Highlights & Survey
The ADC National Convention took place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC on June 10-12th, 2011. The Convention was a three-day series of events, all centering on the theme, “Defining our Role in a Changing World.”
For those who attended, THANK YOU for your support and participation. We value your feedback! Please take a few moments to fill out the convention evaluation form for return by mail/fax/email or complete a quick and easy online survey.
DEBATING THE ISSUES
Lively debate on an array of issues was the signature feature of the Convention. Panelists, speakers, and attendees engaged in frank and constructive discussion about key topics relating to the Arab American community, including: the progress and challenges in the defense of civil rights and civil liberties, the developments of the popular uprisings in the Arab World and their implications for U.S. foreign policy in the region, the impact of technology on social networking and political activism, and the strategies for securing the rights of Palestinians.
Civil Rights Luncheon
Keynote Speaker Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, spoke about the importance of the relationship between Arab Americans and law enforcement, and how this relationship has been successful in opening channels of communication to address the community’s concerns. The Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award and Special Recognition Awards were presented during the luncheon.
Gala Awards Dinner
The Saturday evening Gala Awards Dinner opened with a recording of the widely-celebrated musical piece by composer Malek Jandali, entitled “Watani Ana.” The Keynote Speaker for the evening was The Honorable Ralph Nader, who was also presented with the ADC Lifetime Achievement Award. Other awardees included Dr. Fahim & Mrs. Nancy Qubain, founders of the Hope Fund, Denyse Sabagh, Esq., and former Congressman, the Honorable Paul Findley. A pleasant surprise was the attendance of the legendary Helen Thomas. Attendees were entertained by a standup comedy routine by renowned comedian Ahmed Ahmed, who showed highlights of his highly-anticipated film, “Just Like Us,” and by a live performance of classical Arabic music by virtuoso Mr. Bassam Saba. As is the tradition, Saturday night closed with a “Hafleh,” where attendees danced to pop music from across the Arab World.
Sunday Brunch "Declaring Palestinian Statehood"
Keynote Speaker Ambassador Afif Safieh, Palestinian Roving Ambassador for Special Missions and the Fatah Deputy Commissioner for International Relations, who is also the author of the acclaimed book, "The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown," gave a moving address on the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. The Rose Nader and the Rachel Corrie Memorial Awards were also presented.
At the two-hour General Assembly, ADC National Board Chairman, Dr. Safa Rifka, along with the Vice Chairman, Mr. Assad Jebara, and the treasurer, Mr. Jay Salkini answered questions and engaged in an open dialogue with members regarding a number of concerns, including the absence of pianist Malek Jandali at the Convention. Board members read out, verbatim, the written communications between ADC and Mr. Jandali to members in order to shed light on the controversy. Members in attendance appreciated the transparency and were encouraged to voice their opinions directly to the Board.
CELEBRATING OUR CULTURE & HERITAGE
White House Tour
Attendees toured the White House on Friday morning, June 10th. They enjoyed learning about the White House, saturated with American history, and viewing its beautifully decorated rooms. They were informed about the designation of the rooms for various White House functions, including meetings with Heads of State and the hosting of formal dinners.
Bassam Saba & the New York Arabic Orchestra
Bassam Saba & The New York Arabic Orchestra, along with renowned singer Naji Youssef and musician Jamal Sinno, delivered an enchanting evening of Arabic music. Performing select pieces from across the Arab world, as well as compositions by Bassam Saba himself, the performance featured classic Arabic instruments, such as the “oud” (lute), “nay” (reed flute), “qanun” (string instrument), “kamanga” (violin), and “tablah” (drum).
For those who were unable to join us at the ADC Convention, we encourage you to view some of the C-SPAN coverage: