Los Angeles, 1/25/ 2018 – It is with a profound sense of loss and sadness that the Arab American Civic Council mourns the passing of Mr. Joseph Haiek, who passed away this morning, January 25, 2018, at 10am in Cairo, Egypt.
Haiek developed pneumonia during a trip to Egypt where, accompanied by his daughter Caterina he traveled to celebrate his 85th birthday in December and received a prestigious award from the Association of Egyptian American Scholars.
Joseph R. Haiek was born in 1932, Jerusalem, Palestine, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1967. He is the publisher and founder of The News Circle Publishing House in Los Angeles 1972, covering news, views and culture on Arab Americans as well the Arab World. He published the Arab American Affairs Magazine (The News Circle), 84 pages magazine in English, from 1972 to 2008, and the Arab American Almanac series, six editions. The first edition of the Arab American Almanac was published in 1974. It is the most comprehensive reference book on Arab Americans in the United States. The current 6th edition of the Almanac contains 608 pages. Haeik also founded the Arab American Press Guild in 1985 and the Arab American Historical Foundation in 2005. He preserves an important collection of Arab American historical books, publications, letters, photographs and video clips. He produced a video in 2003 about Arab Americans in Los Angeles that includes Arabic music.
In May of 2011, Haiek was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor at Ellis Island, NY. for his selfless activism in preserving the Arab American culture and identity for over 45 years.
“Sometimes we are fortunate and blessed on our life’s journey to meet truly transformative figures who touch us deeply in their own unique gentle way. Joseph Haiek was such a man and by example showed many of us the true meaning of giving and being of service to others;” said Raad Ghantous Chairman of the Arab American Civic Council’s board of directors. “Our duty to Joe now is to responsibly follow in his footsteps and continue the important work he championed!”
The Arab American Civic Council presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award during its inaugural Arab American Heritage Gala on April 24, 2016 to honor his long years of leadership and dedication to the Arab American community and documentation of the community’s history.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be held in Los Angeles in the next two weeks.