAWI Conference May 18-20 Dearborn

Arab American writers organizationto hold national conference in May
DEARBORN , Mich .—The Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. (RAWI) will turn Dearborn into the mecca for Arab American writers when it holds its second national conference on May 17-20, 2007 at the Arab American National Museum , 13624 Michigan Ave. "RAWI welcomes not only its members but also others who are interestedin engaging in the Arab American literary community said one of theconference's organizer, Khaled Mattawa, assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor ."The conference will provide a venue for 150 or so writers and scholarsto present our writings and ideas to one another and to the Detroit andArab communities," said RAWI's Executive Director, Steven Salaita, whoteaches at Virginia Tech University . "Our gathering will offer anopportunity for colleagues to share strategies for publishing and circulating our work and also for confronting academic, community andpolitical barriers."This year's conference theme, "Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens,and Homelands," seeks to address the multiple challenges Arab Americanwriters face in an intensified post-9/11 climate, says Mattawa, who isone of the conference's organizers."When it comes down to aesthetics, we (artists, writers, poets) are all on the same palate. I see Arab American literary and cultural studies reaching its height: a renaissance is here. We should pay attention to what beautiful things our communities are producing," says RAWI secretary, Deborah Najor Alkamano, a professor in the English department at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn .In 21 readings and workshops open to all registered attendees ($35 for RAWI membership and "$85 for the conference, including meals), thewriters will address such topics as:• How is Arab American writing affected by the targeting of Arabs andMuslims as the "national enemy" inside and outside of the U.S. and bythe wars waged in our homelands?• How do we envision a future for our literature between the desire for location within American culture and our transcultural experiences?• How do we promote and teach our literature? • How to promote our unconventional literature within the convensionsof the market place?To register, visit the RAWI Web site at OTHER CONTACTS HERE:Steven Salaita, Executive Director, RAWI,salaita@vt.eduDeborah Alkamano, RAWI secretarydebnajor@rawi.orgTo attend as a member of the news media, contact: MEDIA CONTACT HERE:Conference Coordinator, Rola Nashef,rawicoordinator@gmail.comABOUT RAWI: Founded in 1993, RAWI is a network of 215 Arab American writers,scholars and artists of all genres. Its mission is to urge members topublish their work in mainstream publications, to support sister andbrother writers in the Arab World, to nurture emerging writers, and toguide and bring together Arab American writers. Although devoted to theArab American community, RAWI accepts members of all ethnic andnational backgrounds. Its membership includes Muslims, Christians andJews, and is primarily American, represented by people of many nationalbackgrounds.

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ATTEND WORKSHOPS WITH PUBLISHERS and EDITORS ALL ARE WELCOMEArab American Writers Meet at AANM "Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens and Homelands" is the theme for the second national conference of RAWI, Radius of Arab American Writers, to be held May 17-19, 2007 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn . Featured Writers included Naomi Shihab Nye, Rabih Alamedinne for the opening night. Friday night, May 18th, RAWI and CAAS are co-sponsoring D.H. Melhem, and Fadhil Al-Azzawi (co-sponsored by Center for University of Michigan-Deaborn's Center for Arab American Studies, ARAB AMERICAN WRITERS SERIES).

For registration information, visit . Preregistration is a plus!! To update your RAWI membership and pre-register for the conference, please fill out and send our registration form:

. Registration for non-students who have not paid dues in the period since January, 2007, will be $120; for students it will be $75. Checks payable to RAWI. PO Box 11708, Blacksburg, VA 24062. Email Rola Nashef at if you have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Steven Salaita, RAWI's executive director is the author of Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where It Comes From and What It Means for Politics
Today, the title for the AANM's upcoming Library Book Club meeting on Sat., April 28. See museum website for info about book club meeting.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

PLO/DAIR: Occupation killing children's "childhood"

Press Release
PLO says Israeli Occupation is murdering Childhood

The Palestinian children lately celebrated the Palestinian children's day – (5th April). A series of formal and public festivals were held throughout the Palestinian areas; the massage was the need to secure a dignified and free life for them.

Since 2000, about 900 Palestinian children were murdered and 16.000 were injured by the Israeli forces, 750 of whom were left with permanent disabilities. About 6000 children (13-18 years old) were imprisoned by the Israeli occupation- 398 of whom are still in prisons up to this day, another 16 are administrative detainees and have been held without a trial for till now. Mohammed Khawaja 13-year-old is the youngest Palestinian child detainee in the Israeli jails.

