Thursday, March 22, 2012

HCEF reinvigorates Palestinian national identity among youth in the Diaspora through hands-on education

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     Chiara Cardone
March 22, 2012                                                      Tel: 301-951-9400 ext. 206

HCEF reinvigorates Palestinian national identity among youth in the Diaspora through hands-on education

Bethesda, MD/News Release – The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) announced this week that they have 20 additional spots open for youth in their “Know Thy Heritage” summer leadership  program which seeks to reinforce American Palestinian links to their homeland.

Officials of HCEF, the largest Christian Palestinian organization in the West, said they expect to send a contingent of 50 Palestinian youth to Palestine during a two week period beginning July 6, 2012.

Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, co-founder of HCEF, said that there is an “education gap” in what mainstream Americans, including those of Palestinian descent, know about Palestine, and a need to educate Palestinian children raised in Western countries like the United States so they can be more effective voices for peace.

“Participating in the Know Thy Heritage program is probably the most important step that Palestinian youth in the Diaspora can take to better understand the challenges facing their heritage and become frontline advocates for accurate information about Palestinians and achieving peace,” Rabie said.

“While in the 15 day program, the youth delegates visit all the towns and areas of historic Palestine, and gain a personal understanding of its history, traditions, cuisine, art, music, religions, society, politics, economics and business advancements. They meet with a wide range of leaders and experts in Palestine.”

Rabie said that last year, HCEF sponsored 33 youth delegates, all of Palestinian heritage, who spent part of their summer in Palestine in the program. This year, Rabie said, HCEF hopes to send 50 students to participate in this important heritage learning experience.

“They were young men and women, Muslim and Christian, and last year came from 13 different American states. They are children of parents who came to America from Ramallah, Birzeit, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nazareth, Gaza, and other villages and cities of historic Palestine. Parents can talk about the importance of Palestine and their heritage but nothing brings the youth to a clearer understanding of what it means to be Palestinian than to participate in a program like this.”

Rabie said for most of the youth, it was their first and only visit to Palestine.

This year, the program will be held from July 6 through July 21.

“We want them to discover their country and cultural heritage, and to strengthen their links with the land of their ancestors,” Rabie said.

Rabie said the program has been expanded and currently 30 candidates have already been approved, originating from not only the United States but also Canada, England, Australia, and France. An additional 20 positions are still open for applicants, Rabie said.

Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 25. If you are interested in participating, you can go online and request an application the Know Thy Heritage. Instructions and complete information can be found on the KTH webpage. Click here

HCEF also hosts an internship program in Palestine where interns work alongside community and business leaders to gain firsthand experience and a detailed understanding of Palestine’s needs and potential.

For more information about these programs, contact, or call Chiara Cardone, KTH Program Coordinator at (301) 951 9400 ext. 206. To learn more about HCEF, visit

# # #

Know Thy Heritage
Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
6935 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 518
Bethesda, MD 20815
Chiara Cardone, Program Coordinator
Tel: 301-951-9400 ext. 206
Fax: 301-951-9402

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

AACC Executive Director Selected as 2012 “Women Making a Difference”

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For Immediate Release

AACC Executive Director Selected as 2012 “Women Making a Difference”

American Arab Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fay Beydoun has been selected one of 25 special “Women Making a Difference” by the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

"I am honored and humbled by the recognition," said AACC executive Director Fay Beydoun. "The foundation has excelled at building the next generations of leaders by providing education, leadership and philanthropic opportunities for young women."

The nonprofit organization champions the cause of social justice for women and girls in Michigan. The women were selected for making a positive impact and improving the lives of young women throughout the state every day. The foundation plans to recognize the women at its 25th anniversary celebration on March 26, 2012 at the Motor City Convention Center.  

Fay Beydoun is a visionary leader setting a good example and mentoring Arab American women. She has devoted her time to serving the business community and the community at large. She is a firm believer in empowering entrepreneurs, specifically women. Growing up in Dearborn, as an immigrant and a daughter of an immigrant family, she has mobilized and directed thousands of volunteers for various causes, social, political and economic, as part of her strong believe in giving back to her community.

Since leading the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in 2008, Fay Beydoun has used her talent and expertise to benefit the Chamber and the community with great enthusiasm, dedication and humility. For most, her leadership has had positive rippling effects at the local, national and international level.

