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The Syrian Lebanese star ( December 1, 2006 )

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:
December 1, 2006
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).

Record Information

Source Institution:
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:
UF00028363:00057

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:
December 1, 2006
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).

Record Information

Source Institution:
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:
UF00028363:00057

Full Text


*I I0


$15.00 SUBSCRIPTION


SYRIAN-LEBANESE

AN INDEPENDENT MONTHLY

SERVING AMERICANS OF ARABIC HERITAGE

Celebrating 44 Years of Service

MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
ESTABLISHED IN 1963
www.syrianlebanesestar.com


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St. Jude News


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........ ... ........... Page 2


Jacksonville News .........................P. Page 2

Editorials .................. .... ...........Page 3

Fears of Inquiry Dampen Giving by U.S. Muslims .Page 4

A Sheik's Thoroughbred .......................Page 4

Federation News ............................ Page 5

Muslims Debate Role of Women Full Veils ....... Page 6

St. Jude News ............ ............. Page 7


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To All 0u Readlers & A advertisers From Our Staff


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XLIV #12 DECEMBER 2006


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I Page 2 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006 1


St. Jude News
ESA Celebrates
34 Years of Giving


Elias-Salman


ESA members, as well as Terre Thomas and John P
celebrate more than $12 million raised for St. Jude.


Since Danny Thomas
first approached Epsilon
Sigma Alpha (ESA a
women's service and
leadership organization -
to become partners with
St, Jude in 1972, members
have been diligent in
raising the funds necessary.
to keep the doors of the
hospital open.
At the group's 59th
annual convention in Palm


Desert, CA, July 23-30,
the ladies of ESA
announced that their 34
dedicated years of fund
raising had translated into
$100 million in cash and
pledges for St. Jude. This
total includes more than
$12 million from the
group's work this past
year.
Terre Thomas, daughter
(continued on page 8)


The bride is the
daughter of Samira and
Emile Salman, Kuwait.
The groom, son of
Lucy and George Elias,
Orange Park, graduated
from the University of
North Florida. and is
employed by Bank of
America.
The bride's sister,
Randa Akel, was the
(continued on page 8)


Kuchynski-Joseph

ImgmmmaltE ,.


Cheryl Joseph of
Jacksonville and James
Kuchynski of Jacksonville
were married at 5:00 p.m.
October 21st in
Jacksonville, Florida.
The bride is the
daughter of Hedy
Abdelnour of
Jacksonville, FL and the
late Louis Abdelnour.
The bridegroom is the
son of Anita and John
Kuchynski of Cleveland,
(continued on page 8),
Best Wishes to our Many
Syrian and Lebanese
Friends and Customers

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L. PEREZ

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I1 Page 3 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006 I


Praises Unto
Our God

cr L-. J I

Lets give thanks unto
the LORD for His mercy
indureth forever.
Ps:138:2: "I will worship
toward thy holy temple,
and praise thy name for
thy lovingkindness and
for thy truth: for thou
hast magnified thy word
above all thy name.
Great is the LORD, and
greatly to be praised; and
his greatness is un-
searchable. Praise him,
ye heavens of heaven,
and ye waters that be
above the heavens, Let
them praise the name of
the LORD for he
commanded, and they
were created. To him that
by wisdom made. the
heaven- for his mercy
endureth forever) To him
that stretched out the
earth above the water-
for his mercy endureth
for ever."
Let us give thanks-
unto God for making us
His own Children
according to his own
pleasure) He redeemed
us in Christ, He
perfected us in Christ,


k* e ~


Rev. Fred Massabni .
we are forgiven and
secured in Christ. 1st
Corinthians 1:5 For in
Christ Jesus neither
circumcision availeth
anything nor un-
circumcision but new
creature., John 3: 16 "For
God so loved the world,
that he gave his only
begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in
him should not perish,
but have everlasting
life." I praise His name
for sending His Son
Jesus to die for our sins
'that we may have eternal
life. Ephesians 3:19 "
And to know the love of
Christ, which passeth
knowledge, that ye might
be filled with all the
fulness of God."
Jesus is the Word of
God in flesh; and God
called His Word His Son.
His Word became flesh


(continued on page 8)


