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Arab American

March 21, 2003 | Darrell Issa, Darrell Issa (R-Vista) represents California's 49th Congressional District.
As an Arab American, I applaud President Bush's decision to protect America's security and rid the Middle East of an evil dictator. The parents and grandparents of many Muslims and Arab Americans came to the United States in search of a better life and to escape war, violence and religious extremism. My paternal grandfather, in 1914, left a Lebanon ruled by the occupying forces of the Ottoman Turks for the hope of a freer life elsewhere.
March 15, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
Two miles from Disneyland, a stretch of strip malls in Anaheim has transformed into an enclave catering to California's Arab American community. It lacks the immense sprawl of nearby Little Saigon or the decades-long history of Chinatown in Los Angeles, but the place now known as Little Arabia is a destination for Arab Americans from around the state and, lately, a go-to place for foodies in search of Middle Eastern dishes. Yet Little Arabia is largely unknown to the millions of tourists who flood into Anaheim every year - and it remains below the radar even to longtime residents in the city's west side.
October 2, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The family of an Arab American killed over the weekend thinks he was the victim of a hate crime. Abdo Ali Ahmed, 51, was killed Saturday at his convenience store after receiving a death threat and being subjected to racial slurs. Detectives had not determined a motive, but Ahmed's family thinks it was part of a trend of hate crimes toward Middle Eastern immigrants after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Ahmed, from Yemen, moved to the United States 35 years ago.
November 30, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
Voices rose in a soft hum, as if bees buzzing in a distant jar. The chorale conductor awakened the air with his baton and the composer, wearing a Batman T-shirt and blue suede shoes and looking disheveled after a flight from New York, closed his eyes and listened to a poem of war. The voices struggled and turned timid. The conductor hushed the choir. Hands riffled through the text of Symphony No. 3: "Poems and Prayers. " Something was amiss - a piercing sound not summoned - in Room 1325 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall.
March 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Members of a county Democratic Party pulled an Arab American candidate from their election ticket amid a furor over comments he made four years ago that some interpreted as sympathetic to Palestinian suicide bombers. At the urging of state party leaders, including Gov. Jon Corzine and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Passaic County Democrats withdrew its endorsement of Sami Merhi for a position on the county's legislative body. Merhi said he felt shocked and betrayed by the decision.
July 16, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A Michigan man who claimed that anger over the Sept. 11 attacks helped prompt his killing of an Arab American man was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. Brent David Seever, 38, shot and killed Ali Almansoop, a 44-year-old native of Yemen, on Sept. 19 after chasing him out of his former girlfriend's home in a Detroit suburb. Seever claimed at the time that he shot Almansoop in the back of the head and the lower back partly because he was enraged by the terrorist attacks.
Lena Khan, 17, feels uneasy about wearing a necklace to school that says "God" in Arabic. Since last week's attacks, she has heard students call Muslim girls in scarves "terrorists." Some have told Arab American youths: "Go back to your country." On Monday, a classmate asked Khan: "Why do Muslims want to kill everybody?" "It's hard to hear that something you believe in so much is so hated by all your peers," said Khan, a senior at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga.
Airlines have a legal right to remove passengers who pose a security threat, but that doesn't entitle them to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin, a Los Angeles federal judge declared Friday. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled that Assem Bayaa, an American citizen of Arab descent, can pursue his civil rights lawsuit against United Airlines. Bayaa, who lives in Irvine, was removed from a United flight at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec.
October 27, 2004 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
Arab American voters' support of Sen. John F. Kerry has solidified as backing for independent candidate Ralph Nader has eroded, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Arab American Institute. The poll, which surveyed 500 Arab American registered voters in the battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, showed Kerry with 54% of their support, President Bush with 28% and Nader with 3.5%. Nearly 15% of voters surveyed were undecided.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph I. Lieberman won guarded praise from Arab American leaders Sunday after he met with them in this Detroit suburb to discuss concerns about his stance on the Middle East and other issues. Vice President Al Gore's selection of Lieberman, an observant Jew, initially caused consternation among Arab Americans, who feared that the Connecticut senator would not be receptive to their concerns about the U.S. policy in the Middle East and other issues.
November 8, 2013 | By Melissa Rohlin
Coachella Valley High has received a letter from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington complaining about its Arab mascot. The mascot is a caricature that has a hook nose and a turban. During halftime of games, a girl dressed as a belly dancer dances for the mascot. Coachella Valley High has apparently had the mascot for about 90 years. "The 'Arab' mascot image is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping which should be eliminated," Abed Ayoub, director of legal and policy affairs for the anti-discrimination committee, wrote in the letter.
