CLFW hosts Lebanese citizenship drives across USA

CLFW REGISTRATION

(WASHINGTON, DC) — The Christian Lebanese Foundation in the World (CLFW) is hosting five campaign drives during the rest of November, encouraging Lebanese-Americans to preserve their roots in Lebanon and register as Lebanese citizens.

“We want to encourage people outside of Lebanon to have an affection for their motherland,” said Nada Abisamra, Director of CLFW, in an interview with ART America.

CLFW and Project Roots aims to register people of Lebanese descent free of charge in the United States.

CLFW will visit the following locations during November:

  • Westlake, Ohio at the Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association Heritage Ball on November 15 starting at 6pm.
  • Stockton, California at St. Sharbel’s Annual Hafle on November 15 starting at 6pm.
  • Easton, Pennsylvania at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church on November 16 starting at 10am.
  • Warren, Michigan at St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church on November 22 starting at 6pm, and November 23 starting at 11am.
  • Greer, South Carolina at St. Rafka Maronite Catholic Church starting at 11am.

For more information, visit clfw.orgClick here to access the campaign flyer with more information about required registration documents.

Watch the promotional video below:

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St. Sharbel Church in Warren to sell; build new church

(WARREN, MI) — St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church in Warren, Mich. announced a surprise decision last week by the parish advisory council to sell the church and its properties at a community meeting, indicating it will relocate to a new church northwest of Warren.

The meeting, which was held on Oct. 30 at the Tamer Hall, invited both regular and inactive parishioners, and affluent members of the Lebanese community to announce the decision.

“We have received a significant offer and it’s moving forward,” said Paul Fayad, chairman of the board of St. Sharbel.

According to an open letter sent to parishioners on Nov. 6, Fayad said Life Application Ministries — the church next door — and St. Sharbel have mutually agreed on a sale of $3,180,000. There is currently $600,000 in the church bank account, according to Fayad.

“After four days of negotiations, they signed a final purchase agreement on Friday, October 24, 2014,” Fayad wrote in the letter. “Bishop (Elias) Zaidan agreed with and signed the purchase agreement which was then submitted to Life Application Ministries.”

The open letter says the offer will be finalized by the end of the year, and Life Application Ministries will move in by the end of May.

A temporary location “within a few miles” will house weekend liturgies until a new church is built, according to Fayad.

The church is set to move out in May but will “keep all of the Stained Glass Windows, religious items, donated items and personal furniture.”

Fayad says a building committee will be formed to begin discussing potential property locations and construction planning.

“The area of focus is from 16 mile to 23 mile and from west of Hayes to east of Van Dyke,” he said. “We will be working with an architect and other professionals on the design of the new church and supporting buildings.”

Fayad said he welcomes emails from parishioners who may have questions or concerns.

“We’ll review (emails) and take your suggestions seriously,” he said.

A former parishioner, who prefers not to be identified, said he was disappointed with the announcement. He says the church should have checked with its congregation before signing any agreement.

“It is common business practice for an organization to check with its people before making a big decision,” he said. “It is especially important when this organization gets financial support from the people.”

Bishop Zaidan is reportedly ‘eager’ by this new decision and says he would “love to see more churches open in the future,” despite declining numbers of active Maronite parishioners.

Sources say St. Maron in Detroit would close its doors “in a heartbeat, if a seller comes forward.”

To view the open letter to parishioners, click here.

American, Lebanese flags torched at Dearborn home

(DEARBORN HEIGHTS, MI) — A Lebanese-American family woke up in the middle of the night to a fire outside their home in Dearborn Heights, Michigan on Sunday.

The American and Lebanese flag were both lit when the homeowner looked outside his window just before 2 am.

“I heard some noise in the kitchen and I thought it was my daughter coming home from work,” he told FOX 2 News in Detroit. “I got up and here’s a man standing in my kitchen with a piece of wood with fire on top of it.”

The homeowner, who wants to stay anonymous, said this is the second time this happened in the past two weeks.

He describes the suspect as a man with a thin build about 5 feet 11 inches tall. The suspect was wearing a black hoodie and a black ski mask covering the face. The homeowner chased the suspect outside, but the suspect hopped the fence, he said.

“I’m going to put back the American flag and the Lebanese flag. That’s my house I can put whatever I want in there,” he said.

