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.

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.