Sunday, March 28, 2010

Abu-Ghazaleh Tackles the Future of the Internet at ArabNet 2010

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Abu-Ghazaleh Tackles the Future of the Internet at ArabNet 2010

Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh

We, as businesses, governments and societies, need to provide the means for individuals to learn, dream, work and create – Abu-Ghazaleh

BEIRUT - March 28, 2010 - The ArabNet 2010, the first international conference for the Arab web industry, opened its doors on Thursday under the patronage of HE the President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon Mr. Saad Hariri at Habtoor Grand Hotel in Beirut.

Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) and chairman and CEO of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) in his keynote speech tackled key issues related to the industry.

“I will not attempt to lecture to this knowledgeable leadership and group of experts. Instead I will try to pose some questions and to answer them from my own perspective,” he addressed the attendees.

In his speech, Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh underlined the future of Internet, the Growth in Internet Content, How to measure this content, Multilingualism of the Internet and How to advance MDG achievements.

“GAID is overseeing many productive programs. One of which is developing, with the blessing of the UN Secretary General, a matrix of “ICT 4 MDG” providing guidance on ICT as enablers for reaching the MDG goals, and on barriers to ICT access, such that we may create active plans which may be used by individual countries. This should also produce a map for ICT innovation. This project, which I chair, is led by H.E. the UN Secretary General as our Honorary Chair,” Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh said.

In addition, he highlighted the means to harness ICTs, saying “Today almost everyone is aware of the economic potential of ICT investment. However the key to success in the broad picture is to remember that when we discuss ICTs we are really talking about the facilitation of human creativity and entrepreneurial innovation. We, as businesses, governments and societies, need to provide the means for individuals to learn, dream, work and create.”

Other topics including uses for ICT, the Global Divide, the broadband potential, how to motivate innovation in IT, Arab Knowledge Societies, in addition to ICT 4D.
Moreover Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh called for more focus on R & D in the Arab world sating that according to the Arab Human Development Report, R&D by Arab countries in the area of agriculture and food production is “insignificant”.
“So if the Arab world lags the rest of the world, is it a wonder? May be its time we reexamine our priorities. One organization that is aiming to do so is ASREN. The Arab Scientific Research and Education Network (ASREN ) is being born as an independent and not-for-profit organization with a mission to implement, manage and extend sustainable Pan-Arab e-Infrastructures dedicated for Research and Education connecting national research and education networks (NRENs) in the Arab countries," he said.

The event organized by the International Business Alliance Group (IBAG) and held under the title "Trends and Opportunities in Arab Web Business" brought together leaders from across the MENA, Europe and Silicon Valley to discuss cutting-edge trends and emerging opportunities.

Through pitch sessions, the conference features the region's brightest ideas and most promising Internet start-ups, and connects them with the Internet ecosystem: incubators, angel investors, venture capitalists, established Internet companies, NGOs and influential bloggers.

ArabNet is one of the first events in the region to be fully live-tweeted and live-streamed, allowing interested individuals around the world to benefit from the insights of the conference speakers, and providing the entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and startups with tremendous exposure

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Arab American Painter Opens Online Gallery

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Arab American Painter Opens Online Gallery

24 March 2010 – J F Dagher, Lebanese born painter, opens an online gallery selling original art and giclee reproductions.

The paintings of J F Dagher reflect life and living in the Arab culture. “I really wanted to portray the Arab culture, to help preserve aspects of it, and to give others insight into this incredibly complex and rich life we live.”

J F Dagher has been painting for over 10 years and in looking for a way for his work to be seen by many, found the online site Fine Art America.

Fine Art America gives artists a medium to display their original works, and provides high quality Giclee reproductions.

“Many friends and family would want reproductions of the same painting, as of course the imagery resonated with them. I was pleased to find Fine Art America’s reproductions are high quality and still express the emotions of the original works. “

Available now in the online gallery are reproductions of “Laundry Day” an image of a bombed worn out building, the only sign of life being the laundry strung on the line.

“Beit Nahas” a reproduction of a typical home. “That place where so many of our memories took place”.

“Temple Mount” a composite of those symbols representing the three great religions of the Middle East.

And of course J F Dagher’s famous pony paintings representing the great beauty of Middle Eastern tribal rugs.

To see all of J F Dagher’s art visit his Fine Art America site at

The artist may be reached by email at

For images to reprint or interviews with the artist contact

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Truth comes out in Census lies: Doesn't matter if you write in ARAB -- you WON'T be counted as Arab

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Census to Count Arabs as White, Despite Write-In Campaign
New America Media , News Report, Suzanne Manneh, Posted: Mar 25, 2010

The Census Bureau says it doesn’t matter if Arab Americans write their race in on their Census questionnaire. 

Even if they check the “other” box and write in “Arab,” as many community groups advocate, the Census will still count them as racially white.

