Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ADC Chicago to honor five Chicagoland journalists May 12

PRESS RELEASE


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ray Hanania
April 2, 2009 rayhanania@comcast.net


ADC Chicago to honor five top Chicagoland journalists
for professional journalistic excellence

(Chicago) The Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is proud to announce five recipients of the ADC Excellence in Media Professionalism to be honored at the 30th Annual ADC Media Awards Banquet.

ADC is the nation’s largest grassroots organization championing the fight against bigotry and discrimination, with more than 2,000 paid members in the Chicagoland area.

The ADC Chicago board voted unanimously to award this year’s honors to

Mr. Jay Levine senior reporter for WBBM (CBS) TV Chicago
Ms. Amani Ghouleh, publisher of al-Offok al-Arabi American Arab Newspaper.
Mr. Burt Constable, columnist for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald Newspaper
Mr. Mansour Tadros, publisher of al-Mustaqbal American Arab Newspaper
Mr. Stephen Franklin, former Middle East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune (now with Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism)

All five recipients will be honored at a dinner banquet to be held Tuesday May 12, 2009 at the Drury Lane Oak Brook Center, 100 Drury Lane Oak Brook. The reception begins at 6 pm, followed by dinner and awards ceremony at 7 pm.

“All five recipients of this year’s American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Award have earned the respect not only of our community but the entire Chicagoland region for their fair, balanced and sensitive coverage,” said Fadi Zanayed, ADC Chicago President.

“The presentation of these awards is a tradition driven not by political considerations but rather a respect for the challenges that journalists must overcome in today’s world to provide accurate, fair, balanced and sensitive news reporting and coverage,” said Shafic Budron, ADC Chicago Vice President and National Board member.

“All of the recipients have demonstrated the highest in professional journalism over the years and are role models for all who pursue the journalism professional as a career,” said Ray Hanania, a veteran Chicago journalist, radio talk show host and chairman of the Media Awards Event.

The event is open to the public. Tickets to the event are available at $60 each with discounted tickets available to students with valid student IDs for $30.

For more information on the event and ceremony and bios of the award winners, visit the ADC Chicago web page at www.ADCChicago.com.

Contact Fadi Zanayed, 708-257-7755 for information

# # #

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama commemorates 30th Anniversary of Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

______________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release March 26, 2009

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEACE TREATY BETWEEN EGYPT AND ISRAEL

Today marks the anniversary of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, signed thirty years ago at the White House. As we commemorate this historic event, we recall that peace is always possible even in the face of seemingly intractable conflicts. The success of Prime Minister Begin, President Sadat, and President Carter, begun at Camp David, demonstrated that progress results from sustained efforts at communication and cooperation. While much work remains, we honor the courage and foresight of these leaders, who stood together in unity to change the course of our shared history. Today, as we seek to expand the circle of peace among Arabs and Israelis, we take inspiration from what Israel and Egypt achieved three decades ago, knowing that the destination is worthy of the struggle.

###

White House announces key staff aides for Vice President Biden

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President
___________________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2009
Vice President Biden Announces Key Staff Appointments

WASHINGTON, DC – Vice President Joe Biden announced the following key staff appointments today: Edward DeSeve, Special Advisor to the President, Assistant to the Vice President and Special Advisor to the OMB Director for Implementation of the Recovery Act; Jon Wolfsthal, Special Advisor to the Vice President for nonproliferation; Matt Teper Speechwriter for the Vice President; and Kirsten White, Policy Director for Dr. Jill Biden. Herro Mustafa is also joining the Vice President’s staff, detailed from the State Department, as Special Advisor to the Vice President for the Middle East and South Asia.

Edward DeSeve, Special Advisor to the President, Assistant to the Vice President and Special Advisor to the OMB Director for Implementation of the Recovery Act:

In this role, Edward will support the Vice President in his leadership on Recovery Act implementation, and coordinate efforts at OMB on this project. He will focus on interagency coordination and lead White House efforts to make sure that the Recovery Act is implemented quickly and effectively. His management efforts inside the Executive Office of the President will complement the oversight work led by the independent Accountability and Transparency Board, chaired by Earl Devaney.

