Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Mosque Foundation and AgeOptions Offer Classes to Help Adults Learn to Thrive With Chronic Health Conditions

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The Mosque Foundation and AgeOptions Offer Classes to Help Adults Learn to Thrive With Chronic Health Conditions

(November 30, 2011 – Bridgeview, IL) Adults are invited to join a series of free classes to help them learn to thrive, not simply survive, with chronic health conditions. The series will be held at The Mosque Foundation, 7360 W. 93rd St. in Bridgeview, IL. The series begins on Monday, December 12, 2011 and runs from 10:30am – 1:00pm. More series will be scheduled as well for those interested.

Take Charge of Your Health is an interactive series of six workshops offered throughout suburban Cook County. The ongoing workshops are sponsored by AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, and made possible through a grant from the U.S Administration of Aging via the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The program uses the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed by Stanford University. Research has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving participants’ health outcomes.

Each series of workshops is taught by two trained class leaders. Participants learn:

* Coping with fatigue, frustration, pain and isolation that may be related to ongoing health conditions
* Exercising to maintain and improve strength, flexibility and endurance
* Using medications
* Communicating with family, friends and health professionals
* Practicing good nutrition
* Evaluating new treatment options
* Problem solving around the ongoing health condition
* Brainstorming and other techniques

The free class sessions meet two and one-half hours per week for six weeks.

Participants set their own goals and work on goals they want to accomplish while learning how to manage pain and other symptoms. “The workshops allow older adults to meet people, share what they know and come up with new ways to improve their lives,” said Maria Oquendo-Scharneck, AgeOptions health and diversity coordinator.

Participants in previous classes report:

* Feeling better
* Feeling relief from pain, fatigue and symptoms related to chronic disease
* Having more energy
* Being more confident
* Feeling in control of their lives
* Feeling connected to others with similar issues

For more information or to register call The Mosque Foundation at (708) 430-5666, or contact Maria D. Oquendo-Scharneck at (708) 383-0258 or

AgeOptions is a nonprofit organization located in Oak Park, IL, that has served the older adults of suburban Cook County and their caregivers as an Area Agency on Aging since 1974. For more information, please visit the Agency web site at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Arab Economic Sanctions, a Defeat for the Syrian Regime Leads to More Isolation

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Press Release
Arab Economic Sanctions, a Defeat for the Syrian Regime Leads to More Isolation  
In response to the decision of the Arab League to impose economic sanction on the Syrian regime, the Syrian National Council (SNC) stated:   The SNC confirms that the economic sanctions approved by the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers against the Syrian regime for its refusal of the Arab Initiative are considered a defeat, and are an important step towards isolating it and limiting the supplies that fuel its war against the peaceful demonstrators in Syria.   Preventing the regime's officials from traveling, and halting trade and financial transactions with institutions under the regime's control, enhances the people's ability to respond to the oppression the Syrian regime practices against the unarmed civilians.   The Syrian regime is politically and morally responsible for any social effects that may result from these sanctions for its refusal to act logically by its reckless dealing with the sanctions and their expected results, and its failure to respond to the efforts of the Arab League.   The SNC calls on all Arab countries to continue the policy of isolating the regime on all levels - political, economic, and diplomatic, to immediately apply all decisions made and prevent the regime and its officials from bypassing them, and to confirm Arab unity with the Syrian people's struggles for freedom and dignity.   The SNC will continue its efforts with all countries and regional and international organizations to further isolate the regime and overthrow it as soon as possible.    
****************************** For more information or commentary, please contact Ausama Monajed, member of the Syrian National Council. Email:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Israeli Palestinian Confederation Convention December 12, 13th and 14th, 2011.

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PRESS RELEASE                                                                          
For Immediate Release
November 20, 11
Israeli Palestinian Confederation
Israeli Palestinian Confederation Convention December 12, 13th and 14th, 2011.
 Jerusalem- Beit Jaala - Haifa

Our Pre- Elections convention will take place this year on December 12th 13th and 14th at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem, Talitha Kumi in  Beit Jaala and Bet Hagefen in Haifa. The convention will have presentations from such notable Israeli and Palestinians as: Shlomo Ben -Ami, Sari Nusseibeh Ruth Dayan, Munther Dajani, Uri Avnery, and Ahmed Natour. In addition we will have presentations from candidates who are currently running in these historical elections. The audiences will be inspired and entertained by the world renowned peace activist and singing performer, Liel Kolet.

Palestinians and Israelis alike are also registering to become voters in the FIRST Israeli Palestinian Confederation elections which will take place next year on December 12, 2012.

The convention schedule is as follows:
Monday, December 12th 2011 Ambassador Hotel.
2:00 P.M Press Conference (Pre- convention)
 4:00 P.M:   Convention begins

Beit Jaala
Tuesday, December 13th 2011, Talita Kumi.
12:00 P.M Press Conference (Pre-Convention)
2:00 P.M:  Convention begins

Wednesday December 14th 2011, Bet Hagefen.
12:00 P.M (noon)
The Israeli Palestinian Confederation will be an independent government for the mutual benefit of the Palestinian and Israeli people. It does not replace or and is not intended to undermine the existing Israeli or Palestinian governments. The Israeli Palestinian Confederation will become an additional governmental organization necessary to fill in the current void and make peace. Our Constitution and the Frequently Asked Questions are available on
In the next year, Palestinians and Israeli citizens who reside in the regions will continue to offer their candidacy for President and for Parliament in each of the predetermined 300 districts. Each Parliament member will represent a population of over 35,000 people and will serve a period of four years.
The President will be serving a term of two years and will then rotate with his Vice President for an additional two years. The President and Vice President must include an Israeli and a Palestinian Citizen. We currently have almost 450 candidates.
All the candidates, along with their personal biographies, photos, and mission statements now appear on our website at
For more information, contact:
Josef Avesar, Esq.
Mobile: 1-818-324-3182
Office: 1-818-783-2934
Aymen Zaben
Cell: 059-755-5854  (WB)
Cell: 050- 423-6466 (Israeli number)

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011


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Chicago, IL – The Distilled Spirits Council today urged the Cook County Board of Commissioners to protect Chicago’s struggling hospitality industry by rejecting a job-killing alcohol tax increase in Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed budget. 

“During these troubling times, policymakers need to protect hospitality workers and consumers, not punish them with higher taxes,” wrote Council Vice President Dale Szyndrowski, noting that the hard-hit Chicago hospitality industry is still down 13,000 jobs since the recession.  “The proposed tax increase will make spirits taxes in Chicago 85 percent higher than in New York City, and likely drive more business and tourists into surrounding counties and neighboring Indiana.” 

Szyndrowski also pointed out that a restaurant patron already pays a staggering eight different direct taxes each time he or she purchases a drink:  Federal Excise Tax ($13.50/proof gallon), State Excise Tax ($8.55/gallon), County Excise Tax ($2.00/gallon), City Excise Tax ($2.68/gallon), State Sales Tax (6.25%), County Sales Tax (1.25%), City Sales Tax (1.25%) and Transport Tax (1.00%).  In total, he said, nearly 60% of the price of a bottle of spirits at the local liquor store already goes to taxes.

“By any measure, Cook County consumers are already paying more than their fair share in alcohol taxes,” Szyndrowski said.  He further noted that Cook County’s proposed alcohol tax would mark the fourth alcohol tax hike on Chicagoans since 2005, including a state excise tax increase in 2009 that nearly doubled taxes on distilled spirits.


To receive a copy of the full letter, please contact Ben Jenkins:  Economic analysis on tax increase proposal attached.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

PLO Statement on UNESCO Membership and actions by Israel and US

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November 1st, 2011

Statement on UNESCO Membership

The General Delegation of the PLO to the US is pleased that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accepted the State of Palestine as a full member during its session on October 31, 2011. With over 10,000 years of history, Palestine looks forward to finally take its rightful place among other nations of the world in this prominent institution. We hope this will help preserve the integrity of our cultural heritage after decades of Israeli negligence and abuse.

Meanwhile, we regret to see the U.S. Administration carry through its threat to freeze UNESCO funding for accepting Palestine’s legitimate right for membership when UNESCO provides critical assistance to many nations in education, children rights, women rights, and cultural heritage.

The General Delegation of the PLO to the US is surprised by the swiftness of the American response in withholding the aid, and can only hope this administration will exercise similar promptness in responding to Israeli violations of international law and defiance of US policy.

Statement Regarding the Latest Israeli Escalation in Gaza

The General Delegation of the PLO to the US condemns the latest unwarranted Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip. Many of the casualties reported were unarmed civilians and not militants, in contrast to what mainstream publications reported. Moreover, Israeli warplanes continued their onslaught despite an Egyptian-mediated truce that went into effect Sunday at 10 P.M.  The latest round of strikes is another example of the Israeli domestic politics resulting in military escalation against the Palestinians.

Nonetheless, we remain committed to a non-violent solution to the conflict, and hope that all parties abide by the declared truce.

We are disappointed at the U.S. Administration’s lack of response to this latest escalation. The recent Israeli airstrikes on Gaza constitute violations of human rights, and the Israeli government’s continued settlement expansion is in direct opposition to U.S. policy.

 The General Delegation of the PLO to the US urges the U.S. Administration to display evenhandedness in handling the Mid-East conflict, and to take immediate steps to prevent Israeli transgression of Palestinian human rights, which undermines the peace process and aspirations for a just and lasting solution.

To arrange a media interview with Ambassador Maen Areikat, Chief Representative of the General Delegation of the PLO to the US, please contact Amro Jayousi on or tel. 202-974-6360.

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