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The Syrian Lebanese star ( June 1, 2004 )

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Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ;
Language:
English
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Creation Date:
June 1, 2004
Frequency:
monthly
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Syrians -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lebanese -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Jacksonville (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Duval County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville
Coordinates:
30.31944 x -81.66 ( Place of Publication )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1963.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 16, no. 9 (Sept. 1978).
Funding:
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000579625
oclc - 05165391
notis - ADA7472
lccn - sn 79007351
issn - 0193-2578
System ID:
UF00028363:00028

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Syrian Lebanese star
Alternate title:
Syrian-Lebanese star
Alternate Title:
Star
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ;
Language:
English
Publisher:
A.M. Coplan
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
Creation Date:
June 1, 2004
Frequency:
monthly
regular

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Syrians -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lebanese -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Jacksonville (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Duval County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre:
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Duval -- Jacksonville
Coordinates:
30.31944 x -81.66 ( Place of Publication )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1963.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 16, no. 9 (Sept. 1978).
Funding:
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000579625
oclc - 05165391
notis - ADA7472
lccn - sn 79007351
issn - 0193-2578
System ID:
UF00028363:00028

Table of Contents
    Main
        page 1
        page 2
        page 3
        page 4
    Florida
        page 5
    Florida/Georgia
        page 6
    North Carolina/South Carolina/Tennessee
        page 7
    Virginia/Washington D.C./Maryland
        page 8
    Alabama
        page 9
    Texas/Oklahoma
        page 10
    Texas
        page 11
        page 12
    New Mexico/Texas
        page 13
    Arizona/Nevada
        page 14
        page 15
    Southern California
        page 16
        page 17
    California
        page 18
        page 19
    Recommended Businesses
        page 20
Full Text

U


$15.00 SUBSCRIl


TE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR
AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY

SERVING AMERICANS OF ARABIC HERITAGE
Celebrating 41 Years of Service
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
MEMBER AMERICAN LEBANESE CONGRESS
ESTABLISHED IN 1963


PTION


www.syrianlebanesestar.com


XXXXII #6 JUNE 2004


I I _


George Korkmas Seeks the
Office of Federation President


Goerge Korkmas,
current Vice President of
the Southern Federation,


has announced he will
seek the office of
President of the
Federation. The following
is a brief biography:
George was born in
Tyler, Texas on August 2,
1931 where he graduated
high school and was
active in the Cedars Club
of Tyler. Upon graduation
as a chemical engineer

continued on page 6


Having served as
Federation Secretary for
the past three ,years,
Miriam Koury has


announced her plans to
run for the office of Vice
President of the Southern
Federation. Prior to
serving as Secretary,
Miriam served three years
on the Board of Directors
of the Federation. Miriam
states, "With the
experience I have gained
through the offices I have
held in the Federation, I
have a clear knowledge of
the workings of the
continued on page 8


Another Talk

to Grads,


Bidding
Farewell to
Munif
Novelist Bears
Witness to
Repression,
Corruption,
Reverence for
Common Folk


And at Occidental
College's commencement
exercises in Los Angeles,
Queen Noor of Jordan

....,con0tipuedn on page 6

Gouiiiret Gala

Raises-

$190,000


"Mardi Gras for the
Kids" was the theme of
the sixth annual Gourmet
Gala, and it raised more

continued on page 8


Arab intellectuals
mourned the loss of Abd
al-Rahman Munif,
Jordanian-born novelist
and economist who.
became one of the
greatest and most
controversial Arab
novelists. Munif died
January 24 in Syria of a
heart attack after
suffering a long illness.
He was 71. A large
continued on page 6


You Can Be in Marlo's New Book


In 2002, Marlo thomas
- daughter of St, Jude
founder Danny Thomas -
gathered stories from a
number of celebrities and
luminaries about how they
had received the "right
words at the right time"
that helped change their
lives.
Now Marlo invites you


to share your story of
personal revelations and
life-changing inspiration
for possible inclusion on
an all-new colume of The
Right Words at the Right
Time.
Was there a moment
when words changed your
Life whether spoken by
a family member or


friend, read in
a book, or
heard in a
movie or on
the radio?
Marlo would like
you to share your story
with her. Selected entries
will be included in the

continued on page 9


JI I
I0I 111I


SPI. E


Sand I


Whatever phrase you
use, however you say it,
you, your family and
friends (old and new) are
going to have FUN in
New Orleans this
summer. Don't miss the


fun, music, dancing,
excitement, fellowship,
friends and family. On
July 12th DON'T SAY, "I
wish I would have been
there." We will be
celebrating it all at the
Southern Fedration's 73rd
Annual Convention in
New Orleans-July 7-11,
2004..
This year, you can


continued on page 7

Host a Student Through an

SHistoric Exchange


Be part of the solution!
ASSE International is
now looking for American
families to host high
school students from
countries with significant
Muslim populations.


All these students have
received scholarships
through the US State
Department sponsored
Partnership for Learning

continued on page 12


St. Jude Circle of Champions

Dinner Honors Don Schula


'-% ~ b


Prior to Super Bowl
XXXVIII, St. Jude, as
part of the game's week-
long celebration, held a
special luncheon
honoring the winningest
coach in NFL history,
Don Shula.
Shula was honored at
he second annual Circle
of Champions luncheon
at the Reliant Center in


Houston, TX, on Jan. 30
as part of the festivities
surrounding Super Bowl

continue


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II I -


Roll into New Orleans

for the Southern Federation
Annual Convention!


Miraim Buttross Koury
Announces Candidacy for

Federation Vice President






I Page 2 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June2004 I


50th Anniversary

The Neweys


Julienne and Sam
Newey celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary
with cocktails, dinner and
dancing at the Omni
Hotel. They were married
April 25, 1954. She is the
former Julienne Rahall.
Their daughter is Pam
Newey, Jacksonville.


Sonja Taylor and Jamie
Ossi were married at 4
p.m. yesterday in St.
Joseph's Historic Church.