WATCH the FOX 2 News Report:

Fox 2 News Headlines

PHOTOS: Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Salute to Women

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(TROY, MI) — The Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce recognized 10 women during the Autumn President’s Power Lunch “A Salute to Women in Leadership” event at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Troy, Michigan on Friday.

FBI Community Outreach Specialist Bushra Alawie, Wellness Expert Julie Booksh, Attorney Sabrina Cronin, WXYZ-TV Medical Expert Dr. Victoria Dooley, Judge Vonda Evans, Radio Personality Shelley Irwin, Businesswoman Jennifer Deeb Kluge, Eastern Michigan University President Dr. Susan Martin, Author Yasmeen Suri, and Consul General of Macedonia Elena Zarkovska spoke about their professions and life as successful women during a panel hosted by PR agent Josephine Dries.

See photos below:

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OTV visits Detroit to report on St. Rafka relics visit

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(LIVONIA, MI) — The relics of Saint Rafka visited St. Rafka Maronite Catholic Church on Lyndon Street in Livonia this week featuring several divine liturgies and evening prayers with the holy artifacts.

“We couldn’t ask or a bigger blessing,” said Father Tony Massad. “We have the holy Eucharist and our sister, sister Rafka with us. I couldn’t ask for a bigger blessing — for more joy.”

OTV Lebanon and Noursat attended the divine liturgy and spoke to several local Lebanese-Americans.

Watch here:

For a list of locations of Saint Rafka relics, see the flyer issued by the Eparchy of St. Maron – Brooklyn below:

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VOTE: Michigan Lebanese-American Election Guide

(DETROIT, MI) — The Lebanese Examiner Michigan Election Guide is a special election-year report by Lebanese Examiner’s Editorial Staff endorsing candidates that have previously supported or matched the opinions of the majority of Lebanese-Americans in Michigan.

We urge the Lebanese-American community to support these candidates by voting on November 4, 2014.

The endorsements expressed by the Lebanese Examiner Editorial Staff do not necessarily express or imply an endorsement from advertisers or individual staff members.

Endorsed. (3)

Rick Snyder became Michigan’s 48th governor when he was sworn into office on Jan. 1, 2011. In his inaugural address, he described his vision for reinventing Michigan by creating more and better jobs, revitalizing the educational system, and revamping government to focus on providing excellent service to its customers, the state’s 10 million people.

With the state’s people and economy struggling, Snyder infused his administration with a sense of urgency, saying he wanted to accomplish four years of policy reforms in his first year and then maintain that pace. He describes his approach as “Relentless Positive Action.” That means solve a problem with no credit or blame and then move on to the next one.

Governor Snyder has been accessible to ethnic communities, including the Lebanese-American community in Michigan. The Governor’s reinvention of Michigan is working and making a difference in the lives of all people across the state. Michigan’s economy is at a 10-year high and nearly 300,000 private sector jobs have been created in the state during the governor’s tenure.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to re-elect Republican RICK SNYDER for Michigan Governor.

Endorsed. (2)

Congressman Gary Peters has focused his efforts on uniting our communities of different ethnic background, races, and cultures by fighting for the things that we can all agree on – a stronger local economy, more good paying jobs across our region and a fair chance for everyone to succeed, he says.

When Mr. Peters was first sworn into office in 2009, the future of Michigan’s economy was in serious jeopardy. Following the collapse on Wall Street, our auto industry was on the verge of bankruptcy, thousands of Michiganders were out of work through no fault of their own, and many seniors wondered how they could ever afford to retire.

Gary Peters stepped up and worked tirelessly to revamp Michigan’s economy, introducing tough economic recovery bills and working closely with the Obama administration to get positive work accomplished.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect Democrat GARY PETERS for United States Senate.

Endorsed.

David Viviano is the 109th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and was appointed on February 27, 2013, by Governor Rick Snyder. Prior to his appointment, Justice Viviano served as Chief Judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit and Macomb County Probate Courts. He was first elected to the Circuit Court in 2006.

Prior becoming a judge, Justice Viviano worked at two nationally renowned law firms, Dickinson Wright PLLC in Detroit and Jenner & Block LLC in Chicago. He then started his own firm, Viviano & Viviano PLLC, where he specialized in commercial and criminal litigation, zoning, and real estate law. Justice Viviano has also served as the City Attorney for the City of Center Line.