The American Arab Chamber of Commerce is the largest Arab-American business organization in the United States, delivering services and counsel to more than 1,500 companies, ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations and executive professionals. The Chamber is also the main business and trade link between the United States and the Middle East, with a major current goal of making Michigan a hub for trade for the MENA region.

In 2002, Ms. Beydoun expanded her circle of activities to enhance the relationships between the United States and the Middle East. She became vice president of the U.S.-Arabic Economic Forum, an organization that facilitates economic collaboration, cultural dialogue, and innovation between the United States and the Middle East. The Forum attracts more than 1,000 participants from 35 countries including top Fortune 500 executives and more than 150 global leaders, in the fields of government, business, technology, academics and policy.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Distribute your release to our growing list of Arab/Muslim Media

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IIE Opens Emergency Student Fund to Provide Financial Relief to Syrian Students Studying on U.S. Campuses

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Contact: Sharon Witherell, IIE, 212-984-5380,
Leena Soman, IIE, 212-984-5360, 

IIE Opens Emergency Student Fund to Provide Financial Relief to Syrian Students Studying on U.S. Campuses

Grants of $2,000 will help Syrian students with urgent financial needs to continue their studies in the United States

NEW YORK, February 15, 2012 The Emergency Student Fund (ESF) of the Institute of International Education (IIE) is issuing a call for nominations from U.S. colleges and universities that have Syrian students on campus with urgent financial need due to the escalating unrest in Syria. The program aims to help international students from Syria pursuing higher education in the United States complete their studies so that their academic careers are not interrupted as a result of turmoil in their home country.

Syria-ESF will provide grants of $2,000 each to Syrian students nominated by their U.S. host colleges and universities who may be unable to continue or complete their degree program in the United States due to serious financial difficulties precipitated by the situation in their home country. Administrators and faculty from accredited U.S. campuses can nominate up to four Syrian students at their institutions who need financial assistance to complete spring semester 2012.

International Student Advisers or other campus officials should submit applications to IIE by February 29, 2012. To nominate students, advisers must complete the Syria-ESF nomination form and e-mail it to Applications directly from students will NOT be accepted.
U.S. host campuses nominating students for Syria-ESF awards are expected to provide some emergency assistance to the nominated students, through tuition waivers, full or partial scholarships, housing, stipends, loans, work study, or other forms of support.

IIE anticipates that the need will exceed funding currently available in its Emergency Student Fund, and is actively seeking donations from interested individuals and foundations.

Awards will be announced in early March. IIE may announce a second call for nominations in late March 2012 depending on the availability of funds and ongoing need.

“The Institute is committed to helping students finish their chosen courses of study so that they will be prepared to help meet their home countries' needs,” said IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman. “Supporting students now is critical to educating future leaders for our increasingly interdependent world.”

According to data from the 2011 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published annually by IIE in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, more than 500 students from Syria studied in the United States in 2010/11, an increase of 24 percent from the previous academic year.

IIE’s Emergency Student Fund provides grants to post-secondary students matriculated at accredited educational institutions outside their home countries whose sources of support have been impacted by natural disaster or other crises. Since 2010, IIE’s ESF has provided over $1 million to nearly 400 students from Japan, Haiti, Libya, and Thailand whose home sources of financial support were impacted by crisis or natural disaster. 

Building on a Freeman Foundation designation of $2.5 million for emergencies involving students from East and Southeast Asia studying in the U.S., IIE is issuing a request to donors around the world to support this fund for other world areas. The Institute seeks additional contributions for the Emergency Student Fund so that it can respond quickly to help international students when disasters and emergencies in their home countries threaten to jeopardize the completion of their studies.


Institute of International Education
Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is a private not-for-profit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors and donors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. These programs include the flagship Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State. IIE also conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and provides support to students and scholars in danger.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Radio Chicagoland goes 24/7 with latest shows

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If you missed a Sunday broadcast of Radio Chicagoland on WSBC AM 1240 or on WCFJ AM 1470, you can now listen to the rebroadcast on a continuous loop anytime on our new rebroadcast service.

CLICK HERE to listen  to the show live when it is on the air Sundays from 8 until 10 am or listen to a continuous rebroadcast of the show all day every day.