Weddings

Goodwin-Hassan


Tracy Hassan and
Michael Goodwin were
married at 2 p.m. Saturday
in Holy Family Catholic
continued on page 10


The bride, daughter of
Roy Taylor, Jacksonville,
and the late Margaret

continued on page 10


Terre Thomas shows support

at San Diego Dinner


On Feb. 26, San
Diegans gathered at the
Harbor House Restaurant
in Seaport Village for the
eighth annual San Diego
Dinner to support the
children of St. Jude. Terre
Thomas, daughter of St.
Jude founder Danny
Thomas, was on hand at
the event to show her
support and her
appreciation to the San
Diego Chapter for its


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fund-raising efforts. The
theme of the evening was
"London through the
Looking Glass." Through
the hard work of the entire
chapter, the event raised
$71,599 for St. Jude.
The occasion started
off with a cocktail
reception and silent
auction hosted by the
Local Epsilon Sigma
Alpha chapter. The event
was sponsored by Saks
Fifth Avenue, SAIC, Coca
Cola Bottling Company
of Southern California,
Xerox, Icon Systems,
Blum and Clark
Accountancy Group,
Union Bank, US Bank,
Knights of Columbus
Council 9710, American
Airlines, and Hotel
InterContinental London.
The guests then dined
on an elegant English-
themed dinner of Beef
Wellington and Dover
Sole. Afterward,
attendees participated in a
live auction, which was
followed by a
performance from the
band RB Swingtet.
Thomas and St. Jude
patient Bayleigh Jones
were the special guests of
the evening.
Bayleigh shared her
story about being told she
had -a pilocytic brain
tumor, a cancer that
rapidly destroys its
victim's vision, and her
battle to find a cure.
Bayleigh has been able to
stay strong during her
treatment knowing that
she is surrounded by St.
Jude doctors, fellow
patients, and her loving
family.
In addition to the
special speakers, Robert
and Pat Menke, two
lifelong supporters of St.
Jude and members of the
San Diego Chapter, were
honored for their
dedication to the children
of St. Jude. The evening
concluded with a grand
prize drawing for round
continued on page 10


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Page 3 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004


In Matthew 24:3, the
disciples came unto Jesus
privately saying, "Tell us,
when shall these things
be? And what shall be the
signs of thy coming, and
of the end of the world?"
And Jesus answered and
said unto them, Take heed
that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in
my name saying, I am the
Christ; and shall deceive
many. And ye shall hear
of wars and rumours of
wars: see that ye be not
troubled: for all these
things must come to pass,
but the end is not yet. For
nation shall rise against
nation, and kingdom
against ,kingdom: and
there shall be famines and
pestilences, and


Rev. Fred Massabni
earthquakes, in divers
places. All these are the
beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver
you up to be afflicted, and
shall kill you: and ye shall
be hated of all nations for
my name's sake. And then
shall many be offended,
and shall betray one
another, and shall hate
one another. And many
false prophets shall rise
and shall deceive many.
continued on page 10


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As we mark the 40th
anniversary of the Second
Vatican Council (1962-
1965) and the 450th
anniversary of the
Council of Trent (1545-
1563) at this time, we
have an opportune
occasion to recall also the
importance of the other
nineteen general councils
of the Catholic Church.
Church historians remind
us that tracing the
developments of the
twenty-one councils is an
outstanding way to survey
the two thousand year
history of Christianity.
While the general
councils did not treat
every aspect of theology
and spirituality; they did
address the major issues
of their times. For this


By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
reason scholars recognize
these meetings as an
essential lifeline in church
history.
Church councils
imply democratic or
constitutional meetings
happening in a
hierarchical church
presided over by a pope
claiming a singular and
unique authority directly
continued on page 11


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A Skeletal Church History


Arabic word 'Ahadees,
Ahadith' is plural of
'Hadees, Hadith'. It
means 'Sayings of the
Holy Prophet of Islam,
Peace be on him. Below
are cited Forty Ahadees
relative to Muslim Life.
Holy Prophet of Islam,
Peace be on him, is
reported to have said:
1. "Three phrases,
light on tongue, heavy in
measure, pleasing to
Allah are: 'Subhan Allah-
wa-be-Humd-e-Hi
Subhan Allah-hi-l-Azeem'
This is, 'Glorified be
Allah; All Praise is for
Him; Glorified be Allah;
He is the most Exalted."
(Bukhari and Muslim).
2. "The requirements
of Faith are: Believe in
Allah; His Angels; His
Books; His Prophets; Day


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Future Events
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MIND


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40 Ahadees


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Barkatullah
of Judgment; His
Determination of good
and evil."
(Muslim)
3. "It is the duty of
every male and female to
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4. "The Believers
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perfect are those who
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(Abu Daud & Darmi.)
5. "Allah does not
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continued on page 11






SPage 4 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004


The Metrolina
Phoenician Club held
their annual
Christmas party on
Sunday, December
14, 2003 at the
Siskey/Hemby
Activity Center. We
had a large number
attending. Even
Santa Claus showed
up to bring gifts to
the children.
Needless to say, the
food was great and
plentiful.
Members elected a
new board at our
December social for
the coming year. The
Board then elected
Houda Bracewell as
President. Our club


was recently
recognized in the
Good Neighbor
section of The
Charlotte Observer,
our local newspaper.
On March 20 we held
our annual Hafleh
Dinner Dance at the
Hilton Charlotte and
Towers. Our club
president, Houda
Bracewell, and
member John
Shaheen were
interviewed in
support of this big
annual event. More
on this great event
will be coming in the
next bulletin! Come
see us in North
Carolina!


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North Carolina News
Metrolina Phoenician Club
Submitted by Marie Mitchell


Tennessee
News
The Cedars Club
of Memphis
Submitted by
James Gattas,
Tennessee State
Vice President and
President of the
Cedars Club
The Cedars Club of
Tennessee is now in the
planning stages of our
yearly calendar of events.
Our club is looking
forward to an exciting
year of events most
especially the convention
in New Orleans. Several
of our members attended
the Mobile Midwinter
conference and had a
wonderful time.
Additionally, several of
our members chaired and
volunteered for the
annual Marguerite Piazza
St. Jude Gala which was
held April 3 at the
Peabody Hotel. Anita
Harris and Wes Kraker
are Co-Chairs of the
event and Paula Buttross
is chairman of the
auction. Anita and Fred

continued on page 12


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Texas News
American
Lebanon
Association
ALA of Austin, Texas
honored one of their own
at the March club
meeting. President Sam
Attal and Treasurer
Raymond Risk presented
long-time club member
Pat Sconci a plaque of
appreciation for his many
years of service as club
member and officer. Pat
recently retired as club
treasurer after nine years
serving in that position.
Over the years Pat has
held every officer
position in the American
Lebanon Association,
including three years as
President. Pat currently
serves on the ALA Board
of Directors. Pat has also
served the Federations in
numerous -positions,
including co-chair of the
1983 Midwinter
Conference, two terms on
the Executive Board of
Directors, numerous
years as member of the
Ways and Means
Committee and currently,
Pat serves on the Board of
continued on page 12


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Page 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

FLORIDA


The Star is published once per month by A.M. Coplan. The Star is an independent
monthly serving Americans of Syrian and Lebanese heritage for over 35 years.
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
The Syrian-Lebanese Star
Publisher and Editor...A. M. Coplan
For Advertising Information Write P.O.Box 5545
Jacksonville, Florida 32247 Phone (904) 737-6996
Postmaster-send change of address to the above address
Please send your letters, news stories, pictures and club activities to
The Editor's Desk.
4251 University Blvd. S., Suite 201, Jacksonville, Florida 32216
Subscription Rate: $15.00 per year


Tales, Tidbits and Triumphs...