Blessed Pope
John XXIII
and Christian
Unity
From the very first day
of his pontificate the
invitation to separated
Christians to return to the
bosom of the Church was
one of Pope John's
dominant leitmotifs. He
understood this call to
unity in terms of his duty
as the good shepherd and
brother to all. He saw it
even in terms of dogma:
one arrives at the
sheepfold of Jesus Christ
under the guidance of the
Pope; salvation cones in
fellowship with him.
In his first radio
message Pope John
expressly invited "the
whole Church of the East
to return, immediately
and voluntarily, to the


fJle~at to


By Brother John
Samaha, S.M.
common parental
household. This invitation
was extended in a spirit of
pronounced gentleness
and humility. The first
Christmas Message
repeated the call, again
with an eye directed more
toward the Orthodox
Church
The public
announcement of the
Second Vatican
Ecumenical Council,
made on January 25,

(continued on page 9)


Eid-Ul-Azha
Eid-ul-Azha is also
pronounced as Eid-ul-
Adha or Eid-ul-Azhia. It
is also called 'Baqr
Eid'that is Eid of
sacrificing a lamb, goat,
cow or camel. One lamb
or goat on behalf of one
individual; and seven
persons can share the
sacrifice of cow or camel
on their behalf.
The animal to be
sacrificed should be free
of any physical defect.
The lamb or goat should
be of minimum six
months; cow of two years
and camel of five years.
The Eid is celebrated
on the 10th of Zil-Haj of
Muslim Calendar. The
pilgrims will start arriving
in Macca,Saudi Arabia in
early December 06 and
the Eid is likely to be
celebrated on
December31, Saturday.


rent."
n/~7,^.


By Dr. Qazi Muhammad
Barkatullah
Asthe lunar year is
shorter by eleven days
than the solar year, Eid-
ul-Azha arrives eleven
days earlier than the
previous year. As such,
the celebration of Eid-ul-
Azha rotates through
every season, in turn,
throughout the countries
around the world.
At the end of month of
Zil-Haj,the current lunar
year, the new Muslim
year 1428 Hijri will
start,Insha Allah,that is
'Allah Willing'.
Sacrifice of a lamb or
goat on the 10 of Zil Haj
commemorates the
(continued on page 10)


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SPage 4 TmH SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006


By the end of Ramadan
last year, Najah Bazzy
remembers having more
than $10,000 in cash
donations to distribute to
the needy, and a vast
auditorium ringed with
tables groaning with
enough free food for 400
poor families to celebrate
the holiday.
This year, Mrs. Bazzy
formalized the good works
she had been doing for a
decade among the tens of
thousands of Muslims who
live in the Dearborn area
by establishing a charity,
Zaman International.
But by the end of the
holiday, charitable


Fears of Inquiry Dampen
Giving by U.S. Muslims


Sayyid Hassan Qazwini, an
imam in Dearborn, fears the
government is casting too
wide a net.
contributions were meager.
She said cash donations
amounted to less than
$4,000, and for the first
time since she began her
charity work she bought
(continued on page 10)


A Sheik's
Thoroughbred
Kingdom
Grows on the
Kentucky
Bluegrass
Every hardboot here
who makes a living
breeding and selling
horses knows that Sheik
Mohammed bin Rashid
al-Maktoum is the ruler
of Dubai, a desert
kingdom on the Persian
Gulf, which he has
transformed into a
tourist and business
capital.
Most of them,
however, know him as
Sheik Mo, a horseman
(continued on page 11)


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j Page 5 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006 |


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 40 years.
MEMBER ARAB-AMERICAN PRESS GUILD
SThe 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


Miriam Ackels
Claerhout
Running for Vice
President in 2007


Member News


Mark James Da\id.
born July 22, 2006 in
Crowlev, Texas to
Waddell and Salam
David. He is welcomed
b\ brother Waddell and
cousins Joshua Emile,
Jenna Marie, and
Rebekah David.
Grandparents are Nafe
and Reba David and
Nc\whad Saade.
U.S. District Judge Jav
Zainey was honored last
week in Washington for
his work in extending
legal assistance to
homeless people. Zainev
createdtd the- Homeless
Experience ..Legal


Protection, or HELP.
program that has gotten
400 lawyers to dispense
legal advice or notary
services for free to
homeless people
throughout the New
Orleans area. The
National Alliance to End
Homelessness presented
Zainev with its award for.
achievement in the public
sector. The group also
cited his work after
Hurricane Katrina in
finding housing for
poor and disabled
evacuees. The ceremony,
emceed by NRC news'
correspondent Andrea


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Julia Collins
Mitchell, was held at the
Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts.
-from The, Times-
(continued on page 11)


Mirlam ACKice
Dear Federation
Family,
On behalf of my
entire family, I want to
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my campaign for Vice-
President of .the
Federation at the
fabulous San Antonio
75th : Diamond
(continued on page 11)


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1 Page 6 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006 1


Muslims debate role of
women's full veils
Is the wearer fulfilling her religious
duty or showing extremism?