Mr. DeSeve is the former Deputy Director for Management of OMB. During his tenure in this position, he played a major role in coordinating the highly-successful federal approach to dealing with the “Y2K” computer problem. He was most recently the Chairman of Strategies and Solution LLP, which provides sustainability and consulting services to governments and non-profits. He spent the previous eight years as a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, as a Senior Fellow at James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and currently serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Fels Institute for Government of the University of Pennsylvania

Mr. DeSeve has served in all three levels of government. In addition to his role as Deputy Director for Management at OMB, he worked as the Controller for OMB and as the Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. DeSeve was also Special Assistant to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia.

In the private sector, Mr. DeSeve worked at KPMG Peat Marwick as a partner and national industry director, at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets as a Managing Director and at Affiliated Computer Services as a Senior Vice President. He established and led several consulting firms, including Public Financial Management Incorporated.

Mr. DeSeve has published numerous works on the federal budget, financial management, and information technology. He received a B.S. in Labor Economics from Cornell University and his Master of Government Administration in Public Finance from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jon Brook Wolfsthal, Special Advisor to the Vice President for Nonproliferation

In this position, Wolfsthal will provide support for the Vice President and the National Security Council on matters related to nuclear nonproliferation and global nuclear security.

Immediately before joining the administration, he served as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and, before that, as Deputy Director of the Nonproliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a globally recognized expert on nuclear security and nonproliferation, and previously served in the Department of Energy in a variety of positions. He has also been, until recently, a professorial lecturer teaching nuclear weapons policy at Georgetown University.

A native of New York City, he has lived for the past 20 years in Washington DC. He is the author of numerous article, reports and op-eds on nuclear policy, and co-author of Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is a graduate of Emory University.

Herro Mustafa, Special Advisor to the Vice President for the Middle East and South Asia

Herro Mustafa has been a State Department Foreign Service Officer since 1999. Immediately prior to joining the Vice President’s office as a detailee from the State Department, she was Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Office at the State Department. She was previously the Chief-of-Staff for Under Secretary for Political Affairs Bill Burns and an Advisor on the Middle East for former Under Secretary Nicholas Burns.

Herro was Director for Iran and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the National Security Council from 2005-2006 and Director for Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004-2005. As part of her Foreign Service career, Herro was the lead Civilian Coordinator in Mosul, Iraq; she reopened the U.S. non-immigrant visa section in Beirut, Lebanon; and she covered human rights, trafficking in persons, and domestic politics in Athens, Greece.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Herro was a Senior Editor at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she edited several books and journals. Prior to that, she was an Elections Supervisor in Bosnia with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Herro grew up in Minot, North Dakota and speaks Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Greek, and Turkish. She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and a Masters from Princeton University.

Matt Teper, Speechwriter for the Vice President

Matt Teper was most recently the full-time speechwriter at Independent Sector, a leadership forum and advocacy group representing the interests of foundations and charities across the country. Matt has been writing in Washington since graduating from law school in 2002, including as a Writer/Editor at another advocacy group, focusing on federal judicial appointments and gun policy, and as a Senior Writer in the creative department of a public affairs firm.

He served in a freelance capacity as managing editor of Rock the Vote’s blog during the 2004 election season and has written and edited numerous speeches, op-ed’s, letters to the editor, blog posts, film scripts, and a host of other communications materials for nonprofit leaders, CEOs, elected officials, television personalities, and others. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Law. He lives in Washington, DC.

Kirsten White, Policy Director for Dr. Jill Biden

Kirsten White most recently worked as an Associate in the Labor and Employment practice group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. In addition to representing clients in cases before the National Labor Relations Board and in federal court, she advised clients on current legislative developments and federal labor standards. Prior to attending law school, she served as a Legislative Clerk on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Senator Russell D. Feingold, where she prepared the Senator for hearings and votes on civil rights, congressional reform, crime and justice, federal judicial nominations, and other issues within the Committee’s jurisdiction. Kirsten also served on Senator Feingold’s personal office staff, where she worked on health care, budget, taxes, and environmental issues.

She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was as a Senior Editor on the Journal of Labor and Employment Law and worked as a law clerk at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Kirsten, originally from Charleston, ME, is a 2000 graduate of Middlebury College.


###

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PROFILE: Ray Hanania, Arab World needs American Arab journalists to help

Palestinian radio talk show host takes on mainstream and Middle East issues

(Arab American Writers Group Syndicate) – Ray Hanania has always been a fighter. He has no choice. He is American Arab, and he refuses to put his ethnicity in the back of the bus where many Americans today demand Middle Eastern people sit.

