Report: Dearborn second on terrorist watch list

(DEARBORN, MI) — The Detroit suburb of Dearborn, with a population of 96,000 people, has more residents on the federal government’s terrorist watch list than any city in the United States other than New York, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Intercept, an online news site that investigates national security issues, reported Dearborn’s standing based on leaked intelligence documents. The Associated Press reported on the same documents last week, but did not include the Dearborn information.

The Intercept reports Dearborn’s large Muslim population likely accounts for the city’s high number of residents on the terrorist watch list. The Top 5 cities on the list, according to the leaked documents, include:

1. New York City
2. Dearborn 
3. Houston 
4. San Diego 
5. Chicago

“Given that there has not been a Dearborn resident who has ever committed an act of terrorism in the homeland, nor any significant pattern of residents being involved in international terrorism, we have serious concerns that federal law enforcement views Dearborn as a suspect community primarily based on its Arab and Muslim demographics,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.

“Such a disparity suggests that the Arab-American community has been disproportionality and unfairly targeted for inclusion on terrorist watch lists,” the Arab Civil Rights League said in a statement.

Local Arab American leaders are now calling for a Congressional investigation into the reports.

Read “The Intercept” article here.

Lebanese-American becomes Good Morning America anchor

(NEW YORK, NY) — Lebanese-American journalist Paula Faris was promoted to become Good Morning America‘s weekend anchor for ABC News, effective August 8 in New York, replacing outgoing anchor Bianca Golodryga.

Paula-Faris-FamilyFaris, whose father is of Lebanese descent, recently gained exposure as ABC’s reporter at the World Cup in Brazil. Prior to that, she was the network’s World News Now anchor, after joining ABC from NBC Chicago in 2012.

ABC News President James Goldston called Faris “a terrific broadcaster” in his announcement in late July.

Faris will join current co-anchor Dan Harris every Saturday and Sunday morning.

The granddaughter of Lebanese immigrants, Faris met her husband John Krueger while at Cedarville University. They married in 2000 and currently have three children.

Faris, who is 36 years old, was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan. Her family still resides in the area.

“We are just so proud and excited for her,” her mother, Carol Faris, told MLive. “When she told my husband and myself the news of her offer, we were speechless.”

Send your congratulations to Paula Faris on her official Facebook page.

Beirut street named after Said Akl


(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Marking his 103rd birthday, the Beirut Municipality named a street after famed Lebanese poet and writer Said Akl. The ceremony at the Sioufi Garden in Achrafieh unveiled the street and memorial plaque that read, “Said Akl Street, a century of giving, creativity, (and) honest nationalism.”109065381

Born in 1911 in the Bekaa town of Zahle, Akl was a staunch advocate of Lebanese nationalism and the Lebanese language.

Akl wrote plays, epics, lyrics, and poems starting in 1935, after his first theatrical work was published in Arabic.

“Said Akl paved roads for poetry, which he took to a whole new level,” Culture Minister Raymond Areiji said during the event. “He prides himself with Lebanon, he adored Damascus, he is the resistant fighter who taught us how to belong to Jerusalem. A hundred and three years of love, glory and worship of Lebanon. A hundred and three years, and he still produces poetry and writing.”

Akl was unable to attend the ceremony, but recorded an audio message saying he hopes to see Lebanon “return to its glory.”

Areiji also thanked Notre Dame University-Louaize and the Beirut Municipality for taking the initiative to honor the poet.

‘World’s first Lebanese vodka’ prepares to launch


(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Created by R. Adam Aboulhosn, J2 vodka is a wheat-based spirit planned to launch in August this year.

Though J2 claims to be a Lebanese brand, the spirit is actually distilled and bottled in Poland using natural spring water from Lebanon.

Aboulhosn said that he believed their was a gap in the market for a local Lebanese vodka brand discovering that 1.2 million litres of vodka had been imported into Lebanon in 2010.

“We decided to produce J2 in a country with a centuries-old history of making vodka: Poland,” Aboulhosn told The Daily Star Lebanon.

