Friday, March 25, 2011
Dearborn rivalries continue in journalism networking effort
Dearborn is a wonderful city with a major American Arab and Muslim population. But it also reflects the realities of the American Arab community. We're a very divided community. And, when someone comes in with an idea, people who have done nothing for years on similar ideas decide to do the same thing. Why? Because they would rather destroy an effort than build an effort. They never would have proposed, for example, creating a Journalism Association in Dearborn. How do we know? Because they have never tried before. But when someone else comes in and tries to do something, there are people who want to do the same thing, create rivalries and competition, and then destroy everything.
It's tragic, but typical of those who wish to keep American Arabs and Muslims in the limbo we have been in for the past 150 years in America.
Regardless, NAAJA (the National American Arab Journalism Association), will continue to push ahead and try to forge a professional chapter in Dearborn and Detroit, Michigan, representing real journalists and communicators who come together not for selfish reasons, but rather for the reason why the effort started, to bring ALL American Arabs and Muslims who are in journalism and communications and the students together to network and work together.
NAAJA is hosting a journalism conference April 29 through May 1, 2011 at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency Hotel that is open to all professional journalists and communicators to come together, network and work for the benefit of the community. Other individuals will do what they always do and try to organize competition to prevent anyone from moving forward. It's the plague of the Arab and Muslim World. But, we'll keep pushing forward to organize the most professional journalism association possible.
We know that the various newspapers compete in the open market, and some engage in active politics. But the end result will be an association where young people can come to get guidance, not more conflict, to help them build careers in professional journalism.
Visit our web site at www.NAAJA-US.com and get to know other professionals in American Arab and Muslim Journalism who believe that we need to do things different than we have in the past to make the American Arab and Muslim community better, stronger and to enhance our voices.
-- Ray Hanania