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Who Are the Arab American PAC Organizations for This Election Season?

posted on: Oct 7, 2020

By: Sophia Segal/Arab America Contributing Writer

PACs are very prominent in American politics, and Arab American PACs are not different; they have been around for years and giving the Arab American community a voice. This article doesn’t include every Arab American PAC in the United States but it presents key ones that have been inclusive in recent years.

1. Arab American Democratic Action Fund

What is AADAF? It’s the Arab American Democratic Action Fund, an organization that was founded to strengthen the partnership between the political Democratic Party and the Arab American community. AADAF supports an agenda that is inclusive in safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans and the human rights of all peoples of the world including equality, social justice, freedom, and peace regardless of race, religion, age, national origin, or gender identity.

We should all be working towards an American political system that is inclusive of the Arab American Community.

The American government should be reflected in the diversity of its citizens. We should all be working towards an American political system that is inclusive of the Arab American Community. This includes electing Arab-American Democrats to public office, electing other Democrats committed to our inclusive agenda, strengthening the participation of Arab Americans within the political process, combating civil injustice and intolerance as well as creating pathways for the integration of Arab Americans into the Democratic Party while building bridges with a wide range of communities.

AADAF is an all-volunteer effort—from the board of directors to the many who freely give their time and talents to organize activities to the legal counsel. There are five board members of the AADAF, this includes Edward Ayoob, Naseem Haffar, Taleb Salhab, Ahmad Chebbani, and Sam Jammal.

This organization was founded in 2017 by Ambassador Edward Gabriel. Gabriel has an extensive background in international affairs, having convened multilateral policy forums involving national security, environmental, trade, and energy issues. He has been involved in matters of Russian and European nuclear non-proliferation and safety, and he has been active in advising the U.S. government on Mideast policy matters. From November 1997 to March 2001, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. Currently, Ambassador Gabriel is President and CEO of The Gabriel Company, where he advises a number of American corporations and governments in the Middle East and North Africa on international business projects and policy matters.

He is also President and CEO of the American Task Force for Lebanon, Founder and Chairman of the Moroccan American Center, the former Co-Chairman of the American Schools of Tangier and Marrakech, and a member of the boards of The Keystone Center, AMIDEAST, the Arab American National Museum, the Lebanese American University,  and the Arab American Institute.

The Vision of an American Government

The United States of America is lucky enough to be very diverse, but our government system could use some help. The mission to elect individuals who are Arab-American Democrats is the agenda for AADAF. They endorse candidates who strengthen the participation of Arab Americans within the political process and create pathways for the integration of Arab Americans into the Democratic Party.

2020 Congressional Candidates Endorsed by AADAF

Ammar Campa-Najjar, CA-50

Charlie Crist, FL-13

Debbie Dingell, MI-12

Donna Shalala, FL-27

Rashida Tlaib, MI-13

Lulu Seikaly, TX-3Lulu-Seikaly.jpg

Are There Other Organizations Like This?

Yes, but they are considered PACs. A PAC is a Political Action Committee.

2. Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC)

AAPAC was founded in 1998. It was formed by a group of Arab American professionals that wanted to organize and encourage the political activities of Arab Americans. It’s non-partisan while being independent from any other existing organizations or interest groups. Their primary concern is the Arab American community as a whole, regardless of the personal interests of any individual or group of individuals.

They have listed out their main objectives which are:

1. Prepare, advise, and support Arab American candidates for political offices. Encourage and help Arab Americans to pursue public service careers in all branches of the government.

2. Maintain contact with non-Arab political candidates, meet with them, discuss their platforms, introduce them to the community and decide whom to support among them.

3. Lobby on behalf of the Arab American political causes which are of concern to the majority of the community as approved by the members of the organization.

3. New Dominion Political Action Committee

The New Dominion Political Action Committee (NDPAC) will support candidates who are committed to protecting the civil liberties and constitutional rights of all Americans, including Arab Americans.

NDPAC was founded in 2001 to serve as a voice for the Arab American community in Virginia and to build on the many contributions that Arab Americans made to the benefit of all Virginians.

Goals:

  1. Strengthen the engagement of Arab Americans in the political process in Virginia.
  2. Deepen the involvement in Virginia’s and America’s politics.
  3. Educate elected officials and others about the concerns for the community.
  4. Support candidates who support the expressed concerns of Arab Americans here in Virginia and who are committed to protecting civil liberties and constitutional rights in Virginia and the United States.

There are many organizations that are like the ones above. AADAF is great if you want to get involved and work towards making our political offices more diverse. They will always accept new volunteers to donate or just to give your time.

All the websites and information has been hyperlinked throughout the article, so take time and research the different ways you can get involved in the community.

Check out Arab America’s blog here!