The Third Annual Lebanese Festival
A Vibrant World Class Celebration of Heritage, Culture & Art
August 28-29 at Town Square in Downtown Northville
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The Arab American News Wire for PRESS RELEASES is a free service that features PRESS RELEASES on topics related to the Middle East and American Arab/Muslim community. They can be reprinted, with attribution to the writer or the the original source and are a courtesy of the Arab Daily News online website (www.TheArabDailyNews.com).
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Adem Shauipas of Villa Park Honored at the ADL’s First Amendment Freedom Award Dinner
On September 16, Villa Park resident and Islamic Foundation School student Adem Shauipas will be honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
“We were amazed at the thoughtfulness and eloquence of the essay finalists,” says ADL Upper Midwest Chapter Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir. “We were also especially heartened by the fact that over 1700 high school students took the time to sit down and write about how the 1st Amendment affects their every day lives.”
The 2009 First Amendment Art & Essay Contest, sponsored by ADL, Greenberg Traurig, LLP and the Chicago Tribune, was held this past May. Students in grades 8 through 11 were asked to submit their artwork and/or essays based on how one or more of the five freedoms listed in the First Amendment personally affects their daily lives. The entries were judged based on creativity, originality, general skill and following the theme. There were two finalists in each grade level and a total of 14 honorable mentions, and the winning art pieces and essays were chosen from over 1700 entries.
About the 4th Annual First Amendment Freedom Award Dinner
On September 16, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Please see below for a complete list of judges and student winners for the 2009 First Amendment Art & Essay Contest. Also, please let me know if you would like to speak with the students.
ARAB AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
TO HOLD ITS FIRST ANNUAL AWARD SHOW JANUARY 30TH 2010
Still accepting nominations for Musical Artists
August 20, 2009, Hollywood, CA - The first annual Arab-American Music Awards will be held Saturday January 30th 2010 at 7:30pm at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood, CA. This award ceremony is to celebrate years of musical talent by Arab-Americans and also to recognize the new up and coming stars of the Arab-American culture. There will be many performances by the nominees and the evening will be filmed live for worldwide distribution.
We are still accepting nominations for all categories, including: Favorite Artist, Favorite Band, Duo, Group, Favorite Composer, Favorite Lyricist, and Favorite Album, among many other categories. For a full list of categories, please visit our website www.arabamericanmusicawards.com <http://www.arabamericanmusicawards.com/> . Being the first of its kind in America, the AAMA Organization, partners and its sponsors are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable and historic event, as we celebrate and recognize our achievers in the field of Arab American music. The awards are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry's most distinguished practitioners. This is in 10 categories, with additional awards decided on as we narrow the nominations.
All nominations can be submitted through the website. The nominees must be Americans of Arab descent and must sing original material. Nominees should have a music video and/or professionally recorded music.
We have a host of high profile presenters and entertainers guiding you through the night. Music Moguls, Film Legends, Fashion gurus, and community leaders, will all participate in the event's presentations, making it truly the most glamorous Arab-American event in the USA for the year 2010.
If you would like more information on this event, please contact the Producer, Tania Ayoub (949) 230-1886 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2009
Below is the text of a web video from President Obama marking the beginning of Ramadan. Video of the President’s message is available HERE.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
On behalf of the American people – including Muslim communities in all fifty states – I want to extend best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.
Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with a simple word – iqra. It is therefore a time when Muslims reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.
Like many people of different faiths who have known Ramadan through our communities and families, I know this to be a festive time – a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared. But I also know that Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection – a time when Muslims fast during the day and perform tarawih prayers at night, reciting and listening to the entire Koran over the course of the month.
These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.
For instance, fasting is a concept shared by many faiths – including my own Christian faith – as a way to bring people closer to God, and to those among us who cannot take their next meal for granted. And the support that Muslims provide to others recalls our responsibility to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere. For all of us must remember that the world we want to build – and the changes that we want to make – must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.
This summer, people across America have served in their communities – educating children, caring for the sick, and extending a hand to those who have fallen on hard times. Faith-based organizations, including many Islamic organizations, have been at the forefront in participating in this summer of service. And in these challenging times, this is a spirit of responsibility that we must sustain in the months and years to come.