Hanania, who has written seven books, authors a syndicated column, and hosts both a radio and TV Show in Chicago, Illinois, believes that the answer to the challenges facing the Arab World is to empower American Arab journalists to help change the false stereotypes and perceptions that undermine justice and feed anti-Arab bias in the West.

“The Arab World is making a critical error by believing that they can change the Western mindset by simply writing about world events and doing so mainly in the Arabic language,” argues Hanania, who is managing editor of Arabisto.com and whose columns often appear in the mainstream American and Arab world media.

“They have failed to take advantage of the one single asset that can empower the Arab voice in the West and especially in America, the American Arab professional journalists.”

Hanania, who is a co-founded of the National Arab American Journalists Association, reports that the voice of American Arabs are shifting from partisan activism to professional journalism.

“We have more than 90 independent American Arab ethnic newspapers and magazines, a dozen radio and cable TV programs hosted by American Arabs, and we have more than 250 journalists in this country, half of whom work full or parttime in mainstream American journalism positions,” Hanania says.

“The failure of the Arab World to support that growing movement has handicapped efforts to correct inaccurate stereotypes among Americans of the Arab World, and has undermined efforts to correct injustices often times driven by misguided American foreign policy. With the new sense of justice of the administration of Barack Obama, the Arab World is poised to change all that. But they must empower American Arab journalists to help lead that change in America.”

The American-born Palestinian quickly rose through the ranks of the Palestinian American community in the early 1970s under the guidance of then Northwestern Political Science Professor Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, who helped Hanania become spokesman for the Arab American Congress for Palestine in 1975.

That year, Hanania also launched an English language newspaper that immediately put him in the sights of the Midwest Office of the FBI – resulting in a two-year long investigation and secret FBI report – and a head-to-head debate on national Public TV with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Abba Eban.

Since then, Hanania entered journalism believing that Arab cultural tradition of directing young children into white collar professions like medicine, engineering, law and even corporate and retail business had to be changed. American Arabs had to enter the field of journalism.

“Communications is the most powerful profession in America and in the world,’ says Hanania, who has since won three Society of Professional Journalism awards for his columns and was named Best Ethnic Columnist in America by the New America Media.

“In America, perception is reality. Americans oftentimes do not care about the facts or the truth. They care more about who is saying the facts and the truth. And if you do not look and sound exactly like them, oftentimes justice falters and injustice rises to a national clamor.”

The view has pushed him into frequent clashes with the leadership of the American Arab community, especially with those who have relied on emotion and tragedy to keep the community in line.

Hanania, whose father is from Jerusalem and mother from Bethlehem, also advocates that Palestinians must reject violence and even resistance, and embrace a compromise with Israel arguing that failing to do so has resulted in giving the Israelis carte blanche not only in the PR field but in the reality of everyday life for Palestinians in Palestine.

“Every day, Israel is erasing the rights and existence of the Palestinian people. They have played a cunning, deceptive and clever game of advocating for peace while increasing illegal settlements, stealing Palestinian owned lands, expelling Palestinians from their homes, and engaging in terrorism themselves through the military and through the terrorist settler movement,” Hanania explains.

“What has been our response as Palestinians and Arabs? To help Israel by responding not with our brains but with our emotions. With our anger. Instead of being strategic, as the Israelis have been, we have been reckless in our leadership. When you argue reason, community leaders who have based their leadership not on skills but manipulating and exploiting the tragedy and emotions of our people have responded by calling you a traitor and worse. We have to stop letting our emotions control our destiny because so far it has not worked.”

Hanania believes that the problem is compounded by the absence of American Arabs in Western mainstream journalism.

“It’s not enough to have Arab journalists in the Middle East covering these events because they are writing primarily in Arabic and they are writing under a system of repression that is oftentimes more harsh for them in Arab countries than under Israeli occupation,” Hanania asserts.

“Arab World journalists are faltering by failing to speak to the Western audiences in the English language. And in those few instances where they try to write and broadcast in English, the Western audiences have resisted and rejected those programs. The answer is to build a new Arab Media not in the Middle East but in the heartland of America. Strengthen the voices of professional American Arab journalists and empower them to engage the American and Western publics in a natural form of English and in a professional form of Journalism.”

