UAE helps soccer but what about Arab image?

UAE helps soccer but what about Arab image?
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The Arab image and image of the Muslim world is a shambles in America, bludgeoned and “slibeled” nearly every day by paid anti-Arab activists and by the mainstream American News Media. The media is in a pro-Israel headlock that prohibits and discourages full and accurate information about the Arab that might expose Israel’s governments atrocities through critical news stories. When the media does criticize, the media tones it down when it comes to Israel to avoid being called “anti-Semitic.”

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall (1976-1992)

Recently, the United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest Arab Family dynasties in the Middle East, announced programs to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy by contributing a huge donation of millions to the Sandy Relief Fund.

In June 2015, the UAE announced they will build the 8th and 9th new soccer fields for local American schools hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, which struck the East Coast and slammed New Jersey hardest between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, 2012.

In February, 2013, the UAE gave the school district in Joplin, Missouri, where 161 people were killed by tornadoes, millions to purchase brand new Mac Book computers for the district 2,200 students. Before that they funded the construction of a neo-natal care center.

I think it is great that they did this. Helping those in need is important. It’s a lot better than what Americans THINK the Arabs spend their money on: luxury cars covered with diamonds and jewels, or gambling at the casinos in Las Vegas, especially the one owned by anti-Arab hater Sheldon Adelson.

American boy in New Jersey playing soccer on field donated by UAE.

The Arabs love to donate money, which disappears into a sea of gratitude but that does nothing to help counter the negative images that the media and the growing sea of critics portray of the Arab people or Arab countries.

And that’s the irony.

The Arab Daily News

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The UAE, which includes Dubai, probably donated $300 million to $500 million for all of the humanitarian projects cited above. And truthfully, the Arabs are trying to buy good favor from Americans using their oil wealth, but it doesn’t work.

Yes, this is a FACT: The people who receive the donations are extremely happy and “love” the UAE. But it stops there. There is no real Return on Investment. The recipients of this monetary largesse know where the border line is of what they can be happy about. And it stops at American Foreign Policy. They love the donation, not the Arabs. They change their mind about one small notion about the ugly stereotypes of the Arabs, but not all of it.

The Arabs need to do more. But it would take far less to have a serious, significant impact to literally create a fundamental change in how the American people as a whole — not just recipients of badly needed money — view the Arab people and the demands for justice of the Arab World.

So little could do so much more to make a difference and counter the negative, hateful stereotypes that are promoted in the United States by the pro-Israel lobby and the extremist groups that hate Arabs and Muslims.

What would it take to create a strategic communications program to reverse the downward slide that portrays Arabs and Muslims negatively?

American children in New Jersey lineup on new soccer field donated by UAE.

American children in New Jersey lineup on new soccer field donated by UAE.

 

Maybe $3 million to $5 million, just One Percent of what they spend.

If they wanted to get bold, they could spend $300 million to purchase one of America’s largest newspapers and ensure that the newspaper published facts about the Middle East instead of the endless venom of pro-Israel and anti-Arab hatred that fills the pages of most American news media.

Qatar funds AJAM (Aljazeera America), a 3rd effort to provide government managed news from the Arab World. It’s not very effective at all. The reporters at AJAM and its two sister media operations, Aljazeera Arabic and Aljazeera English, do a poor job of covering the Middle East. They are constantly barraged by criticism of bias and slanted news. In fact, AJAM has even published vicious columns and reports targeting American Arabs who have tried to stand up to the very fanatics who attack Qatar and the Arab Gulf Nations. Why? Because Qatar and the Arab Gulf nations are fearful of the Arab extremists.

It’s ironic, but it’s true.

Children play on what remains of playground equipment amid the rubble of a play yard destroyed by Israel. Copyright (c) 2015 Mohammed Asad. All Rights Reserved. Permission to republish given with full credit to Mohammed Asad and The Arab Daily News.