So your dear Uncle
Tanous is tired, tired, tired
but there is no need to
explain. Do not worry
because Uncle remains
happy as ever. But due to
the tiredness, Uncle has
decided to use pictures to
help tell some of the story.
See this pretty lady on the
left? She is my ever ready
helper with pictures, Rose
Nunu and she is going to
help me with the news!
Hail to the Chief! Or
should Uncle say Bow to
His Majesty! Well, how
did our dear President
James Moises MD get


himself crowned king
anyway! Uncle does not
kow but
Uncle believes he will
be a benevolent king to
his subjects!
Oh! News from
Jacksonville, Florida!
Uncle's dear friends
Nazira and Chick Dewan
(who are very proud
grandparents) shared this
news about their beautiful
granddaughter Brittany


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Honor Society and Elite
Students of America
Society. Also, Brittany
was one of only 400
students across the United
States to perform at at
Cinderella's Castle at
Disney World in a special
choir presentation.
Brittany was chosen as a


Dewan. Brittany is the
daughter of Kim and
Derek Dewan. Brittany is
a senior at The Bolles


School and treasurer of
her class. She was
recently inducted into the
National Scholastic


soloist for the event. Well,
my dear Brittany, you
make Uncle so proud, not
to mention your family
and all of your extended
Lebanese aunts, uncles,
cousins... well, you know
who! Uncle can't wait for
you to be a bit closer at
Southern Methodist
continued on page 12


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Page 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

FLORIDA/GEORGIA


Koukmas
(continued from page 1)
from Catholic University
of America in
Washington, D.C. in
1952, George married
Theresa Eltife and moved
to Texas City, Texas. They
have five children,
Deborah, Mari Jean,
Sammy, Carol, and Alan.
In 1964 the Korkmas
family moved to Alvin,
Texas where they still
reside.
George's professional
career has spanned over
fifty years during which
time he has experienced
many facets of business,
including engineering,
transportation, beverage
operation and
management. He is
currently a partner in Tony


Queen Noor
(continued from page 1)
urged graduating students
to build coalitions to
achieve global peace and
security, creating "a
safety net for all of us."
The 52-year-old queen,
who was married to the
late King Hussein, said
that while "divisions are


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v. 0,' .; ,'^ r,,**.


K's "Home of Fine
Spirits".
George has also
served his community in
the political arena. In
1961 he was elected to the
House of Representatives
for Galveston County and
served two years. He has
held offices for the Texas
Tank Truck Carriers
Association, wholesale
Beer Distributors, Alvin
Evening Lions Club, and
is a lifetime member of
the Houston Livestock
Show and Rodeo. He was
honored in 1973 with a
listing in the Who's Who
in Texas.
George and Theresa
joined the L'Entasar Club
of Houston in 1966.
George has served
numerous times as officer


all around us, and the
gulfs seem to be growing
moment by moment,"
students must be willing
to work together no
matter how severe
differences between one
another may be. "The
ability to see from other
perspectives, to listen to

continued on page 13


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of the Club including a
recently completed term
as President. On the local
level he has served not
only the L'Entasar but the
Houston Affiliates, acting
currently as its President.
He served as Chairman
for the 1991 Southern
Federation Convention
held in Houston. George
and Theresa are also
members of their
hometown club in Tyler,
Cedars of Lebanon.
George attended his
first Southern Federation
convention in 1960. He
has served on the
Federation's Board of
Directors and the
Scholarship Committee.
He has also served four
years in the appointed
position of President of


Munif
(continued from page 1)
funeral was held in
Damascus for him,
attended by some
officials, such as the
Minister of Culture, and
with fans coming from
Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq
to see him off for the last
time. A funeral procession
moved from the western


the Southern Federation
Foundation. In 1996,
George was honored by
the Federation as "Man of
the Year."
George stated his
vision for the Federation:
"As our world is
changing, so is the
Southern Federation. In
that vein, my hope is to
initiate programs that will
help revitalize our local
clubs. I desire to represent
our current members and
to attract new members. I
encourage everyone to
attend the New Orleans
Convention this summer,
and I request the votes and
support of all the
Federation membership."


villa area in Mezze, a
suburb of Damascus
where he had spent his.
last days, then to Al
Shefaa Hospital, and
finally, prayers for him
were said in Al-Thanaa
Mosque.
"We have lost one of
the most courageous and
noble writers in the Arab
continued on page 13


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Page 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

NORTH CAROLINA/SOUTH CAROLINA/TENNEESEE


New Orleans
(continued from page 1)
enjoy the 4th of July in
your own hometown with
your family and friends.
Then, you can pack up
and roll into New Orleans
to celebrate with your
extended family in our
home. There is something
for everyone at this
convention- a Cajun Fais-
Do-Do (pronounced Fay-
Doe-Doe), the Aquarium
of the Americas, the.
Audubon Zoo, the
Riverwalk, a city tour
including the nationally
acclaimed D-Day
Museum, the French
Quarter, pool side music,
late night discos, special
young adult functions, an
afternoon Arabic concert,
great food, 3 nights of live
Arabic entertainment,
great American music,
cultural presentations, a
Talent Showcase, the
spectacular Debutante
Ball, New Orlean's own
"Rock'n Bowl", more fun,
more friends and this is
just the beginning. Your
hosts, the members of the
Syrian Lebanese
American Club of New
Orleans and the Lebanese
American Society of New
Orleans are waiting for
you with open arms and
warm hearts. This is one
you won't want to miss!!!


Great Location: The
convention headquarters
will be the Sheraton New
Orleans Hotel. It is
located on Canal Street
right across from the
French Quarter about 3
blocks from the River (2
blocks from Harrah's
Casino) and has a "to die
for" convention lobby.
There is so much to do- all
within walking distance of
the hotel. The hotel has
recently completely a
major renovation and is a
first class facility in every
respect. Rates are $96 per
night (single, double,
triple or quad). Concierge
level service and special
suite rooms are also
available. The hotel has a
toll-free reservation
number: (888) 627-7033.
Be sure to specify the
Southern Federation of
Syrian Lebanese
American Clubs
convention. Hotel room
rate cut-off date is June
16, 2004. Make your
reservations early.
The hotel has plenty of
room so bring Mama and
Daddy, bring Sitie and
Jitie (or Sito and Jido),
bring Uncle Paul and Aunt
Mary, bring the kids- just
bring everyone! Some of
the program highlights
include:
Cajun Fais Do-Do
(pronounced Fay-Doe-