“Anyone from Europe, North Africa or the Middle East [will be classified] as white,” said Roberto Ramirez, chief of the ethnicity and ancestry branch at the Census Bureau.

Ramirez said that will be the case no matter how many people write in “Arab,” because the Census Bureau is required by law to use racial categories determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and those categories do not include Arab.

Advocates for including Arab as a race say they will press on with their write-in campaign however. Census regulations provide that any organization can pay for its own special tabulation providing a formal count of write-ins.

“As with any write-in option, it is not comprehensive enough to be published as a ‘count,’ but it will provide us with important trends and estimates of the proportion of people of Arab ancestry who do not identify with the white race classification,” said Helen Samhan, the executive director of the Arab American Institute, which plans to order a special count.

“That is a start for working with the Census Bureau to research necessary changes in the way race and ethnicity are measured,” she added.

A spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget told New America Media that current racial standards for the census will be reevaluated after the 2010 census, in time for the next one in 2020.

-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't be misled by lies: Fight the Census hallucinogenic rhetoric

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Fight the US Census: Don't be sedated by hallucinogenic rhetoric
By Ray Hanania

For 30 years, the US Government has been telling the American Arab community, through paid American Arab surrogates, that if we would just go along and stop protesting and write in our name as "ARAB" on the OTHER line at the bottom of the form, we'll get our share.

The truth is American Arabs continue to be denied their share not because they are not listed on the Census and not counted, but because the US Government and many in American refuse to give us our rights.

Just going along with the Census and NOT complaining, and not pushing back is a mistake. Simply following the lead of the paid activists in American Arab community -- who are the ONLY ones benefiting from the Census -- will do nothing. 

When the US Census says "roll over," instead of rolling over for the first time in 30 years, American Arabs should tell them to "TAKE THAT CENSUS FORM AND SHOVE IT."

They can do all the celebrity comedy shows with great comics that they want, but it doesn't change the reality of how our American Arab leadership has failed us over the years because they are afraid to take on the Census fearing they will be pushed away from their tiny tot seat at the "table." American Arabs are being thrown crumbs, not the pie, and we are told to be happy with that.

They came to us in 1980, in 1990 and 2000 with the same failed message. Rollover. Fill out the Census. Don't complain. Do what your "leaders" are telling you to do. Feeding us medication to sooth our inner-feelings that we are being cheated. Drugged up with phony rhetoric, and misled by our failed leadership, American Arabs went along and did what they asked.

And each decade, the results are the SAME. It doesn't work. It doesn't work in part because American Arabs demand equality and fairness and fair treatment. They want to be respected.

The Government does do that when faced with a community that has a strong leadership. There are 29 Ethnic and Racial groups listed on the Census. Those 29 have empowered themselves not by rolling over and having comedy and entertainment shows, but rather by recognizing the reality fo what is happening.

I know young American Arabs are easily misled by the leadership. they are too young to know how corrupt the national American Arab leadership really is. And eventually as they get older, they will see the mistake and watch as the only people getting jobs are a handful connected to those who held the government's hand and led our people to the Census reservation where they hope to keep us trained like Pavlov's Dogs, happy as lemmings, and drugged up with the narcotic-like rhetoric.

I volunteered (for free) to help the Census in 1980, 1990 and 2000, and I refuse to volunteer this time.

And all the BS rhetoric from some people who find it easier to attack me personally than to address the real issues won't change a thing.

American Arabs will only be empowered when they stand up and fight for their rights. Not when they submissively bow their heads and pretend they have achieved something that is little more than the same old same old.

The tragedy is that while everyone is entering the 21st Century, American Arabs are still living in the past. Living in the past when it comes to solving the Palestine Tragedy, and living in the Past when it comes to empowerment.

We won’t be empowered until we stand up and fight for our rights, not rollover submissively when the US Government throws a few bones.

All you have to do is ask the simple question: What have American Arabs really gotten in terms of public jobs, public contracts, grants for their cultural activities and more, as compared to what the other 29 favored ethnic groups have received? 

The answer is simple. Although we HAVE done our part as Americans, paying taxes, working hard, participating in the system and EVEN filling out the Census in the past three 10-year census counts, we have not even received a sliver of our fair share.

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, March 22, 2010

Statement from President Barack Obama on health care

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Statement from President Barack Obama on health care

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The babies at the Census and Detroit ...

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The Census is a job creation program. Not jobs for you but jobs for itself. They have received $1 billion and plan to spend it to convince people to fill out the Census forms which discriminate against many ethnic and racial groups.

The alleged purpose of the census is to help distribute the $435 billion in federal funds -- but the truth is the government doesn't use the census to fairly distribute the funds. Instead, they pick and chose based on political favorites. Many ethnic and religious groups are denied federal funding -- and also the trickle down funds from states and municipalities because of who they are. American Arabs, for example, do not share equally or fairly in the national funding at all. The Census falsely claims that is because American Arabs do not fully participate. In fact, American Arabs do fully participate in the census and have been since 1980 -- I worked with the census as an unpaid volunteer in 1980 and in 1990 and supported the effort in 2000 with my media and newspapers.