The Palestinian children in Nablus and other areas are still used as human shields by the Israeli military army during Israeli army raids to the Palestinian houses.

The Israeli unjustified practices against our kids are depriving Palestinian children from the basic element of a normal life; right to education, freedom of movement and even the right to play. Most children went through the experience of losing a beloved relative or friend, removed from his place of living, as well the experience of being assaulted on checkpoints and barriers.

The occasion takes us back to the memories of Deer Yassin massacre that was committed by the Israeli gangs in April 9th 1948 when tens of Palestinian children and their parents were slaughtered.

The Department of Arab and International Affairs- PLO, would like to add its voice to the Palestinian children's, and to urge UN Children Committee, humanitarian organizations and governmental and non governmental bodies to stand up to their designated missions in the defense of deprived children, namely the Palestinian children in order to secure a decent and safe life for them.
Defending the Palestinian children rights- can’t be interpreted without recognizing the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and his right to establish his own independent state.

Department of Arab and International Relations /DAIR
April 14th, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Illinois Scholarship for first year Arab students

Ziyad Brothers Importing Announces Illinois Scholarship for first-year College-bound Arab students

Cicero, Il – Ziyad Brothers Importing announced it is expanding its existing “Giving Back to the Community” student scholarship program to any student of Arab heritage who will be attending their first year of college this Fall.

A scholarship in the amount of $1,000 college bond will be given to one male and one female student of Arab heritage, selected from entries who demonstrate the highest level of pride, self-identity, confidence and writing talent.

The Scholarship will recognize students who demonstrate pride in their Arab heritage, and who detail how they have in the past and how they hope to contribute in the future both to their community as Arab Americans and also to this country, explained ZBI Vice President Nemer Ziyad.

“We want to recognize the future leaders of our community who demonstrate a commitment to enhancing and strengthening the image of the Arab Americans through individual initiative and community service. We are looking for young Arab American students, one male and one female, who demonstrate their pride in their Arab heritage and as Americans,” Ziyad said.

“There are many talented Arab students and we want to encourage them to pursue their professional career goals while also remaining dedicated to their Arab American heritage.”

Ziyad Brothers Importing, an Illinois-based distributor of more than 1,200 food items to stores in 46 states and six countries, awarded its first scholarships to students in 2006.

Applicants are required to submit an essay of 500 to 800 words on how they hope to “Give Back to the Community.” Winners will be announced in August and scholarships will be presented at the beginning of September. The student recipients must be enrolled in a college or university this Fall in order to receive the cash scholarship amount. Applicants can get information on applying for the scholarship by visiting

Ziyad Brothers Importing was originally founded in 1966 by Ahmad and Ibrahim Ziyad, two immigrant brothers from Palestine. Their small retail outlet on Chicago’s south side specialized in hard to find Middle Eastern food products as well as the first Pita Bread bakery in Chicago catering to the Middle Eastern ethnic community.

The retail outlet later expanded into one of the first automated Pita Bakeries in the Midwest and began distributing Pita bread and Middle Eastern food products to other retail outlets. Ten years later, from these humble beginnings, Ahmad and Ibrahim Ziyad purchased their first warehouse located at 21st and Western Avenue.

In 1995, Ziyad Brothers Importing consolidated facilities and moved into the current location in Cicero, IL. A year later in 1996, Ahmad Ziyad passed away at the age of 56. His brother Ibrahim assumed the role of President. Ziyad Brothers Importing is a family owned and operated business. Ahmad’s sons Nemer, Nassem and Nazmy and Ibrahim’s son Nezar and daughters Leila and Sonia also work at the company.

Winning essays will be published on the web site as well as on the web site of the National Arab American Journalists Association (, and in participating Arab American newspapers and magazines.


Picture Balata Palestinian US Tour

Picture Balata In Chicago This Week!
Picture Balata puts the camera into the hands of the children born and raised inside the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Participants ranging from ages 11 to 18 photograph their situation as they live it in Balata Refugee Camp. Showing their work and speaking about their lives, the photographers will travel to New York City; Washington, DC; Pittsburgh; Youngstown; Boston; Chicago; and San Francisco.