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Doe)- This will be a full
evening starting with an
optional Cajun catfish
dinner, Cajun music and
dancers. There will be
entertainment and fun for
all ages, a few surprises
and of course, dabkie,
dabkie and more dabkie.
If you want to eat at the
Fais-Do-Do, just register
for the additional dinner
(special adult and child
prices are available).
The Talent
Showcase/Dabkie
Showcase- Throughout
the convention, we will be
showcasing the vast and
varied talent from around
the Federation, including
Clubs' special dabkie
troupes.
New Orleans- Don't
worry, you will have time
to enjoy the city. Go on
the city tour and see
nationally acclaimed D-
Day Museum. Take Sitie's
Shuttle-a special service
provided by your hosts to
get you around to Jackson
Square, the Aquarium of
the'. America's and the
IMAX Theatre, Harrah's
Casino and the Riverwalk.
Visit the table in our
Hospitality room to obtain
suggestions on what to see
and do- the boat rides, the
St. Charles Street car, the
French Quarter, the Zoo,
St. Louis Cathedral, the
Superdome and the list


goes on. Do as much or as
little as you desire. It will
be a great mix of New
Orleans fun &
entertainment together
with our spirited Syrian-
Lebanese heritage.
Rock'n Bowl- This is a
New Orleans original.
Others are now copying
this unique concept. We
will provide
transportation to the
famous "Mid City Lanes"
where we'll rock and
bowl all afternoon long.
Spend a great time with
your old friends and make
some new ones. It's a
classic!!
Special French Quarter
Singles Party-Don't miss
the special singles party at
one of New Orleans'
popular French Quarter
establishments. Definitely
a place to meet and make
new friends!
Young Adults- There
will be a special room
with games for the young
adults and adults who are
still kids. We will have
late night discos on 3
nights. And, there will be
some special, daytime
outside activities
organized for the young
adults:
And that's not all- but
that's all we have space
for. Believe it! You won't
be disappointed! Wewill
continued on page 14


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Page 8 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

VIRGINIA/WASHINGTON D.C./MARYLAND


Buttress
(continued from page 1)
Federation. I desire to
serve and work to help the
Federation continue to
grow."
Miriam was born and
raised in Canton,
Mississippi where her
family still owns Buttross
Department Stores,
founded by her
grandfather, David
Buttross, a native of
Bzedine, Lebanon. After
earning a degree in
Psychology, Miriam
worked a number of years
at the Veterans
Administration Hospital
in Jackson, Mississippi
doing research in behavior
modification and


Gourmet Gala
(continued from page 1)
than $190,000 for the kids
at St. Jude.
Held on Feb. 24 at the
Mellon Auditorium in
Washington, D.C., the
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biofeedback. The results
of her research were
published in several
journals. Other
professional experience
includes managing the
family store for several
years and earning a
Mississippi Real Estate
License.
Miriam has held
offices for many
community organizations,
including President of the
Canton Planning
Commission, and
President of the Sacred
Heart Society. Currently,
Miriam serves as
President and Chairman
of the Board of Madison
County Habitat for
Humanity and as a


Congressman and Mrs.
John Tanner; Mrs. Luma
Kawar, wife of the
Jordanian ambassador to
the United States; and
Farid Abboud, Lebanese
ambassador to the United
States. St. Jude patient
Chris Burress and his

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member of the
Preservation Commission
for the City of Canton.
Miriam is married to
Peter A. Koury and they
have four children and
three grandchildren.
Miriam and Peter reside in
Jackson, Mississippi.
They are both involved
and committed to their
local club, The Cedars of
Lebanon Club of Jackson.
Miriam has served on her
club's Executive Board
and as President of the
Club.
Miriam has stated her
vision for the Federation
Vice President. "I feel
strongly that we must be
active in our local club,
and that we must evolve


parents Brion and Debbie
also attended.
Food was served from
some of the D.C. area's
finest restaurants,
including Colvin Run,
1789 Restaurant, Cafe
Atlantico, Citronelle, DC
Coast, Equinox, Galileo,


with the times in order to
keep our youth interested.
The future of the
Federation lies in the
strength and participation
of the Affiliated Clubs.
The Vice President of the
Southern Federation is
Chairman of the
Membership Committee;
therefore, it is the duty
and obligation to guide
the State Vice Presidents
and local Club Presidents
to increasing membership.
With my vast experience,
I feel that I will be an asset
to the Southern Federation
in the position of Vice
President. I ask for your
support and vote in New
Orleans at the General
Assembly."


Georgia Brown's, Ronald
Reagan Building and
International Trade
Center, Kindead's,
Lebanese Taverna,
Maestro/The Ritz-Carlton
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continued on page 14


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Fax: 703-276-1581






Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

ALABAMA


Thomas
(continued from page 1)
new book. Proceeds from
both books' sales will go
to St. Jude.
For more details about
the contest or to submit
your story, visit
www.rightwordsbooks.co
m.


Shula
(continued from page 1)

XXXVIII between the
New England Patriots
and the Carolina
Panthers.
Bill Parcells, head
coach of the Dallas
Cowboys, and Hall-of-
Famer Mike Ditka
served as honorary
chairs for the event,
which is supported by
the NFL and benefits St.


Jude. Sean Salisbury of
ESPN was the master of
ceremonies.
The Circle of
Champions luncheon
honors living coaches of
past Super Bowl winning
teams. In 2003, St. Jude
honored former Kansas
City Chiefs head coach
Hank Stram, winning,
coach of Super Bowl IV.
As the winning coach
of Super Bowl VII and
Super Bowl VIII, Shula
was'this year's honoree.
Along with the two
Super Bowl rings and his
status as the winningest
coach in NFL history,
Shula also holds the
distinction of being the
only NFL coach to ever
guide a team to a perfect
season. The 1972 Miami
Dolphins are the only
team in history to have
an undefeated season,


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going 17-0 and defeating
the Washington Redskins
14-7 in the title game,
This year's event had
special significance
because of the history
between the Miami
Dolphins and St. Jude
founder Danny Thomas.
Thomas was part
owner of the Dolphins
when the American
Football League
expanded to South
Florida. He had been
approached by good
friend Joe Robbie about
establishing a team in
Miami. Thomas helped
put together some of the
financing and Joe
Robbie served as the
managing partner.
"I was a pro football
owner," Thomas wrote in -
his book Make Room for
Danny, "though Joe
Robbie was the real
managing partner. For
me it was like a kid
being turned loose iq- a
candy store."


Thomas was so
thrilled about owning the
team that when Dolphin
Joe Auer returned the
opening kickoff for a
touchdown in the team's
very first game, he was
running right alongside
Auer down the field,
"though I was careful not
to- step over the
sideline," Thomas wrote.
As part owner,
Thomas received Super
Bowl rings for both of
the Dolphins world
championships.
"St. Jude and the
Miami Dolphins have
always has a special
relationship that
continues to this day,
with Coach Dave
Wannstedt," said
Richard C. Shadyac,
ALSAC National
Executive Director. "We
are thrilled to be a part of
honoring Coach Shula
for his exemplary work
on the _i field."