Justice Viviano has been a strong advocate for improvements in the administration of justice. In 2008, he and a small group of colleagues were selected by the Michigan Supreme Court to review the jury system in Michigan. The Supreme Court adopted many of their recommended reforms, which are now used by judges throughout Michigan. For their efforts, Justice Viviano and his colleagues received the 2012 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation from the National Center for State Courts.

Justice Viviano has never been ashamed of his Lebanese-American ethnic ancestry. Instead, he has embraced it and been an active member of the community, often attending Lebanese-American events and supporting church and banquet functions.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect Justice DAVID VIVIANO for Michigan Supreme Court.

Endorsed. (7)

Debbie Dingell is President of D2 Strategies and chair of the Wayne State University (WSU) Board of Governors, to which she was elected statewide in 2006. An active civic and community leader, she is a recognized national advocate for women and children.

Dingell is immediate past chair of the Manufacturing Initiative at the American Automotive Policy Council. For more than 30 years she served one of Michigan’s largest employers, the General Motors (GM) Corporation, where she was President of the GM Foundation and a senior executive responsible for public affairs. In her commitment to job creation, Debbie recently led the effort to bring the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, a $20 million partnership designed to help create jobs and economic growth, to southeast Michigan.

Dingell and her husband have been proud supporters of the Arab-American community in Michigan, often attending local events and supporting the mission of Arab and Lebanese-American organizations.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect Democrat DEBBIE DINGELL for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District.

Endorsed. (4)

A resident of Canton, Bobby McKenzie was born in Dearborn and raised in Dearborn Heights. For 50 years, McKenzie’s father has run a small vacuum business in Wayne County and demonstrated that success is earned, not guaranteed. McKenzie learned these values while working part-time for his father’s business in high school and college. These values have kept him grounded throughout his career.

McKenzie is now fighting to represent with integrity and humility the same part of Michigan that made him who he is today.

Most recently, Bobby served as a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State. Before the State Department asked Bobby to join its counterterrorism office, Bobby worked on African refugee issues and taught courses at Wayne State University as an adjunct lecturer.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect Democrat BOBBY MCKENZIE for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District.

Endorsed. (8)

A lifelong resident of Warren, Jordanian-American Nick Hawatmeh earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School Of Law where he was selected to be the commencement speaker of his graduating class.

Hawatmeh’s leadership experience includes serving on the Warren Zoning Board of Appeals, the Michigan Board of Chiropractic, and he was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve as a member of the Michigan Speech-Language Pathology Board.

Hawatmeh is also an active member of Our Lady of Redemption Melkite Catholic Church in Warren where he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has always been a supporter of the Lebanese-American community, our local churches, and organizations.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect Republican NICK HAWATMEH for Michigan’s 25th District in State Legislature.

Endorsed. (6)

With three children currently enrolled in the Dearborn Public Schools, Mariam Bazzi knows how important it is to make sure our kids are getting a quality education. A quality education is only possible when we take care of our schools, students and teachers.

Bazzi says we need to continue to work to provide an environment where kids are taught to compete in an ever-changing global market.

Bazzi earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan – Dearborn, and a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University School of Law. She is currently a Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

Lebanese Examiner urges you to elect MARIAM BAZZI for Dearborn School Board.

PHOTOS: Arab American Civil Rights League “Fight for Justice” Gala

(DEARBORN, MI) — The Arab American Civil Rights League hosted their Third Annual “Fight for Justice” Gala at Greenfield Manor in Dearborn, Michigan on October 10.

The ACRL honored Dr. Farouk El-Baz, a former NASA scientist and professor at Boston University, and Ismael Ahmed, one of the founding members of ACCESS.

Attorney Nabih Ayyad, the founder and chairman of ACRL, said the Arab American community is facing one of the most vicious attacks on their civil liberties and they’re fighting back by filing several lawsuits.

(Photos courtesy of Bill Chapman Photography)

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Lebanese-American businessman sues government for being on ‘watch list’

(DETROIT, MI) — A Detroit area Lebanese-American businessman is suing the U.S. government for what he calls unfair targeting based on his Arab American race.

Dearborn resident Nasser Beydoun says he’s on a government “selectee” list that requires him to undergo secondary checks and questioning every time he tries to fly.

