Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daley welcomes Etihad Airlines to Chicago

Bookmark and Share

Daley welcomes Etihad (Itihad) Airlines CEO and Staff to Chicago

(Chicago, IL) James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, and members of the airline’s senior management team have hosted a high level gala reception in Chicago to celebrate the launch of Etihad’s flights to the famed ‘windy city’.

The gala reception took place at Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel and was the culmination of a week of activities to promote the airline’s latest US destination. This included meetings with mayor of the city, Richard Daley, and James Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, as well as prominent members of the Arab business community in the US.

Mr Hogan said: “Etihad Airways has received a very warm welcome in Chicago since we launched our flights last month and we are delighted build on our established relations with O’Hare airport and civic and trade officials in the city.”

Last week Mr Hogan was the key note speaker at a special luncheon in the hosted by AmCham Abu Dhabi.

During the speech, Mr Hogan discussed the growing relationship between Abu Dhabi and Chicago and explained how Etihad’s new service will bring significant economic benefits to America’s third largest city.

Etihad Airways began flights to the US city of Chicago at the beginning of September 2009. The initial three flights per week service will increase to six flights per week at the beginning of November and then move to a daily service at the beginning of 2010.

Chicago is the third largest US market for air travel to the Middle East and GCC, after New York and Washington DC, and the state of Illinois is home to one of the largest Arab-American communities in the US with an estimated population of more than 240,000 residents.

About Etihad Airways:

Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Currently Etihad offers flights to more than 50 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. For further details: Etihad Airways Corporate Communications: Tel: + 971 (0) 2 511 1032 / 1036 or visit:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Jersey Conference explores Muslim Empowerment Oct. 31

Bookmark and Share

Salaam! Join industry leaders on October 31st at Rutgers State University in Piscataway, NJ for the 1st Annual American Muslim Conference!

It’s time to reach the American Muslim Market. $170 billion purchasing power - now that’s a nice chunk of change. For years, few advertisers in the United States have dared to reach out to Muslims. Either they did not see much potential for sales or they feared a political backlash. That is beginning to change. Consumer companies and advertising executives are focusing on ways to use the cultural aspects of the Muslim religion to help sell their products. Learn key considerations in strategically and successfully selling products and services to American Muslim Consumers.

Honorable Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey Paul Barrett (Assistant Managing Editor, BusinessWeek; Author, “American
Carla Power (Journalist, TIME Magazine)
Monem Salam (President and CEO, Saturna Brokerage Services) Ahmad Adam (President/CEO, Crescent Foods) Bob Burg (Co-Author of Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best seller, "The Go-Giver") Kamran Pasha (Hollywood Screenwriter and Director) Lubna Khalid (CEO, Real Cosmetics)

American Muslim Consumer Conference gives insight into the untapped American Muslim Market from leading marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. Registration includes lectures, copy of presentations and all meals (breakfast and lunch included).

Monday, October 12, 2009

New film on Taybeh Palestine

Bookmark and Share

a film trailer on line about Taybeh Oktoberfest
It needs a minimum amount of votes to stay on line so thought to share it with you so you might view it, vote, share it with others if possible

It appears on the second page of the site as:
Palestine, Beer & Oktoberfest: Under Occupation

The filmmaker Lara Van Raay filmed this last Oktoberfest 2008 and I will try (don’t know how right now)  to use this film as a fundraiser to help finish the Taybeh Post Office since my husband started this public building but did not finish it so when I show it in the usa I will ask for a minimum donation of $500 written to the Taybeh Municipality specifically towards the Post Office building and hoping this will be David Khoury’s last month as mayor but it would be great to finish the post office project which has been in the works for three years.

The synopsis:

Meet the family that created Palestine’s first beer and see a side of Palestine where Jews, Muslims, and Christians all drink together in peace. A heart-warming story of success that touches on the politics of Jewish settlements, control of natural resources and the difficulties of doing business under occupation. Filmed at the Oktoberfest in the Christian town of Taybeh, on Palestine’s West Bank- this is a light, festive, and positive story from Palestine that you never get to see. (43 minutes)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize and that puts world's evil on notice

Bookmark and Share

President Obama’s genuine desire for peace earns Nobel Peace Prize
By Ray Hanania

President Obama’s first call in coming to office was to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

He then made an epoch speech to the Arab and Muslim world to repair the damage caused by his rightwing and narrow-minded predecessor President George W. Bush.