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Page 10 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

TEXAS/OKLAHOMA


Goodwin-Hassan
(continued from page 2)
Church. The bride, daughter
of Ann and Fred Hassan,
Jacksonville, graduated
from Jacksonville
University and is employed
by Suncoast RV. The
bridegroom, son of Jeanne
Hibbs and Wallace
Goodwin, both of Lower
Sackville, Nova Scotia,
graduated from College
Militaire Royal de Saint-
Jean and is employed by RV
Logic. Laila Hassan was
the matron of honor, and
Lenette Butros was the maid
of honor. Joel Chamberlain
was the best man. Following
a trip to Hawaii, the couple
will live in Jacksonville.

Terre Thomas
(continued from page 2)
trip airfare for-two from
San Diego to London,
England- courtesy of
American Airlines- plus
four nights'
accommodations at the
Hotel InterContinental


BEE
6)


Ossi-Taylor
(continued from page 2)
Anne Taylor, graduated
fromFlorida Community
College at Jacksonville
and the University of
North Florida. She is
employed by Putnam
Community Medical
Center. The bridegroom,
son of Margo and James
Ossi, graduated from
FCCJ and is employed by
Brumos Porsche. Adria
Richardson was the maid
of honor. The groom's
father was the best man.
London.
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hosted by the San Diego
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was started nine years ago
by Louis and Kathleen
Rezzonico- owners of the
Harbor House Restaurant-
who generously offer their
restaurant every year for
the San Diego Dinner. Jim
Murphy, general manager
of the restaurant, served as
chair of the dinner this
year.


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Future Events
(continued from page 3)
And because iniquity
shall abound, the love of
many shall wax cold. But
he that shall endure unto
the end, the same shall be
saved. And this gospel of
the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world
for a witness unto all
nations; and then the end
shall come.
But pray ye that your
flight be not in the winter,
neither on the Sabbath
day: for then shall be
great tribulation, such as
was not since the
beginning of the world to
this time, no, nor ever
shall be. For there shall
arise many false Christs,
and false prophets, and
shall shew great signs and
wonders; insomuch, if it
were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect. For
as the lightning cometh
out of the east, and
shineth even unto the
west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of man
be.
Now learn a parable of
the fig tree: When his
branch is yet tender, and
putteth forth leaves, ye


know that summer is
nigh; So likewise ye,
when ye shall see all these
things, know that it is
near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you,
This generation shall not
pass, till all these things
be fulfilled. Heaven and
earth shall pass away, but
my words shall not pass
away. For as in the days
that were before the flood
they were eating and
drinking, marrying and
giving in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered
into the ark. Therefore, be
ye also-ready: for in such
an hour as ye think not the
Son of man cometh. Who
then is a faithful and wise
servant, whom his lord
hath made ruler over his
household, to give them
meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he
cometh shall find so
doing.
Our Lord Jesus said
that Heaven and Earth
shall pass away, but my
words shall not pass
away. You can see what is
happening in these days-
wars, rumors of wars,
continued on page 15


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Page 11 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

TEXAS


General Councils
(continued from page 3)
from Christ. Such a
paradox is quite
interesting and
controversial, and a
dominant theme threading
across all the general
councils.
Another prevailing
theme is the cycle of
challenge and response
that brings councils into
session to treat heresy, the
need for reform, questions
of church authority, and
other significant issues
popping up in various
periods of the two
millennia of Christian
history.


Muslim Life
(continued from page 3)
your wealth but He
looks at your heart."
(Muslim)
6. "Worship Allah
Alone and do not
associate any thing with
Him; observe Prayer; tell
the truth; be chaste; help
the Believers."
(Bukhari & Muslim)
7. "Truth is virtue and
virtue leads to Paredise;
falsehood is sin and sin
leads to Hell." (Agreed
upon.)
8. "I solicit guidance,
piety, chastity and
abundance from Thee."
(Muslim)
9. "Sufficient for us is
Allah, and an excellent
Guidance is He."


(Bukhari)
10. "Do


not consider


The councils are the
church's "think tanks" for
solving problems and
plotting the future. Often
issues are churning for
decades or even centuries
before they are brought to
a council for solution. The
council fathers enunciate
guiding principles and
procedures, and plot their
implementation. The
general pattern is to
identify the reason for
convoking the council,
setting the goal, a period
of preparation, the
meeting itself, and the
efforts to put into practice
the decisions.
Marking the current
anniversary of Vatican II's


even the smallest deed as
insignificant; even
meeting someone with a
cheerful face is a good
deed." (Muslim)
11. "There is a
recompense for being
kind to humans as well as
animals." (Bukhari &
Muslim)
12. "O our Lord, Grant
us the good of this life and
the good of the next and
save us from the torment
of fire." (Bukhari)
13. "Every good deed
is an act of charity."
14. "The best of you is
he/she who learns Quran
and teaches it to others."
(Bukhari)
15. "One Believer is a
mirror to another
Believer." (Abu Daud)
16. "The Junior shall
tender salutation to senior,


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landmark sessions (1962-
1965) offers an opportune
moment for a
retrospective review of
the previous twenty
general councils. This will
not only aid in
understanding the specific
history of each, but
especially to put Vatican
II and its results into
clearer perspective.
Studies of Vatican II and
its different kind of
conciliar documents
abound. But what is
lacking is sufficient
attention to the prior
councils and their
documents in light of our
own experience of
Vatican II. The past is


and the one passing to one
sitting, and the small party
to a large party."
(Bukhari)
17. "This world is
prison for the Believers
and a paradise for the
unbelievers." (Muslim)-
18. "The best of you is
the one who is the best in
treatment to his/her
family and I am the best
amount you in the
treatment of my family."
(Tirmizi)
19. "Give due regard to
your children and
cultivate in them the best
manners." (Ibn Majah)
20. "The Pleasure of
Allah is in being obedient
to your parents and the
displeasure of Allah is in
the disobedience to your
parents." (Tirmizi)
21. "Everyone of you,


prologue.
Reading about
councils is one thing.
Living through a council
and having learned about
earlier councils is quite
another. Firsthand
familiarity with Vatican II
gives people today an
exceptional insight and
perspective on how other
councils worked.
Contemporary Christians
are more fortunate in this
regard than the millions
who lived during periods
when no councils met,
such as the 306 years
between Trent and
Vatican I, or the 92 years
between Vatican I and IIT


within your sphere, is a
ruler and will be called to
account for those under
you." (Bukhari)
22. "Pay the worker
his/her wages before
his/her sweat gets dry."
(Majah)
23. "Treat your
neighbor well." (Muslim)
24. "Modesty is part of
Faith." (Agreed upon)
25. "Honor the guest-
Hospitality for three
days." (Bukhari, Muslim)
26. "Patience is half of
Faith." (Mishkat)
27. "Allah will not
show Mercy to the one
who does not show mercy
to others." (Muslim)
28. "A Backbiter will
not enter Paradise."
(Muslim)
29. "Anger is unlawful

continued on page 15


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Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

TEXAS


Tennessee News
(continued from page 4)
Harris hosted the event
kick-off party at their
home. Our club is happy
to participate in all of
these wonderful events.