“We’re just fighting for our God-given rights that the constitution guarantees us … and to make sure government doesn’t become obtrusive and denies the rights of people without giving them the due process,” said Nasser Beydoun, a Muslim and former chairman and director of Arab American Chamber of Commerce.

Beydoun says his status doesn’t allow him to check in online for flights, his bags get screened, and TSA agents have to call the Terrorist Screening Center before Beydoun boards a plane.

“This happens every single time,” Beydoun said.

Beydoun says he’s never been told why he’s on a watch list, but that he’s being unfairly targeted because he’s Arab American.

“I don’t have any connections to known terrorists or associate with terrorists or support terrorists or sympathize with terrorists,” he said.

Efforts to clear his name with the Department of Homeland Security have gone nowhere, according to Beydoun.

That’s why he wants to take the government to court.

The class action lawsuit filed on Friday names U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the heads of the FBI and Terrorist Screening Center.

“People might say, ‘Hey, look. He’s an Arab. Maybe he’s a terrorist.’ We’re not gonna fall for that. We’re gonna basically fight for our rights because when we fight for our rights were fighting for everybody else’s rights,” Beydoun said.

Beydoun says he’s willing to represent thousands of other Arab Americans in metro Detroit and across the country in his fight for due process and transparency from the government.

PHOTOS: St. Laba Hasroun Society celebrates 90 years

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(Left to Right) St. Laba Hasroun Society Treasurer Mikhael Farah, Secretary Judith Farah, President Maurice Farah, Vice President Genie Abboud, and Social Coordinator Paul Mordovanaki.

(WARREN, MI) — The St. Laba Hasroun Society celebrated their 90th anniversary during an annual brunch at St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church in Warren, Michigan on Sunday.

Founded in 1924, the society was created to “connect local Detroit Maronites from Hasroun who share a common love for their village,” says Maurice Farah, president of the group.

Hasroun is located in the Bsharri District of northern Lebanon. It overlooks the southern branch of the Qaddisha valley.

“Hasroun has long been the gateway of charm and glory of Lebanon’s scenic villages,” Farah said. “With God’s blessings, Hasroun will continue to rise through thick and thin and prosper as one of Lebanon’s most beautiful places.”

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(Left to Right) St. Laba Hasroun Society Vice President Genie Abboud and Treasurer Mikhael Farah.

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(Left to Right) St. Laba Hasroun Society President Maurice Farah, Vice President Genie Abboud, and Social Coordinator Paul Mordovanaki.

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PHOTOS: Lebanese American University leaders visit Detroit

(DETROIT, MI) — Lebanese American University (LAU) officials visited Detroit this week to network with local Lebanese-Americans and potential scholarship donors during planned banquets and private gatherings.

LAU Vice President for University Advancement Marla Rice-Evans and LAU Assistant Vice President of Development Robert Hollback visited St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church on Friday, touring the church and joining potential donors for a dinner at La Saj Lebanese Bistro.

LAU operates a $20 million scholarship budget, which requires corporate and individual financial contributions and grants.

“Any student who has the credentials should be able to come to the university regardless of their income,” said Robert Hollback, LAU Assistant Vice President of Development.

The Lebanese American University is a private American university and research institution located in Lebanon. The university is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

The university receives financial assistance from the United States government and other educational aid organizations.

In a past news release, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut said LAU gives students a chance “to pursue American-style education that promotes tolerance, gender and social equality and challenges students to develop leadership skills, critical thinking, and initiative.”

According to Rice-Evans, LAU has over 8,200 students in their Beirut and Byblos campuses and around 2,300 graduating students each year.

IMG_2093(Left to Right) Prominent Lebanese-American Attorney Joumana Kayrouz, LAU Vice President for University Advancement Marla Rice-Evans, and Chorbishop Alfred Badawi of Saint Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church.

IMG_2087(Left to Right) Dr. Wissam Shaya, LAU Vice President for University Advancement Marla Rice-Evans, and Chorbishop Alfred Badawi.

IMG_2112(Left to Right) Local businessman George Habbouche, LAU Vice President for University Advancement Marla Rice-Evans, and pharmacist Pierre Boutros.

IMG_2105(Left to Right) LAU Vice President for University Advancement Marla Rice-Evans, La Saj Lebanese Bistro owner Alex Awada, and LAU Assistant Vice President of Development Robert Hollback.

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