ADC Deeply Saddened by the Loss of Marwan Burgan
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) offers its sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Marwan Burgan. Marwan was a longtime member of ADC and a highly respected leader in the Arab American community. During his life, he accomplished some much on behalf of the community and he continued to be active until the very last minute of his life. His funeral will take place in Jordan, although a memorial service will take place in Washington, DC and his family will receive condolences on Saturday, March 7 (see details below).
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar Said “ADC and the community are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend Marwan. He was a profile in courage throughout his life and even during his long illness. He was an excellent staff director for Congressman Dymally and a role model for all of us in our efforts to change policy and attitudes. I’ve knew Marwan since his days as a staff member on the Hill and have watched his excellent work over the years . I personally feel blessed to have known Marwan. His family is in all of our prayers.”
Condolences will be received at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Samer and Noura Burgan, tomorrow, Saturday March 7, 2009 between 11:00 am and 4:00 PM.
Date: Saturday, March 7
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 PM
Address: 2304 Colonel Lindsay Ct., Falls Church, VA 22043
Also, a memorial service is being organized at Busboy and Poets from 8 – 10 am on Sunday March 8 (please remember the time change):
Date: Sunday March 8
Time: 8am – 10am
Place: The 5TH & K Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street NW, Washington DC 20001
MARWAN BURGAN: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Marwan Burgan was a Palestinian born in Jordan and became, what he would proudly call, a ˜New American.”
After receiving his Masters in Sociology from American University, Marwan served in Congress from June 1985-January 1993, first as a foreign policy Legislative Assistant, then Legislative Director, and finally Administrative Assistant (chief of staff) in the Washington, D.C. Office of Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally, a ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Among Marwan’s many successful efforts in Congress were bills tackling hate crimes and increased assistance to refugee programs.
Since 1987 he had been active at the local level in the Democratic Party in Virginia. He has occupied various positions, including Vice-Chair of Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) for Voter Registration; he has chaired the Local Affairs Committee for FCDC and served on the Steering Committee of FCDC as well as being a member of the Outreach Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia. At the annual statewide Jefferson-Jackson day dinner in Richmond, Virginia, Marwan was awarded a Grass Roots Award for his tireless organizing and mobilizing. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and coordinated Arab-American outreach for the Obama campaign in the general election. Marwan’s work significantly contributed to Virginia’s change from a Red to a Blue state and its first vote for a Democratic presidential candidate since Johnson.
Marwan was always active in the Arab-American community. His service to this community was recognized by the American-Arab Institute when they gave him their prestigious Distinguished Public Service Award.
Marwan worked to inform new immigrants to America so they would be ready to participate fully as soon as they become citizens. He registered new Americans to vote not only as part of voter registration drives, but also as part of the campaigns for candidates in local, statewide, and presidential elections. He even worked on elections in Bosnia and the West Bank.
When he was diagnosed with cancer over two years ago he immediately started a new project to involve new Americans not just in democracy but in leadership. PACE, the Project for American Civic Engagement, helps minorities, become staff on Capitol Hill through scholarship internships.
He left with the full knowledge that PACE will be a great success, having raced ample donations, installed interns in key congressional offices and having received, just this week, the IRS determination that his organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
His beloved wife, Brenda, proceeded him to heaven. He leaves behind on earth a grieving family, especially his loving mother and brother in Jordan.
He also leaves a grieving community of activists, pacifists, legislators and democrats and Democrats around the world who he called family.