“We used a combination of Lebanese ingredients, such as our distinctive snowmelt water, alongside Poland’s golden wheat-distilled ethanol, which is arguably the finest in the world.”

However, Aboulhosn added that he hopes J2 can be entirely produced in Lebanon in the future.

The brand, although currently only available in Lebanon, is eying future distribution across the Middle East and Africa.

DKNY releases Ramadan fashion collection


(NEW YORK, NY) — Just in time for Ramadan, the New York City-based DKNY fashion label is launching a brand new Ramadan fashion collection.

DKNY, which recently launched a Middle East website and has several stores in the region, is targeting the Arab and Muslim demographic even further. According to Savoir Flair, it’s the brand’s first ever regionalized campaign.

The collection consists of conservative pants, blouses, skirts and dresses in festive colors and prints. The campaign was styled by Middle Eastern fashion personalities Yalda Golsharifi and Tamara al Gabbani.

To view the collection, visit

World Cup football player is Lebanese

Associated Press

8 Questions for Back to Roots Founder and Executive Director Gustave Cordahi

Please try entering,link,name,images,album&limit=1000 into your URL bar and seeing if the page loads.

Gustave Cordahi is the founder and executive director of Back to Roots. Cordahi is a Transportation Engineering and Planning senior consultant in the Washington D.C. area. He maintains a leading social, political and educational activism in Lebanon through a tireless involvement with various organizations.

Gustave Cordahi is the founder and executive director of Back to Roots.
Gustave Cordahi is the founder and executive director of Back to Roots. (Photo courtesy Gustave Cordahi)

1.) What is Back to Roots?

Back to Roots (BTR) is a Summer Academy Program that aims to engage young adults from the Lebanese diaspora with Lebanon on a multifaceted level. The program introduces its participants to the cultural, geographical, and historical aspects of their homeland. The goal of the Back to Roots Summer Academy is to cultivate a love for Lebanon in young people of Lebanese descent, so that they may become well-informed and passionate ambassadors for the ‘Land of the Cedars’. BTR measures its success on the wisdom, pride, and enthusiasm that each individual participant gains from discovering their Lebanese roots.

2.) What are some of the activities participants engage in? Who will they meet?

The participants take part in daily excursions, meetings with influential Lebanese leaders, and captivating lectures with Lebanese scholars. Follow this year’s edition adventures via: #backtoroots2014 #BTR5 #cedarleaders; or via the BTR Official Facebook page:

3.) How is this project funded?

The expenses of the program in Lebanon (excluding airfare costs) are fully covered through our fundraising efforts in North America. We are lucky to have donors who believe in our mission and who keep supporting us year-after-year. We host several fundraisers across North America throughout the year, and many of the parents of BTR alumni are becoming supporters of the program, especially after they witness the enthusiasm of their children after their memorable BTR experiences. Plus, working with the Lebanese Information Center (LIC), a non-profit research and education Institute, also allows us to receive tax-deductible donations in the United States.

4.) How far have you come as an organization since you launched?

Back to Roots 2014 participants visit Our Lady of Lebanon Harissa. Photo courtesy Back to Roots.
Back to Roots 2014 participants visit Our Lady of Lebanon Harissa. (Photo courtesy Back to Roots.)

This year, we host the fifth edition of the program. We have so far hosted four editions of BTR, with one occurring every summer since 2010. All were successful, and since the first edition, we started engaging past BTR participants in the actual design and growth of the program. That is how our leadership committee is now largely comprised of BTR alumni (This year’s program assistants in Lebanon, Michelle Makhoul and Maya Gebeily, are both BTR alums). Thus, we are turning BTR from a one-time experience to a continuous relationship with the motherland, and this keeps participants involved and engaged in promoting and caring about Lebanon.

5.) What kind of response have you received from Lebanese natives about the Back to Roots program?

We are always humbled when prominent leaders in the country, including the President of Lebanon, welcome us every year and await our visit (even though this

year BTR takes place while Lebanon still does not have a replacement to former President Michel Sleiman unfortunately). But most of all, it’s watching participants call BTR (and Lebanon) ‘a life-changing experience’. That shows us that the effects of the program will be durable and fruitful. Besides, it is always particularly nice to have 2nd and 3rd generation Lebanese discover their roots with us for the first time.

