Thursday, April 07, 2011

NAAJA Conference to address challenges facing journalists in Middle East

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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Ray Hanania
April 6, 2011                                                                            
                                                                                                            Laila alHusinni

NAAJA Conference to address challenges facing journalists in Middle East

Chicago/Detroit – Speakers will address the challenges facing journalists covering the pro-Democracy movement in the Middle East and Arab world at the annual conference of the National American Arab Journalists Association.

The conference is being held April 29 – May 1, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan. It is open to the public.

Keynote speakers include Mohamed Abdel Dayem, the Middle East & North Africa Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Lawrence Pintak, the author of the new book “The New Arab Journalist,” and award winning journalist George Hishmeh.

The conference is being sponsored by nearly two dozen community and journalism organizations. Registration is being kept intentionally low at $75 per person for the weekend event. But a large number of students interested in journalism and communications are attending the event through local colleges and sponsorship by major corporations.

The Saturday schedule features 10 panel discussions on major issues facing American Arabs, a luncheon and dinner gala. Warren David, president of David Communications and, the largest network of American Arabs, is the emcee. Imad Hamad, the executive Director of the Detroit and Michigan Chapters of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will address the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 and the increase in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim discrimination.

Three students will be honored with college scholarships at the event for essays they have submitted on the importance of being American Arab.

“We are very excited to host the national journalism conference in Dearborn,””said NAAJA Detroit Coordinator Laila alhusinni, host of the morning radio show “Good Morning Michigan” and the syndicated radio show Radio Baladi which is broadcast in both Chicago an Detroit every Friday morning.

“This is just a start. We hope to strengthen the voices of American Arab and Muslim in Detroit and the region by working more closely with professional journalists. This conference will also help define how the community faces and understands challenges in the coming years.”

Entertainment at the Gala Dinner will be provided by the musical ensemble of Usama Balbaki.

For more information on the conference, visit Participants can register online. Hotel accommodations are being provided by the Hyatt Hotel in Dearborn. Hotel registrations can also be made online or by telephone at a special $89 per night rate.