But the Arabs don’t need an “Arab” or “Muslim” media here in America. They need to do what Israel does very effectively and with far less money, influence the mainstream American news media to be objective, fair and balanced.

That’s the problem with the mainstream American news media. They don’t want to be objective, fair or balanced when it comes to the Middle East. They intentionally remain biased. They won’t hire American Arab professional journalists because they learned from hiring American Jewish professional journalists that they use their personal experiences and biases to corrupt the “objectivity.” Most American Jewish journalists soften their criticism of Israel — the few that write any criticism of Israel — and exaggerate their love for Israel.

That’s why American Arabs are excluded and prevented from entering journalism as “American Arabs.” American Arabs are bullied, pressured and threatened to keep their views on their side of the typewriter and microphone. And most do. They few American Arabs who have high profile jobs in mainstream journalism rarely share what they know to be true about the Middle East.

They know they will be fired from their ABC TV Network jobs, their Today Show jobs and programs, and from their positions at NPR, WBEZ Radio and local TV stations.

Only American Arabs in journalism have their feet put to the fire of “objectivity” prohibiting them from engaging their personal knowledge about the Middle East and their Arab heritage into their writings, especially if that knowledge in anyway criticizes or exposes Israel. Many American Jewish journalists do it all the time. And when you write “Arab” it’s ok. But when you write “Jewish” you are bullied and “Slibeled” as “anti-Semitic” — Slibeled is a combination of “Libeled” and “Slandered.”

The truth is the Arab World like the UAE and other ArabGulf nations know how to donate money without impact, but they don’t know how to make their money and donations count.

And you know what? They could still donate to the needy in America, the way they are doing it now, and still add money to fund a strategic communications plan in America to change how Americans views the Arabs and Muslims.

They could. But they really don’t like strategic communications. They are worried about their own people “communicating” and “expressing opinions.” And they sure don’t want that.

The Arabs are extremely sensitive to criticism. Not criticism from Israel and the pro-Israel lobby that criticizes and “Slibels” them all the time. But they hate criticism from their own people. You criticize the embassy one time and they will never speak to you, let alone give you one dollar.

They expect criticism from the pro-Israeli fanatics and the extreme right. But they are insulted when they are criticized by other Arabs because they feel that it is a betrayal and disloyalty.

It’s one reason why the Arabs are so screwed up. Their gyroscopes of what is good and bad are damaged. They have no real sense of how to save themselves. A little strategic communications — just a little — could change the dynamics of the fundamental hatred that Americans have for the Arab people and Arab World.

But the only thing standing in the way of that achievement is the Arab Governments themselves.

You don’t see many Arab governments advertising here. No. Of course not. But you do see the Arab governments advertising in newspapers that publish vicious slander against them.

It’s like an international version of the “Stockholm Syndrome,” is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages, or victims of constant brutality and oppression that they are helpless to stop, express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors and their brutalizers and their oppressors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors, brutalizers and oppressors.

Of course, we haven’t even gotten into the topic of how Arabs and Muslims continue to suffer in the Gaza Strip and how the Gulf Nations are afraid to stand up to Israel. I mean hell, the Government of Egypt is helping Israel oppress Gaza and Saudi Arabia is playing nice with Israel because the Saudi’s fear Iran might undermine their own power.

Helping others and doing the right thing. It always comes down to their power.

Here are the two recent press releases about the UAE helping the needy victims of Hurricane Sandy. Good Job UAE. Maybe one day it will be a better job, too:

UAE Embassy Announces New Community Soccer Field for Brooklyn Elementary School

UAE EMBASSY ANNOUNCES NEW COMMUNITY SOCCER FIELD FOR BROOKLYN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PS24 will receive a new field and full coaching program operated by the New York City Football Club

New York, NY (June 22, 2015) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy today announced plans to construct a new, state-of-the-art soccer field at PS24 in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. The new field will be completed and dedicated in September, as the 2015/16 school year begins.

