Thursday, February 12, 2015

CA Democrats' Arab-American Caucus Chair Calls on Assm. Melendez to Issue Apology for Offensive Comments Directed at Muslims

Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Arab-American Caucus, Sarah Moussa, Calls on Assemblymember Melissa Melendez to Issue Apology for Offensive Comments Directed at Muslims


Assemblymember Melissa Melendez’s recent social media comments in response to the murder of Kayla Mueller were profoundly misguided and deeply offensive to people of Islamic faith. In addition, we would like to point out to the Assemblymember that comments painting all members of a single faith with a broad brush have far-reaching consequences that reverberate not only throughout the state, but throughout our nation. The same day that the Assemblywoman posted her offensive tweet, three young, innocent Muslim students were murdered in North Carolina.

We ask the Assemblymember to issue an apology to her constituents, many whom are of the Muslim faith.

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

8 Little Arabia Highlights of 2014

2014 marked another milestone for Little Arabia District when thousands of brochures promoting the district's businesses were distributed at hotels and tourist destinations in and around Anaheim. Here's my list of  Little Arabia highlights of 2014 (in no particular order): 
  • Little Arabia District website and brochures launched in August. Millions of tourists who come to the city of Anaheim from across the US and the world had the opportunity to be exposed to Little Arabia District. The brochures are now available at more than 160 locations, mostly at hotels near Disneyland.
  • During the State of the City address, an event held by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Jan. 28th, Mayor Tom Tait encouraged more than 600 attendees to visit Little Arabia and try some of the best authentic food in Orange County. "We all know that Anaheim has some of the most authentic and diverse neighborhoods in the state. Our city is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. Take for example, Brookhurst Street, or as the locals refer to it, Little Arabia. Home to halal butcher shops, restaurants, beauty salons, travel agencies, bakeries and more, this neighborhood is really a cultural destination in our city. Whether you are stopping by Olive Tree for delicious lamb or picking up some baklava at Papa Hassan's, Little Arabia gives visitors a different experience than a typical convention city."   With a renewed community push to designate Little Arabia, media coverage of local efforts to promote the area during the weeks following the speech included national media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, Aljazeera America, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and OC Weekly. 
  • Nobel Peace Prize winner and Yemeni revolutionary leader Tawakkol Karman delivers keynote address at the annual banquet of CAIR-LA, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, at the Anaheim Hilton. 

  • Video of Olive Tree Restaurant owner Alan Abdo ripping up a Congressional certificate goes viral after Rep. Loretta Sanchez appeared on KNBC stating that she would support an Israeli ground incursion in Gaza last summer. 

  • Following the summer's Israeli aggression against Gaza, the Anaheim-based Gaza-native immigration lawyer Akram Abusharar filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to "cease all military aid to all Israelis and the Israeli government" and to deny Israeli military officers U.S. entry by declaring "them persona non grata."  Abusharar's family's home in the Gaza Strip was bombed by the Israeli military. The OC Weekly reported that Abusharar believes Kerry and Hagel have repeatedly violated laws including the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, a measure he says bans military equipment transfers to nations that grossly violate human rights.
  • Many of us longtime Little Arabia loyalists spent countless evenings at a popular restaurant/hookah cafe known as Andaluz five years ago. The restaurant, which also hosted several NAAP Mixers in 2010, has been closed since 2011. The good news is, it has recently re-opened under the name El Mahroosa Cafe & Hookah Lounge. If you haven't been there yet, stop by and order some of the delicious home-made meals made by Chef Um Alaa, and order that lemon-mint juice.
  • Nahla Kayali, Founder and Executive Director of Access California Service - a Little Arabia-based social services organization that serves immigrant and low income families, receives the Champion of Change award by the White House on Cesar Chavez Day.. Congratulations! 
See highlights from previous years: 2012 - 2011 - 2010

Monday, November 03, 2014

2014's Top Pro-Israel PAC Money Recipient in Congress is..

.. a Republican from Orange County and
Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Ed Royce (of Fullerton) is the top recipient of pro-Israel PAC money in the House of Representatives' current races.

Perhaps that explains why his office hasn't yet scheduled a requested meeting with a group of peace activists in his district regarding the assault on Gaza.

Read the full report (by Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs) HERE

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Little Arabia District Brochures Distributed at Hundreds of Anaheim Hotels

Millions of tourists who come to the city of Anaheim from across the US and the world will now have the opportunity to be exposed to a hidden cultural destination in Anaheim known as Little Arabia District, which offers a wide variety of ethnic cuisine, entertainment, cafes, clothing stores and gift shops. The brochures are now available at more than 160 locations, mostly at hotels near Disneyland. In addition to the brochures, the district’s businesses are also promoted online and through social media.

Earlier this year, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait referred to Little Arabia during his state of the city speech at the Anaheim convention center.

“We all know that Anaheim has some of the most authentic and diverse neighborhoods in the state. Our city is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. Take for example, Brookhurst Street, or as the locals refer to it, Little Arabia… Little Arabia gives visitors a different experience than a typical convention city.”

Little Arabia District launched its latest campaign at the Eid Festival in Downtown Anaheim in August 2014. Thousands of community members were initially exposed to the campaign at the two-day cultural event.

The brochure includes a map of Little Arabia and a list of businesses, restaurants, cafes and shops in the district. More information about the businesses can be found on www.LittleArabiaDistrict.com.

Friday, September 26, 2014

OC Democrats Adopt Gaza Resolution

Arab American Democrats of CA Commends DPOC Central Committee for Passing Resolution that Addresses Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

ORANGE, 9/22/14 -- The Arab American Democrats of California (AADCA) commends the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) for adopting a resolution that addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and calls upon our Democratic congressional delegation to encourage President Obama to support the proposed two-state solution to the conflict.

The resolution, which passed unanimously during the DPOC Central Committee meeting on Monday, Sept. 22nd, also recognizes the right of both Israel and Palestine to exist.

"We commend the DPOC for adopting a resolution that addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza following Israel's most recent 50-day assault on the occupied Palestinian territory," said Rashad Al-Dabbagh, chair of AADCA.

"The final version of the resolution was a result of seven weeks of negotiations, multiple drafts and amendments among the authors and senior leadership of the Party. While this resolution wasn't perfect, it resembles a milestone and historical moment for Arab American Democrats. It is also a step forward towards recognizing the importance of working for peace and justice in Occupied Palestine and Israel. The adopted resolution reflects an inclusive Democratic Party that values unity through diversity."


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Anaheim Attorney Akram Abusharar Sues US Over Aid to Israel [KPFK interview]

The Gaza-born Anaheim-based Palestinian-American immigration attorney Akram Abusharar recently filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Abusharar's family lost their home in Gaza, which according to him was bombed by Israel during the recent assault known as Operation Protective Edge. 

He is suing the US government officials over financial support, which makes the US complicit in Israel's killing of his family members.

KPFK's Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar recently sat down with Abusharar for an interview.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LA City Council Panders to Pro-Israel Lobby

Whenever Israel launches a murmurous "operation" against Palestinians things get sillier than the silly campaign season for politicians and candidates. Most from both sides of the political aisle tend to trip over each other to pander to the pro-Israel Lobby. 

Here's the latest pandering attempt by a body that has nothing to do with foreign policy: the Los Angeles City Council is set to pass a resolution to support Israel's massacre of more than 2000 Palestinians in Gaza, parroting Israel's propaganda machine about the baseless claims that Hamas uses civilians as human shield. 

See the resolution here.  

A group of activists will gather on Friday at 8:15 AM outside City Hall on the main steps and will attend the City Council meeting and sign-up to make public comments.