6.) Are the current security challenges in Lebanon changing your trip in any way?

Each year, we face several hurdles, mainly linked to the unstable situation in Lebanon. This summer (and most summers so far), I kept tracking with our advisors and coordinators the risks involved in hosting the program given the current situation. However, our whole message is about the promotion of the culture of life in Lebanon, to counterbalance the devastating cultures of death, weapons, darkness, and extremism that are haunting our country. Providing a safe and enjoyable experience to our participants is our top priority, and our faith allows us to overcome the hurdles every year and to go on with the program. This is a delicate challenge, but I am willing to take it up.

7.) What is the value of going “Back to Roots” and encouraging young people to discover their heritage?

In this day and age, reconnecting with one’s roots has become synonymous with richness – it is not a reflection of extremism or closed-mindedness, but rather a

Back to Roots 2014 participants attend a lecture. (Photo courtesy Back to Roots.)

celebration of openness and diversity. We may be a relatively small country with a minor influence on the international level, but when we see the major contributions of Lebanese individuals in every arena and in every corner of the globe, we wonder why we cannot leverage those achievements to the advantage of our Lebanon? It is mostly due to the fact that our diaspora becomes largely disconnected from Lebanon. Through our experience in North America, we notice

that it may only take the negligence of one generation for a full disconnect with their roots. To care for your motherland, you need to genuinely love it. To love it, you need to know it. To truly know it, you need to experience it first-hand. Only through this route can we hope to have real advocates who serve Lebanon and the Lebanese cause in every position and location worldwide.

8.) How can interested people get involved next year?

We have an online application process: the program is open to all North Americans of Lebanese descent (between 18 and 24 years old of age). In the planning stages of every edition, our leadership committee conducts outreach efforts that go hand-in-hand with our fundraising efforts. In terms of selection, we review and interview applicants, and then we select the participants based on their credentials and on the program’s requirements.

You can find out more about BTR by visiting:


Facebook Page:

To donate to the Program:


View more photos from the program below:

Facebook API came back with a faulty result. You may be accessing an album you do not have permissions to access.

PHOTOS: Ambassador David Hale hosts Independence Day celebration in Beirut

Please try entering,link,name,images,album&limit=1000 into your URL bar and seeing if the page loads.

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — Ambassador David Hale hosted a celebration on June 17 at BIEL in the presence of Lebanese officials, members of Parliament, and Embassy partners in a variety of fields including civil society, academia, development, the arts, business, and the media.

Facebook API came back with a faulty result. You may be accessing an album you do not have permissions to access.

Report: Lebanese women lead among female social media users in the Middle East

(BEIRUT, LEBANON) — A new report published by the Dubai School of Government’s Governance and Innovation program says that Lebanon is in the top five most active Arab countries on social media. In particular, Lebanon has the highest rate of female social network users in the region, according to the report.

The report is a recurring series that highlights and analyzes usage trends of online social networking across the Arab region. Researchers analyze data on Facebook and Twitter users in all 22 Arab countries, in addition to Iran, Israel and Turkey.

Most active countries include:

  • Qatar
  • UAE
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Bahrain



  • Female users of Facebook in Lebanon total 45 percent of total users.
  • Lebanon is sixth in the region on Twitter. Lebanese women on Twitter is highest in the region.
  • Lebanon ranks fifth with LinkedIn users. Lebanese women are again the highest subscribers in the region.
  • Since 2013, Lebanon has seen an 8 percent increase in Facebook users, with about 140,000 new users.
  • English is used by 78 percent of Facebook users in Lebanon.
  • 60 percent of Lebanese social media users fall between the ages of 15 and 29. 40 percent are 30 and above.
  • Internet users in the Arab world reached the global average in 2014, with 82 million users at 22 percent penetration rates.


Interactive Facebook Statistics:

Interactive Twitter Statistics:

Interactive LinkedIn Statistics:

Send this to friend