Monday, January 31, 2011

Brooklyn College rehires controversial professor fired for his political views

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the

Jeremy Thompson

At 7:15pm on Monday, January 31, President Karen L. Gould released the following statement to the students, faculty, and staff of Brooklyn College:

Over the past several days, as a result of a provostial decision about an adjunct appointment, Brooklyn College has been thrust into a debate about academic freedom. This debate has been fueled at times by inflammatory rhetoric and mischaracterization of the facts. It is unfortunate that matters of utmost importance to our college community can be so rapidly co-opted by those with a political agenda and distorted by the media.

I stand united with you: We must never allow decisions about our students’ education be swayed by outside influence. In the matter at hand, this certainly has not been the case. On behalf of every member of this institution, I reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the principles of academic freedom, faculty governance, and standards of excellence.

Today, the Department of Political Science and its appointments committee voted unanimously to recommend Kristofer Petersen-Overton to teach a graduate course on the Middle East. Based on information that has come to light, they are confident he has sufficient depth of knowledge and the intellectual capacity to successfully lead a graduate seminar. The provost now supports their recommendation, and I am in full agreement.

Brooklyn College continues to have a strong commitment to academic freedom. As one of the most diverse campuses in the United States, we value civil discourse on even the most difficult topics. We believe that open, substantive dialogue between those with different points of view is an essential component of a 21st-century education.

Equally essential are academic standards that ensure an excellent education for all students at all levels. During this calendar year, we will work together as faculty and administrators to ensure that our graduate programs are of the highest caliber.

It is now time for us to come together as a community and welcome Mr. Petersen-Overton to Brooklyn College. We wish him and his students a productive, rewarding semester of graduate study.
# # # 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

ADC encourages those with relatives in Egypt to convey the information below to such relatives, due to the inaccessibility of internet and e-mail services in Egypt

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the

Community Advisory: Voluntary Evacuation of US Citizens in Egypt

ADC encourages those with relatives in Egypt to convey the information below to such relatives, due to the inaccessibility of internet and e-mail services in Egypt.

Washington, DC | | January 30, 2011 - The U.S. Department of State announced today that arrangements are being made to provide transportation out of Egypt for U.S. Citizens and their immediate relatives, beginning Monday, January 31. This is not a mandatory evacuation. Flights will head to safehaven locations in Europe. Once in Europe travellers will be expected to make their own onward travel plans. Please read the following information thoroughly on how best to assist U.S. Citizens and their immediate relatives looking to leave Egypt.

Persons interested in departing Egypt via USG-chartered transportation should contact the U.S. Department of State and Embassy Cairo by sending an email to or by calling 1-202-501-4444 with the requested information.

Due to the inaccessibility of the internet and e-mail in Egypt, representatives of U.S. citizens can also submit the information on behalf of the traveller(s). Information required for all travelers is as follows:
  • Name
  • Age
  • Place of birth
  • Passport Number
  • Description of any medical needs
  • Contact information

Please note that at the time ADC issued this release, the USG-charted flights’ specific times for leaving Cairo had not been specified. It is expected that the traveller will be contacted by the State Department with the additional detailed information.

Additional information:
  • Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safehaven country and/or U.S., if that is your final destination.
  • Only one (1) piece of luggage per traveler.
  • This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law.
  • Additional information regarding travel
 Support ADC

This is a crucial time for ADC and Arab Americans. ADC's success is dependent on the support and commitment of its members and donors. Your contribution will help combat discrimination, celebrate our rich cultural heritage, and promote a just US policy towards our relatives and the people in the Arab world.


Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the


 Doha, Qatar, 30 January, 2011 - Al Jazeera has stated its “utter disappointment” with the blockage of its signal on Nilesat and sees this as a further attempt to hinder and obstruct the carriage of its reporting coming out of Egypt.  Al Jazeera said the move was a reaction to how widely its coverage was being watched. They have more reporters on the ground across Egypt than any other network.

Earlier today Al Jazeera’s bureau in Cairo was closed by the Egyptian government in an attempt to stifle and obstruct freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. The Network said it retained the right to take any available legal measures to reverse the move.

Wadah Khanfar, Director General of the Al Jazeera Network said:

“Regardless of the multiple attempts by the Egyptian authorities to deter and impede our reporting, Al Jazeera continues its comprehensive coverage of the landmark events unfolding in Egypt.” 

