The ONLY active voice for American Arab Journalists.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sheik Zayed Book Awards nominations end Sept. 15

Sheikh Zayed Book Award’ fourth year witnesses record number of nominations to date

Abu Dhabi, July 29, 2009 – The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the world's most prestigious and well-funded prizes, has received a record number of nominations to date for its fourth session of 2009/2010. The Award has received a major 230 nominations that met the initial conditions, according to Mr. Rashed Al Oraimi, The Secretary General of Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

Mr. Al Oraimi elaborated that the nominations were distributed among all of the Award’s nine categories. The category of “Best Contribution to the Development of the Country” came first with 26.3% of the total nominations received to date, while the categories of “Literature” and “The Young Author” followed closely with 25.4% and 22.5% of total respectively. The Award also received varying number of nominations in the rest of its categories, including Children’s Literature, Translation, Literature, Fine Arts, Best Technology in the Field of Culture, Best Publishing and Distribution House, and Cultural Personality of the Year.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Al Oraimi said: “ We hope that this massive flow of nominations continue until the closing date - September 15th,2009- and we are definite that such contributions will heat up the race towards winning the Sheikh Zayed Book Awards 2010.”

A total of 20 countries contributed to this year’s session of Award so far, of which are 17 Arab countries, including UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and Somalia. In addition, the Award received nominations from the United States of America, Germany and Turkey.

-End-

Notes to the Editor

About the Award
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is an independent cultural award established under the patronage and support of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. The award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, who served as the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE for more than 30 years. The award comprises a total monetary prize value of seven million UAE dirhams. Each prize consists of a gold medal bearing the Sheikh Zayed Book Award logo, a certificate of merit and a cash reward.

The award recognizes cultural achievement across one of the broadest and most diverse areas of any cultural awards internationally, including:

1. Contribution to the Development of the Country Award
Open to works in the fields of economics, sociology, management, politics, law and theology that contribute to the country’s advancement

2. Children’s Literature Award
Open to literary and cultural works addressing various children’s groups.

3. Young Author Award
Open to scientific, literary or cultural works produced by authors younger than 40 years

4. Translation Award
Open to translated works, either to or from Arabic

5. Literature Award
Open to works across various categories of literature including poetry, stories, novels and plays, research addressing literary theories, creative writings or works of criticism

6. Fine Arts Award
Open to books about various forms of art such as music, cinema, architecture, plastic art, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, photography and digital arts

7. Best Technology in the Field of Culture Award
Recognizes written or digital works and researches which promote the Arabic language.

8. Publishing and Distribution Award
Open to publishers, distributors, agents and research institutions which produce a diverse range of texts printed to the highest standard in the Arabic language.

9. Cultural Personality of the Year Award
Honors a prominent Arab or international figure who has contributed to the advancement of the Arabic culture, embodies through his/her work tolerance and promotes peaceful coexistence

For further information please contact:
Karin Aghadjanian
Communication and press
Mobile +971 508343823
Email: Karin.a@zayedaward.com
OR Karin_aghadjanian@hotmail.com

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Book details secrets of overcoming mainstream news media bias

Secrets of New Media Networking; New book released by award winning journalist and author
PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ray Hanania
July 26, 2009 rayhanania@comcast.net

Book details insider tips on using the Internet to
side step the biased Mainstream American News Media

(Chicago) Veteran Journalist and award winning columnist Ray Hanania has been battling bias in the mainstream news media since the day he picked up his first newspaper in the suburbs of Chicago.

An American Arab, Hanania believed that the media was unfairly covering the Middle east conflict and was intentionally portraying American Arabs as terrorists, always ignoring their positive contributions to American society.

That battle has become his lifelong avocation and this week he announced the release of his latest book, a battlefield manual to fight against the inherent bias in the mainstream American news media using Internet networking strategies.

“Too often people in my community blame media bias on another race or religion but this is mistaken stereotyping to excuse away their lack of understanding of how the mainstream news media really works,” says Hanania who entered professional journalism in the early 1970s.

“In the past, the only way to battle mainstream media bias was to enter journalism as a profession and balance the two goals of journalism professionalism against activism. But with the rise of the Internet and the collapsing mainstream news media, you do not need to go to the mainstream news media to reach the public.