Three teenage participants from the Picture Balata workshop are in Chicago this week! These young people, leaving the West Bank for the first time, will be able to educate Americans on the reality of the situation in Balata Refugee Camp and occupied Palestine. The tour will also give them the chance to see that people outside Palestine support their work and the Palestinian struggle for justice, especially the Right of Return. The tour also aims to raise funds to purchase cameras, computers and Internet access so that, after further training, the workshop participants, nine in total, will be able to do everything from taking the picture, editing it on their own computer, and then publishing it on a website for the entire world to see. This self-sustainable project will give these young people the opportunity to further pursue photography and other media as a form of self-expression and resistance. For more information on any of these events, please email or call 312.656.8211.

The photographers will be in Chicago on the following dates:

Thursday, April 12

NPR Radio Interview
12 Noon
Listen to Picture Balata youth on National Public Radio (NPR)!
Their interview will be broadcast as part of the Worldview program at 12pm (CST) on 91.5 FM and online at
Friday, April 13

Exhibition Opening! ACME Art Works 1741 N. Western, Chicago, IL 60647 6-9pm $10 Suggested Donation. Light dinner will be provided. Sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Group - Chicago and Al Awda Chicago.
Saturday, April 14th
Nablus Society Annual Dinner Featuring Picture Balata Saint Xavier University (SXU) 3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60655 Main Campus - Butler Room 5:30 PM -- 9 PM

Admission: $30 adults; $15 for children (12 years and younger). Call 312 804 4000 for ticket information.This event will include a full dinner with poetry, music, and a live Debka performance.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Land Christians issue appeal for help

Dear brothers and sisters,
As Christians, the sunrise on Easter morning brings us more than the dawn of a new day. It is a Christian symbol of the hope for new life in the glorious resurrection of our Lord. As morning breaks from the east to the west, Christians will proclaim the hope of the gospel: "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" Our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land will also follow the traditions begun by the very first Christians as they celebrate Easter with the whole Body of Christ. The light of their eternal hope, however, finds them in the thick darkness of economic sanctions, occupation, and fear.

Some of the Arab Christians cannot see any future left in the Holy Land. The darkness of poverty and the fog of occupation have left the Christian residents of the Palestinian Territories grasping for hope – and finding little to hold. They suffer the effects of economic sanctions and blocked aid or relief efforts, and unemployment reaching past 60%. The school teachers, village administrators, and social workers have gone without pay for months. Even those who were lucky enough to have subsistence jobs and who wanted to stay are now looking for a way out. If we don't act now, time will run out for Christians in the Holy Land – even faster than I thought it might. They are moving away, leaving hope and energy for peace- building and spiritual continuity behind. They are simply unable to carve out a life any longer.

HCEF has aid programs in place, and they work. Every one of them was created to address a specific need, and those who benefit from our support express their deep thanks. They know we haven't forgotten them – instead, we bring the light of hope and the warmth of solidarity to these Christians left on the doorstep of the international political arena. Your commitment and our programs can make the difference. I feel compelled to emphasize this:

Your commitment and our programs can make the difference! Donate here

During eight years of work, we have sponsored Christian education for thousands of children, built new housing and community centers, created jobs and sustained industries supporting hundreds of families, and built a vast network of Christians across the world who are praying and acting in support of their brothers and sisters. Our efforts as a community united by faith have made a life-changing difference for thousands of Arab Christians across the Holy Land.

Your donations at work.

I never wanted to have to say these things about the lack of hope, the crushing conditions, and the insecurity weighing on the Holy Land Christians, and I hope that our involvement will reverse their effects. After seeing the extent to which conditions have deteriorated for Arab Christians, I would be irresponsible to keep this information to myself in favor of blithely hopeful language. If I had more powerful words, I would use them now.

Please, support the Holy Land Christians. They need your fervent prayers, your solidarity, and your awareness. Most of all in these desperate times, they need your material support. Do not wait for your neighbor or your friend to make the difference – log on to our website and bring help as soon as you can. You can light a candle for peace here and let the world know you care about the Arab Christians.

If you would like to support us, donate here. We need everyone on board to accomplish our mission:

To replace despair with hope, fear with security, and humiliation with human dignity.
With heartfelt prayers and trust in God, I wish all of us an Easter full of the hope of the risen Lord.

