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Egyptian Americans host Human Rights briefing, Washington DC
Issues will also include Governance Abuses in Egypt Ahead of Elections. Egyptian diaspora stateside unite to urge U.S. elected officials to call for free, fair presidential elections in Egypt
A diverse group of Egyptian Americans, and Egypt watchers from around the country will convene in Washington, D.C. next Monday and Tuesday to highlight the egregious human rights and governance abuses taking place in Egypt ahead of the upcoming the presidential elections.
The two-day event, titled “Egypt Advocacy Day,” aims to organize the Egyptian diaspora in the U.S. — both Coptic and Muslim — to engage with lawmakers and officials through advocacy meetings and a Congressional briefing.
The nearly 75 participants from 30 states will specifically ask their representatives to support a draft bipartisan resolution on the upcoming Egyptian elections and to support the withholding and conditioning portions of the U.S. aid to Egypt on the improvement of the human rights situation.
On Tuesday, from 3- 5pm, the group will host a Congressional briefing in which Egypt experts, former US officials, former political prisoners and family members of recently imprisoned presidential candidates will testify about the intense crackdown against Egyptian civil society and closure of public and political space.
WHAT: Congressional Briefing
WHEN: Tuesday, March 13th from 3- 5 pm.
WHERE: Hart Senate House Bldg – Room SH-216,
120 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
“Egypt is going through the darkest human rights era in its modern history,” said Mohamed Soltan, an Egyptian-American human rights advocate who was a political prisoner in Egypt and is an event organizer.
“Political opposition members, former statesmen, presidential candidates, political party members, civil society leaders, activists, human rights defenders and LGBTQI individuals are being subject to forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, egregiously-lengthy pretrial detentions, mass trials and executions. It is way past time that our country’s leadership condemn these atrocities and use our influence to help improve the human rights situation in Egypt.”
Co-host Aya Hijazi, a renowned Egyptian-American social advocate who was also imprisoned under false charges by Egyptian authorities and later acquitted, added, “Now more than ever, when the political space in Egypt is being completely suffocated, we the diaspora, think that we have a moral obligation to stand with our fellow Egyptians, and be their voice. We must use the democratic mechanisms at our disposal to bring about the belated freedom that they deserve.”
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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 www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, 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 www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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