“You can do it on your own. ‘Secrets of New Media Networking’ helps you understand not only how to set up an effective Internet Media Network to promote your community, views, activities, opinions and more. But it also walks you through a real understanding of communications in America and the principles that make message compelling.”

Hanania manages a network of four major web sites, 11 blogs, writes for more than two dozen newspapers in print and online, manages several online news organizations, hosts his own morning radio show and weekly cable TV show, and uploads his radio and video broadcasts to the Internet. Merging in social networking strategies and other online assets, his network reaches millions of people every year.

“The mainstream news media is biased and they won’t change. That bias more than any other factor is what is helping to undermine the media and force many mainstream newspapers to close,” Hanania says.

“You can still use the mainstream news media, but you do not need them to get your message out. You can create your own media and my book helps you do it in a professional and effective manner.”

For more information on Secrets of New Media Networking, visit www.TheMediaOasis.com.

Contact Ray Hanania at rayhanania@comcast.net

236 Pages, $34.95. Published by Hanania Enterprises Ltd., and CafePress.com

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicago 2016 Olympic bid jeopardized by Mayor Daley's failure to seriously address needs of American Arabs

Commentary on Mayor Daley and the 2016 Olympic Bid

Discrimination against Arabs in Chicago could jeopardize the Chicago bid and Mayor Daley has the ability to change it. But will he?



-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New documentary premiers on images and perceptions of ethnics in the news

With race and gender as her main interests of study, Geri Alumit Zeldes , an assistant professor in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, is in the process of completing her first documentary on these very topics.

Called “Arabs, Jews, and the News,” the 30-minute film explores the often times tense relationship between the Arab and Jewish communities of both the Middle East and metro Detroit since the July 2006 war in Lebanon, and how the media have represented them.

“I’ve always been interested in how the media portrays people of color, because the media, as we know, is very powerful,” she said.

After almost two and a half years of working on the documentary, she recently entered it into several film festivals. It will premiere on MSU’s campus at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 21 in Room 147 of the Communication Arts and Sciences building.

“It’s always exciting to work so hard on something and it’s so exciting to share it with other people,” she said.

Alumit Zeldes will teach a new course this fall called “Reporting on Islam,” and will launch a Web site this spring called IMAJE, which stands for Islam, Muslims and Journalism Education.

For more information on the documentary “Arabs, Jews, and the News,” visitwww.arabsjewsnews.org/.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Take your 2010 U.S. Census form and shove it!

Take your US Census form and shove-it!

By Ray Hanania

The first question I always get from “Americans” is, “Why do you keep calling yourself ‘Arab-American?’ You are American!”

It represents the rock and the hard place where American Arabs have been pushed by the lack of education among most Americans.

It’s aggravated by what I also call the U.S. Government’s split personality when it comes to Americans Arabs. On one hand, they want to know us. On the other, they don’t. Here’s what I mean.

The only time the United States Government wants to know about Americans Arabs is when they are “profiling” us at airport and border security to “protect” the country from “the terrorist threat.”

But when it comes to counting people in the U.S. Census (so they can participate and share in government programs like grant funding awards, defining the borders of election districts like for congress, state legislatures or municipal councils) the U.S. Government pretends American Arabs don’t exist.

That is exactly what’s happening now in the massive 2010 U.S. Census drive.

The Government isn’t completely stupid, nor are they na├»ve. They are dishing out just enough money to American Arab organizations and PR agencies to do the outreach to the American Arab community.

The Government could do it but they don’t have a positive file on who we are. The Government only has “the negative file,” the one were American Arabs have been historically followed, investigated and probed by FBI agents repeatedly over the past 75 years.

The FBI investigated me over a two year period beginning in August 1975, right after I completed my active duty military service for this country during the Vietnam War. They said I must be a terrorist, because I was Arab; but they concluded the 45 page report by saying in small type, I’m just an American who is concerned about advancing his ethnic community.

During the two years, they talked to banks, employers, neighbors friends and anyone who had anything to do with me. It was all in the report, most of it blacked out with marker. When I finally received a copy in 1979, it pretty much explained the dismissal from jobs, why some neighbors and some friends had stopped talking with me or associating with me, and why several prospective employers had refused to hire me.