April 28, 2013 | By George Bisharat
Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation last month that would allow Israel to continue racially profiling Americans of Arab and Muslim heritage who travel to Israel, even as it confers new privileges on Israelis traveling to the United States. I wonder whether she understands what it's like for her Arab American constituents to enter Israel. I always bet myself how long it will take for Ben Gurion Airport's security screeners to detect my heritage. My given names are European, and my family name is an unusual pluralization of a common Arab name that sometimes throws even Arabic speakers.
October 25, 2012 | By August Brown, Los Angeles Times
L.A. rapper Omar Offendum came of age in a hip-hop era filled with violent tales by artists like Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. But last year, the 30-year-old Syrian American discovered how truly dangerous hip-hop could be. "I had to hold my tongue for a long time," Offendum said of his song "#Syria," a furious riposte to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he released in March. Although Offendum (he prefers not to use his real name to protect family) is hardly a superstar, the underground track still could have had devastating implications for family members still in Syria.
November 13, 2011 | By Aaron David Miller
All Gaul was divided into three parts, Julius Caesar wrote in his "De Bello Gallico. " For America, the Arab world had been divided into two: adversarial and acquiescent Arab authoritarians. Until now. The last eight months have witnessed profound changes. The willing and unwilling Arab autocrats have gone or are going the way of the dodo. What remains — Arab states without strong and authoritative leaders and caught up in lengthy, messy transitions, monarchies trying to co-opt and preempt transformational change (Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Jordan)
September 24, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian and Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
The CIA's long-standing effort to recruit Arab Americans is hitting some bumps. The agency yanked advertisements for linguists off the website of the nation's largest and oldest Arab American newspaper on Sept. 8, reportedly because the paper had published a story about domestic spying on Muslims. The CIA restored the ads to the newspaper, the Arab American News, based in Dearborn, Mich., last Wednesday after the paper ran an editorial questioning the CIA's commitment to freedom of the press.
May 17, 2011 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
When the U.N. Security Council voted in March to authorize international airstrikes on Libya, the women of the Herwees household in Cypress erupted in cheers and ululations. Within minutes, Tasbeeh Herwees, a 19-year-old USC student, posted on her blog: "group hug everyone seriously so much love right now. " "My friend called me and we were like 'God is great.' It was like someone had just gotten married," said Herwees, whose parents are both Libyan immigrants. "It was a very jubilant atmosphere.
February 14, 2002 | From a Times Staff Writer
George A. Kasem, the first Arab American to serve in the House of Representatives, has died at 82. Kasem died Monday of pneumonia at a care facility in Carlsbad. The one-term congressman, a liberal Democrat, was elected to serve the 25th District, encompassing West Covina, in 1958 but lost his bid for reelection in 1960. During his brief tenure in Washington, Kasem worked for federal aid to education, medical care for the aged and funding of the San Gabriel Valley Flood Control project.
July 23, 2006 | Noam N. Levey, Times Staff Writer
When President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry were looking for precious votes in 2004 battleground states, they courted a community long accustomed to being overlooked: Arab Americans. But just two years later, the small but growing voter bloc appears to have slipped back into political obscurity as a new wave of violence in the Middle East galvanizes American officials' support for Israel. Despite recent calls from Arab American leaders for greater U.S.
February 23, 2011 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
When the young Egyptian activists plotting President Hosni Mubarak's downfall summoned people to revolt on Jan. 25, they announced a Youm al Ghadad , a "Day of Rage," in which the masses would pour into the streets and tell authorities they'd had enough. Half a world away, in Chicago, the call had a familiar ring to it. In another era, for another struggle, a group of young men and women who called themselves the Weathermen had put out the call to bring the war in Vietnam home in all its ferocity to the moneyed streets of Chicago's Gold Coast and other neighborhoods.
February 1, 2011
Preserving history Re "Unearthing a city's past," Column, Jan. 28 Hector Tobar and The Times deserve commendation for their fine work in bringing public attention to the desecration of a burial site adjacent to the La Placita church near Olvera Street. The cemetery was the final resting place for many of the early settlers of Los Angeles, including relatives of the original 44 settlers and indigenous people from the San Gabriel Valley and its mission. Though Los Angeles has changed a great deal since 1781, we have an obligation to honor the city's heritage and history.
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