What I discovered is the lying bastards at the US Census are cowards, too. They know American Arabs are shortchanged. The STATISTICS PROVE IT. In fact, after 30 years of supporting the Census, the DATA SHOWS AMERICAN ARABS ARE DENIED FUNDING at a far greater pace than ANY OTHER ethnic group.

That has to do with the anti-Arab hatred in America, that started long before Sept. 11, 2001 became the convenient excuse.

All you have to do is look at Chicago, for example, where federal and local funding is disbursed not to American Arabs who make up 8 percent of the city's population (250,000 out of 3 million according to Mayor Sleepy, Richard M. Daley), but to other ethnic and racial groups.

In fact, the flaw of the census is obvious. The Census forms ONLY identify 29 FAVORED ethnic groups that are "PC". They get not only the spotlight but all the funding. And their needs are artificially reinforced.

African Americans are listed three times on the form. Hispanics 5 times and Asians a dozen.

And when American Arabs ask to be included, they are pilloried not only by the Census maniacs but by the hacks and shills in the American Arab community who are hired and paid by the Census to mislead their own people. Quislings is the proper word in this case, I believe.

Recently, I traveled to Michigan to give a comedy presentation. At the dinner, the Census was a "sponsor." They begged the host to ask me not to skewer the Census in my show as I do often. As a courtesy to the Census and a gesture of compromise, I dropped the Census segment in which I shish-kabob the Census lies.

They invited me out to lunch and we have stuffed grapeleaves and they said they wanted to continue the dialogue. Of course, weeks went by and I heard nothing. But maybe because they insisted on paying for my $6 plate of stuffed grapeleaves they felt that was enough money to buy off American Arabs like me who question their motives and their lies.

So when I continued my campaign to educate American Arabs about the lying Census lies, they acted by apparently punishing the sponsor.

That shows you the true colors of the Census and some of the American Arabs working for the Census in Dearborn and Detroit.

Their goal isn't to protect the American Arab community. Their goal is to make money. The jobs they create are jobs for themselves and their family members and their friends. That's why they need you to support the Census so they get their paychecks.

Without the money, none of them would be advocating for the Census.

I'm not paid and my voice rings truth.

The Census is skewered and unfair. It highlights 29 ethnic and racial groups, three in particular, unfairly. And, the US Census refuses to include the word "ARAB" among the 29 special ethnic and racial groups. Because the word "ARAB" is not listed, many American Arabs believe they are being discriminated against and do not fill out the Census forms. Even those who have know that simply writing in the word "Arab" on the line called "Other" at the bottom of the form is worthless and does nothing.

If the US Government and the US Census doesn't believe it is important to put the word "ARAB" on the Census form in a decade when American Arabs and the Middle East have dominated the news headlines, why would you then think they would care enough to make sure American Arabs get their fair share of the jobs, contracts and funds that government gives to communities? They are not doing it now and they won't do it even if they have counted and identified every single American Arab in the country.

American Arabs are cheated and denied government grants and awards -- these are monies that don't come from the government but come from taxpayers and American Arabs are taxpayers and pay their taxes like everyone else.

Fairness is not going to happen until the US Census and the US Government finally recognize that American Arabs have rights, too. Until then, going along with the plan only reinforces the bigotry and discrimination. Speaking out, as I and others are doing, is the only way to change things.

-- Ray Hanania

Friday, March 12, 2010

Check out In the Middle podcasts with the publisher and editors of ALO Hayati Magazine.

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Check out In the Middle podcasts with the publisher and editors of ALO Hayati Magazine.

About:::In The Middle Podcast
This is what happens when four diverse friends get together and dive into the core of social issues with a dash of love, a sprinkle of humor and a smattering of deep thought.

-There’s Wafa Kanan, the entrepreneur and international philanthropist with a heart of gold;
-Kerri Kasem, the radio and television host that tops the hot list with her jaw dropping takes;
-Michael Lloyd, the idea man, intrepid explorer and king of asking “Who am I to say no?”;
-Harout Hamassian, the financial expert, cigar master and sexologist with a renowned instinct on how to use his tongue.

How can you hear the In The Middle Podcast?
Go to iTunes

Saturday, March 06, 2010

News Story: Radio Baladi making new strides for American Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern news media

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Radio Baladi, Live Arab American Radio to Connect Listeners in Michigan, Northern Ohio, Northern Illionis and Windsor.
By: Adel A. Mozip

Radio Baladi, a new creative way of connecting listeners across three states and Windosr, Canada, was an idea of two Arab American journalists, one in Detroit, MI and the other in Chicago, Illinois. The two journalists, Ray Hanania and Laila Alhussini launched Radio Baladi on the 12th of February to broadcoast to liseners every Friday at 8:00 am via 690 AM WNZK radio in Southfield, Michigan and 7 am WJJG 1530 AM in Chicago, Illinois.

