Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Melissa Bejjani Joins ADC National Office Staff
Washington, DC | September 29, 2009 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) is pleased to welcome a new addition to the ADC National office. Melissa Bejjani is a recent graduate of George Mason University where she earned a degree in Government and International Politics with a concentration in International and Comparative Politics. Bejjani is of Lebanese origin, but grew up in the Sultanate of Oman. During her college years, Bejjani was Vice President and Acting President of Pi Sigma Alpha’s Honor Society. Bejjani, who is fluent in English and Arabic, interned at the ADC National Office as a Government Affairs associate during summer 2009. She will be serving in multiple capacities and working with the ADC Finance, Government Affairs and Organizing Departments.
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said “We are pleased to welcome Melissa. She is a talented, industrious and knowledgeable woman who will complement the work of ADC and our staff.”
Bejjani formally started with ADC at the beginning of September and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide, including chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.
Contact: ADC Media Department, email@example.com
Vice President Joseph Biden expresses support for new government to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Rafeef Ziadah, festival coordinator, welcomed the sold-out theatre by thanking them for their tremendous support and making the opening night a huge success. She told the audience that ?we started planning TPFF09 as bombs were being dropped on Gaza so we decided to shine a spotlight on Gaza with our films.?
Following the screening, the film?s Canadian producers Christina Piovesan and Paul Barkin, assistant director Markian Saray, and the film?s youngest actress, Jenna Kawar, participated in a lively question and answer discussion with members of audience. Piovesan said the film was more than seven years in the making and reflected the director?s childhood experience growing up in the US during the Iraq war. When asked whether they preferred filming in Ramallah or Manitoba, Piovesan responded by saying they had a great experience filming in Ramallah and really enjoyed working with the Palestinian crew on the film; whereas it ?snowed in May in Manitoba.?
Invited guests celebrated the successful opening at a gala reception held at the Butler?s Pantry after the film. Guests included members of the Arab community, co-presenters, sponsors, filmmakers, and a number of prominent Torontonians. Dania Majid, festival organizer and media liaison, acknowledged the dedication and incredible work of the volunteer-based TPFF organizing committee in creating a programme that features 34 films, an art exhibit, a film food brunch and three discussion forums. Majid explained that ?TPFF believes it plays an important role as a Palestinian cultural institution by bringing the best of Palestinian art and culture to Toronto.?
The festival continues through the week with 10 Canadian premieres and three North American premieres. On September 27, 2009, TPFF starts the day with the sold-out SAHTAIN! Film & Food Brunch, where participants will enjoy two food-themed short films and a traditional Palestinian brunch prepared by Isam Kaisi, chef and owner of 93 Harbord. In the afternoon, TPFF will feature two films by the masters of Palestinian cinema ? Tale of Three Jewels, by Michel Kleifi and Rana?s Wedding by Hany Abu-Assad.
Dania Majid, Media Liaison
Toronto Palestine Film Festival
September 26-October 2, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 04, 2009
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 4, 2009
Statement by the Press Secretary on Israeli Settlements
We regret the reports of Israel's plans to approve additional settlement construction. Continued settlement activity is inconsistent with Israel's commitment under the Roadmap.
As the President has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop. We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate.
We do appreciate Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity and will continue to discuss this with the Israelis as these limitations are defined.
The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is and will remain unshakeable. We believe it can best be achieved through comprehensive peace in the region, including a two-state solution with a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.
That is the ultimate goal to which the President is deeply and personally committed.
Our objective remains to resume meaningful negotiations as soon as possible in pursuit of this goal. We are working with all parties – Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states -- on the steps they must take to achieve that objective.
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009
FIGHT TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF ARAB-MUSLIM SCHOOL PRINCIPAL WILL CONTINUE
Alan Levine, one of Ms. Almontaser’s lawyers, gave this statement in response to yesterday’s decision against the founding principal of an Arabic-language school for explaining the nonviolent origins of the word intifada:
“A federal district court in New York dismissed the lawsuit filed by Debbie Almontaser against the Mayor and the Department of Education. The decision is the latest chapter of a controversy that began with the selection of Ms. Almontaser to head the newly-created Khalil Gibran International Academy, an Arab dual-language school. Almost from the day she was appointed, Ms. Almontaser, an observant Muslim, was subjected to a virulent anti-Arab and anti-Muslim smear campaign. When she was interviewed by the New York Post in August 2007 and was asked about the Arabic meaning of the word “intifada,” which had appeared on t-shirts that were sold at an Arab Heritage festival, her response provoked a firestorm of controversy, even though the definition she gave, “shaking off,” was accurate. Her response also noted that the word had become associated with violence in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Nevertheless, City and school officials demanded her resignation. She subsequently filed a federal lawsuit charging that her First Amendment rights had been violated.
Given the skepticism that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals expressed about the DOE’s actions when it asked ‘whether a public employee, who is required by her employer to speak to the press as a condition of her employment, may be sanctioned for speaking accurately when her statement is, as her employer knows, inaccurately reported and then misconstrued by the press,’ we had hoped that Judge Stein would reconsider his earlier decision. However, we will appeal again to the Second Circuit. In addition, we will continue to pursue her claim before the EEOC, and eventually in federal court, that the DOE, in capitulating to the storm of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim prejudice that was directed at Ms. Almontaser in the media, discriminated against her on the basis of religion and ethnicity.
Nothing in yesterday’s decision questions the underlying facts concerning the DOE’s actions: Ms. Almontaser was the target of hate-filled attacks because she was an Arab and a Muslim and because she said something that public officials disagreed with. Our Constitution and statutes are designed to insure that prejudice and controversial speech do not cost people their jobs. We are confident that the courts will ultimately vindicate those basic human rights.”