Hanania was one of the first Palestinians to enter professional journalism full time in 1976, covering Chicago City Hall and politics for 16 years. He currently is the only American Arab to host a weekday Monday through Friday morning radio show in Chicago (WJJG 1530 AM) which speaks to mainstream American issues with an “Arab flare.”

“We are American like anyone else in this country. We served in the military and are often more patriotic than the so-called patriots who disparage and attack and defame the Arab people in this country,” Hanania says.

“No one can more effectively speak for the Arab cause in America and the West than American Arabs who have integrated themselves into American life while still clinging to their Arab heritage with pride.”

Hanania’s morning show, which covers the Chicagoland region with a more than 6 million audience reach, aggressively asserts its Arab heritage in almost every topic discussion.

“Americans need to know that we Arabs are just like them. We are no different. We can do that better than anyone else,’ Hanania argues.

(For more information on Ray Hanania, visit www.TheMediaOasis.com or his radio web site at www.RadioChicagoland.com. He can be reached at rayhanania@comcast.net.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Iraqi Writers Association Workshop, Saturdays in April, Ferndale, Michigan

Iraqi Artists Association
Presents:
Connecting American Writers of Middle Eastern Backgrounds through a Workshop

Workshop Led by:
Weam Namou - Yatooma
Novelist, Poet & Freelance Writer

In this FREE Creative Writing Workshop:

● You receive honest, constructive feedback.
● The courses are structured towards your learning style.
● You’re allowed to write at your own pace.
● You learn to write with a published author as your mentor.

American Writers of Middle Eastern background have been around for a long time but have not been acknowledged even though…

Writing started in Mesopotamia, now called Iraq, over 7300 years ago. The first writer in recorded history was Enheduanna, a woman from ancient Iraq. She lived, composed and taught roughly 2,000 years before Aristotle.

This workshop is designed to improve your writing skills and allow you to reach your full writing potential. Whether you're dreaming of writing the great American novel or you've just got a few poems you're trying to publish, this workshop is for you!

Every Saturday for the Month of April (April 4, 11, 18 & 25) 12:00– 4:00 pm
Location:
800 Livernois Ferndale, MI 48220

This event is free and open to anyone of Middle Eastern background
Please register early as seating is limited
By calling Weam Namou Yatooma (586) 212-4490 or weamn@hotmail.com

Sponsored by Poets&Writers, the Chaldean Educational Center of America
& Iraqi American Media Network

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lebanese Singer Fares Karam to perform in place of Kazem al-Saher at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond Indiana Friday March 20

Lebanese Singer Fares Karam to perform in place of Kazem Al-Saher at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino on March 20, 2009

Chicago, IL (March, 20, 2009) – The Venue at Horseshoe Casino announced today that due to unexpected circumstances, Arab singer Kazem Al-Saher will not perform at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino on Friday, March 20.

Faraz Karam, considered on of the most upbeat and brilliant performers in the pop Middle Eastern scene will take the stage and perform in Mr. Al-Saher’s place. Fares Karam has achieved big success in a short time, choosing a purely Lebanese style ''Dabkah'' to make his works distinct from contemporary Arab-speaking artists and very popular in Lebanon, having performed in concerts, public celebrations and festivals all over the world. His several hit singles include ''El-Tannoura'' and ''Chari'a Al Hamra''.

The show begins at 8:00 p.m. at The Venue, doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Customers are directed to check The Venue at Horseshoe Casino website, www.thevenue-chicago.com or call the box office 219-473-6060 with any questions.

ABOUT HARRAH’S ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, nearly 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names; Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit: www.harrahs.com

ABOUT HORSESHOE HAMMOND
The all new 500 million-dollar Horseshoe Casino, a Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. property, just 20 minutes from downtown Chicago is the premier entertainment and gaming destination in Chicagoland. Where legendary gaming lives on, Horseshoe boasts more than 350,000 square feet with 3,200 slot machines, nearly 100 table games, the largest poker room in the Midwest, keno and more. The Venue at Horseshoe Casino is proud to offer the ultimate concert and entertainment destination. In conjunction with AEG Live and created by the award-winning designers of Sceno Plus, The Venue offers a premier experience in a flexible space that can hold up to 4,000 guests. Dining elegance is not overlooked and guests can choose from a variety of dining options including; Jack Binion's Steak House which overlooks Lake Michigan, around-the-globe variety at the Village Square Buffet, a taste of Chicago at Benny's Home Cookin, scrumptious fare at J.B.s Gourmet Sandwiches and Salads and the delicious Asian cuisine at Fai Choi. For more information, please visit: www.horseshoehammond.com