Beyond America’s borders, we are also committed to keeping our responsibility to build a world that is more peaceful and secure. That is why we are responsibly ending the war in Iraq. That is why we are isolating violent extremists while empowering the people in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why we are unyielding in our support for a two-state solution that recognizes the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security. And that is why America will always stand for the universal rights of all people to speak their mind, practice their religion, contribute fully to society and have confidence in the rule of law.
All of these efforts are a part of America’s commitment to engage Muslims and Muslim-majority nations on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect. And at this time of renewal, I want to reiterate my commitment to a new beginning between America and Muslims around the world.
As I said in Cairo, this new beginning must be borne out in a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground. I believe an important part of this is listening, and in the last two months, American embassies around the world have reached out not just to governments, but directly to people in Muslim-majority countries. From around the world, we have received an outpouring of feedback about how America can be a partner on behalf of peoples’ aspirations.
We have listened. We have heard you. And like you, we are focused on pursuing concrete actions that will make a difference over time – both in terms of the political and security issues that I have discussed, and in the areas that you have told us will make the most difference in peoples’ lives.
These consultations are helping us implement the partnerships that I called for in Cairo – to expand education exchange programs; to foster entrepreneurship and create jobs; and to increase collaboration on science and technology, while supporting literacy and vocational learning. We are also moving forward in partnering with the OIC and OIC member states to eradicate polio, while working closely with the international community to confront common health challenges like H1N1 – which I know is of particular to concern to many Muslims preparing for the upcoming hajj.
All of these efforts are aimed at advancing our common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. It will take time and patient effort. We cannot change things over night, but we can honestly resolve to do what must be done, while setting off in a new direction – toward the destination that we seek for ourselves, and for our children. That is the journey that we must travel together.
I look forward to continuing this critically important dialogue and turning it into action. And today, I want to join with the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – and your families and friends – in welcoming the beginning of Ramadan, and wishing you a blessed month. May God’s peace be upon you.
Talfazat TV News
VOLUME 1 - ISSUE 3
This month we want to share with you some incredible new updates and enhancements to Talfazat’s service.
Time Shift Capability: You’ll never miss your favorite program again! Simply use the Program Guide to go back 24 hours and watch any program you might have missed and start watching immediately.
Coming this Ramadan:
Check out some of our top Arabic VOD Titles:
Dearborn, MI (August 14, 2009) – Journalist Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House press corps and a proud Arab American, marked her 89th birthday this year by sharing cupcakes with U.S. President Barack Obama, who observed his 48th birthday the same day, August 4.
Next year, when Thomas turns 90, it’s possible there will be a new tribute to her many accomplishments on display at the
Fundraising is now underway to finance this unique tribute to a legendary journalist and leading Arab American; visit http://www.arabamericanmuseum.org/helenthomastributedonations for details.
Helen Thomas was born to Lebanese Christian immigrant parents in
Thomas is an honorary Member of the
Susan Tinsley McElhinney is an Arlington, Virginia-based sculptor whose private commissions in clay and bronze may be found in homes and formal gardens throughout the
The Museum is located at
For Immediate Release
August 24, 2009
TPFF: Toronto's Other September Film Festival
EVENTS: Toronto Palestine Film Festival & Contemporary Art Exhibition
WHEN: September 26 - October 2, 2009
WHERE: WHERE: Toronto and Mississauga: Bloor Cinema, AGO Jackman Theatre, the Revue, Square One Theatre, Beaver Hall Art Gallery
The second annual Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) is coming to GTA theatres in September. The festival will showcase 34 films, many of which are Canadian and North American premieres. TPFF is pleased to be opening and closing the festival with the critically acclaimed feature films Amreeka and Laila's Birthday. TPFF will also preview segments from Road Movie, the epic twelve-screen multi-media installation by Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky, at the beginning of the weekday programs throughout the festival.
TPFF 09 will offer audiences a wide selection of award-winning short, feature, documentary, experimental and animation films. The films cover many different topics including Gaza, immigration, environment, childhood, music, food, media, sexuality, human rights and exile. The festival will also feature the work of prominent Canadian filmmakers including Larry Towell, Mary Ellen Davis, Taghreed Saadeh and Sidrah Laldin.
