Oklahoman Newspaper forces release of mayoral candidate Ed Shadid’s divorce records
By Ray Hanania
The Oklahoman Newspaper, which some critics have alleged has an anti-Arab history, won its battle to force the opening of the sealed divorce records of Ed Shadid, the candidate for mayor in Oklahoma City in the March 4, 2014 election.
Shadid, who is Lebanese Arab American, fought the effort claiming the records had nothing to do with his public service and that the records were sealed to protect his family and children. Divorce records are frequently sealed to protect families divided by divorce and often exaggerated out of anger and emotion.
A medical doctor, Shadid is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Council, elected to the 2nd District.
Shadid was born and raised in Oklahoma City and comes from a family with century-long ties to the State of Oklahoma. After World-War I era migration to Oklahoma, Dr. Shadid’s hard-working grandparents of modest means emphasized education above all else. They raised children and grandchildren who, along with other members of the Shadid family, have provided healthcare to Oklahomans since before statehood.
Dr. Shadid is a board-certified spinal surgeon who received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Northwestern University in Chicago. He returned to the University of Oklahoma for his medical degree, trained in general and orthopedic surgery in New York City and then specialized in spinal surgery in San Francisco. Dr. Shadid opened his practice in Oklahoma City in 2001. The 13,000 patients who have been treated at Spine Care of Oklahoma include a large number of soldiers, primarily from Fort Sill in Lawton.
Shadid ran for office in 2010 after he became trapped under an overpass during a major tornado storm. He ran for the Oklahoma legislature, and lost. But came back to succeed retiring councilman Sam Bowman. Shadid won the seat in 2011 and vowed to expose the hidden campaign donations made anonymously into local elections. The anonymous funds represented efforts by major political interests to protect businesses and political clout.
The focus on his personal life is seen as a way to undermine Shadid and district voters from his campaign to bring true transparency to politics, not personal and families lives.
Ray Hanania is the Managing Writer of the Arab Daily News online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
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.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also writes for Al Jazeera English. Hanania has written for the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. 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.