The Ties That Bind

by Stacey Philbrick Yadav
published in MER281

Yemeni-American activist Rabyaah al-Thaibani was born in Ta‘izz, Yemen’s largest city, in 1977. She moved to the United States as a child to join her father, who was working nights cleaning office buildings in Manhattan. She grew up in Brooklyn, attended Columbia University and since has worked in community development in New York City.

Becoming Arab American

by Louise Cainkar
published in MER278

Scholars have long found that while pan-Arab organizations in the United States called themselves Arab American, few individuals adopted that appellation as a personal identity, preferring Iraqi, for instance, or Syrian. So I was struck, while interviewing 45 Palestinian Americans attending high school in Palestine, that so many of them referred to themselves and others as Arab American, in addition to Palestinian. Why does Arab American make sense as an identity now, when it has not in the past? The experiences of these transnational youth—17- and 18-year olds most of whom were born and raised in the US and who moved to Palestine as pre-teens—suggest that the answer lies in notions of belonging and exclusion in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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Abraham and Abraham, Arabs in the New World

by Eric Hooglund
published in MER123

Sameer Abraham and Nabil Abraham, eds., Arabs in the New World: Studies on Arab-American Communities (Detroit: Wayne State University, 1983).

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State Department Taking Passports Away from Yemeni-Americans

by The Editors | published August 9, 2014 - 4:18pm

Over the past year, dozens of Yemeni-Americans visiting their ancestral homeland have had their US passports summarily revoked or confiscated by the embassy in Sanaa without any clear legal basis, effectively stranding them outside the United States. Last month, a coalition of US civil rights groups submitted a report on this practice to the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) pursuant to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Justice for Rasmea Odeh

by Nadine Naber | published June 19, 2014 - 5:31pm

This past winter, I was privileged to participate in several events in Chicago organized by Rasmea Yousef Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network and leader of that group’s Arab Women’s Committee. The events brought together anywhere from 60-100 disenfranchised women, all recent immigrants, from nearly every Arabic-speaking country. The attendees were there to learn English, share meals and stories, and discuss personal struggles, in everything from marriage and parenting to navigating the US educational and medical industries and the US immigration system. The women also talked about fending off racism.

Naff, Becoming American

by Nabeel Abraham
published in MER139

Alixa Naff, Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience, (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985).

Alixa Naff gives us a rare and detailed look into the virtually unknown and now largely forgotten world of the early Arabic-speaking immigrants who made their way to America in the last decades of the 19th century. They hailed from the Ottoman provinces of Syria and Palestine, but mostly from Mount Lebanon and environs. The majority were Christians (Maronite, Melkite and Orthodox); a significant minority were Muslims and Druze. They called themselves “Syrians.”

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Political Violence Against Arab-Americans

Interview with Abdeen Jabara

by Joe Stork
published in MER143

Abdeen Jabara, a lawyer, is a long-time Arab-American activist from Detroit. He recently became president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and is now working at their national office in Washington DC. Joe Stork interviewed him in September 1986 in Washington.

Palestinians Arrested in Los Angeles Witch-hunt

by Judith Gabriel
published in MER145

It was the West Coast, not the West Bank, but for many Palestinians, the unfolding dragnet scenario had an all-too-familiar ring.

Shortly after dawn on the morning of January 26, agents of the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and local police arrested eight Palestinians and the Kenyan-born wife of one of them.

"They Control the Hill, But We've Got a Lot of Positions Around the Hill"

An Interview with Jim Zogby

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Jim Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute in Washington. He was a founder of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Joe Stork spoke with him on March 18, 1987.

How did you get engaged in Middle East organizing?

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Editor's Bookshelf

by Joel Beinin
published in MER167

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