Running from September 28 - October 3, 2009 at the Beaver Hall Art Gallery is the contemporary art exhibition entitled Jewels in the Machine: New Media Works at TPFF. Curated by Reena Katz, the exhibition will display innovative and provocative video, audio and visual artistic installations from eminent Canadian and international artists.
On the morning of September 27, 2009, TPFF will be hosting Sahtain! Film & Food Brunch at 93 Harbord. The morning will commence with the screening of food-themed short films, which will be followed by a cooking lesson and tasting of a traditional Palestinian brunch.
During the course of the festival, TPFF will host several discussion panels featuring distinguished speakers including Palestinian filmmaker and academic Sobhi Al-Zabaidi. Topics of discussion range from stereotypes in cinema; film and the art of resistance; Palestinian cultural production; environmental issues; and life in the Gaza strip.
Presenting non-stereotypical cinema, TPFF celebrates film as an art form and means of expression by showcasing the extraordinary narrative of a dispossessed people living in exile and under occupation. TPFF is proud to be sponsored by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council and many other generous supporters.
Cherien Dabis - Fiction - 2009 - USA - 96 min - Canadian Premiere
Comedy-drama about Muna, a single mother who leaves Ramallah with her teenage son, Fadi, to provide him with a better future in small-town Illinois. As Fadi learns to navigate high school hallways, Muna, a former bank employee, scrambles together a new life cooking up hamburgers at the local White Castle.
Grand Jury Prize Nominee Sundance Film Festival 2009, Winner FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics Award Cannes 2009
Rashid Masharawi - Fiction - 2008 - Palestine/Tunisia/The Netherlands - 71min
Abu Laila is a judge turned taxi driver who must purchase a cake and present for his daughter Laila?s birthday. This becomes an epic task as Abu Laila navigates the chaos of daily life in Ramallah. The film is a revealing and humorous portrait of a city and decent man at the breaking point.
Official Selection Toronto International Film Festival 2008
Road Movie Elle Flanders + Tamira Sawatzky - Multi-Media Installation - 2009 - Canada
TPFF is proud to preview a selection of segments from Road Movie, the epic twelve-screen multi-media installation by Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky. Continuing their work on landscape and its relationship to shifting political geographies, each segment traces a single journey on Palestinian or ?Jewish only? roads ? all shot in stop-motion animation in single takes. One segment of Road Movie will premiere before individual programs throughout the Festival.
SAHTAIN! Film & Food Brunch
Sunday Sept 27, 11:00-1:00 pm
93 HARBORD, 93 Harbord Street, Toronto
Traditional Palestinian brunch with talk and demo by acclaimed chef Isam Kaisi. Screening two food-themed short films.
Missing Gaza Sobhi Al Zobaidi
Documentary - 2005 - Palestine/Israel - 13 min
A group of friends, originally from Gaza but unable to return because of the siege, meet for lunch in Ramallah. While making a traditional meal of molokheya, their conversation inevitably turns to politics and homesickness. The lunchtime discussion is inter-cut with footage from Gaza of their friends, families and homes.
Daggit Gazza Hadeel Assali / Iman Saqr
Documentary ? 2009 ? US ? 8 min
Politics, food, and family are the topics of a phone conversation between Houston and Gaza that serves as voice-over commentary to the preparation of a spicy tomato salad.
ART EXHIBIT '09
Jewels in the Machine: New Media Works at TPFF
Sept 28 - Oct 3, 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Beaver Hall Gallery, 29 McCaul St., Toronto
Exhibit Opening: Tuesday Sept 29, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Exhibit Curator: Reena Katz
Artists and Works:
Jamelie Hassan - London, ON
The Oblivion Seekers, 1985 (2009 DVD format premier of film-installation work)
John Kameel Farah - Toronto, ON
New Piano Composition (TPFF Commission)
Project Hope - Nablus, Palestine
The West Bank: A Collection of Graphic Novels (Cells from upcoming book)
Sandi Hilal + Alessandro Petti - London, UK + Bethlehem, Palestine
Decolonizing Architecture (Silent Projections)
Jumana Manna - Oslo, Norway + Jerusalem
Familiar + Ramallah Computer Game (Video Works)
Not Your Harem Girl: Cinema and Stereotypes
Monday Sept 28, 4:00-6:00 pm
William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street, Toronto
Panellists: Dana Olwan, Nahed Mansour, Natalie Kouri-Towe
As this year's festival theme is "non-stereotypical cinema," this panel will look at the history of stereotypical representations of Arabs in film, particularly Arab woman. The panel will also discuss how young Arab artists are subverting these stereotypes through filmmaking and literature.
