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Arab America Picks A President: Your Arab American Delegates

posted on: Jul 13, 2016

Arab America Picks A President: Your Arab American Delegates

BY: Fred Shwaery/Contributing Writer


For months, we’ve been looking forward to the Republican and Democratic conventions.  We voted in the primaries and caucuses and counted the presidential delegates as the results rolled in.  Our wait is almost over.    

Next week, the Republican delegates meet in Cleveland and the following week, the Democratic delegates meet in Philadelphia.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the last two candidates standing.  With Bernie Senders endorsing Clinton, the Democrats should have a relatively quiet convention.  As for the Republicans, it ain’t over till it’s over.  Republicans have been discussing changing the convention rules to replace Trump with a more traditional Republican candidate.  We’ll know what they do and how he and his loyal supporters react.  

Arab Americans will be delegates attending these conventions.  Some Arab Americans will serve on convention rules committees and party platform committees, too.  Some will be officials there to conduct other party business.  These are important working committees that set out the practices of the conventions and our community members are a part of it.

There will be time for socializing, too.  The Arab American Institute is known for their outstanding social events at both conventions.  Yes, Arab Americans will meet as a group and conduct some business, but the AAI parties will be some of the most fun events of the conventions.

Will you be there?  If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences.  If you are planning on attending either of the conventions, please drop me a line at  I want to relay your experiences to our audience so we all can join in.

Featured Delegate

Arab America Picks A President: Your Arab American Delegates
Dr. Ayman Eldarwish with Virginia Lt. Governor Dr. Ralph Northam

Dr. Ayman Eldarwish is one of the delegates who will attend the Democratic National Convention.  He’ll participate as a Sanders delegate.  When Virginia Democrats met in Richmond to select their at-large delegates to the national convention, Eldarwish received the highest number of votes of any Sanders delegate.    

Eldarwish has been very active in Virginia politics since 1989.  He’s well known and well liked by elected officials at the local, state and national levels.  He’s also well known in a variety of progressive, civil rights and cultural organizations.

The son of Egyptian parents, Eldarwish was born in Louisiana and moved with the family to Egypt where he completed his medical education.  He was in practice in Cairo before moving back to the US and he has been living in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC for many years.  

He’s been an activist in many areas including the labor, peace, diversity, and disability communities and he’s been a voice for those who don’t have a voice in the political process.  He’s been a long-time supporter of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Sanders.  

When the Sanders campaign office opened in Northern Virginia, Eldarwish rolled up his sleeves and went to work.  An experienced campaigner, Eldarwish recruited volunteers, organized phone banks, canvassed voters, and worked many hours in the office doing those things one does to get support for his candidate.  

When you watch the Democratic Convention on television, look for Eldarwish.  If you are a delegate, you might see him on the convention floor in the Virginia delegation.  

Remember,  we want to follow your experiences so please let us know if you’re going to either of the conventions so we can share your stories.