Earlier in a company-wide communication to staff Mr. Khanfar stated:

“This news should not be met with disappointment, but instead be used as fuel for further impetus, galvanizing our courageous Network to continue to best tell the story of the changing face of Egyptian politics.

“Under very trying circumstances we have delivered the highest standard of reporting from Egypt which has gripped our growing global audience. Even in such a short space of time we can be proud of our achievements, level of professionalism and sophistication in covering the significant developments in Egypt.”


  1. To further enhance its coverage of the unfolding events in Egypt, Al Jazeera has made available to bloggers, activists, and citizen journalists the following ways to send their images and stories to Al Jazeera: 
·              Arabic content can be submitted to:
·              English content can be submitted to:
·              On phone to +974-4489-6190 or +974-4489-6192
  1. Engineers have announced that they have successfully restored Al Jazeera to new frequencies:
a) New frequency for AJA & AJM on Nilesat 7W:
10949 vertical   (new)
SR: 27.500 Msps
FEC: 3/4

b) New frequency for AJA & AJM on Arabsat 26E:
11585 vertical   (new)
SR: 27.500 Msps
FEC: 3/4

c) Arabic and Mubasher on Hotbird:
12111 MHz Vertical (Old)
SR: 27.500 Msps
FEC: 3/4

d) Arabic and Mubasher on Arabsat Badr4 (Old):
12034 MHz Horizontal
SR: 27.500
FEC: 3/4

e) Arabic and Mubasher on Arabsat Badr4 (Old):
11996 MHz Horizontal
SR: 27.500
FEC: 3/4

 About Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera started out more than fourteen years ago as the first independent Arabic news channel in the world dedicated to providing comprehensive television news and live debate for the Arab world. Al Jazeera was formally named the Al Jazeera Network in March 2006, transforming its operation into an international media corporation.  The Al Jazeera Network now consists of the flagship Al Jazeera Satellite (Arabic) channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al (the English and Arabic web sites), the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Al Jazeera Mubasher (Live), and Al Jazeera Mobile.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Al Jazeera Demand End to Egyptian Government Interference

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the

Al Jazeera Demand End to Egyptian
Government Interference

Doha, Qatar: January 28, 2011: The Al Jazeera Network has called for the Egyptian authorities to allow them to freely cover the events currently unfolding in the country.
 The global satellite network has reported that their live channel Al Jazeera Mubasher was this morning removed from the Nilesat platform from which the public receive television channels. This was after the channel was originally moved to different frequencies.
 In addition, the Network's bureau in Cairo had its telephone landlines cut, and its main Arabic news channel has also faced signal interference.
 Commenting, Ayman Jaballah, the Managing Director of Al Jazeera Mubasher said:
 "We call upon the Egyptian authorities to uphold the right of the media to report news freely. There should be no impediments or restrictions in front of a free press."
 Al Jazeera's coverage of anti-government demonstrations has previously faced censure from regimes, most notably recently in Tunisia where the channel was banned by the former president. Despite this, Al Jazeera continued to report on the uprisings, to widespread acclaim.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hollywood star Sayed Badreya to offer filmmaking workshop in Chicago in March

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the

Hey Everyone.
Sayed Badreya will be hosting a 2 week filmmaking workshop in Chicago beginning March 19, 2011. Now’s the time to sign up. The workshop will help you understand what needs to be done. And, it will be followed by the shooting of an actual movie short under Sayed Badreya’s direction.
There’s only a certain number of spaces available for workshop participants so you want to sign up now. If you ever wanted to shoot your own movie or write a movie script, this workshop is important.
If you are interested, let me know and I can connect you with Sayed. The workshop fee is $400 for the two weeks and covers everything you will need to know. All of the revenues generated will be put back into the cost of the workshops and the production of the film short.
We can change the world through creative thinking and film is still one of the most powerful mediums to achieve that.
Good luck and best regards
Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested in participating.
Ray Hanania
================== =====================

We live in a time when mass media has taken a major role in providing us with information about the world around us. We use that information in forming our own opinions and involving our emotions. We very often take that information for granted; we let ourselves use the same sources over and over again, without paying enough attention to the validity of the picture drawn by those sources. In a perfect world however, the images provided in media would mimic reality, and present us with an accurate picture helping us formulate informed and fair opinions and judgments which ultimately drive our actions. Unfortunately, our world is far from perfect. As immigrants of Arab origin, we have suffered too long as did our ancestors and others immigrants from all nationalities and religious backgrounds from the misconceptions and distorted picture that today's media has drawn of us for the consumption of the American audiences. It is very important to take the stance and define ourselves and portray ourselves in the right imagery in film. 