Cinema Politica: Film and the Art of Resistance
Wednesday Sept 30, 3:30-5:30 pm
Beaver Hall Gallery, 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
Panellists: Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Ali Kazimi, John Hupfield
Three documentary filmmakers who use filmmaking to tell unheard stories will discuss their art together. The evening will include a screening of shorts by Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Programming/Exhibition Coordinator of A Space Gallery, and John Hupfield from 7th Generation Image Makers, an arts and mural program for Native youth in Toronto.
Steel for the Spirit: Palestinian Cultural Production Today Friday Oct 2, 3:30-5:30 pm
Beaver Hall Gallery, 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
Panellists: Sobhi al-Zobaidi, Rafeef Ziadah, Yafa Jarrar
The closing panel features three emerging Palestinian artists discussing what drives Palestinian cultural production today. The panellists will examine art forms ranging from spoken word to satiric filmmaking to dabke (Palestinian folk dancing), and how each is used to tell the stories of the Palestinian people.
The census form asks for your Race, listing Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin. And they ask if you are Mexican, Mexican American (I didn’t know there were two categories of Mexicans), or Chicano? What kind of race is “Chicano?” What country do “Chicanos” come from? “Chicano-stan?”
They ask the same question again on the long form: Are you White? Black, African American or Negro? Are you American Indian or Alaskan Native and they even give you a place to write in your tribe name.
That’s not all. The form asks are you Asian Indian? Japanese, Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Korean, Guamanian or Chamorro, Filipino, Vietnamese, Samoan or Other Asian where they give you a space so you can print your “race” like Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian “and so on.”
Oh, they don’t stop there. They ask are you “Pacific Islander” and ask you to print your race like Fijian, Tongan “and so on.”
Way at the bottom, in case they missed someone, someone not so important, they have the throw away line, to check here if you are “Some Other Race – Print Race.”
That is where I have to hand-write that I am “Arab.” And proud of it too, by the way.
Read the full original column that has Rashad al-Dabbagh, who works for the census, and some members of the Arab American Institute targeting me because I don't agree with their laid-back lack of activism against this problem. Click here to read the column?
The fact is that while these activists are cashing their checks and telling American Arabs, "Don't worry. You don't have to be listed on the census form, you can write it in so the AAI can complete their list," government agencies across America are discriminating against American Arabs specifically and directly because the U.S. Census DOES NOT list Arabs as "Arab" on the Census form.
The federal government requires police officers who pull people over for traffic stops to list the race of the person being stopped. But, they are required only to list those races AND ethnicities listed on the U.S. Census form.
Why is that important? If the race is listed on statistics, communities can easily see if they are being targeted for discrimination by police officers and then use that as "EMPOWERMENT" to demand that the police department hire American Arabs.
But American Arabs are NOT listed and police are not required to list us at all.
In every instance of EMPOWERMENT, not being listed on the U.S. Census means we are denied the ability to confront and stop discrimination, discrimination that is holding our community back.
And all that the activists who are PAID by the U.S. Census can do is attack me ands my argument and tell us little American Arab Sheep to "write your race on the form."
Well, writing your name on the form does not stop the discrimination and it DOES NOT force government agencies from the top of the Federal Government to the bottom of the local suburban government to recognize the rights of Americans Arabs.
When we ask school districts how many Arabs have they hired, the answer is "We are not required to list employees based on the race 'Arabs' and we only list race and ethnicity based on those identified in the U.S. Census."
I know what the problem is. It's easier for some in our community to take the handout from the government and keep the American Arabs in a stupor than to find the courage to stand up and change a system that needs to be change.
Arabs should and MUST be listed on the U.S. Census form and until we are, we will continue to be discriminated against, denied government grants, denied government jobs and marginalized in our society.
-- Ray Hanania