Muslim American enters Ogden, Utah City Council race

Muslim American enters Ogden, Utah City Council race
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Muslim American enters Ogden, Utah City Council race

A Muslim American married to an Iraqi immigrant has announced her candidacy for the Ogden, Utah City Council, running as a conservative and basing her candidacy on years of local activism. Mary Khalaf hopes to unseat an incumbent and is seeking support from the public for her candidacy.

By Ray Hanania

Muslim woman and immigration activist Mary Khalaf announced her candidacy this week for a seat on the Ogden, Utah City Council running in the contested Republican Primary August 15, 2017.

Khalaf, 43, is married to an Iraqi immigrant, Atheer Khalaf, who settled in Utah, a conservative Republican State that has opened its arms to refugees from the Arab World. Mary Khalaf has been active in advocating for local issues including a regional issue to allow residents to raise chickens in their back yards.

Khalaf is a wife, mother, former federal officer & adviser who has operated The Khalaf House, a safe space for wellness, for 12 years. Khalaf says she has “a pulse on the needs of everyday Americans” and wants to enter public service citing her experience as a community volunteer, providing mental wellness needs, and engaging in cultural awareness leadership in local community seminars. She is teaching a course in “American Cultural Assimilation” for immigrants and refugees.

Mary Khalaf, candidate for Ogden, Utah City Council, with her husband. Photo courtesy of Mary Khalaf's Facebook page

Mary Khalaf, candidate for Ogden, Utah City Council, with her Iraqi immigrant husband. Photo courtesy of Mary Khalaf’s Facebook page

If Mary Khalaf wins the August 15 Republican Primary contest, she would run in the Nov. 7 municipal election for the seat.

Khalaf has actively fought for the rights of immigrants in Utah and helps them engage as full citizens in the United States.

Her supporters describe her as a “winner,” citing in addition to her qualifications, her recent successful battle against cancer.

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Ogden City does not have a mayoral race this year, but there are contests for two at-large and two “ward” seats on the Ogden City Council. Council Chairwoman Marcia White faces four challengers in the at-large A slot, and incumbent Councilman Bart Blair faces five in the at-large B race. Khalaf will be competing for the At-Large B seat challenging Blair and others who have entered that race.

Khalaf describes herself as a Constitutional Conservative who believes “many of our Nation’s problems can be resolved through adhering to Constitutional Principles such as smaller Government, lower taxes, State and Personal and Property Rights, and inclusion of the common man in politics.”

She adds, “Utah is growing and one of the best States to live in because we adhere to Conservative fiscal and social values. It’s important to preserve these values for our children who are risk of being taxed into slavery through bureaucracy & poor management.”

The wife of an Iraqi immigrant gives Mary a unique window into the needs of our growing immigrant community. She says she hopes she can help Ogden’s immigrant community prosper while integrating into the fabric of the city.

No matter where you are from are intend to go Mary would like to help build a strong community as she believes her primary goal as a politician is to help lift all boats.

Khalaf also operates The Khalaf House where she teaches American Cultural Assimilation. The Khalaf House is described as:

The Khalaf House is a home designed to help those who with uncertainty find clarity or those in crisis find licensed Wellness Care in a supportive environment. The Khalaf House believes that everyone needs to talk & everyone can find their purpose/contribute.  With a focus on Social Responsibility The Khalaf House hopes to help lift the Community by instilling proper principles in regards to stewardship over Ourselves, Others & the Earth.

Ogden works with 22 different ethnic refugee communities. Officials have estimated that Utah shelters and embraces about 2,200 refugees each year.

On a personal note, Mary Khalaf is Irish-Scottish by birth. She converted to Judaism at age 28 but when she faced cancer 3 years ago, she converted to Islam.

“I converted to Islam the day before I found out I needed major surgery,” she said. “I feel blessed to have become Muslim and it has sustained me as I’ve battled cancer.”

You can support Mary Khalaf’s candidacy by donating to her through the online site, Crowdfunding. Click here to donate. There is a $1,500 limit under Utah election law.

Follow her on Twitter by clicking here.

Follow Mary Khalaf on Facebook by clicking here.

Follow Mary Khalaf on Google+ by clicking here.

Visit The Khalaf House on Facebook by clicking here.

Here is Mary Khalaf’s candidacy profile:

Why you should support Mary Khalaf

Mary Khalaf, candidate for Ogden, Utah City Council. Photo courtesy of Mary Khalaf's Crowdfunding website page

Mary Khalaf, candidate for Ogden, Utah City Council. Photo courtesy of Mary Khalaf’s Crowdfunding website page

Mary Khalaf is a wife, mother, former federal officer & adviser who has operated The Khalaf House, a safe space for wellness, for 12 years. Having served her community through meeting their mental wellness needs alongside her work of cultural awareness has given Mary a pulse on the needs of everyday Americans & she would like to carry forth her experiences into public service.

Having overcome and currently battling cancer has instilled a need in Mary to make a difference in the world around her with the time God has provided.

Mary is a Constitutional Conservative who believes many of our Nation’s problems can be resolved through adhering to Constitutional Principles such as smaller Government, lower taxes, State + Personal + Property Rights & inclusion of the common man in politics.

Utah is growing & one of the best States to live in because we adhere to Conservative fiscal + social values. It’s important to Mary to preserve these values for our children who are risk of being taxed into slavery through bureaucracy & poor management.

The wife of an Iraqi immigrant gives Mary a unique window into the needs of our growing immigrant community & she hopes she can help Ogden’s immigrant community prosper while integrating into the fabric of the city.

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rayhanania

rayhanania

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 www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.

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 Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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