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.  

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.

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.

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.


AACC takes part in Arab American Leadership Days in Washington DC

96a96140-700d-4214-acc7-d53c4f174c2eThe Arab American Civic Council participated in the Arab American Leadership Days on April 26-28 in Washington D.C. During these three busy but inspiring days, more than 20 National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) member organizations – in partnership with the AAI, ADC, and NAAP – gathered in D.C. for seminars and meetings with partners and elected officials. Representatives from these organizations also spent an entire day on the Hill meeting with their representatives and senators on issues and educating them on the needs of Arab Americans.

AACC Executive Director Rashad Al-Dabbagh joined other Orange County delegates at meetings with the offices of Rep. Lou Correa and Sen. Kamala Harris to address issues such as surveillance, immigration, the travel ban, CVE, refugee resettlement, and the implications of anti-BDS legislation on our communities.

Resist Trump’s Executive Orders

The Trump administration is turning the bigoted rhetoric of his presidential campaign into bigoted policy, less than a week into holding office. The proposed ban on Muslims and shut down of our borders are the first steps in a Trump-era agenda that criminalizes entire communities based on their nationality and origin.

We are resisting. 

  • We participated in the Women’s March this past Saturday in Santa Ana where more than 20,000 people reportedly attended joining close to 3 million people nationwide in a show of unity against hate and bigotry. Our vice chair Mirvette Judeh-Maaytah was one of the featured speakers at the event. Watch her electrifying speech here.
  • screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-12-40-21-amWe held a press conference along with a coalition of immigrant rights and civil rights organizations in Santa Ana. Read the OC Register’s write up here. Watch NBC’s news segment here.

3 things you can do today to RESIST Trump’s Executive Orders:

  1. Attend the immigration town hall meeting today at 2pm hosted by Rep. Lou Correa. Prepare statements and questions about Trump’s Executive Orders. Details here.
  2.  Join us at the #NoBanNoWall march to the federal building in Santa Ana to resist and fight for Orange County as a Sanctuary County, a county that welcomes all immigrants and refugees. Details here.
  3. Call your representative to urge her/him to speak out against Trump’s bigoted executive orders.

What these candidates for US Congress said when asked about justice in Palestine

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the Orange County LULAC Foundation and OC NAACP held the first 46th congressional district debate in Garden Grove. Here’s what the candidates answered when they were asked “What will you do to support peace and justice for Palestinians?“.

One of these four candidates may replace Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who’s running for US Senate. The district includes Santa Ana, and parts of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Orange.