Monday, September 26, 2016

Forget Hillary & Trump and join the debate that matters!

This election should be more about local elections than the presidential one. The outcome of each local election has more direct effect on a citizen's future than what we all get distracted with, in this year's case: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. And with the Electoral College determining which candidate our state's votes will go to, there are less reasons to focus on the presidential election, which is why it's important to know local candidates and learn about the ballot propositions.

Join the Arab American Civic Council, CAIR-LA, and ACLU-Southern California for an election forum:

WHAT: Anaheim City Council candidates forum

WHEN: Friday, September 30, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

WHERE: Islamic Institute of Orange County, 1220 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

California State Controller Betty Yee Endorses Farrah Khan for Irvine City Council


Irvine City Council Candidate Farrah N. Khan announced today that she has officially received the endorsement of State Controller Betty Yee.

“I am pleased to endorse Farrah N. Khan for Irvine City Council,” said Yee. “She will put her corporate, small business, and community-based experience to work for the residents and businesses of Irvine. Farrah’s demonstrated record of bringing diverse interests together as Executive Director of the Interfaith Council will serve the growing needs of Irvine well.”

Yee was elected in 2014 as California's State Controller. She previously represented 21 counties in northern and central California as a member of the Board of Equalization. As Controller, Yee is the State's Chief Financial Officer. She also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards.

Farrah N. Khan expressed gratitude upon receiving Yee's endorsement.

“Betty Yee is one of our state’s most admired leaders, and I am excited to work with her to get things done for the Irvine community,” said Khan.

Just last week, Khan was endorsed by Former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang.

Farrah N. Khan is a candidate for Irvine City Council on the November 8, 2016 General Election Ballot.

Mrs. Khan is the Executive Director of the Newport Irvine Mesa Interfaith Council, former Irvine Community Services Commissioner, retired biotechnology executive, and small business owner in Irvine. To learn more about her campaign visit: www.electfarrah.org

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lebanese American comedian featured on Comedy Central announces Irvine show

NEMR was featured on Comedy Central’s ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’
IRVINE, Calif. -- The Network of Arab American Professionals, Los Angeles (NAAP-LA) announced earlier this week that it’s partnering with comedian Nemr Abou Nassar for a show at the Irvine Improv Comedy Club on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Nemr is a San Diego-born Lebanese-American Stand-Up Comedian who is credited with establishing and pioneering the stand-up comedy scene throughout the Middle East where he performs in English.
As an accomplished comic with seven full feature specials, it’s no wonder Nemr’s latest tour was met with unprecedented success, selling out prestigious venues such as Caroline’s in New York, the Wilbur Theatre in Boston and the Novo (formerly Club Nokia) in Los Angeles making his international tour the first global comedy event to successfully stretch from the US to the Middle East, with continued sellouts in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, Michigan, Cleveland, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Jordan, and Lebanon where he set a new crowd record with 5,000 people in one night. Nemr has numerous television credits from major networks in the Middle East, has been seen on CNN and recently appeared on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” (Click to watch). He has also released two feature specials as cinematic experiences and his own prime time TV show.  In May of 2014 he was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (Middle East) solidifying Nemr’s legacy as the biggest name in stand up in the Middle East.
WHO: Nemr Abou Nassar & NAAP-LA! WHAT: NEMR Live in Irvine - Stand up comedy by Lebanese American Comedian Nemr! Tickets of the Irvine show are available here: http://irvine.improv.com/event.cfm?id=452788
WHEN: Wednesday, December. 14, at 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM

WHERE: Irvine Improv Comedy Club


Thursday, August 18, 2016

TAKE ACTION: Anti-BDS Bill Headed to California Senate Floor #StopAB2844

AB 2844, the anti-free speech anti-BDS bill, passed the California Senate Appropriations Committee on August 11 and is set to head to the Senate floor for a vote in the next few days. Six members of the committee voted in support of the bill while Sen. Jim Beall of Campbell was absent for the vote. 

The US Campaign to End the Occupation sent out an action alert to urge State Senators to vote against the bill. 



Monday, August 01, 2016

California's Anti-BDS Bill in 'Suspense File'

Gov. Jerry Brown marching with Cesar Chavez in support of farm workers
Today, the California Senate Appropriations Committee voted to send the anti-free speech, anti-BDS bill AB 2844 to suspense.  On August 11, bills in the suspense file will either be passed out for a floor vote or remain in and expire.

The Suspense file is a holding place for bills which carry appropriations over a specific dollar amount. Bills are generally held on the suspense file before the adoption of the Budget Bill and just before the summer recess.


In its analysis of the bill, the Department of Finance opposed it because "it would result in additional costs without providing additional protections against discrimination beyond existing state law. This bill merely requires self certification of compliance with existing law, yet incurs costs to the General Fund, which is inconsistent with the current budget."  Here's the DOF's summary of the bill:
This bill requires a person who submits a bid or proposal to a state agency, or who otherwise proposes to enter into or renew a contract with a state agency, to certify that they have complied with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Unruh Civil Rights (Unruh) Act. 
The Department of Justice (DOJ) estimates costs of approximately $1 million and four additional permanent staff positions to receive and investigate complaints, and to litigate as necessary. Costs would depend on the number of noncompliance claims initiated. The Department of General Services (DGS) indicates this bill would result in unknown, potentially significant costs to the extent that there are contractors who would be unable to make the required certification. In general, exclusion of bidders from contracts can result in higher contract prices, and thus higher costs to the state and local governments.
AB2844, which was opposed by dozens of civil rights groups across the state, was first introduced in January and has been amended several times. Read my op-ed in the Voice of OC about the bill here. The Los Angeles Times published this editorial opposing the bill.

This bill, along with similar ones in more than 20 states, are the result of a campaign to suppress Palestine human rights activism in the U.S. Israel's interest in restricting this activism should not override our constitutional right to advocate for change.

Contact the Senate Appropriations Committee members to voice your opposition to the bill, and encourage them to keep it in Suspense (and let it die), and contact your State Senator to encourage her/him to vote no if it comes out of Suspense.

Monday, July 11, 2016

US media didn't care when Muslims danced after haters tried to intimidate them!

As a founding member of the Eid Festival Committee, a group that plans the annual Eid Festival in Anaheim that was launched in 2013, it was extremely difficult to garner the media's interest to produce or write stories about a Muslim festival... until a controversy happened.

Muslims and Arabs usually receive media coverage when there's a terrorist attack, war, or some kind of crisis, leaving people wondering why Muslims are always angry and at war. The Eid Festival was one of many examples of Arabs and Muslims gathering in a celebratory atmosphere that could show them more positively. But despite my efforts to reach out to local media outlets including radio, TV, and print, there was little to no interest.

Then a group of bigots showed up at the festival to intimidate the community and disrupt the event as they shouted the most outrageous things to a bunch of happy Arabs and Muslims. That's when I pulled out my phone and streamed the incident live on Facebook, which went viral (only then some media showed interest).

People responded to hate with love and kindness by blasting loud music to drown out the hate, and hundreds reacted by dancing (one dance move was bizarre though Buzzfeed called it 'awesome'), to the sound of Imagine Dragons, Selena Gomez' Kill them with Kindness, and some debkeh, too!

The video was viewed more than half a million times, and received a little media attention from Buzzfeed, the Orange County Register, and Fusion, however, not a single American TV station has been interested so far.. except Alhurra TV - the Arabic-language propaganda TV that streams in the Middle East!