A fierce debate has broken
out across the Arab world
over women's increasing use
of the full Muslim face veil,
after a-top British official
called them disturbing.
The origin of the debate.
could not be more intimate:
what a woman chooses to
wear before she leaves
home. But the increasing
popularity of the full
Muslim face veil has set off
an emotional dispute in the
Arab world over whether
the covering is required by
Islam for modesty or a
dangerous sign of political
extremism.
The debate is most
intense in Egypt, the
world's largest Arab
country, where one
university two weeks ago


banned women who wear
the face veil, or niqab, from
living in a hostel, and
government-backed
newspapers have launched
a campaign against it.
"The niqab vogue: an
imported innovation, used
by the political extremists,"
read a recent banner on the
pro-government Al
Mussawar Weekly. "Our
new battle is against the
niqab," added Mohammed
Fatouh, a specialist on
Islamic issues in another
government-owned
weekly, Rose el-Youssef.
Salama Ahmed Salana
a columnist in Egypt's
biggest government daily,
Al-Ahram, was more blunt:
"It expresses an extremist
attitude ... Wearing the
niqab is as outrageous as
wearing a bathing- suit or
pajamas to the office."
On any given street in
the capital, the face of one
(continued on page 12).


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The Sultans of Swing
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important fixture on the Landing at the airport in
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calendar. cultural revelation in itself.
It has rapidly become the "Tunis-Carthage" is as large
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Tunisian National Tourist (continued on page 16)





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SPage 7 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006


St. Jude Hospital News

Pilot International funds room Inaugural Discover the Dream
of Chili's Care Center gala raises $37,820 for St. Jude


At its 2006
international convention
and annual meeting in
July, Pilot International
announced its pledge to
name a radiation
exam/consultant room on
the plaza level of the
Chili's Care Center with a
gift of $100,000.00 to St.
Jude.
During the convention,
8-year-old St. Jude patient
Tanner and his family told
the story of Tanner's
battle with


medulloblastoma, which
is now in remission.
Additionally, Alisa
Burkes, a Pilot
International member,
spoke about her daughter,
Maleiah, a former St.
Jude patient who passed
away after battling a brain
stem glioma.
Pilot International, a
volunteer service
organization, promotes
the awareness and
prevention of brain-
(continued on page 13)


More than 80
community leaders and
caring citizens in
Columbus, OH, met to
help realize the life-
long dream of St. Jude
founder Danny Thomas
that "no child should
die in the dawn of
life." The inaugural
Discover the Dream
gala, held in June 29 at
the Ohio Exposition
Center, raised $37,820.
The event decor
called to mind the
garden patios of
Memphis, Blues music


reinforced the
impression that guests
were strolling along
historic Beale Street
then passing Danny
Thomas boulevard,
which lines the St.
Jude campus. The gala
featured a guest
appearance by Trevor,
a 9-year-old former St.
Jude patient who
successfully battled a
brain tumor. "I greatly
appreciate your
support of St. Jude,"
said Trevor's father,

(continued on page 13)


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The Honorable
James O. "Jimmy"
Naifeh, Speaker of the
Tennessee House of
Representatives and
Board member of
ALSAC/St. Jude,
received the 2006
William M. Bulger
Excellence in State
Legislators at its
annual meeting in July.
The award carries a


$5,000 purse to be
donated to the winner 's
charity of choice, and
Naifeh announced that
he would donate his
award money to St.
Jude.
Established in 1996,
the Bulger award is
conferred on a state
legislative leader who
has demonstrated
(continued on page 13)


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Page 8 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006


ESA
(continued from page 2)
of hospital founder Danny
Thomas and St. Jude
Board member; John P.
Moses, ALSAC Chief
Executive Officer; and Joe
Mirro, MD, St. Jude Chief
Medical Officer, were on
hand to represent St. Jude.
During the convention,
ESA members had several
opportunities to hear about
the cutting-edge work
being done at St. Jude, as
well as meet St. Jude
patients Elizabeth Lobato
and Allyson Lohr who
shared their stories of
survival. .
Throughout the
weekend, there were
several events honoring
the ESA members who
have given their time and


energy toward the cause of
St. Jude. Forty ESA
members attended a
special breakfast hosted by
Thomas recognizing
members who coordinated
local fund-raising events
that raised more than
$20,000 or who started a
new event that raised more
than $10,000.
Additionally, 250
members were able to take
part in the St. Jude
Challenge event, a dance-
a-thon that raised more
than $100,000 for St. Jude.
Participants each gave
$200 or more to
participate.
Moses served as the
keynote speaker during
Saturday night's banquet
during which ESA
announced its fund-raising
total for the year.