Tidbits
(continued from page 5)
University next year!
Now, your dear Uncle
Tanousasks you...do you
see this man on the left?
Yes, yes, I know he has a
wonderful wife Becky.
But let Uncle share a few
questions this Mr. Joe,
also known as Ommi
Yousef, sent to Uncle...If
money doesn't grow on
trees, then why do banks
have branches? Why do
people pay to go up tall
buildings and then put
money in binoculars to
look at things on the:
ground? How come we
choose just two
candidates for President
and fifty for Miss
America? Uncle's mind is
twirling. .Why is Joe
Davis smiling? Joe, what
do you know that your
poor Uncle doesn't know?
Uncle believes it may be
the great midwinter in
Mobile that has Mr. Davis
smiling, but perhaps it is
something much
more...Why is Joe Davis
smiling?... Well, Uncle
does know why Kelly
Aide is smiling. It is his
wonderful grandson that
keeps him happy- and
smiling all the time these


Texas News
(continued from page 4)
Governors of the
Federation Foundation.
Pat has maintained his
commitment to his local
club and the Federation
for over 50 yeasr. His
club and the Federation
are better because of Pat
Sconci's generous, wise
service performed with
dedication and a great gift
of humor. Thank you, Pat.

days. Of course, Uncle
has no problem with
Kelly smiling with that
grandson in his heart.
Hey, Kelly, you give that
beautiful boy a big hug
for old Uncle Tanous,
okay?....
Yes, another long
pause, I told you Uncle
was tired!!!
See these lovely
ladies? Uncle so loves
Penny ,Corbin, Rose
Zwan, Gladys Chehardy,
and Elaine Dahoe. These
wonderful women are the
backbone of our
Federation. Always
working hard, always
available to help, and
always, always, always a
lot of fun!... Okay, but
Uncle has to ask-
honestly, can we trust
these men on the right?
Do they look trustworthy
to you? I leave the
decision to you but Uncle
definitely has doubts...
Now Uncle will admit
there is one young man
continued on page 16


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Student Exchange
(continued from page 12)
Youth Exchange (YES)
Program and will spend
an academic year in the
U.S. while living with
American host families.
This historic program
seeks to build on the
values in common with
Muslim societies as it
strengthens voices of
moderation and reinforces
the United States'
commitment to education
and opportunity.
ASSE International is
currently seeking
qualified host families to
welcome these special
students coming from
Gaza, Jordan, Iraq,
Kuwait, Lebanon,
Morocco, Syria, Tunisia,
Pakistan, United Arab
Emirates, the West Bank
and Yemen. By living
with local host families
and attending the local
high s-shools, YES
scholarship students will


acquire an understanding
of American. values, build
on leadership skills, and
learn about the important
elements of American
civil society. Upon
returning home, YES
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work together to share
what they have learned
while in America and
make a difference in their
home countries.
If you are interested in
learning more about the
YES Program, please
contact Kelly or Courtney
at 1-800-473-0696 toll
free.


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Page 13 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

NEW MEXICO/TEXAS


Queen Noor
(continued from page 6)
other opinions, to
consider others' needs as
well as your own, is right


Munif
(continued from page 6)
world in more than 30
years," Jordanian novelist
Ibrahim Nasr Allah told
Aljazeera.net. "He
challenged the political
taboos and wrote bravely
about the stripping off of
human liberty and dignity
in the Arab world."
Among the many
tributes published in the
Arab press in the wake of
Munif's death was this one
by Lebanese journalist and
author Ibrahim Salemeh,
writing in As Safir: "After
100 years, if the Arabs
continue to write and
document, they will
discover that Abd al-
Rahman. Munif the
Benghali-Saudi-Lebanese-
Iraqi-Syrian, was the most
important and greatest of


now the most crucial skill
you can possess," she
said. "Global peace and
security depend on it."


those who wrote the Arab
novel in the second half of
the 20th century."
Munif's narratives
depict the catastrophic
changes in the Arab
homeland, and he became
known for his scathing
parodies of Middle Eastern
elites, especially those of
Saudi Arabia, a country
which banned many of his
books; nonetheless, after
his death, Saudi Crown
Prince Abdullah offered to
provide an airplane to
transport Munif's body to
be buried in Saudi Arabia,
and to give Saudi
citizenship to Munif's
children (not his wife,
since she holds Syrian
citizenship). Munif
himself had been stripped
of his Saudi nationality in
1963 for his open


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identification with Marxist
thought and for criticizing
the regime. But there were
gestures of goodwill
extended before he died: a
high-ranking Saudi
personality expressed
interest in covering
Munif's medical expenses,
whether inside Saudi
Arabia or abroad,.
according to Elaph, an
Arab electronic site.
Preferring to receive his
medical care closer to his
family, Munif sent a letter
thanking the Saudi
personality for the gesture
which purportedly ended
the rupture between
himself and.Saudi Arabia.
Munif's name had been
noticeably absent from the
Saudi Arab Literature
Encyclopedia. Asked
about the exclusion by the
London-based daily
Asharq al-Awsat, the
editor of the encyclopedia,
Mansour al-Hazemi,
professor of literature at
the King Saud University,


who was personally in
charge of the novel
section, answered, "Yes, it
is correct that Abd al-
Rahman Munif was a
Saudi-author, but he was
bor and grew up outside
the kingdom, in Syria,
Iraq, Jordan; he produced
and wrote in a different
environment." Munif for
the Saudis is like Gibran
for the Lebanese, al-
Hazemi explained- an
immigrant literary figure.
Munif's novels are
loaded with politics and
message, and his work is
often long, partly because
of its documentary and
historical nature. His
writing moves at a slower
pace, perhaps echoing the
rhythm of the desert,
gradually building to a
sudden burst of activity at
the end. He was one of the
most prominent Arab
novelists to have used
modernist narrative
.techniques, and: promoted

continued on page 16


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Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

ARIZONA/NEVADA


New Orleans
(continued from page 6)
eat, dance, joke and
laugh for 5 days and 4
nights, See the detailed
program schedule in this
bulletin as well as
registration and other
information. But, leave the
details to us- you just
come and you will
definitely "pass a good
time" (that's a Cajun
saying". The combination
of our heritage, our family,
our friends, and New
Orleans is just too good to
pass up.
Discounted convention
registration is available
until June 16th. Up until
that date, adult (18 yeat
and older) registration is
$155 per person. Youth
(ages 13 through 17)
registration is $115. After
June 16th, adult


registrations $175 and
youth registration is $130.
Children 12 and younger
are free, except if they
attend the banquet. The
child banquet ticket is $37.
Dance only tickets are
available for each dance
night at $50 per night until
June 16th and $60 per
night after June 16th. So,
don't delay any longer,
send your advanced
registration in today. Save
money and time. See the
registration form
-elsewhere in this Bulletin.
So, no matter what the size
of your family (1 or 1,000)
we are all family. Life is
full of missed
opportunities- don't make
this one of them. Plan to
Roll into New Orleans,
July 7-11, Dabkie 'til You
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Gourmet Gala
(continued from page 8)
Melrose/Park Hyatt,
New Heights, Nora,
Poste, bis, Butterfield 9,
Ceiba, Chef Geoff's,
Firefly, Jaleo, Peacock
Cafe, Ten Tenh, Zaytinya,
Tosca and Vidalia.
The evening also
featured a live auction
with items such as a
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continued on page 17