Rateb Rabie, KCHS
HCEF President
For Comments Email:
Phone: 301-951-9400

For additional articles or more info or to add your own comments please visit our website at The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Inc. (HCEF) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides support to the Christians of the Holy Land who live in Christian communities dating back in time to those who first heard Jesus Christ preach his gospel. HCEF sponsors programs that support children's education, create housing, and provide work programs for community development and indigenous handicrafts. HCEF Pilgrimages enable Western Christians to develop bonds of solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

RAWI hosts confernece in May at Arab Museum

Arab American writers organization to hold national conference in May

DEARBORN, Mich.—The Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. (RAWI) will
turn the city of Dearborn, Michigan into a hub for Arab American
writers when it holds its second national conference on May 17-20, at
the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave.

“RAWI welcomes not only its members but also others who are interested
in engaging in the Arab American literary community," said one of the
conference’s organizer, Khaled Mattawa, professor of English at the
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and president of RAWI.

The conference will gather 150 or so writers and scholars who will
present their writings and research to one another and to the Detroit
and Arab communities. This year’s conference theme, “Writing While
Arab: Politics, Hyphens, and Homelands,” seeks to address the multiple
challenges Arab American writers face in an intensified post-9/11
climate, says Mattawa.

“I'm often asked what's happening in Arab America, or what Arab
American books teachers can use, or which writers are worth reading, or
what forms of diversity exist in this community, or where Arab
Americans come from and which spaces they inhabit,” said Steven
Salaita, Executive Director of RAWI and assistant professor of English
at Virginia Tech University. “For the past six months, my answer has
been: attend the RAWI Conference. It will be a tremendous opportunity
for those interested in learning more about Arab Americans and our
burgeoning literary tradition.”

In 21 readings and workshops open to all registered attendees ($35 for
RAWI membership and “$85 for the conference, including meals), the
writers will address such topics as:

• How is Arab American writing affected by the targeting of Arabs and
Muslims as the “national enemy” inside and outside of the U.S. and by
the wars waged in our homelands?
• How do we envision a future for our literature between the desire for
location within American culture and our transcultural experiences?
• How do we promote and teach our literature?
• How to promote our unconventional literature within the conventions
of the market place?

Some of the better known authors in attendance are Naomi Shihab Nye,
author of “Fuel,” novelist Rabih Alameddine author of “I, the Divine,”
and celebrated Iraqi poet, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, author of “Miracle Maker.”

To register, visit the RAWI Web site at
Rola Nashef, (

To attend as a member of the news media, contact: Steve Salaita,

Executive Director, (

Founded in 1993, RAWI is a network of 215 Arab American writers,
scholars and artists of all genres. Its mission is to urge members to
publish their work in mainstream publications, to support sister and
brother writers in the Arab World, to nurture emerging writers, and to
guide and bring together Arab American writers. Although devoted to the
Arab American community, RAWI accepts members of all ethnic and
national backgrounds. Its membership includes Muslims, Christians and
Jews, and is primarily American, represented by people of many national

Monday, April 02, 2007

JOurney to Jordan for high school students

Journey to Jordan
Arabic Language and CultureJune 21 - August 19, 2007Application deadline May 1
An exciting scholarship program for high school students worth $10,000!*
The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay announces an exciting opportunity for high school students, seven weeks in Jordan including a six-week Arabic language institute at the University of Jordan. A diverse group of 20 students from across the U.S. will be selected to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Must be age 14-18 when program begins.
A GPA of 3.0 is required.
No previous Arabic experience required.
Pre-departure and follow-on learning online using podcasts and other fun materials, with assistance from instructors of Arabic.
Pre-departure and return activities in Washington, D.C., including: cross-cultural orientation, “Arabic in Careers" presentations, and visits to Washington museums and monuments.
Cultural immersion activities in Jordan including: field trips to places like Petra, the “Lost City of Stone;” visits to museums, government offices, multinational organizations, and other special places of interest; community service projects with Jordanian youth organizations; a four-week home stay with a host family.
Accompanied for the duration by an Arabic-speaking American chaperone/adviser who has traveled and worked in the region.
*Participants are responsible for some nominal expenses.
For more information and the application package:
Deadline: May 1