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National Arab American Leaders Coming to Detroit to Celebrate Civil Service

posted on: Apr 7, 2012


The lineup of guests and honorees at this year’s ACCESS annual dinner represents a tour de force of Arab American public service and civic engagement. The dinner takes place April 28 at the Detroit Marriott to celebrate 41 years of ACCESS service to the region and the nation.

Arab American of the Year Awards will be presented to Ambassador Selwa “Lucky” Roosevelt, former White House chief of protocol during the Reagan Administration, and Ambassador Edward Gabriel, former U.S. ambassador to Morocco during the Clinton administration.

Presenting the awards are Theodore Kattouf, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and currently president of the AMIDEAST, a nonprofit organization that supports international education and development in the Middle East and North Africa. The second presenter is former Arab American of the Year awardee Peter Tanous, president of Lynx Investment. Tanous is also a former army lieutenant who was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1994.

The event coincides with a unique exhibit at the Arab American National Museum in Deaborn titled “Patriots & Peacemakers” that examines Arab Americans who dedicate their lives to public service.

The Arab American Community Center for Economic & Social Services annual dinner draws nearly 2,000 national and local civic and community leaders and the members of the public who all share their love of community and country. The dinner is the largest event of its kind in the nation.

“This event brings together Arab Americans to celebrate the achievements of the community and reflect on future goals,” said ACCESS Executive Director Hassan Jaber.

With nearly 100 regional and national programs, ACCESS is the largest Arab American nonprofit organization in the United States. Regional programs are centered on education, health, employment and social services; groundbreaking national projects empower Arab Americans through philanthropy, advocacy, capacity-building, and arts and culture.

This year’s dinner begins at 6 p.m., April 28, a Saturday, at the Marriott at the Detroit Renaissance Center. Individual tickets are available for $75. Visit to purchase.

Grounded in the Arab-American tradition of hospitality, ACCESS has a 41-year history of providing social, health, education and legal services in greater Detroit to empower people to lead healthy, informed, productive lives. Today, ACCESS extends that mission to a national platform through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy. Visit online at