          In their continuous desire of advancing our community the  Ziyad Brothers, Ray Hanania, Reem Odeh, JoAnn Fakhouri with Arab-American filmmaker Sayed Badreya have collaborated to introduce the first 2011 Chicago Arab American Filmmaker Workshop.


Week one of the workshop: 
The first week workshop will be held in Chicago - March 19-April 2, 2011, for both industry and non-industry participants. This is designed to match the needs of experienced professionals who want to develop and hone their skills by concentrating on all areas of film-related projects.  Under the expert guidance of internationally known actor Sayed Badreya. Participants will come prepared to share their ideas with each other and involve themselves in discussions in order to improve and increase their knowledge of the US and Arab film industries. Participants will receive ongoing guidance from Mr. Badreya and other professionals throughout the program.
The workshop will address a wide range of related topics including; in-depth project development, script development, co-production strategies, budget and financing, marketing and production, as well as pitching. In addition individuals will have the added benefits of wide-ranging networking opportunities with key players from Hollywood film industries. This will include Hollywood industry professionals who live in Chicago. Plus offer first-hand experience, knowledge and awareness of Hollywood markets through project presentation.

Mr. Badreya will cover key topics such as:

·         How to write a short film
·         How to shoot a short film
·         How to promote short film in festivals.
·         How to turn a short film success into your feature film.

Techniques and discussions on 3 types of films will be covered throughout the week:

* Short Films.
The Interrogation (2002) USA: Running Time: 17 minutes
Producer: - Sayed Badreya
Won Best Creative Short Film at New York International Film Festival.

T for Terrorist (2003) USA: Running Time: 28 min
Producer: Sayed Badreya
Cast: Sayed Badreya, Tony Shalhoub
Awarded Best Short Film at the Boston International Film Festival and the San Francisco World Film Festival.
* Documentary Film.
Saving Egyptian Film Classics (2002) USA: Running Time: 52 minutes
Director: Sayed Badreya
Written by: Sayed Badreya
Produced by: Sayed Badreya
Cast: Martin Scorcese, Madyha Yussury, Zahi Hawass, and more

*Feature film.
American East (2007) Running Time: - 110 min
Co-written by: Sayed Badreya
Cast: Sayed Badreya, Tony Shalhoub
Award winning won best picture in Madrid Film Festival, 2008  

Enjoy 3 evenings of Q&A and Cinema conversations with Chicago’s Hollywood actors.

 Week Two of the workshop: 
Shooting a short film titled Chicago Mirage with Sayed Badreya and crew.
This 10min short film is a visual story of emotion and beauty depicted through the faces of three characters. A man who has been just released from prison after 10 years -seeing his 10 year old son for the first time. His beautiful wife who educated herself and became a successful medical doctor during her husband’s incarceration. This short artistic piece takes us through the first few hours of the man’s new freedom and how the three characters attempt to reconnect learning how to be a family. Creative cinematography will capture imagery of the lovely Chicago architecture and sites.  The film will be premiered at the Gene Siskel Film Theater as well as other venues in Los Angeles. This film will be submitted to all international and national film festivals. Names of sponsors will be accredited in the movies. .

The workshop will be limited to a select group of 25 participants who truly desire and have a passion for filmmaking and the industry. These 25 individuals will be accepted based on their submissions of their resume, video reel and a brief description of what they hope to gain from the workshop.
The workshop will be hosted in the downtown Chicago University. 
The workshop will be advertised on the Illinois Film Office website and well as the local Chicago newspapers and radio. As well as the local Arab media outlets.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wild Garden Hummus Dip served to astronauts on International Space Station

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Ray Hanania
Jan. 19, 2011                                                                                    rghanania @

Wild Garden Hummus Dip served to astronauts on International Space Station

Cicero, IL – Astronauts on the International Space Station are now able to enjoy the healthy and great tasting benefits of Wild Garden Hummus Dip with their meals.