Obama has pushed the Israelis to force them to accept peace based on returning Arab lands, even though the Israelis have surrounded the wagons and have allowed Israel’s most racist elected official, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to become their spokesman. In fact, Israel’s Lieberman is the new face of hate in the world.

He is shifting from the illegal American war and occupation in Iraq to the genuine fight against terrorism and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

And Obama has vowed to the American people that despite this country having wasted hundreds of billions on politically motivated wars driven by oil money greed, he will fight to make their own country a place where every American will be guaranteed the right to adequate healthcare, something most Americans now lack.

You don’t even need to read the announcement from the Nobel Committee explaining why they have given this year’s Peace Prize to President Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama is more than just a president seeking justice. His name has come to symbolize a movement of change. Change from a past driven by racist bigotry and hatred to a future of justice where the Rule of Law actually has relevance and justice is based on issues of principle and fairness, not on partisan political influence.

Israel is not just a “Jewish State” in Obama’s eyes, but a nation that must also abide by the Rule of Law. Hypocrisy has no place in Obama’s administration, which is why his words have placed special notice on Israel which has more nuclear weapons than any other power outside of the United States and Russia. And yet Israel refuses, like Iran, to abide by the International rules seeking to limit and monitor and inspect nuclear weapons.

Although Obama has not achieved any of his mighty goals, the fact that he has set them is what earns him the special honor. It takes a real courageous man in this world to stand up to the forces of hatred and bias to advocate for fairness for all.

Obama’s policies may or may not achieve their stated goals, but they have already changed the dynamics of one important region of the world in the Middle East.

The Nobel Peace Prize award will put a special pressure on Israel to stop pretending that it supports peace. It throws cold water on the face of Israel’s arrogant and reticent society that it cannot pretend to seek peace and embrace politics and politics of racism, apartheid, bigotry and war.

Israel cannot pretend to support peace and continue to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and continue to imprison 1.4 million civilians in the world’s largest and most oppressive prison system called the Gaza Strip.

Israel cannot claim the right of defense when it is in offense against justice, the Rule of Law and peace, and it cannot hide behind lies it perpetrated through the manipulation of a friendly international media to assert that Hamas started the Nov. 2008 war. In fact, everyone knows that Israel started that war for one reason, to exact punishment on Hamas before Obama could be sworn in as president.

For the first time in World History, the facts are clear and all of the crimes in this world have been placed together shoulder-to-shoulder. Israel’s phony claims of being the victim when it is in fact the aggressor and oppressor are exposed.

Barack Hussein Obama is what the late great President John F. Kennedy is said to have been but could never become. He is the light of hope that might open the door to a world that is genuinely at peace and where all men and women are created equally and where the concerns of the poor are as important as the concerns of the wealthy.

As an American and a Palestinian Arab Christian, I am proud of this year’s choice for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in a way I feel a special part in that award as if the peace prize has been awarded not to just one man, but to an entire world of people who have not completely given up on hope.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talks how host. he can be reached at

Monday, October 05, 2009

Commerce Secretary Locke to meet with Arab/Muslim community in Dearborn Oct. 6

Bookmark and Share


Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr. to Join Conversation with Arab- and Muslim-American communities in Dearborn, Mich.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will meet with members of the Muslim- and Arab-American business communities in Dearborn, Mich. tomorrow to discuss innovative ways to forge new business partnerships and grow and sustain business development in the region. Locke will also talk about the importance of the 2010 Census in ensuring representation and federal funding for the community.

In his June speech in Cairo, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim community, based upon “mutual interest and mutual respect.” The administration is specifically committed to pursing new partnerships with governments, citizens, community organizations, religious leaders, businesses and international organizations in the areas of education, economic development, science and technology and health. Locke’s meeting tomorrow is a direct outgrowth of that commitment.  