Hey, when the U.S. Government puts its attention on American Arabs, it’s usually not for a good reason.

That’s why I am upset -- no angry -- that the Government is pretending that they care for us American Arabs by reaching out and asking us to complete our Federal Census form for 2010.

There are these benefits that we will get from participating. Yea? Like what? What benefits do we as American Arabs actually get from supporting anything this government does?

For example, when I go through an airport, I am immediately identified as an “Arab.” I’m pulled aside and my bags and possessions are thoroughly searched. The friends I am with who are not Arab are made to feel like they are traveling with Osama Bin Laden. And strangers who pass through normal levels of security look at me like I’m going to cut their throats or blow myself up when I get on the plane.

It’s humiliating. But no one really cares. Better to be safe than sorry. If we have to make Arabs go through embarrassing and humiliating procedures that single them out solely because of their “look” or their “profile,” so be it.

Meanwhile, Caucasian murderers and killers walk through security thankful that the government is doing at least part of their job to remove the Arab scourge. More than 95 percent of serial killers are Caucasian. Some of the biggest terrorists in the United States historically have been White supremicists and members of hillbilly militias and Neo-Nazi organizations based in the so-called “American Heartland.”

But if you have Olive skin and look Middle Eastern – a profile that fits more than 200 nationalities and ethnicities mainly from Middle East and Asian countries -- you are the person they have to stop.

This is the “Negative Attention” we get from our government.

Then, this same government that spends a fortune screwing us as American Arabs, spends a fortune trying to convince us that if we participate in the 2010 Census this year, we’re going to benefit?

I ask again, what benefit? There is no benefit. And there is no benefit for a reason. Arabs are NOT included on the Census forms anyway.

The census form asks for your Race, listing Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin. And they ask if you are Mexican, Mexican American (I didn’t know there were two categories of Mexicans), or Chicano? What kind of race is “Chicano?” What country do “Chicanos” come from? “Chicano-stan?”

They ask the same question again on the long form: Are you White? Black, African American or Negro? Are you American Indian or Alaskan Native and they even give you a place to write in your tribe name.

That’s not all. The form asks are you Asian Indian? Japanese, Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Korean, Guamanian or Chamorro, Filipino, Vietnamese, Samoan or Other Asian where they give you a space so you can print your “race” like Laotian, Thai, Pakistani, Cambodian “and so on.”

Oh, they don’t stop there. They ask are you “Pacific Islander” and ask you to print your race like Fijian, Tongan “and so on.”

Way at the bottom, in case they missed someone, someone not so important, they have the throw away line, to check here if you are “Some Other Race – Print Race.”

That is where I have to hand-write that I am “Arab.” And proud of it too, by the way.

Now, the U.S. Government argues “Arabs” are not a race. So they can’t be counted. They consider us “Caucasian,” although the last time I looked it was the Caucasian hate groups in this country like the former Bush Administration that singled out Arabs for special mistreatment, harassment and discrimination.

Arabs are “not” a race, but we are a “people” that must be profiled at airports, security centers, thrown out of buildings in New York City, expelled from seats on Airplanes, and denied jobs and government grants and rejected by voters on election day.

“Not” a race, the Government insists? Really? Wow. Is that why they have taken the other “races” and broken them down into so many miscellaneous categories? It is not enough to know that someone is Asian. They want to know what kind of Asian? What kind of Native American? What kind of Mexican. Is “Chicano” a race? Are “Latino” or “Hispanic” races?

But not “Arabs.”

We’re not a race.

We’re just a bunch of people that ignorant Americans can step all over and use us as punching bags when the times get rough or some nut job we’ve never heard of before decides to declare himself the spokesman for all Arabs and Muslims.

So here’s the bottom line, U.S. Government. You don’t put “Arab” on the form, I don’t fill it out.

Either add the category “Arab” to the form or throw out all of the categories and stop lying to us American Arabs about how much you care.

(Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American Arab columnist, author and Chicago Radio Talk Show host. He can be reached at www.RadioChicagoland.com.)