The soccer field is part of the UAE’s ongoing commitment to help restore communities in New York and New Jersey that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. During the immediate aftermath of the storm, the UAE pledged $10 million for recovery efforts ($5 million in each state), to provide assistance to public schools and reconstruction work, and to fund the construction of all-weather playing fields.

The New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and its foundation, City in the Community, will provide ongoing, complimentary after-school soccer programming and coaching for children at the school once the field is complete.

The UAE Embassy and City Football Group (CFG), the majority owner of NYCFC, have collaborated before to provide deserving children access to quality playing fields along with world-class coaching and education programs. In 2012, the Embassy and CFG’s Manchester City Football Club unveiled a rooftop soccer field at PS72 Lexington Academy in East Harlem, the first of its kind in New York City. Today, the program at PS72 is organized and managed by City in the Community and serves more than 400 kids a week through after-school programs, promoting healthy eating and physical exercise.

“Our students at PS24 were thrilled to find out about the new soccer field. For the first time, my students are anxious for summer vacation to end so they can start playing soccer,” said PS24 Principal Rose Dubitsky. “We are honored to be chosen by the UAE and NYCFC to receive a gift that will benefit students for years to come.”

NYCFC players, including Khiry Shelton, Sebastian Velasquez, Kwadwo Poku and Patrick Mullins, participated in the event and delivered the news to the children and other community members. They were joined at PS24 by UAE Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Jamal Al Musharakh.

“The UAE Embassy’s community soccer program started in Manhattan, and we are excited to expand it to Brooklyn. Together with local partners across the US, we are delighted to help provide kids with safe places to play soccer,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.

“In the short time since we have been in New York, we have seen our fans’ passion for the game. We are excited to partner with the UAE Embassy to continue the tradition of sharing the love of soccer with young fans across New York,” said NYCFC President Tom Glick.

NYCFC’s Khiry Shelton, who helped deliver the news to the PS24 students, said, “Today is such a special day for this great group of kids. On behalf of my teammates at NYCFC, we can’t wait to come back in the fall to dedicate the new field and play soccer.”

During the surprise visit at the school, the kids received autographs and pictures with the NYCFC players, and were shown a rendering of their new soccer field. NYCFC players also led a soccer clinic for the kids.

The PS24 soccer facility will be the ninth field built in the US with support from the UAE Embassy. In partnership with local community organizations around the US, the UAE Embassy has also funded fields in New York City-Harlem; Washington, DC; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles; Chicago; Miami; Atlantic City, NJ and Asbury Park, NJ.

About the New York City Football Club

New York City FC is the first Major League Soccer Club located within the five boroughs. Majority owned by City Football Group, which includes Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos, New York City FC play their home games at Yankee Stadium, which also home to minority owner, the New York Yankees.

New York City FC kicked off their inaugural MLS season in March 2015.

About the United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the world. The United States and the UAE are close friends and strong allies, working together to promote regional security, create economic prosperity, and address pressing global challenges. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States. Cultural, educational, and medical partnerships between the UAE and US are spurring innovation, inspiring creativity, and increasing understanding in both countries.

UAE Embassy Opens 8th Community Soccer Field

UAE EMBASSY AND THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ALLIANCE DEDICATE NEW COMMUNITY SOCCER FIELD FOR BRADLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN ASBURY PARK

New field is part of the UAE Embassy’s Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey

Asbury Park, NJ (June 16, 2015) – Today, officials from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), representatives from the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA) and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund (HSNJRF) joined local community leaders and children to celebrate the dedication of a new state-of-the-art soccer field at the Bradley Elementary School in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

The new soccer field is the result of a partnership between the AHA and the UAE Embassy, who donated the funds to construct the field. Bradley Elementary School’s field will benefit hundreds of students on a daily basis, as well as children throughout the community.

“We are delighted to be a part of this exciting gift to the kids of Bradley Elementary and the Asbury Park community,” said Dana Al Marashi, Head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the UAE Embassy. “Working with great local partners, the UAE Embassy has been committed to providing support and deepening involvement to help communities rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We are proud of this second community soccer field in the state following the dedication of a field in Atlantic City last fall. We hope the kids of Asbury Park have fun using this field for many years to come.”

