Good News from AAI’s new Midwest Office

PALESTINE ON THE PLATFORM
Arab Americans have been instrumental in writing the Iowa Democratic Party platform. In the 2nd Congressional District, Shams Ghoneim was a full member of the Platform Committee, while Maher Josephson was an alternate. They met numerous times with other Concerned Iowans for Middle East Peace (CIMEP), including AAI National Policy Council member Newman Abuissa, to craft a positive and winning plank on Palestine, coordinating all the various versions passed at the county level.  The "Regional Conflicts – Israel/Palestine" plank in the Iowa 2nd District Democrats’ 2008 platform reads:
We Support:
* A two-state solution based on the 2003 Geneva Accord;
* A direct, active, and even-handed US role to facilitate a peaceful final resolution;
* Keeping US Embassy in Tel-Aviv until reaching final resolution.
We Oppose: 
* Israeli settlement activity on territory captured in the Six-day War of 1967;
* The Separation Wall.
CIMEP members and other local activists drew extra attention to the issue with an info table at the convention.  All were moved by the man who commented: "I have been pro-Israeli all of my life. Probably because of the Holocaust.  I have many Jewish friends.  I have served in war.  But your display really opened my eyes.  I had no idea.  Someone who has gone through what they have has no right to do the same thing to another people. Thank you."   A similar table is being planned for the Iowa Democrats’ State Convention on June 14th.
Send your platform writing and voter / candidate education stories to vsmith@aaiusa.org.
 
PALESTINE IN THE PAPER
Dr. Nassar Danan submitted a letter to the editor of the Solon, OH Times.  Published under the title "60 Years of Hostility", it makes the point that while Congress recently passed a resolution recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the founding of Israel, what is called for is an honest assessment of the manner in which the state was created and its consequences.  He quotes Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and political scientist Norman Finkelstein on the dispossession and injustice involved, and calls on the U.S. to support a just and lasting peace between the Palestinian and Israeli communities.
Follow these links to see:
Dr. Danan’s letter as it appeared in the paper 
Tips for writing your own letter to the editor   
Recent work AAI has done on behalf of Palestine, Palestinians, and Palestinian Americans 
CONGRATULATIONS!
To Linda Mansour, an Attorney in Toledo, OH, who has been appointed an at-large delegate to the Democratic National Convention.  Linda earned this appointment through her consistent and diverse contributions to the Obama campaign.  She donated financially to the national campaign and loaned office equipment to the Toledo Headquarters, where she acted as a Team Leader, spoke on behalf of the campaign at public engagements, canvassed door-to-door and assisted in organizing 600 other volunteers to do the same.  She also brought her 15-year-old daughter in to help with phone banking every day in the week before the Ohio primary, and traveled to Indiana in support of the campaign.
Send your campaign and delegate selection stories – from either party – to vsmith@aaiusa.org
MEET OUR NEW TEAM MEMBER
Hussein Saghir joins AAI’s Midwest office as our second intern.  He has previously served as political action advisor and president of the Arab Student Union, and chapter president of the American Red Cross, Bioethics Society, and NOW at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, from which he recently graduated with a BS in psychology and a minor in Biology.  Hussein has been active with the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) and Humanitarian Organization for Palestinian Equality (HOPE), as well as AAI.   His goal is to empower the Arab American community in a sustainable and efficient way, to increase voter excitement and turn out, thus strengthening a community which he believes has been overlooked for too long in the political arena.  Contact Hussein at aaimidwest@gmail.com
 
AAI is now accepting applications for fall internships in Dearborn, MI and Washington DC.
and until Monday, for a Cleveland, OH based full-time summer / part-time fall Yalla Vote Organizer.
Click here for more info. on all these opportunities.
 
JOIN US AT THESE UPCOMING EVENTS
We need YOU to help collect signatures on the Yalla Vote ’08 National Petition and show the Yalla Vote spirit at the following events.  Just hit reply to let us know you’re interested and we’ll contact you with further details.
May 18         Yalla Vote Kickoff in Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
May 22         Arab American Day at the State Capitol in Lansing, MI
May 23-25   Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of al-Nakba in Chicago, IL
May 26         Walk with AAI during the Memorial Day Parade in Dearborn, MI
June 20-22   Dearborn Arab International Festival
Please let us know of any other upcoming events in your area that would provide additional opportunities to spread the word and collect signatures.  
HAVE YOU SIGNED OUR NATIONAL PETITION?
The Arab American Institute has drafted a National Petition that will be presented to the Republican and Democratic Presidential nominees to voice our community’s concerns and show our electoral strength.
If you haven’t already, please sign the National Petition on AAI’s website; add your voice to the greater Arab American community calling on the two major political parties to recognize the value of diversity,  end to the war in Iraq, protect the civil liberties of all Americans, and develop a more just U.S. foreign policy.
Please encourage your frends and family to add their signatures as well. One voice in the political forest cannot be heard; thousands of voices together will be heard loud and clear.
 
For more information about Yalla Vote, please visit our website at www.yallavote.org
BE VISIBLE . . .  AND EDUCATE!
If you need Yalla Vote stickers, Arab American voter and party preference buttons and signs, or information about Arab Americans to use in your efforts, just ask. We’ll send them to you.
Valerie Smith
AAI Midwest Organizing Director
4407 Roemer, Dearborn MI 48126
313 945-9221
mobile: 202 494-2942
Arab American Institute
1600 K Street, NW Suite 601
Washington, DC 20006
www.aaiusa.org
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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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