Know when to stop before you start.® Gambling problem? Call 1.800.9.WITH.IT. ©2008 Harrah's License
Company, LLC.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Leah Eisenstein, XA, The Experiential Agency, 312.239.2339, leah@expagency.com

###

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2009 Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award Deadline May 1

The 2009 M.T. Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award
Sponsored by the Mehdi Family, Arabisto.com and NAAJA

This award is established by the family of the late journalism pioneer Dr. Mohammad T. Mehdi. Dr. M.T. Mehdi regularly challenged the common stereotypes and notions of Arabs in the American mass media and in the public sphere to help create a better understanding of the Arab American community; he raised the issue of Palestine and the human rights of Palestinians to national political awareness in spite of threats to himself and his family. This was at a very difficult time in American history when Arabs were marginalized and the community was not strong. Standing up and speaking out on issues of justice, and on media professionalism, took courage. Each year, in consultation with the Mehdi Family, one candidate who demonstrates courage in journalism is selected to receive this award.

The Winner will receive a Plaque and a $750 Prize from the Mehdi Family.

Rules:

Journalists may nominate themselves or be nominated by another individual.

The nominee or the individual submitting the nomination, must submit an essay of up to 500 words describing why the nominee merits the Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award.

Include up to five (5) published articles, or media to support the nomination. Radio and video submissions must be provided on CD and/or DVD.

Make two (2) copies of completed submissions. (Two copies of the nomination form, two copies of the nomination letter, and two copies of all sample writings or broadcast media.)


Award Deadline:

Nominations must be postmarked by MAY 1, 2009. Winner will be announced June 1, 2009.

Submit all nominations to:

Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award
Whetstone Productions
P.O. Box 1164
Maplewood, NJ 0704


Complete the entry form below and return to the above address

Mehdi Courage in Journalism AwardEntry Form


Print all information below clearly:

Name of Nominee: __________________________________________________

Nomination submitted by: __________________________________________


CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PERSON MAKING NOMINATION:
Address: _____________________________________________________

City: ________________________________ State: _____ Zip: ________

Telephone: ___________________________________________________

Email: _______________________________________________________

If nomination is submitted by someone other than the nominee, please include contact information for the nominee here:


CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NOMINEE:

Address: _____________________________________________________

City: ________________________________ State: _____ Zip: ________

Telephone: ___________________________________________________

Email: _______________________________________________________

I authorize NAAJA, Arabisto.com and the Mehdi Family to use my materials in any manner necessary to promote the journalism awards, and to announce my name as a winner. I understand that my submission materials will not be returned. (In the event that the nomination if made by another individual, the winner will be asked to sign this form also to receive their award.)


Sign your name: _____________________________________________


www.NAAJA-US.com www.Arabisto.com www.AnisaMehdi.com

Thursday, March 05, 2009

HBO documentary on transexuals in Iran

HBO DOCUMENTARIES

presents

BE LIKE OTHERS

A film by Tanaz Eshaghian

Premieres May 20, 2009


In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country with strict social mores and traditional values, sex-change operations are legal. Over twenty years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) making sex change permissible for “diagnosed transsexuals.” Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death.

With Iran’s international arms negotiations dominating news headlines worldwide, a very private kind of drama is unfolding behind the scenes. Highly feminine and attracted to members of the same sex, yet forced to live in secret for fear of retribution, a generation of young Iranian men are adopting an identity legally allowed to them—transsexual. In pursuit of what one man calls simply, “a decent life,” they flock to the country’s best-established gender reassignment surgeon, Dr. Bahram Mir Jalali, and are counseled by 24-year-old Vida, a post-op woman who claims to be “reborn” but warns of dangers that still await.

Iranian-American filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian accompanies several young men as they contemplate and prepare for their transformation, then follows them into and out of surgery. Intimate and unflinching, BE LIKE OTHERS is a fascinating look at those on the fringes of Iranian life—those looking for acceptance through the most radical of means.

