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Monday, March 19, 2012

NEWS RELEASE: Grants available for Syrian Students at US Campuses

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NEWS RELEASE: Grants available for Syrian Students at US Campuses

Sharon Witherell, IIE, 212-984-5380,
Leena Soman, IIE, 212-984-5360,

For immediate release:

IIE Opens Emergency Student Fund to Provide Financial Relief to Syrian Students Studying on U.S. Campuses

Grants of $2,000 will help Syrian students with urgent financial needs to continue their studies in the United States

NEW YORK, February 15, 2012 The Emergency Student Fund (ESF) of the Institute of International Education (IIE) is issuing a call for nominations from U.S. colleges and universities that have Syrian students on campus with urgent financial need due to the escalating unrest in Syria. The program aims to help international students from Syria pursuing higher education in the United States complete their studies so that their academic careers are not interrupted as a result of turmoil in their home country.

Syria-ESF will provide grants of $2,000 each to Syrian students nominated by their U.S. host colleges and universities who may be unable to continue or complete their degree program in the United States due to serious financial difficulties precipitated by the situation in their home country. Administrators and faculty from accredited U.S. campuses can nominate up to four Syrian students at their institutions who need financial assistance to complete spring semester 2012.

International Student Advisers or other campus officials should submit applications to IIE by February 29, 2012. To nominate students, advisers must complete the Syria-ESF nomination form and e-mail it to Applications directly from students will NOT be accepted.
U.S. host campuses nominating students for Syria-ESF awards are expected to provide some emergency assistance to the nominated students, through tuition waivers, full or partial scholarships, housing, stipends, loans, work study, or other forms of support.

IIE anticipates that the need will exceed funding currently available in its Emergency Student Fund, and is actively seeking donations from interested individuals and foundations.

Awards will be announced in early March. IIE may announce a second call for nominations in late March 2012 depending on the availability of funds and ongoing need.

“The Institute is committed to helping students finish their chosen courses of study so that they will be prepared to help meet their home countries' needs,” said IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman. “Supporting students now is critical to educating future leaders for our increasingly interdependent world.”

According to data from the 2011 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published annually by IIE in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, more than 500 students from Syria studied in the United States in 2010/11, an increase of 24 percent from the previous academic year.

IIE’s Emergency Student Fund provides grants to post-secondary students matriculated at accredited educational institutions outside their home countries whose sources of support have been impacted by natural disaster or other crises. Since 2010, IIE’s ESF has provided over $1 million to nearly 400 students from Japan, Haiti, Libya, and Thailand whose home sources of financial support were impacted by crisis or natural disaster. 

Building on a Freeman Foundation designation of $2.5 million for emergencies involving students from East and Southeast Asia studying in the U.S., IIE is issuing a request to donors around the world to support this fund for other world areas. The Institute seeks additional contributions for the Emergency Student Fund so that it can respond quickly to help international students when disasters and emergencies in their home countries threaten to jeopardize the completion of their studies.


Institute of International Education
Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is a private not-for-profit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors and donors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. These programs include the flagship Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the U.S. Department of State. IIE also conducts policy research, provides resources on international exchange opportunities and provides support to students and scholars in danger.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

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Bringing Mideast fight to North Jersey
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Specail Guest Editorial The Record
Print E-mail
Aref Assaf is president of the American Arab Forum, a think-tank specializing in Arab and Muslim American affairs.
THE Democratic primary contest between Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, and Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, over the redrawn 9th District in North Jersey will have the unintended consequences of pitting the Arab and Muslim communities and their allies on the one side and the Jewish community on the other.
Some call parts of Paterson "Little Jerusalem" because the area is home to places of worship for Christians, Jews and Muslims. By all accounts, the relationship among the area’s people and leaders has been cordial and cooperative.Sadly, politics, money, lobbying and disinformation are about to spoil whatever semblance of friendship and hope there are. The turf war has begun and while we did not start it, the community of Arabs and Muslims in the district give Pascrell victory.Jewish and now some mainstream newspapers have framed the June 5 primary as a litmus test for the survival of Israel.
Although Pascrell has consistently supported Israel, Jewish sources say he is not a perfect example of an Israel loyalist. Moreover, they warn about Pascrell’s home turf, which is swarming with a large and suspect community of Arabs and Muslims.This is nothing short of deplorable blanket racism. We are being depicted somehow like a fifth column; we are perceived as ineffective at harnessing our political power. Pascrell is being condemned for failing to be a 100 percent on the side of a foreign country and for sleeping with a suspect community whose vote will most likely determine the outcome of the elections.
The community has taken notice of how this election is being framed. We detest the questioning of our loyalties and doubts of our patriotism.This escalation of the election’s tempo will surely engender greater involvement by the community in the Pascrell campaign. Already grass-roots meetings are strategizing for a massive turnout, voter registration drives, fund raising and targeted mobilization of volunteers. I was invited to one meeting and the mood was intensely personal.
Ironically, Pascrell’s standing in the community has been steadily rising, but it was not because of his position on foreign issues. The community has long advocated for a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine live peacefully side by side, the long-standing position of the United States, Pascrell and many in the Jewish community.The community recognizes Pascrell’s positions on domestic issues such as fighting discrimination and advocating for the protection of the civil and religious rights of all Americans. They recognize Pascrell’s long record of accomplishments, office accessibility, personal friendships and, above all, sincerity.
While some of Rothman’s supporters put the flag and the security of another country above ours, we place America first and unconditionally. While they put Israel first, we place America second to none.If Rothman truly supports President Obama, he should have chosen to defeat Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, in the 5th District instead of choosing to fight Pascrell, a fellow Democrat. These are uncontested facts not lost on the district’s voters.

Radio Chicagoland expands into Southland Chicago and Northwest Indiana

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Radio Chicagoland which is broadcast every Sunday from 8 am until 11 am is now expanding its broadcast signal on two stations. Radio Chicagoland will now simulcast live on both WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 radio stations.

The call-in number remains 773-792-1240 and the web site remains But while WSBC AM 1240 broadcasts mainly to Chicagoland's North, Northwest, West and near Southwest suburbs (as far south as Palos), the new radio station WCFJ AM 1470 will now include listeners in the far Southlands and Northwest Indiana. WCFJ is based on Chicago Heights and will include southwest suburban communities from Orland Park south.

"Listeners in Orland Park should be able to chose between either station but now the new station will open up the popular political and current events talk radio program to many new communities including Tinley Park, Frankfort, Homewood Flossmoor, Chicago Heights and also into Northwest Indiana," said radio host Ray Hanania.

The program focuses on the hottest topics in the news and includes a special interest in regional, national and international politics.

Kheir Fakhreldin co-hosts during the program from studios located in Northwest Chicago at 5625 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Hanania also hosts Radio Baladi on WNZK AM 690 in Detroit every Friday morning from 8 (EST) am until 9 am there. The web site is and the call in number there is 248-557-3300.