WHO:             Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
                        Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr.
WHAT:           Meeting with Muslim- and Arab-American business leaders
WHEN:           4 p.m., Tues, Oct. 6, 2009
                        Press arrival time:  3:45 p.m.
WHERE:        Lebanese American Heritage Club

                       4337 Maple Street
                       Dearborn, MI 48126

Media Coverage:  This meeting is open press. To RSVP, please contact Charmion Kinder at 202-482-4883 or For logistical information, contact the Department of Commerce Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at 202-482-0699.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Chicago's disregard for American Arabs in part cause of losing 2016 Olympic Bid

Bookmark and Share

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted Tuesday to reject Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. The committee consisted of over 100 members, including 12 from Arab countries. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley may have set the city up for a "fall" when he falsely boasted to the Ruler of Dubai during a visit there that his administration has been very considerate of American Arab needs. There are more than 230,000 Arabs living in Chicago, Daley said, or 7.6 percent of the population. But, the tragedy is that American Arabs in Chicago have no real representation on the city's 50-member city council, less than 1 percent of the city's 36,000 jobs, and are marginalized at almost every level of City Government.
Mayor Daley and AON Corporation Chairman Patrick Ryan must bear the brunt of the responsibility for losing the bid. The city has been besieged by ongoing scandals that have undermined public support for the Olympic Games.

Daley, who vowed that taxpayers would not be responsible for any losses incurred by the Olympics if held in Chicago, quietly planned to put taxpayers on the hook for any losses -- losses that could not be projected this far in advance of the games. Only weeks ago, after denying taxpayers would be responsible, Daley forced the rubber stamp Chicago City Council to approve a guarantee that in fact taxpayers would be on the hook for any financial losses, a requirement demanded by the IOC.

That and the bloated and wasteful spending of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, soured most Chicagoans on the game bid. The majority of Chicagoans opposed the Olympic bid, not because they do not believe the Olympics could be beneficial, but because they just don't trust the corruption-plagued Chicago Machine that Daley heads. Daley and the 2016 Olympic Committee were dishonest in their approach in dealing with the public.

Worse, though, is the abuse American Arabs continue to take under Daley's leadership. Mayor Daley patronizes American Arabs, but does not support the American Arab community.

The fact is that if American Arabs represent 7.6 percent of the city's 3 million citizens, then American Arabs should have 7.6 percent of the city's jobs, 7.6 percent of the teaching jobs, 7.6 percent of the firemen positions and policemen positions which are all above and beyond the basic city employment. American Arabs should also have 7.6 percent of the city's multi-million dollar contract awards. And American Arabs organizations should be receiving 7.6 percent of the millions of dollars in contract grants awarded for ethnic and heritage pride programs.

The reality is that despite Daley exaggerating the truth in his meeting with the Ruler of Dubai and also Arab members of the IOC's board, the truth prevailed. Arabs hold less than 1 percent of the city's jobs, have only 2 to 4 out of thousands teaching positions, get only crumbs from the city's multi-million dollar grants programs for culture, ethnic and heritage pride, and we get no real respect.
The 2016 Olympic Committee met with American Arab leaders several times. At one meeting, I complained that we want to support the Olympics but that Daley and his administration takes our community for granted. The spokespeople on the 2016 Committee insisted they could do nothing about the shortcomings toward or community but said they would make the point loud and clear to the mayor.

They did not.

In fact, out of the more than 360 members of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, only two are Arab.

Later, as a result of my columns, several more were added.

All American Arabs in Chicago and throughout the United States are asking is that we be treated equally, fairly and just like everyone else, every other ethnic group, every other racial group, every other religious.

But because of the politicized nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, American Arabs are not treated fairly. We are patronized, ignored, left out and even oppressed.

Nothing says that more than the apparent abandonment of Chicago's bid by the Arab World IOC delegates and the delegates from Africa. They were our chance. But the greed and politically selfishness of some of the top leadership of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee failed to put the focus where it should be.

Chicago should have been portrayed as a city of fairness, equality and diversity.

Clearly, most of the IOC's delegates, including the Arab delegates, saw through the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee's ruse!

-- Ray Hanania