About Tanaz Eshagian:
Tanaz Eshaghian was born in Iran in 1974 and left with her mother at the age of six, at the start of the Iran-Iraq war. She grew up in New York City, where she still lives, and graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA in Art Semiotics. Tanaz began making films a few years later, with a focus on documenting the Iranian experience in America. In 2001 she made the short documentary I CALL MYSELF PERSIAN. Framed by the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 and the World Trade Center attacks, the film reveals how Iranians living in the U.S. are often stereotyped and held responsible for anti-American activity, and weighs the effects on their identity. Her second film, the 63-minute LOVE IRANIAN-AMERICAN STYLE (2005), was shot over a period of four years and documented her own traditional Iranian family’s obsession with marrying her off. Sexual purity, money and a mother’s worries come together in this humorous guided tour lead by Tanaz through the Iranian-Jewish communities in New York and Los Angeles. BE LIKE OTHERS is her first film set in Iran—a country she had not visited for decades.

TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW WITH TANAZ ESHAGIAN
OR A SCREENER OF THIS FILM, PLEASE CONTACT:
Lauren Schwartz
Donna Daniels Public Relations, LLC
20 West 22nd Street, Suite 1410
New York, NY 10010

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Caesars in Windsor features Middle East and mainstream entertainers

Award-winning actors, musicians and comedians featured in the new line-up at Caesars Windsor
Media Contact: Holly Ward, Director of Communications and Community Affairs Direct: 519.985.2869 or 1.800.991.7777 ext. 22869 ward@caesarswindsor.com
For immediate release: March 4, 2009
Windsor, Ont. – The new line-up at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor offers a wide variety of performances scheduled for May and June. These concerts will go on sale at noon on March 11, 2009:
Assi El Hellani: 9 pm on Saturday, May 2. Tickets are $45 and $80 Canadian. Enjoy the music of “The Arab Knight,” a major artist in the Middle East since the 1990s.
Soap Opera Festival: 4 pm on Saturday, May 9. Tickets are $10 Canadian. Join these stars from “The Young and the Restless”, Christian LeBlanc, Sharon Case and Jeanne Cooper along with Kyle Lowder from “The Bold and the Beautiful” for an afternoon of conversation about the latest plot lines from these two hit soap operas.
Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles), An Evening at the Hotel California: 9 pm on Saturday, May 23. Tickets are $29.50 and $39.50 Canadian.
KC & The Sunshine Band: 9 pm on Friday May 29. Tickets are $34.50 and $44.50 Canadian.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: 9 pm on Saturday, June 6. Tickets are $50 and $60 Canadian.
Huey Lewis & The News: 9 pm on Saturday, June 13. Tickets are $40 and $50 Canadian.
David Cassidy: 8 pm on Thursday, June 18. Tickets are $39.50 and $49.50 Canadian.
Tim Conway and Friends: 9 pm on Saturday, June 27 and 4 pm on Sunday, June 28. Tickets are $35 and $45 Canadian.

Tickets can be purchased through www.caesarswindsor.com or at the Box Office located in the main casino building on the second floor, open Wednesday to Sunday from noon to
8 pm. On concert days, the Box Office is open noon until midnight, call 1-800-991-8888. Guests must be 19 years of age or older to attend concerts, to enter the casino and all other outlets. Prices listed do not include applicable taxes and fees.
Other headliners already on sale include: George Thorogood and The Destroyers (March 6), Cedric the Entertainer (March 7), Brooks and Dunn (March 13), The Temptations with The Four Tops (March 20/21), Wynonna (March 26) Chicago (March 27/28), Dr. Phil (April 2), Seal (April 3), The Ten Tenors (April 14-19) Howie Mandel (April 23), LeAnn Rimes (April 25), Joe Cocker (May 7), Sara Evans (May 8) and Heart (May 15).
-30-
The Life You Were Meant To Live. Caesars Windsor.

Chicago Sister Cities Acting Call

Calling for volunteers for films about Chicago!

Chicago 2016 is looking for girls, ages 6 – 14, to participate in a film about Chicago’s

Sister Cities. The girl’s family must be from the region of among Chicago’s 27 sister
cities, and she should be able to say “Hello Sister” in the language of the region
(with a parent’s or grandparent’s help is sufficient, but native fluency is preferred.)

