Arab American of the Day
Catherine Filloux
Catherine Filloux

Algerian-American playwright. She has received awards from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the O'Neill, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, and the Asian Cultural Council.

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Known as “Alhazen” by European scientists, Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) developed Euclidean geometry and was highly regarded for his work in optics.


NY City Council Passes Resolution Calling for the Recognition of Two Muslim Holidays in City School System

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A diverse coalition of more than 80 community, labor, civil rights and religious organizations from throughout New York City came out to applaud the New York City Council Education Committee’s action in passing Resolution 1281, a resolution calling on the Department of Education to provide equal treatment and include the two holiest Muslim Holidays in the New York City public school calendar. Speakers urged the full City Council to pass the resolution and for the Department of Education to recognize the holidays.

"Equality is a concept enshrined in our national Constitution and upheld at state and local levels of government.” said Councilmember Robert Jackson, “This legislation delivers on that promise to New York City public school students by allowing them to exercise their Constitutional right to practice their faith without compromising their attendance record at school. I'm proud to have sponsored this bill."

“Because we respect the religious diversity represented in our schools, we recognize that students have the right to observe the special days on their religious calendars. We join in support of the students, parents and educators who are seeking a way to incorporate Muslim holidays into the existing school calendar,” said Amina Rachman, Special Assistant to the President, United Federation of Teachers.

Recognition of the two holidays will remove the unfair choice that 1 out of every 8 New York City Public School children currently have to make between being marked absent and celebrating their most major holidays. The vast majority – 95% – of Muslim school-age children attend public schools in New York City. While this recognition will have a minimal impact on the actual school calendar, it will be an enormous step toward inclusion.


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