We will also be adding rebroadcasts of Radio Baladi shows between rebroadcasts of Radio Chicagoland Shows. Once a rebroadcast of the most recent Radio Chicagoland is completed, the most recent Radio Baladi (the one hour Arab focused show on WNZK AM 690 in Detroit) will broadcast. That will continue going back and forth until the live show every Sunday of Radio Chicagoland.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UN Calls on Israel to End Racial Discrimination

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14 March 2012

UN Calls on Israel to End Racial Discrimination

(HAIFA, Israel) On 13 March 2012, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (“UN CERD” or ”Committee”) released its Concluding Observations, following its latest review of Israel.

Adalah submitted an NGO report to the Committee in December 2011 on Israel’s lack of compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), in particular regarding Israel’s systematic discrimination against Palestinian Arab citizens of the state  From 14-16 February 2012, Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn participated in the review sessions in Geneva, raising Adalah’s key concerns in briefings before the Committee. Many of the issues Adalah included in our report and oral submissions were incorporated directly into UN CERD’s concluding observations (CO).

The UN CERD monitors the compliance of State Parties with the ICERD. Israel ratified the convention in 1979 and as such, is bound by its provisions. Adalah has been submitting NGO human rights monitoring reports to the Committee since 1998, and uses the concluding observations of such international human rights bodies in our domestic legal interventions and advocacy in Israel.

Highlights of the concluding observations include calling upon Israel to:

-       “Make every effort to eradicate all forms of segregation between Jewish and non-Jewish communities,” with a specific criticism of the enactment of the Admission Committees Law (CO #11)
-       “Ensure that the prohibition of racial discrimination and the principle of equality are included in the Basic Law.” (CO #13)
-       “Ensure equal access to land and property and to that end abrogate or rescind any legislation that does not comply with the principle of non-discrimination.” (CO#15)
-       “Abrogate all discriminatory laws and rescind all discriminatory bills so as to ensure non-Jewish communities’ equal access to work and social benefits as well as the right to political participation.” (CO #16)
-       Revoke the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision) and to facilitate family reunification of all citizens irrespective of their ethnicity or national or other origin.” (CO #18)
-       To close education, achievement, and income gaps between Jewish and non-Jewish communities, “to ensure equal enjoyment of economic and social rights for non-Jewish minorities,” and to “redouble its efforts to achieve equality in women’s access to all the rights enshrined in the Convention” (CO #19)
-       “Withdraw the 2012 discriminatory proposed Law for the Regulation of the Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, which would legalize the ongoing policy of home demolitions and forced displacement of the indigenous Bedouin communities” and to “step up its efforts to ensure equal access to education, work, housing and public health” for the Bedouin population. (CO #20)

Additionally, the Committee expressed concern over Israel’s use of administrative detention and the admission of secret evidence for detainees, including children; and the inability of residents of the Gaza strip to access justice in Israeli courts, contrary to a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, prohibiting Israel from exempting itself from paying compensation to Palestinians for wrongful damages incurred by the Israeli military.

For the first time, the Committee expressed extreme concern at the existence of two entirely separate legal systems and sets of institutions for Palestinians and for Jewish settlers living in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which it stated amounted to “de facto segregation”. The Committee drew Israel’s attention to its General Recommendation 19 (1995) concerning the prevention, prohibition and eradication of all policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid, and urged Israel to take immediate measures to prohibit and eradicate any such policies or practices. 

Nadia Ben-Youssef International Advocacy Coordinator Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel 8A Henrietta Sold PO Box 10273, Beer el-Sabe 84002 Tel: +972(0)8-6650740 Fax: +972(0)8-6650853 Mobile: +972(0)54-566-2300 website:

The General Delegation of the PLO to the United States commemorates the 13th of March, birthday of the Palestinian National Poet Mr. Mahmoud Darwish

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The General Delegation of the PLO to the United States commemorates the 13th of March, birthday of the Palestinian National Poet Mr. Mahmoud Darwish.
Mahmoud Darwish was a poet and academic renowned for his beautiful, and fiercely national writings. He tackled pertinent and controversial issues such as exile, identity, and watan (homeland) with eloquent poems and reasoned articles.
The selection below is an excerpt from one of Darwish's most famous poem “Write down: I am an Arab”
Write down
I am an Arab
And I work with comrades in a stone quarry
And my children are eight in number.
For them I hack out
a loaf of bread
a school exercise-book
from the rocks
rather than begging for alms
at your door
rather than making myself small
at your doorsteps.
Does this bother you?

Saturday, March 10, 2012


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For immediate release.  

