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League of Arab States Celebrates Second Annual Arab-American Day Reception in D.C.
By The Arab Daily News Staff
The League of Arab States, in coordination with the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Washington D.C., hosted the Second Annual Arab-American Day at the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRBITC) in Washington, D.C.
More than 400 people including the ambassadors of 12 Arab World countries, attended the event. Also attending were the Ambassador of Brazil, high ranking officials from the World Bank, Congress, State Department, distinguished American friends, Arab-Americans representing their communities, and representatives of several Arab-American organizations in the U.S.A.
The guests were feted with traditional Arabic instrumental music, representing Arab countries and a selection of Arabic food and pastries.
Among the speakers were Andrew Gelfuso, Vice President of RRBITC; Mohammed Al-Hussaini Al- Sharif, Ambassador of the Arab League; Ambassador Richard Schmeirer, on behalf of the Honorable Secretary of State, John F. Kerry; Hunaina Al-Mughairy, Ambassador of Oman to the United States on behalf of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in D.C., and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Honorable Raymond “Ray” LaHood.
The Ambassador of the Arab League in Washington, D.C., seized the opportunity to pay tribute to Ms.Lily Bandak , an Arab-American artist with disability, who enjoys a long history of successful talent in photography. The Ambassador acknowledged Ms. Bandak’s courage & struggle by commenting on her story that reflected her remarkable strength & great efforts that she exerted for survival to become a productive American citizen.
Thirty notable Arab-American artists participated in an exhibit of 50 paintings and a few selected artistic photos – all provided an exciting cultural and educational highlight to the evening.
Twenty artists, representing twelve Arabic countries, were present for the occasion. They were able to meet & exchange views with many of their fellow Arab-Americans from an array of American states.
The Ambassador of the Arab League also received a Governor’s Citation from Governor Martin O’Malleyof the State of Maryland , in recognition of the Arab League’s dedication to the Arab-American community in the United States .
VIDEO of event:
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For information on Arab League in Washington, D.C.: www.arableague-us.org
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Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. And, he writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers.
He also writes for the online websites including TheArabDailyNews.com, TheDailyHookah.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions.In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States. He has a daughter from a prior marriage, Haifa.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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