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Tag: activism
June 27, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

July 17th Silent March Against Stop-And Frisk

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On Sunday, June 17th the Arab American Association of New York joined over 30,000 New Yorkers to protest the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk policy. Over 300 organizations ranging from labor and civil rights groups, to community and faith organizations gathered in Harlem for a silent march to protest racial profiling and demand an end to Stop-and-Frisk.

The week leading up to the march, AAANY youth held discussions about how the Stop-and-Frisk policy personally impacts their lives, and made posters to carry at the march. On Sunday morning, AAANY brought a busload of people from Bay Ridge to 110th street in Harlem where the march began. About 50 people from AAANY joined the thousands of activists at Malcolm X Boulevard to prepare for the march down 5th Ave.

Our organization marched alongside civil rights groups and community organizations from all five boroughs. High School students carried signs, some marching with their parents and younger siblings. The march was completely silent all along 5th Ave, taking on a similar form as a 1917 NAACP march to protest race riots. Speaking at the march AAANY director, Linda Sarsour said, “We’re here because we will not allow the New York Police Department to spy on our entire community based on our ethnicity and religion. Today we are a ray of beautiful colors from across New York City standing and marching for justice”

The march stretched for blocks along Central Park and Arab and Muslim groups were well represented among the protesters and activists present. Before the march, members of a Pakistani community organization handed out posters to our group that read, “Muslim’s against Stop-and Frisk” After the march, Muslim groups came together and held a Jummah inside Central Park where they prayed for those who had been affected by the Stop-and-Frisk policy. AAANY marched alongside a number of different faith groups and organizations that all came out to express their opposition to the Stop-and Frisk policy.

The current Stop-and-Frisk policy directly affects members of the Arab American community and the June 17th march was a way for AAANY to engage in activism and join with other New Yorkers to demand an end the racist policy.

See Video From The March: Silent March

See Pictures from the March:

-Katherine Kusiak Carey
April 18, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

AAANY Youth Spend Day at Columbia University

Brooklynat - April 10th, IUME Teacher's College, Columbia University April 10th was a very exciting day for Brooklynat, the AAANY's female empowerment group! From 10 AM to 9 PM we were at Teacher's College, Columbia University attending a workshop put together by IUME (Institute for Urban and Minority Education) staff members who assist with various youth groups at AAANY. Throughout this day I was given the chance to explore, learn, and participate in various enriching activities that sent me home with a both a headache and a desire to know more about everything that I had encountered that day.

Thanks to Dr. Arshad Ali, Katharine Vincent and Sarah Brandt, and the Institute of Urban and Minority Education at Teacher's College, we were able to use the resources of the university to prepare a presentation for the upcoming Teenage Identity and Diversity Education (TIDE) 2012 Wave Of Change Conference that will be held in late May at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Our presentation, titled "Security, Suspicion, and Surveillance: Growing Up As A Female Arab American In New York City," seeks to educate about the daily obstacles that young Arab American women face while looking at the positive impacts that we are making on our communities. The concluding segment of our presentation, "Hope For The Future," explores the different ways in which we are taking action. This segment of our day was full of trial and error, as well as laughs and frustration. In the end, the effort paid off because I can say that I'm ready and can't wait to actually present on the day of the conference! Later that day, we were given the opportunity to attend a panel discussion regarding the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act is proposed to grant undocumented students with access to average instate tuition rates and opportunities for scholarships, loans, and financial aid. Several assemblymen and dreamers were present to advocate for the legislation and encourage its enactment. Having taken several pages of notes, I was able to go back and reflect on what was said during the discussion and bring it back to the other youth at AAANY, as the DREAM Act is a rising campaign amongst them.

To conclude the amazing experience, Professor Carine Allaf invited us to attend her weekly course, "Women and Education in the Middle East," held from 7 to 9 PM. Having just attended one class session, I walked out with a better understanding of the connection between education and culture. What made the course all the more interesting was that it was half of what I considered my own culture that was being discussed, yet I was learning so much new information, or at least making connections that I had never thought to consider in the past. The nature of the course was very fascinating. It wasn't one of those classes where the professor is just standing up at the front giving a lecture; it was one big discussion, led by the graduate students themselves in which they were learning from each other. It was a learning method that seemed to be highly effective, as I certainly took away a lot from what was being said - and I was only an observer.

-Yasmina Ibrahim, Editor-in-Chief, Amplifyer
April 12, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Activists Unite Around Talent Show

The Arab American Association of New York’s first talent show, “Arab American’s Got Talent” on April 4, 2012, had several accomplishments: from empowering aspiring local talent, to building our community base, to teaching event planning to our youth, to unifying the Arab American voice. For me however, one in particular stood out above all: cultivating activism.

As we community organize with the youth around several different issues, we quite frequently run into the problem that our community members just don’t seem to care enough to take action. While the reasons can vary from complacence and apathy to the fear that increased political activity will draw unwanted attention from the law enforcement,  getting people involved to make positive change is an enormous challenge.

While many of the 400 attendees may have come out for no reason other than it was a chance to see YouTube Phenomenon Fousey Tube, the performances actually included powerful messages inciting people to care: from  a song about change by third place winner, Ibrahim, a spoken word performances from our own Sarah Yang, a song by the winner Omnia about the challenges faced by young women in the Arab community, to activist Sami Fanik who rapped "Power to the Peaceful."

To top it off, Omar Offendum, with his west coast Syrian swag took the stage by a storm, bringing the audience to their feet, pulling out a popular chant from the Arab revolutions, "El Sha'ab Yureed Iskat el nezam!" (The people demand the fall of the regime).

East Coast meets West Coast. The beaming smiles of Omar Offendum and Linda Sarsour sum up the potential of activism within the Arab American community that circulated around this event through the medium of performance art. As Youth Program Manager, I can proudly say that just from the event we have injected a new life into keeping this community involved, and reached out to new members who want to make a change.  

- Christophe Jospe
March 27, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Arab Americans Got Talent! Tickets on sale now

The Arab American Association Of New York welcomes you to our 1st Annual Arab Americans Got Talent Show, at downtown Brooklyn's Roulette Theater! Come out on Wednesday, April 4th at 6pm for a night of music, singing and dancing by local performers as well as special guests.

Now is your chance to meet FouseyTUBE! YouTube star Yousef Erakat AKA FouseyTUBE will be coming all the way from California to EMCEE the show! He will be joined by one of our most amazing hip-hop artists and activists, Omar Offendum.

There will also be a special performance by rising talent Activist, AKA Sami Fanik, who uses the power of hip-hop music to push forth the message of coexistence.

We have an exciting lineup of local young performers who will present a wide range of talent, including music, hip-hop and pop-locking dancing, songs in both Arabic and English, and much more. Our AAANY youth organizers have been hard at work planning the night!

Come out April 4th to support AAANY and celebrate the talent of the Arab American community.

Online tickets are still available online for $30 (general) and $25 (student). General admission will be $40 at the door, if available. Buy your tickets in advance here!  

-Katherine Kusiak Carey