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Page 15 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

ARIZONA/NEVADA


Future Events
(continued from page 10)
nation rising against
nation, earthquakes,
killing one another, false
prophets, There is no love,
no faith. People are
wondering what is next.
The judgment of God is
upon the world. Floods
and fires are all over. But
as our Lord said, this
gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached (not the
Qoran). The gospel is
preachedf all over the
world. Signs of the end
are the words of prophesy


Muslim Life
(continued from page I1)

because it spoils the
Faith." (Bukhari)
30. "Muslims should
not keep relations
estranged beyond three
days." (Muslim)
31. "Malice consumes
virtues, just like fire
consumes fuels." (Abu
Daud)


from the lips of our Lord
Jesus who knows the end
from the beginning,
because He is God, the
creator, whom you
persecute and deny. But
even though the Qoran
spoke about Him in
Sourat EL Woman, that
Jesus is the Word of God
and Mary conceived by
the Holy Spirit, read also
Sourat the cow, even
Sourat the table. All of
these are written in your
Qoran for your benefit to
believe in the gospel. In
Psalm 49:20, God says,
Man that is in honor, and


32. "Exchange
Greetings frequently
among yourselves."
(Bukhari)
33. "If a Muslim calls
another Muslim a Kifir or
disbeliever then the
epithet will rebound to the
former." (Bukhari,
Muslim)
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judged by intentions, and
for everyone is rewarded


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Page 16 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Tidbits
(continued from page 12)
who is trustworthy.
Jeremy Frank attended his
first meeting as a
newly elected member of
the Federation Board of
Directors. Uncle is so
proud of you,


Munif
(continued from page 13)
a new genre of fiction that
reflected the social,
political 'and economic
realities of modern Arab
society.
While his works were
never particularly
successful in the West,
they were both critically
acclaimed and extremely
popular throughout the
Middle East. The author of
fifteen novels, his


Jeremy...Well, it is time
for dear old Uncle to say
goodnight! Goodnight
Aunt Sharife! But
Uncle does have one
more question...What are
they wearing/ Is this a
new style for
Uncle??????? Aunt
Sharife, help!!!!!!!!!


masterwork is the "Cities
of Salt" quintet that
follows the evolution of
the Arabian peninsula
from a land of Bedouin
nomads to a rich and
powerful oil kingdom.
Munif explored the theme
that in the Arab oil
countries, "Arabs have
been the victims of their
rulers and the foreigners."
In the most celebrated of
his 15 novels, "East of the
Mediterranean" (1975), he
graphically condemns


prisons, Arab dictatorships
and repression. The book
was banned by many Arab.
countries.
It was oil that Munif
knew so much about that it
was to permeate his
writing. He uses' his
knowledge of the
petroleum industry to
criticize the business
concerns which ran. it and
the politicians they served,
and how that substance
has propelled the region
into chaos. Munif once
told Paul Schemm of
Middle East Times, "I'
think that oil is a neutral
resource- it depends on the
way it is used. Until now,
however, they [the Gulf]
have only made use of it in
a partial fashion. Most of
the profits from oil have
not been used in a wise


manner and this has to
change. It's been used,
generally speaking, in a
way that has turned the
societies into consumerist
ones. There is no real
thought about
employment- or future
generations. There is no
development of an
economic plan for the
future- tomorrow it could
be over and the Gulf
would be poor again."
Born in Amman,
Jordan, in 1933, Munif's
mother was Iraqi, and his
father was a caravan
merchant from Najd,
Saudi Arabia, who plied
his wares between Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, Syria,
Palestine, and Iraq, with
many wives in different
countries, according to Al

continued on page 17


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Page 17 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Gourmet Gala
(continued from page 14)
Furniture Gallery,
General Dynamics,
Northrop Grumman,
Alion Science &
Technology, Microsoft,
Nortel Networks, Swartz
and Sons Distributors of
Everfresh, Symantec
Securities, Conference
Incorporated, One Team
Inc., Monarch Title, Inc.,
Lt. Gen. & Mrs. Michael
Davison, and BellSouth.
Thanks to Hargrove for
their donation of
decorations; GES for their
donation of booths and
signage, Crosby-Volmer
In t e r n a t i o n a
Communications for


Munif
(continued from page 16)
Taher al-Tawil in Al Quds
al-Arabi. Munif's father
died three years after
Munif was born.
Munif completed his
secondary education in
Amman. In 1952, while
Iraq was in the throes of a
turbulent period, he
enrolled in the Faculty of
Law in Baghdad, and


donating graphic design
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Thanks also to
committee members Tom
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Cloutier, who served as
event co-chairs; logistics
coordinator Donna
Tschiffely; restaurant
coordinators Eunice
Mazloom and Gladys
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coordinator Ris Lacostel
and silent auction chair
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planning committee
members Chris Fraley,
Curt and Rosie Harsch,
Rob Volmer and Shirley
Wertz:


became involved in left-
wing political activity,
including opposing the
pro-Western Baghdad
Pact. His politics led to his
being deported from Iraq
in 1955. He resumed his
education in Cairo during
the union period (1958-
1961), then headed off to
Yugoslavia to earn a
doctorate in petroleum
economics at the


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University of Belgrade.
After Yugoslavia, he
started identifying with the
Marxist ideas which
formed the basis of his
first novel, "Al Ashjar wa-
ightiyal Marzug" (The
Trees and the Assasination
of Marzouk) in 1973.
Palestinian critic Faysal
Darraj, writing in the
Qatar-based Al Watan
newspaper, wrote that the
novel "opened fire at the
repression which was
practiced by regimes
against their peoples,
through the struggle of
Marzouk with the security
forces in his country and
their constant attempt to
crush him."
He became an expert in
the oil industry and later
returned to Iraq to work in
the oil ministry, becoming
a member of the Baathist
Pan Arab Leadership. His
Baathist experience was
quite bitter, although short.
Munif was against the
historical leadership of the
Baath Party, that of Michel
Aflaq, and later joined the
Leftish Baath, between
1963 and 1965. By 1967,
Munif parted with the


leftist Baath and joined the
revolutionary forces after
the 1967 June defeat. He
became an Arab Marxist,
according to Mohammed
Jamal Barout in an article
in the Lebanese daily As
Safir. When Barout asked
Munif to write about his
experience in the Baath
Party during the 1960's, he
replied, "More than one
friend asked me to write
about my experience with
the party, but I am not
enthusiastic about that at
all." Barout wrote in Al
Hayat, "I remember his
expression, literally and
truthfully: 'a dirty
history.' '.
Before long, Munif left
his job with the oil
ministry, quit party
politics, and moved to
Damacus, where he
became director of
planning for the Syrian Oil
Company, but then
relocated in Beirut, where
he worked on the
Lebanese newspaper Al
Balagh. Munif was to
continue moving around in
the next few years. He
returned to Baghdad,

continued on page 18


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Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