We are also looking for boys in the same age range, but they do not need to have
foreign language capabilities.
About Chicago Sister Cities

Established in 1960, Chicago Sister Cities International serves as Chicago’s best
ambassador to the world, embracing a citizen diplomacy model and using people-to people relations to promote mutual understanding and international exchange.

From hosting foreign dignitaries, to uniting the diverse ethnic communities of
Chicago, to serving as the first point-of-contact for visiting business leaders,
cultural icons and educational institutions, Chicago Sister Cities plays a critical role
in bringing the world to Chicago and Chicago to the world. For a full listing of
Chicago’s 27 sister cities, please refer to page 2.

About the Filming

The filming will take place on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, and will
take 3 to 4 hours. Exact location is to be determined. Snacks will be provided.
For the girls, please bring along a few changes of clothes as well as any clothing
traditional to the region. Please feel free to bring siblings and other family
members as we need still photographs of Chicagoans for use in another film.
Please direct questions to Bonnie Vansteen at 312.220.4846. To participate in the
filming, email Bonnie.Vansteen@leoburnett.com** by Monday, March 9, with your
contact information and your child’s recent photo, name, age, and language ability.
You will be contacted with more information by Wednesday, March 11. Thank you.
** Yahoo! Mail users, please contact Bonnie Vansteen at Vansteen.B@gmail.com
T + 1.312.552.2016 * F + 1.312.861.4801
200 RANDOLPH * SUITE 2016 * CHICAGO, IL 60601
WWW.CHICAGO2016.ORG

Chicago’s Sister Cities
Accra, Ghana
Amman, Jordan
Athens, Greece
Belgrade, Serbia
Birmingham, UK
Busan, Korea
Casablanca, Morocco
Delhi, India
Durban, South Africa
Galway, Ireland
Gothenburg, Sweden
Hamburg, Germany
Kyiv, Ukraine
Lahore, Pakistan
Lucerne, Switzerland
Mexico City, Mexico
Milan, Italy
Moscow, Russia
Osaka, Japan
Paris, France
Petach Tikva, Israel
Prague, Czech Republic
Shanghai, China
Shenyang, China
Toronto, Canada
Vilnius, Lithuania
Warsaw, Poland

Monday, March 02, 2009

Palestinian and Israeli leaders discuss peace on Comcast Cable TV program in Chicago

PRESS RELEASEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASERay Hanania708-403-1203
rayhanania@comcast.net


Palestinian & Israeli leaders discuss Middle East peace on local TV show

Orland Park – Leaders from the Palestinian and Israeli community are the featured guests on the latest edition of TV Chicagoland on Comcast Cable TV Channel 19.

Guests Fadi Zanayed, President of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Chicago Chapter, and David Steiner, president of Friends of Peace Now, talk about ways to overcome the divide that separates the two important Chicagoland communities as events spiral out of control in the Middle East.

The show, hosted by journalist Ray Hanania, is broadcast every Friday night in 145 Chicagoland suburban communities on Channel 19 on Comcast Cable TV at 7 pm and 8:30 pm, the broadcast time depends on your suburb.

The show features an interview Zanayed and Steiner conducted on Hanania’s morning radio show “Radio Chicagoland” which is broadcast every Monday through Friday at 8 am on WJJG 1530 AM Radio, “The G.”

For more information on the TV or radio shows, visit www.TVChicagoland.com and also www.RadioChicagoland.com.

END

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Arab-Israeli Cookbook featured at Theater Mir production March 5 - April 5

“THE ARAB-ISRAELI COOKBOOK”

Theatre Mir gives voice to the Arab-Israeli conflict in theatrical production and special programs at the Chicago DCA Storefront Theater March 5 – April 5, 2009

Theatre Mir, in association with Chicago DCA Theater, presents the Midwest premiere of The Arab-Israeli Cookbook by British playwright Robin Soans. The production comes to Chicago DCA Theater’s Storefront Theater at 66 E. Randolph Street, from March 5 through April 5, 2009. Members of the press are invited to the opening performance on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m.

The Arab-Israeli Cookbook brings Arab and Israeli voices together in the stories of ordinary people living in a rich yet divided world in Israel and the West Bank. Based on real-life interviews, this deeply human play weaves the stories and recipes of more than forty characters who reveal common culture and experiences amidst the daily conflict. In restaurants, shops, cafes, and homes, everyone has a story to tell and a recipe to cook.

