Arab Americans and the Election
Date(s) - 10/21/2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
America is on the brink of determining its next president and Arab Americans must not remain on the sidelines. The freedom to vote is one of America’s most important political rights. This year’s election, literally, determines our future. As a marginalized community, Arab Americans will vote for candidates who are committed to supporting many of the issues which affect them, including civil rights, immigration, health, and foreign policy. Join us as panelists share their experiences in getting others to vote and as they introduce vital issues to our community.
Register in advance for this Zoom meeting, Wednesday, October 21 at 7 pm ET here:
Jennifer Atala, Moderator, North Carolina
Jennifer Atala is the Founder of Inara Strategies LLC, a global consultancy applying a systems-level approach to design and implement projects and partnerships to catalyze economic growth and impact. Jennifer is a frequent speaker on Israel-Palestine, economic growth, tech innovation, and career development. She has her M.A. from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in International Development & International Economics, her B.A. from the University of Chicago in International Studies & Near East History. She has been honored as a 2020 MENA-American National Security & Foreign Policy Leader with New America and the Diversity in National Security Network and is a 2017 Truman National Security Project Fellow. Jennifer is a member of Arab America’s North Carolina Heritage Team.
Rashid Al-Dabbagh, California
Rashad Al-Dabbagh is a Southern California-based Arab American community organizer. He is the founder and executive director of the Arab American Civic Council, a grassroots organization that strives to advance the Arab American community’s interests through civic engagement and advocacy. Rashad is a member of Arab America’s National Heritage Team and Team California.
Maya Berry, Maryland
Maya Berry is executive director of the Arab American Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national civil rights organization founded to nurture and encourage direct participation in our political and civic life to mobilize a strong, educated, and empowered Arab American community. She established AAI’s first government relations department, which she led for five years before becoming a legislative director for U.S. House of Representatives Minority Whip David Bonior, With a deep knowledge of public policymaking, Maya has helped expand AAI’s work on combatting hate crime, protecting the rights of securitized communities, and strengthening our democracy.
Ambassador Edward Gabriel, Washington DC
Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel was the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco from November 1997 to March 2001. He has convened multilateral policy forums involving national security, environmental, and trade and energy issues, and has been involved in matters of Russian and European nuclear non-proliferation. He is currently a surrogate to the Arab American community for the Biden campaign.
Vivian Khalaf, Illinois
Vivian R. Khalaf is the Managing Partner at Khalaf & Abuzir, LLC, where she concentrates her practice in immigration and nationality law. Vivian has spent decades as a political activist in the Arab American community advocating for human rights as well as social and economic justice both at home and abroad. She serves on numerous boards and is currently the president of SAAWTU, an organization whose primary mission is to ensure that every eligible individual in the MENA community is registered to vote and casts a ballot during each and every election cycle. Vivian is a member of Arab America’s National Heritage Team and Team Illinois
Sam Khaldi, Michigan
Sami Khaldi is the first Arab American to become the president of the Dearborn Democratic Club that was established in about 1933 Sami is also currently the recording secretary of the Michigan Democratic Party and a state central committee. Sami has been an elected precinct delegate for 5 terms. He was the president of Arab American Engineers and Architect of Michigan. Sami holds a master’s degree in civil engineering and he is a registered professional engineer in the state of Michigan. Sami was an elected delegate to VP Biden to the MDP 2020 convention and to Clinton in 2016