American Civil Liberties Union to receive top national Arab American award

American Civil Liberties Union to receive top national Arab American award
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American Civil Liberties Union to receive top national Arab American award

The Arab American Institute will host the Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the J.W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW | Washington, D.C.

5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala Black Tie

2018 Awardees

Greg_Simon_Photo.jpegThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Award for Institutional Excellence

Coll_headshot.jpgThe Honorable Frances Black
Award for Individual Achievement

José_Andrés.jpgJosé Andrés & World Central Kitchen
Award for International Commitment

ArcLockup_Color_Rev_JPG.jpgThe Honorable Marcelle M. Wahba
Najeeb Halaby Award for Public Service

Reservations at the J.W. Marriott can be made by calling the hotel at 1-800-393-2503 or visiting the Gibran Awards J.W. Marriott reservation page
The Arab American Institute hosts many events each year. Here are some of themajor ones:

A not-for-profit affiliate of AAI, the Arab American Institute Foundation’s goal is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate Arab American participation in American civic life, and to cultivate and mobilize a strong, educated, empowered Arab American community that can play a meaningful role in the betterment of our country. AAIF’s programming provides communities with the platform and hard data necessary to strategically and successfully combat xenophobia, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. Through its numerous outreach programs AAIF builds leadership skills among students and young professionals and informs the public, government agencies, and organizations about the contributions and concerns of Arab Americans.

Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards

The Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards are named for the world-renowned Lebanese-born author of The Prophet whose work underscored his respect for the dignity of man, his belief in the sanctity of individual freedom, and universal love of humanity. The awards further symbolize Gibran’s pride in his Arab heritage and respectfor the freedoms that he found in the United States.

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At the annual Gibran Awards Gala, AAIF honors individuals, corporations, institutions, and communities for their work in promoting greater understanding and appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

Arab American Service Day

Arab American Service Day is held each year during AmeriCorps Week in communities accross America. This annual day of service is organized by Arab American organizations and Arab American Resource Corps members and benefits from the participation of both Arab Americans and Americans of other ethnicities. Whether they are building houses, cleaning parks or organizing health fairs, these service days highlight the commitment of Arab Americans to their communities at large, and focus on the importance of giving back as an essential part of being an American today.

Youth Leadership Opportunities

AAIF provides cash awards, internships, scholarships, and leadership training for young Arab Americans on the basis of their interest in public and community service. For more information please email Maha Elsamahi at


AAIF produces educational materials on the role of the Arab American community in American society. AAIF also provides links to some of the better educational materials on Arabs in America and on the Arab World and Islam.


Established in the fall of 2016, AAIF’s Mentorship program matches talented young Arab American professionals and recent graduates with seasoned counterparts in their field. Since the program began, AAIF has matched outstanding individuals in various fields including policymaking, academia, business, journalism, law, and the sciences. Mentorship pairings meet on a monthly basis to develop core professional skills, expand networks, and gain insight on the nuances of their profession.


AAIF efforts include presentations to inform the American public and Arab visitors to the United States about ethnic identity of Arab Americans and their contributions to American civic life, government service, business and professional life, and education. AAIF reaches out especially to American law enforcement agencies and educators to help them develop positive ways of interacting with the Arab American community.

Cultural Tribute Events

Every four years, AAIF hosts cultural tribute events at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. These receptions expose delegates from around the country to the richness and diversity of the Arab American community, spotlight the host cities’ Arab American communities, and honor Arab American elected officials and delegates.

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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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