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.

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 and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania 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 at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is

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