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.”
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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 ac