GAINESVILLE, Florida - - The Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, got off to a fantastic start at the third race of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season in Gainesville, Florida in the United States.  At the midway point of qualifying, the silver Al-Anabi Top Fuel team is the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals.  The two-car Al-Anabi Top Fuel team won the last two NHRA Top Fuel world championships.
Shawn Langdon, the driver of the silver Al-Anabi Top Fuel dragster recorded the quickest and fastest run of the weekend so far with a brilliant 3.800-second pass at 322.65 mph.  If the No. 1 qualifier holds through the remaining two rounds of qualifying, it would be Langdon’s second consecutive No. 1 qualifier and the third of his career.
“The Al-Anabi car is awesome, and it’s flying,” Langdon said.  “It’s hard to be the No. 1 qualifier because there are so many good-running cars.  I tried hard for three years, and I got it one time and then a long spell of not getting a No. 1 qualifier.  To start our season with a No. 1 qualifier at the second race and take the provisional No. 1 at the third race is a great feeling that builds a lot of confidence for the driver, and it’s a good way to start the year. The car was straight as an arrow.  It left great, and it left straight; when you’re running 322 mph, it’s a good feeling when it holds.  Thanks to Sheikh Khalid for the opportunity; I hope we can get him a win on Sunday.”
In the Al-Anabi Racing gold Top Fuel car, rookie Top Fuel racer Khalid alBalooshi continued to improve with a very solid 3.852-second pass at 315.64 mph.  He is No. 7 after the first two rounds of qualifying. After the tires on the Al-Anabi dragster lost traction in the first round,  alBalooshi was not qualified for the race on Sunday.  His second pass showed the deft touch of a veteran as the rookie from Dubai successfully guided the 8,000 horse power machine down the track getting the team comfortably in the show.
“The second run was a good run,” alBalooshi said.  “The Al-Anabi team was smart to run a conservative 3.85 to make sure we qualified the car.  It was not the time to look for a big number; we just need to be in the show for Sunday.  Tomorrow, we will try for a better number, but I feel very good.  Everything is good, and I thank Sheikh Khalid for giving me the chance to drive the Al-Anabi car.”
After two additional rounds of qualifying on Saturday, both Al-Anabi teams will compete in eliminations on Sunday.
Al-Anabi Racing operates out of multiple locations in both the United States and Qatar.  In the United States, the Brownsburg, Ind.-based operation is a two-car NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series team that is managed by Alan Johnson Racing. Sheikh Khalid’s initiative has created increased international awareness of the nation of Qatar while highlighting the nation’s international sports outreach. Alan Johnson is a 14-time NHRA champion in various capacities including crew chief, team owner and team manager.  For additional information on the Al-Anabi Racing Team, team manager Alan Johnson or drivers Khalid alBalooshi or Shawn Langdon, please visit

Photo 7189: Dubai rookie Top Fuel driver Khalid alBalooshi leaves the starting line with his front tires in the air as the gold AL-Anabi Top Fuel dragster races to the No. 7 qualifier position at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Nationals in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo courtesy Ron Lewis)

Photo 7306: Al-Anabi silver Top Fuel dragster driver Shawn Langdon racesto the provisional No. 1 qualifier during the second qualifying session Friday in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo courtesy: Ron Lewis)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Radio Chicagoland expands into Southland Chicago and Northwest Indiana

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Radio Chicagoland which is broadcast every Sunday from 8 am until 11 am is now expanding its broadcast signal on two stations. Radio Chicagoland will now simulcast live on both WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 radio stations.

The call-in number remains 773-792-1240 and the web site remains But while WSBC AM 1240 broadcasts mainly to Chicagoland's North, Northwest, West and near Southwest suburbs (as far south as Palos), the new radio station WCFJ AM 1470 will now include listeners in the far Southlands and Northwest Indiana. WCFJ is based on Chicago Heights and will include southwest suburban communities from Orland Park south.

"Listeners in Orland Park should be able to chose between either station but now the new station will open up the popular political and current events talk radio program to many new communities including Tinley Park, Frankfort, Homewood Flossmoor, Chicago Heights and also into Northwest Indiana," said radio host Ray Hanania.

The program focuses on the hottest topics in the news and includes a special interest in regional, national and international politics.

Kheir Fakhreldin co-hosts during the program from studios located in Northwest Chicago at 5625 N. Milwaukee Avenue.