Monday, December 15, 2008

Protest President Bush by mailing your shoes to the White House

I just came back from the post office and mailed an old pair of shoes to President Bush at the White House in protest of his policies.

Arab journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Kanye West of the Arab World, has started a trend that I think is great. Let's face it, he didn't go there and blow himself up. That's progress in a region where violencebecomes the protest form of choice.

But al-Zaidi, who was brutalized by guards (one reportedly yelling not to kick him in the face"), is a hero. Instead of violence, he used a cultural form of protest that is popular in the Arab World, and that one many American came to know when American soldiers during the invasion of Iraq, pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in front of one of the dictator's palaces in Baghdad, (trying to make it look like the "people" did it) and then those civilians who were brought there by the military started to express their disdain for Saddam Hussein in the way they knew best, by throwing their shoes at the statue.

How ironic that more than five years later, Iraqis are now throwing their shoes at President Bush?

And I want to help, as a fellow Arab American journalist who believes that violence is NEVER the right choice, NEVER a good choice, and NEVER a strategy for success, the symbolic throwing of my shoes at Bush (courtesy of the US Postal Service) is the most powerful expression of free speech today against the Iraq war possible.

I hope you will join me and others.

Here is the information on the White House, where to mail your packages:

The White House
President Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC., 20500

-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Arab Christian comedians organize fundraiser for Arab Christian member of the Israeli Knesset Oct 8 Oak Park, Illinois

I know some of you might be interested in seeing the only Chicago performance of the INFIDELS OF COMEDY Arab Christian Comedy Tour in Oak Park at the Arts Center on Wednesday October 8, 2008 at 6 :30 PM.

Attached is the press release, but it might be the only time you'll see Christian Arab comedians coming together to help a Christian Palestinian woman who is running for re-election in the Israeli Knesset with the Labor Party. This event will also help support Mar Elias Campus which is a branch of the University of Indianapolis in Ibillin in the Galilee. You can get information and tickets online at

Please pass it along if you can and I hope you come out to see my comedy and the comedy of two other Christian Arab comedians Nasry Malak and Maria Shehata.

Ray hanania
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Ray Hanania
August 3, 2008

Christian Arab Comedians highlight fundraiser for Nadia Hilou Christian Arab member of Israel’s Knesset October 8

Chicago – A unique troupe of Christian Arab standup comedians will be the featured entertainment at a fundraiser to be held for the Honorable Nadia Hilou, a Christian Palestinian Arab member of the Israeli Knesset with the Labor Party on Wednesday October 8, 2008 at the historic Oak Park Arts Center.

The evening will feature an overview of the challenges facing Christian Arabs in the Middle East, support of the peace process and the upcoming elections in Israel this Fall.

The comedy group, called the Infidels of Comedy, was formed by Christian Arab comedians Nasry Malak, Maria Shehata and Ray Hanania. Malak, from New York, and Shehata, originally from Ohio, are Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians. Hanania is Antiochian Orthodox Christian raised Lutheran and from Chicago.

The fundraiser will also support the Mar Elias Branch Campus in Ibillin, Galilee in the Holy Land, a branch campus of the University of Indianapolis, Indiana which offers a Christian Arab Education.

“The peace process for me is also very important,” Hilou said, former head of Social Workers for Peace and Justice in Israel.

“We have very good relations with the Palestinians and we work closely with them on joint projects. We cannot close our eyes to the difficulties but we have no other solution. In the end, there must be two states for two people siude by side in peace.”

Hilou was first elected to the Knesset in 2006. She is one of only 17 women in the Knesset, and one of only two Christian members of the Knesset. Hilou is a social worker by profession focused on the development of children, challenges facing women and the protection of the family.

The event will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at the Arts Center in Oak Park, Illinois, 200 N. Oak Park Ave., (708-366-3981) with doors opening at 6:30 PM. Tickets for the fundraiser, which includes a presentation by Knesset Member Hilou and the Infidels of Comedy American premiere performance, are $40 per person. They can be purchased online at the comedy web site or through the organizers listed below.

“The Schools are revolutionary, the faculty and student body is Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. It is a place where all religions meet and interact on equal footing, where the value of each human being comes before their form of religion,” said Susan Drinan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mar Elias Campus.