In 2003, playwright Robin Soans and directors Rima Brihi and Tim Roseman – the one Arab, the other Jewish – traveled to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The play was originally presented in a hit production at London’s The Gate Theatre. It has since been produced in Canada, Japan, and the United Stated and broadcast on BBC World Service in 2006. Theatre Mir’s production is the play’s Midwest premiere.

Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $23 for general admission, $18 for seniors, and $15 for students. Discounts are also available for groups of ten or more. All tickets are available by calling 312.742.TIXS (8497), visiting www.dcatheater.org, or stopping by the box office, open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.; and one hour prior to each performance. Post-show discussions moderated by Scott Hibbard and Khalil Marrar of the DePaul University Political Science Department will follow the preview performances on March 5 and 6.



Cast and Production Team
Cast
Walter Brody, Maggie Cain, Susaan Jamshidi, Stephen Loch, Julian Martinez, Mark Richard, Frank Sawa, and Rachel Slavick.

Production Team
Rob Chambers (Director), Marianna Csaszar (Sets), Brandon Wardell (Lights), Laura B. Kollar (Costumes), Brett Masteller (Sound), Christina Pretsch and Chris Chapin (Stage Managers), Eva Breneman (Dialects), Zev Valancy (Dramaturgy), Andrea Fears (Assistant Director), Danica Ivancevic (Producer).

Special Events
In association with the production, Theatre Mir and Chicago DCA Theater will present a series of special events designed to further explore the themes and issues raised in The Arab-Israeli Cookbook.

Monday, March 16, 7pm
Discussion “Staging Conflict: Theatrical Narratives of the Holy Land”
Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
FREE, Reservations encouraged at 312.742.TIXS (8497), or at www.dcatheater.org
Silk Road Theatre Project and Theatre Mir present scenes from their productions of Motti Lerner’s “Pangs of the Messiah” and Robin Soans’ “The Arab-Israeli Cookbook,” two plays portraying unique perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the former an intra-Jewish story about a family of religious West Bank settlers set in 2012 and the latter a verbatim play based on interviews with Christians, Jews and Muslims living in Israel and the West Bank. The program includes a lively panel discussion on the challenges of dramatizing the personal and political within the context of the Middle East.

Wednesday, April 1, 6:30pm
Film Screening “Encounter Point”
Claudia Cassidy Theater, Chicago Cultural Center
FREE, Reservations encouraged at 312.742.TIXS (8497), or at www.dcatheater.org
“Encounter Point” is a poignant documentary about a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to confront hatred within their communities. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions in the face of government inaction. It is a film about the everyday leaders in our midst.

Saturday, April 4, 11am
World Kitchen Class “The Arab-Israeli Cookbook”
Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph
$30, Tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 4 at 12 noon
The Department of Cultural Affairs’ World Kitchen offers this special hands-on cooking class that brings some of The Arab-Israeli Cookbook’s Middle Eastern recipes into your home kitchen. Students must be 16 years or older. Tickets can be purchased at Chicago DCA Theater’s box office, at 312.742.TIXS (8497), or at www.dcatheater.org

Theatre Mir was created in 2007 to actively engage audiences about issues affecting our world today – to entertain as well as to inform. Inspired by the Russian word “mir”, which means both peace and world, Theatre Mir's mission is to create opportunities through entertainment and related education programs for artists and audiences to explore issues facing our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society and world today. The company presented a production of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” in 2008 at the Raven Theatre. More information on Theatre Mir can be found at www.theatremir.com.

The Storefront Theater and the Studio Theater, its companion theater located in the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street, comprise Chicago DCA Theater, an anchor of the downtown theater district. Chicago DCA Theater offers downtown audiences an off-Loop theater experience with an exciting look at the vibrant emerging and developing theater companies that call Chicago home. Proposals for creative and innovative productions for the January to June 2010 season are now being accepted until May 15, 2009.

Discounted parking is available at Wabash Randolph Self Park at 20 E. Randolph. Patrons can receive the $14 rate by validating their ticket at the Storefront Theater box office.

For more information about Theatre Mir’s The Arab-Israeli Cookbook and Chicago DCA Theater, visit call 312.742.TIXS (8497) or visit www.dcatheater.org. The enhanced website features more information about DCA Theater performances and programs, including a blog, photo galleries, and visitor information.

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Note to Press: Electronic images are available at www.dcatheater.org/press or by request.