Ziyad Brothers Importing based in Cicero, Illinois markets the garbanzo-bean Hummus dip under its Wild Garden label. The Hummus comes in both a 13.4 ounce jar in six flavors and a 1.76 ounce single-serve tetra-packet in two flavors. The single-serve packets are among the food options served to the astronauts to augment the standard menu on the International Space Station. 

Wild Garden Hummus Dip is an all-natural, vegan vegetarian garbanzo bean-based food that features the healthiest ingredients available. Wild Garden eliminates preservatives and unnecessary additives creating a shelf-stable product that does not need refrigeration until it is open, making it ideal for space voyage. It is GMO and Gluten free.

“Wild Garden Hummus Dip is an authentic Mediterranean dip with great-tasting flavor that is growing in popularity across the United States. We are excited the astronauts can now enjoy it,” explained Mark D. Smith, vice president of sales for Wild Garden.

“Hummus has become more of a mainstream food choice. Our shelf-stable hummus is available from nearly every major retailer across the United States and in Canada. The single-serve Hummus Dip tetra-packet is now popular in schools and is available as a gourmet menu choice on four airlines. We are very proud that NASA has included Wild Garden Hummus Dip among the many food items now served to our nation’s astronauts and to the astronauts on the International Space Station.”

Research shows garbanzo beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Their high-fiber content reportedly prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them beneficial for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, garbanzo beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.

For more information and photographs visit

Wild Garden Hummus Dip is supplied to NASA by Minimus Inc., a supplier of condiments and single serving food items.

“We are proud we can do our part to help our Space Program, all the astronauts from across the many countries involved in our space program by providing a healthy food item choice,” Smith said.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Hosts Group of Iraqi Journalists

Bookmark and Share

Distributed by the

University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
Hosts Group of Iraqi Journalists
Iraqi journalists traveling with the Journalism Curricula Development Group will be in Eugene and Portland Jan. 15-22
EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) will host seven Iraqi journalism educators from the Journalism Curricula Development Group, from Jan. 15-22. During their visit, the journalists will participate in local media tours, panels, workshops and seminars and meet with local journalists, civic leaders, scholars and students. The group will participate in a free public panel titled “Media in Iraq Today,” at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the Gerlinger Hall Alumni Lounge, 1468 University St., Eugene.

“In our increasingly interconnected world, news knows no borders, ” said Peter Laufer, James Wallace Chair in Journalism. “There are critical lessons to be learned from seeing how journalists operate in other parts of the world, and our students and faculty are so fortunate to have this opportunity to exchange ideas with this group of veteran journalism educators from Iraq.”

Although much of their visit will be spent on the UO campus, members of the Iraqi group will tour The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., and The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, as well as broadcast outlets in both cities. They will also participate in curriculum workshops, panels and seminars exploring journalism education topics, such as accreditation.

The Iraqi journalists will also meet with campus groups, including the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and the Middle East Research Interest Group. They will also participate in networking events with civic and business leaders.

Members of the visiting group include:


  • Adnan Ahmed, assistant professor in the department of mass communication at the University of Baghdad
  • Abdulameer Al-Faisali, professor of electronic journalism and assistant to the dean of Media for Scientific Affairs and Higher Education at the University of Baghdad
  • Radwan Ali, lecturer at Salahaddin University
  • Sihaam Al-Shegeri, media consultant for the Journalism Freedom Observatory in Baghdad, head of media and media consultant at the ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
  • Ali Jabbar Al-Zuki, professor of media, assistant to the dean of Media for Students’ Affairs at the University of Baghdad
  • Azad Dzayi, dean of Technical Institute in Erbil and media lecturer
  • Saman Mohammad, press advisor and coordinator at the Ministry of Higher Education and press advisor and coordinator at Scientific Research for the Kurdistan Regional Government

To request an interview with members of the Iraqi group or to attend one of the panels, seminars, tours or workshops, contact Lewis Taylor at (541) 434-7038.

About the School of Journalism and Communication
The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) fosters the development of outstanding journalists by emphasizing ethics, social responsibility and public interest. The program combines professional practice with a broad-based liberal arts education and has given rise to nine Pulitzer Prize winners. The SOJC’s undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students to be leaders in journalism and communication by exposing them to hundreds of industry professionals a year, internship and networking opportunities, and involvement in award-winning publications and organizations.