“The students learn, play and work together, they learn respect and tolerance instead of hate. The school represents ideas and interests for a better future for all faiths, and offers a chance for Christians to remain in the Holy Land. The Mar Elias Schools are the model, the best example for how lasting peace can be achieved.”

Tickets are $40 each.

For More Information, contact:

Ray Hanania, 312-933-9855 cell, 708-403-1203 home Susan Drinan, 630-653-8309 Order tickets online at


Wednesday Oct. 8, 2008, 6:30 PM – 10 PM

Benefits: Fundraiser for the Honorable Nadia Hilou, member of the Israeli Knesset, Labor Party. Social worker and advocate for peace.

Also, support Mar Elias Branch Campus of the University of Indianapolis, Indiana located in Ibillin in the Galilee in the Holy Land.

Location: Arts Center of Oak Park, 200 N. Oak Park Ave, 708-366-3981

The Arts Center is a magnificent neoclassical building, an architectural gem, inside and out. Large lobby reception area, 700 seat auditorium with spacious dressing rooms and the Ernest Hemingway Museum.

Entertainment: the Christian Arab Comedy Troupe “The Infidels of Comedy” featuring Nasry Malak, Maria Sehata and Ray Hanania.

Tickets are $40 each.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Don't rule Hillary Clinton out so fast

I want change as much as anyone else, but despite Barack Obama's lead in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination, he's still only in the stretch with a slightly better lead than Hillary Clinton.

Neither candidate has secured the locked delegates to win the nomination, and the popular vote has been frighteningly split almost equally in half. I think the enthusiasm to end this contest contradicts the primary season itself which has dragged on more than six months since Jan. 3 in Iowa.

The Democratic convention is not until August, more than two months away. That's where we will know or not know the real intent of the so-called "Super" delegates. The term "super" delegates is a phrase coined to described the gaggle of insiders who have been given "unpledged" delegate positions. They can change their minds and support any candidate they want, crossing back and forth from one candidate to another as often as they want.

What that means is that Obama does lead in pledged delegates and allegedly in unpledged delegates, but the reality of those unpledged delegates does not become final until the convention.

So why rush it? Why circumvent the very Democratic process we embrace and try to use numbers, and statistics that can be twisted in many ways to come up with many answers? Why not celebrate the power of the Democratic Party having two powerful and charismatic leaders, Obama and Clinton, and allow that leadership now to move towards the convention where the pledged delegates MUST cast their vote for the candidate they have been assigned to by the will of the American voters, and unpledged delegates can still weigh the real challenge: who is the best candidate to win the nomination and defeat Republican John McCain.

McCain is not a real choice for most Democrats who voted in the heated Obama-Clinton fracass. But, Hillary Clinton remains a real choice for nearly 50 percent of the Democrats who voted. Are we that sure that Obama can blow the doors off McCain in November that we can afford to tell those Americans who supported Clinton that their intentions are basically dimpled chads that can discarded, too?

I say slow down. I say take pause. I say build the Democratic Party and don't allow it to be torn down as we move towards the Democratic Convention. This race is still close and if Hillary Clinton does not drop out -- a right she has and has earned through a phenomenal performance that so closely matches Obama's own campaign showing -- we should work with both.

The Dream Ticket of Obama and Clinton is one that would be powerful. In fact, that is what Democratic voters have said very clearly as we turn the corner to the final stretch into the Democratic Convention. Let's not turn Denver into Chicago by ignoring the feelings of so many.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Michelle Malkin reigns as the queen of hate-mongering

Michelle Malkin's vicious attacks against Dunkin Donut and Food TV talk show host Rachael Ray suggest how racism and bigotry are tolerated int his country when the targets are alleged to embrace anything Muslim or Arab, even when they are not.

Malkin accused Ray of sporting "jihadi chic" when she wore a scarf that looked like a kaffiyeh (keffiyeh). It was black and white checkered, and also had paisley flowers, too. Wow. A real terrorist symbol.

We denounce the symbols of terrorist hatred, I suppose in this country, but not the hate-mongers, which explains why America is so vulnerable to attack. When Michelle Malkin's hate-mongering defines who we view the terrorist threat, we know we are in trouble.

Read my column at the