CALIFORNIA


Munif
(continued from page 17)
where he edited Al-Naft
wal-Tanmiya (Oil and
Development) magazine.
In 1981 he moved to
France, attempting to
make a living at writing,
but four years later he
returned to Damascus,
where he stayed for the
next 18 years, until the end
of his life.
His most famous work
is the quintet "Cities of
Salt" (Mudum al-Milh)
which gives a portrait of
traditional Bedouin
society, starting with the
establishment of the
Middle Eastern sultanate
of Mooran, the thinly
veiled. Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia. Here he recounts
the destruction of the
bedouins' centuries-old
way of life following the
discovery of oil on the
Arabian Peninsula. The
late Edward Said
described it as "the only
serious work of fiction that
tries to show the effect of
oil, Americans and the
local oligarchy on a Gulf
country."
Munif left behind the


subject of oil in his three-
part narrative, "Ard al-
Sawad," which can be
translated either as the
dark or the fertile land, and
which is the name the
Arabs gave to Iraq when
they conquered the
country in 651 A.D. The
novel looks at Iraq in the
early 19th century during
the Ottoman- period. It is,
as Munif described it, his
"love-song to Iraq, and
although it deals with
Mamelukes, walis, and
other historic figures
representing power, it is
dedicated to the ordinary
Iraqi people." The book
was written in an Iraqi
dialect, of which he was
very fond, as he was of the
people.
In a 2000 interview
with Moussa Barhouma
for the London-based Al
Wasat magazine, Munif
said,"There is no doubt
that the present sufferings
of the Iraqi people could
move a heart of stone, and
that such suffering has
created deep resentment. It
is a suffering that, besides
its cruelty and injustice,
gives an indication of the
dark ages through which


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we are living, in which one
blind superpower attempts
to impose its hegemony
over the rest of the world.
This merits opposition all
the world over. However,
the real aim of the novel,
though it also involves
something of this, is not
only to expose such
suffering. I also wanted
'Ard al-Sawad' to
investigate a brighter side
in the events that move
people to express their
will, dreams, and desires.
Thus the novel deals with
all that hinders people
from venturing towards
new horizons and all that
forces them to "accept the
unacceptable. In this sense
the novel is as much a
contemplation of history,
and of man and the
unequal relations that
stand between men, as it is
a contribution to the
creation of a more
progressive consciousness
to counteract all that
stands in the way of
humanity."
In further comments
about "Ard al Sawad" in a
letter to the Egyptian
literary critic Farouk Ab
al-Kader, Munif wrote,"I


want to say what this great
country means to me, Iraq.
I was not concerned with
Saddam or the likes of him
among the rulers. This
country, land, and people,
is more important to me
than any ruler, and what
moves me is when they are
offended and subjected to
harm." The previously
unpublished letter
appeared in the Lebanese
daily Al Mustaqbal on Jan.
27.
Nontheless, Munif was
a fierce critic of Saddam
Hussein and his regime,
but he was also opposed to
the American invasion of
Iraq and spent the last two
years of his life working
on non-fiction projects to
oppose what he saw as
renewed imperialism. In
the wake of the bomb
attack on U.S. soldiers in
Dhahram in 1996, Munif
wrote that "The United
States, obsessed with oil
fever and the need to
control it, has gone much
too far in protecting
regimes and individuals
unworthy of its protection.
The Iraqi regime

continued on page 19


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Page 19 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR June 2004

CALIFORNIA


Munif
(continued from page 18)
committed one mistake by
invading Kuwait, but the
U.S. followed this by
cormnitting an even graver
mistake. Instead of
fighting the Gulf War to
liberate Kuwait, it sought
to subdue the region and
make it compliant-
bringing shame on every
person in it. Those who
paid the price of the war
weren't the rulers but the
ordinary people."
Munif was not a very
public man; he was a man
of shadow, shunning the
limelight, writing in
dimmed rooms, and
speaking in the language
of ordinary people. "Munif
died and his personal
archive includes no
photograph with Arab
rulers, although he has
many photos marching in
demonstrations, strikes,
and his first signature on
every protest petition,"
wrote Talal Salman,

Magnussen's Lexus of Fremont


LEF-XL r~


editor-in-chief of the daily
As Safir.
During his lifetime,
Munif received a number
of awards, the most
prestigious of which was
the Cairo Award for
Creative Narration in
1998. He also received the
prestigious Sultan as-
Oweiss Cultural Prize for
the Novel in 1989, and
was rumored to have been
on the short list for the
Nobel Prize the year that
Naguib Mahfouz won.
"Although a pan-
Arabist, Baathist of sorts,
leftist, these factors
undoubtedly had
influenced his novelist
works. But his works
transcended narrow
parochialism to address
Arab man wherever he is;
he opened up to the Arab
map, Mashreq and
Maghreb," wrote Abdu
Wazen, a poet and
novelist, in Al Hayat.
"Politics and ideological
commitments did not


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dominate his narrative
work nor his novels."
Nontheless, the only
completely non-political
novel he wrote is "Kisat
Hub Majussiya" (A
Maginian Love Story) in
1973. Among his other
Works is a book of
criticism, Author and
Exile." In Iraq Munif had
formed a close friendship
with the Palestinian
litterateur Jabra Ibrahim
Jabra, who encouraged
Munif in his writing
projects, and in 1982 they
published "Alam bi-la
khara'it" (World Without
Maps). Munif also wrote
several other political
works, including "The
Nationalization of Arab
Petroleum; (1976) and
"Democracy First,,,and
Democracy Always
(1991). His "Sibak al-
Masafaat al-Tawila" (The
Race of Long Distances) is
an investigation into the
interests of Western
powers in exploiting


Iranian oil after the defeat
of Musadeq revolution in
the early 1950's in Iran.
"The Novel for Abd al-
Rahman Munif restores
respect to the simple
people who are the real
makers of culture,"
observed Hassan Toufic in
the Qatar-based Al Raya
newspaper. The role of the
novel in raising peoples'
awareness was especially
important .to Munif
because he believed that
the region was in crisis,
writing that "The people
are in one world and their
leaders are in another...As
a result of such factors as
the absence of freedom,
prisons, and censorship,
people are forced to be
silent. But if there is no
justice in dealing with all
these issues, a big
explosion is going to
happen."


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