Team Palestine competes in Chicago Marathon

Team Palestine competes in Chicago Marathon
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Palestinian American Rush Darwish is leading a team of marathon runners this year in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a 26.2 mile race through the city of Chicago. It’s a growing American tradition. An American Arab has won the marathon four times and still holds the record for the fastest run

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon kicked off this morning in Chicago with some 40,000 runners on a 26.2 mile route that takes them through many of Chicago’s ethnic neighborhoods, from the north side to the south side to the west side.

The race this year will include a group of Palestinian marathon runners under the banner “Team Palestine” which is raising funds for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and organized by marathon runner and television producer Rashad “Rush” Darwish.

“Team Palestine” is carrying on a tradition of Arabs entering the Bank of Chicago Marathon started by Moroccan runner Khalid Khannounchi in 1997.

Kannouhci is the only Arab to win the Bank of American Chicago Marathon setting two records, so far. He is the first runner to win the Chicago Marathon four times (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002), and he holds the Chicago Marathon record for finishing with the fastest time, 2:05:42 (1999). Click here for more info.

Members of "Team Palestine" compete in the annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Members of “Team Palestine” compete in the annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Don’t be surprised, Rush said, if one day another Arab wins the Chicago Marathon, but this time from Palestine.

The Arab Daily News

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Click here to read my feature story published at Al Jazeera English today in recognition of the efforts of these nearly 60 Palestinian American runners who are competing to showcase the cause of Palestine.

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and for, and

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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.

His Facebook Page is

Email him at:

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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