“The UAE Embassy and the generous people of the UAE were among the first to offer support after Hurricane Sandy. They’ve been a steadfast partner to the state of New Jersey as our communities continue to recover and rebuild,” stated First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund in a written statement. “We are grateful to the UAE Embassy for their partnership and friendship, and know the kids in Asbury Park will enjoy and benefit from this wonderful gift.”

Bradley Elementary School is the second location in New Jersey to receive a soccer field built by the UAE Embassy. The development and construction of these community soccer fields is part of the UAE Embassy’s commitment to helping restore storm-impacted communities across the state. The first New Jersey soccer field was built in 2014 at the Texas Avenue Playground in Atlantic City in partnership with the Atlantic City Long-Term Recovery Group. The UAE Embassy’s significant contribution to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey also included a $4.5 million grant in 2013 to the HSNJRF, chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, to repair and enhance the technology capabilities of public schools in storm-impacted areas. The funds were distributed to 30 public schools across nine Sandy-impacted districts, benefiting approximately 20,000 students.

“The Alliance is pleased to be the conduit to such community development activities that help our younger community members. It was a pleasure to work with each of our partners in this effort to bring quality recreational opportunities to local youth,” said Donna Blaze, Chief Executive Officer for the Affordable Housing Alliance.

Dr. Lamont Repollet, Superintendent for Asbury Park Public Schools, said, “The District of Asbury Park is excited to receive this gift from the UAE Embassy and the Affordable Housing Alliance. The soccer field will provide a safe environment for the students to build upon the administration’s principles of self-confidence, service, and leadership – and there is no better avenue to express all three than sports. This is the first step of what Asbury Park hopes will be a lasting partnership.”

Dana Al Marashi, Head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the UAE Embassy, was joined at the field celebration by Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet, Bradley Elementary School students and staff, local government officials, community leaders, and local family and children. The school also organized a soccer clinic for the kids to mark the occasion.

Asbury Park is the eighth US city to receive the gift of a soccer field from the UAE Embassy. Since 2010, the UAE Embassy has collaborated with local community partners across the US to provide deserving children access to quality soccer facilities and programs. The Embassy has helped build fields in New York City, East Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dallas, and Atlantic City.

About Affordable Housing Alliance

The Affordable Housing Alliance, based in Eatontown NJ, was formed in 1991 and is a non-profit certified housing counseling agency committed to developing affordable housing and providing related housing services such as new home buyer education, financial literacy education, foreclosure counseling, housing rehabilitation, rental assistance, emergency utility assistance, and the development and management of affordable rental units. Since Super Storm Sandy, the Alliance has dedicated considerable resources to assist families rebuild their homes with our Bayshore Bungalow™ Program (www.bayshorebungalow.com (link is external)). AHA is proud to be a member of the NeighborWorks® America network. For more information on the Affordable Housing Alliance, visit www.housingall.org (link is external) or call 732-389-2958.

About the United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the world. The United States and the UAE are close friends and strong allies, working together to promote regional security, create economic prosperity, and address pressing global challenges. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States. Cultural, educational, and medical partnerships between the UAE and US are spurring innovation, inspiring creativity, and increasing understanding in both countries.

For more information: www.uae-embassy.org and @UAEEmbassyUS (link is external).

About the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

The Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization started and chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. The Relief Fund has raised $40 million dollars from donors around the world in support of the long-term recovery of New Jersey families, businesses and communities. To date, the Relief Fund has awarded more than $37.7 million to 107 nonprofit organizations providing Sandy-impacted residents with disaster case management, housing assistance, financial and legal counseling and mental health services. Learn more about the Relief Fund at: http://sandynjrelieffund.org (link is external) and @sandynjrelief (link is external).

The Arab Daily News

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rayhanania


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The Arab Daily News

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