“We are trying to demonstrate, by linking our stations, that we shouldn’t be ignored,” Hanania said. “We want them to know that we are doing our best to serve as a communications network with our community.”

Hanania hosts "Morning With Ray" on WJJG every weekday on 1530 AM Chicago. He also writes for the Jerusalem Post and a Palestinian online news site, Hanania also has 12 years’ experience with radio in the Chicago area. Laila Alhussini, hosts her morning show, "Good Morning Show" on 690 AM.

“Radio Baladi opens the dialogue between Arab Americans and other Americans from other cultures. There is a huge misunderstanding between Muslims, Arabs and non-Arabs and non-Muslims and through this talk show, we're aiming to clear this misunderstanding." Alhussini added.

Over the last four broadcoasts in February and first in March, Radio Baladi has discussed many issues that are of interest to Arab Americans. The talk show brought experts to discuss these issues while engaging listeners to ask questions and voice their opinions on air. The issues discussed on the radio show ranged from the Hijab ban lawsuit against Judge William Callahan, to full body scanners to mainstrame media coverage on issues with relation to Arabs and Muslims. Last Friday, the talk show discussed the misconceptions of Arabs and Muslims in the American society as well as the misunderstanding between Arabs and Americans.

Radio Baladi is foreseeing success in its broadcoast and is looking forward to expand. The hosts are considering expanding the simultaneous broadcast to the Washington D.C. in the near future.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Radio Baladi co-sponsors Mother's Day fundraiser & Comedy night in Dearborn

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Radio Baladi co-sponsors Mother's Day fundraiser & Comedy night in Dearborn

Acclaimed Syrian Actor Jamal Suliman will appear at a special Mother’s Day event in the greater Detroit Arab and Chaldean American community. The event, Mother’s Day 2010 with Syrian Actor Jamal Suliman, Arabic Vocalist Emad Batayeh, and Comedian Mo Amer, will take place on Sunday May 9, 2010, 5:00pm at the Farmington Hills Manor, 23666 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

“We are very excited to host Jamal Suliman on his first visit to Detroit,” said Laila Alhusinni, director of U.S. Chaam Media and one of the organizers of the event; she went on to say, “Mr. Suliman is one of the top actors of television, film, and stage in the Arab world today. We are honored that he will join us as we celebrate Mother’s Day along with one of Arab Detroit’s hottest vocalists, Emad Batayeh and comedian Mo Amer, of “Allah Made Me Funny.”

Jamal Suliman is a prominent Syrian-born producer, director, and actor of television, film, and stage. Suliman was a lead actor in the historical television series "Saladdin," depicting the life of the great Arab leader Saladdin. Suliman has appeared in several films, but has preferred to use television as his main medium for stardom. Suliman's popularity and fame spread to a wider Arab audience when he was selected to play a prominent role in the late Ahmad Zaki movie, “Halim”. He starred in the Egyptian television program “Hada'eq el-Shaytan” (Gardens of the Devil) and received rave reviews for his acting in the series. On a humanitarian level, Suliman was selected as an ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund.

Emad Batayeh is one of the leading Arabic vocalists in the U.S. and Canada. Batayeh was born to a Jordanian family in Detroit and as a young boy, demonstrated a remarkable passion for Arabic music as a virtuoso of the Arabic keyboard. As a teenager, he began to sing at local events and today is in demand nationally at many of the nightclubs, weddings, festivals, and cultural events in the Arab American communities. His recent video “Ingrah Min Tani” was an instant hit throughout Arab America and has been one of the leading music videos broadcast on Arab television networks and social network sites throughout North America and the Arab world.

Mo Amer is a brillant personality in the world of comedy. A Palestinian, Amer was raised in Kuwait and settled at the age of nine in Houston, Texas where he resides today. Although his family hoped he would become a physician, Amer had a different plan; he became a comedian on the comedy tour, “Allah Made Me Funny.” In addition to the U.S. and Canada, he has performed in Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Bahrain. He is one of the most provacative Arab American comedians today.

About the Event Sponsors :

U.S. Chaam Media ( is an organization dedicated to protraying an accurate image of the Arab American community through specially produced radio and television programs in both Arabic and English.

Arab Detroit ( is one of the leading providers of
digital media to the Arab American community. The website provides events, news, commerce, music, and resources about the Arab American community and the Arab world.

For media inquiries and information contact:
Warren David, Arab Detroit, 313-999-6000

For sponsorship information contact:
Laila Alhussini, U.S. Chaam Media, 313-570-2206
Email :