Sign this petition: Demand Congress act to repeal the Muslim ban!

In a decision that will forever stain our history and the legacy of the U.S. Supreme Court—alongside cases like Dred Scott, which upheld slavery, and Korematsu, which permitted the incarceration of Japanese-Americans—our nation’s highest court ruled in favor of Trump’s Muslim Ban. In doing so, it gave the green light to an administration that has made xenophobia, racism, and anti-Muslim bigotry its official policy.

From the Muslim Ban to policies like locking immigrant children and their parents in cages, Trump’s agenda is rooted in White Supremacy. He consistently endorses dangerous policies to harm, dehumanize, and exclude people of color.

Every day that Congress fails to take action, the Ban continues to block people from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Those impacted are separated from their loved ones, denied educational and professional opportunities, life saving medical treatment, and family milestones. This policy is based on nothing other than Trump’s bigoted campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Trump and the Supreme Court may allow policies that discriminate against people based on how they worship or where they come from, but Congress still has the power to #RepealTheBan, and should do so immediately. We urge you to support H.R. 4271 and S. 1979 and stand up against Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Click here to sign a petition telling Members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate: Demand Congress act to repeal the Muslim ban!

In Washington, Arab Americans met for Congressional briefing and rallied against the Muslim Ban

img_4579.jpgOn April 24 the Arab American Civic Council Executive Director Rashad Al-Dabbagh and Transformative Leaders Fellow Johanna Mustafa traveled to Washington, DC for the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) Arab American Leadership Days, organized in part with the Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Network for Arab American Professionals.  

IMG_4659
Rashad Al-Dabbagh providing an update on the Calfiornia Arab American community

Our cohort had the opportunity to rally against the Muslim Ban outside of the Supreme Court Offices in the wake of oral arguments on the Ban. After federal judges ruled against the Muslim Ban, many thought that the Supreme Court will strike it down. However, after last week’s oral arguments, it has become clearer the the Supreme Court is leaning towards upholding the Ban.

Following the rally against the Muslim Ban, we gathered to hear the latest policy discussions on key issues such as refugees, healthcare, census, and immigration; and heard community updates from each region. Experts from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU, Jewish Voice for Peace, Representative Betty McCollum’s office, and USAID, joined us to discuss the importance of fighting discrimination and surveillance under the current administration, and the importance of organizing the Arab American vote.

img_4718-e1525395839605.jpg
Rep. Keith Ellison

On Friday, April 27, Arab Americans from across the country converged for a Congressional breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill and heard directly from Representatives Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN), Hank Johnson (GA), and Brenda Lawrence (MI).

Rep. McCollum commented on the progress of her ”Promoting Human Rights By Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,” which seeks to protect Palestinian children from abuse in Israeli military detention. Ellison emphasized the importance of advocacy, and encouraged Arab Americans to do more to tell their stories.

IMG_4732
Rep. Lou Correa’s office

After the briefing delegations from each state met with their Representatives in Congress to advocate on issues they care about.  

Arab American Civic Council members and other California-based leaders then met with Rep. Lou Correa, Rep. Norma Torres’ office, and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. The issues that were discussed during those meetings included extending Temporary Protected Status for Syrians and Yemenis and nationals of other countries, refugee resettlement, concerns regarding surveillance of Arab, Muslim, and vulnerable communities, and anti-boycott bills the predominantly targets US Palestine solidarity activists.

 

3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala a success

Close to 200 community members turned out for the Arab American Civic Council’s 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala on Saturday April 21, 2018 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.

1A7A0136.jpg

Among this year’s extraordinary Arab American Heritage Gala awardees were philanthropist and co-founder of the Palestine Children Relief Fund Dr. Musa Nasir who received the Joseph R. Haiek Lifetime Achievement Award, refugee advocate and co-founder of Sabil USA Dr. Samar Abdelaziz who received the Spirit of Service Award, and Jewish Voice for Peace who received the Solidarity in Action Award.

We were honored to have doctoral candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside Loubna Qutami as the keynote speaker, actress and comedian Jennifer Jajeh and Oud player Clarissa Bitar who provided the entertainment for the evening.

Elected officials present at the gala were Congressman Lou Correa, Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Jose Moreno, Fontana Councilman Michael Tahan, Garden Grove Councilwoman Kim Nguyen, Anaheim Union High School Trustee Al Jabbar, and Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee Walter Muneton. Additionally, the offices of State Senator Josh Newman, and State Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva were represented.

During the gala, the Office of State Senator Josh Newman presented a resolution to recognize April as Arab American Heritage Month, which was passed unanimously on the Senate floor on Thursday, April 10.

See photos from the event here.

Among the event’s sponsors were Comerica Bank, and PIMCO Foundation. Thank you to all those who sponsored, advertised, volunteered, and attended the gala to support the work of the Arab American Civic Council to empower the Arab American community in Orange County.

CA State Senate adopts resolution commemorating Arab American Heritage Month

The Arab American Civic Council applauds the California State Senate for adopting Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 123, authored by State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) with unanimous support. SCR 123 commemorates the month of April as “Arab American Heritage Month” in California and recognizes the important contributions of Arab Americans to our state.

In addition to presenting SCR 123 on the Senate Floor today, Senator Newman also welcomed and introduced the following Arab American leaders in their respective regions:

  • Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Executive Director, Arab American Civic Council
  • Serge Bakalian, Founder and Executive Director, Arab Film and Media Institute
  • Basim Elkarra, Executive Director, CAIR-Sacramento (Council on American Islamic Relations)
  • Mirvette Judeh, Vice Chair, Arab American Civic Council
  • Maria Khani, Founder and Director, A Country Called Syria

The Arab American Civic Council will commemmorate Arab American Heritage Month during its upcoming gala on April 21st. Get your gala ticket here.

April is Arab American Heritage Month

18194827_756791797812584_1104110043307262168_n
The Office of Sen. Josh Newman presenting Arab American Heritage Month resolution at last year’s gala

Once again we at the Arab American Civic Council are excited to mobilize cities and communities to celebrate April as Arab American Heritage Month as we have done in the past couple years with resolutions passed in the State of California and cities of Anaheim and Garden Grove.

SEE: California Senate resolution to honor Arab American Heritage Month passes

Arab Americans have been an integral part of America for hundreds of years and have contributed tremendously to our nation in various aspects and fields.

April 2018 is a special opportunity to enhance understanding of diverse Arab American heritage that is often forgotten or perhaps avoided by the media. As a grassroot organization, we continuously encourage communities and local elected officials to (1) learn more about and engage with Arab Americans, (2) attend Arab American events in the community, and (3) support organization that help integrate new immigrants from the Arab World.

This year, the Arab American Civic Council will celebrate Arab Americans at its 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala taking place on April 21st at the Great Wolf Lodge, in Garden Grove. We invite all community members to join us as we celebrate and amplify the contributions of Arab American pioneers and inspirational leaders.

Tickets to attend our Gala on Saturday April 21, 2018 can be purchased at this link.

13237805_584958598329239_7312628596809089742_n
In 2016 the City of Anaheim presented its first ever Arab American Heritage Month proclamation