Friday, December 12, 2008

American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Chicago establishes Discrimination Watch List



(Chicago, IL Thurs. Dec. 11, 2008) -- The Chicago Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) elected Fadi Zanayed, a Chicago area attorney since 1985, as its President. The elections were held December 7, 2008, at the Aqsa School in Bridgeview , Illinois . Immediately after taking office, Mr. Zanayed, along with the Board of Directors, quickly formed a Discriminatory Watch List Committee with a Rapid Response Team ready to take on discriminatory actions against the Arab-American community.

Shafic M. Budron , a national ADC Board Member, took on the responsibility of Vice-President. Budron, also a former President of the local organization, adds continuity to the newly elected Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Ms. Fatima Akrabawi was re-elected as Secretary of ADC. Mahmoud Badawi was elected as Treasurer. All Executive Committee members (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer) are elected for a one year term.

Mr. Zanayed is not new to ADC. He was President of the organization during the first Gulf War, from 1988-1990. Citing the need to renew the efforts of the organization in fighting the recent wave of discriminatory acts against the American-Arab community, Mr. Zanayed said, “Our community thought that the discriminatory acts against us had dissipated in the late 1990’s, only to be revived by biased acts like the recent on-air statement by an ESPN sportscaster who slandered Palestinians in an unrelated conversation about recruiting college football players for the NFL. Those parents, the sportscaster stated, were like Palestinian parents who pushed their kids to be suicide bombers. We will not stand for these slanderous comments and we will not stand to be disrespected like in the incident involving the woman who falsified a report that she was raped by an “Arab-looking” man. Our community will not allow individuals, organizations, media outlets or anyone else to malign the reputation of productive and hardworking American men, woman and children of the Arab & Muslim heritage. We will confront discrimination against our community head on."

Individuals and organizations that are found by the ADC Board of Directors to have committed an act of discrimination against the Arab-American community will be put on a Discriminatory Watch List.

To implement this task, award winning Arab American columnist and radio talk show host Ray Hanania, former National President of the Palestinian American Congress, was named Coordinator of the ADC-Chicago “Rapid Response Team” which has been organized to respond to acts of discrimination directed at the Arab-American community at large, and individuals because they are Arab-American in particular.

Board of Directors are elected on staggered terms to serve for 3 years. Elected on December 7, 2008 were the following individuals: Vivian Khalaf , Ray Hanania, Fadi Zanayed, Mark Yowakim, Ibtisam Tartir and Audrey Nadia Galal.

Members of the Board of Directors whose terms are still active are Afaf Issa, Hatem Galal , Faysal Mohamed , Hareth Raddawi , Amjad Hamdan , Suleiman Mohamad and Abdelwahab Tartir.

The Chicago ADC Board approved a resolution congratulating outgoing President Ibtisam Tartir for her work during the past year. The Board further welcomed her continued efforts of service to the ADC Board and the community at large.

Commenting on the make-up of the Board, Mr. Zanayed said, “We have a diverse group of individuals that I am proud to work with. We have professionals from all fields. We have doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, writers, newspaper editors, students and entrepreneurs. With the commitment that has been pledged by all the Board members, ADC Chicago will multiply its efforts in the service of the people.”

In its first public policy act, the ADC Chicago Board of Directors also called upon President Barrack Obama to make a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine a priority of his administration.

Fadi Zanayed, Attorney, 708-257-7755 - Fax 708-221-6668
8855 S. Roberts Road, Hickory Hills, IL 60457