Kuchynski-Joseph Following a cruise to
(continued frompage 2) the Bahamas,, the couple,
hio. will live in Jacksonville,
Ohio.
Oi c Florida.
Leanne Stout was the Florida.
The bride's married
bride's maid of honor. The bride's married
name will be Cheryl
Allen Gross was the
Joseph.
best man.


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Elias-Salman
(continued from page 2)
matron of honor, and the
groom's cousin, Richard

Praises
(continued from page 3)
to be offered as a
sacrifice for the entire
world. God's Judgment
will be according to His
book; which is the
inspired Word of God. 2
Timothy 3:16: "All
scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for
correction, for
instruction in
righteousness:" If
anyone doesn't obey this
gospel he will be judged
according to this gospel.
Anyone who rejects
Christ Jesus will go to
eternity without a
Saviour.
"He that comet from
heaven is above all." All
the prophets are earthly,
but Jesus Christ
is the Creator the only
Son of God. He is above


Rukab, was the best man.
Following a trip to
Hawaii, the couple will
live in Jacksonville.

all. This verse is from the
lips of our Lord and it is
very much neglected.
(God is Spirit) When His
Spirit enters our hearts
we become a new
creation. A warning to
Americans, turn to God
in sincere repentance.
If you want to go to
heaven, pray this pray.
Lord Jesus I put my trust
on you for my salvation,
be my Saviour.
His Servant,
Fred Massabni

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I Page 9 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006 |


Pope
(continued from page 3)
1959, spoke of an
"invitation to the
separated communities to
seek unity." Later the
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mentioned the "renewed
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foreground in his
subsequent addresses.
"We do not wish to hold
an historical trial, our aim
is not to point out who
was right and who was
wrong. The responsibility
is shared on both sides.
We want simply to say: let
us come together, let us
put an end to the
divisions."
Pope John's first
universal prayer intention
for January 1960 reflected
his abiding pastoral
concern: "May all those
who are seeking for the
true Church more deeply
perceive the desire of the
heart of Jesus for the unity'
of his children and
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thereby be led to unity."
A n y
misunderstandings
prevailing in the
oekumenia concerning the
catholicity of the council
were clarified by the
pronouncement that the
council should be "an
invitation to the separated
brethren, who glory in the
name of Christian, so that
they may return to the
universal flock, the
guidance and protection
of which Christ entrusted
to St. Peter in an
u n s h a k ab e
commandment of his
divine will." The council
extended this sign of holy
(continued on page 14)
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Page 10 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

ST. AUGUSTINE/JACKSONVILLE'S BEACHES


Eid-Ul-Azha
(continued from page 1)
memory of Hazrat
Ibrahim, sacrificing
physically his eldest son
Hazrat Ismaeel,under the
Commandments of
Allah.When Hazrat
Ibrahim was ready to
sacrifice ,his eldest son,
Hazrat Ismaeel, of minor
age,who himself had
shown willingness to be
sacrificed, to fulfill the
Will of Allah, a lamb
appeared on the scene.
Hazrat Ibrahim was, then,
asked by Revelation,to
slaughter the lamb-
instead. Hazrat Ibrahim
was then informed by
Revelation: that his
sacrifice' had been
accepted by Allah.
Almighty.
Another explanation of
Hazrat Ibrahim's
sacrificing his eldest son,
Hazrat Ismaeel. was also
fulfilled in another \way.
Hazrat Ibrahim, under the
Command of Allah, took


his wife Hazrat Hajira
along with his minor son
Hazrat Ismaeel and left
them in the then barren
place ,under the
Protection of Allah. The
barren place has now
thronged unto a fertilized
valley called 'Macca,
Saudi Arabia.Millions of
Muslims. across the
world, visit Macca, Saudi,
Arabia,for pilgrimage,
every .. year to
commemorate the
memory -of the then
sacrifice of Hazrat
Ibrahim and Hazrat
Ismaeel.
Sometimes afterwards
Hazrat Ibrahim visited his
faniily and with the
assistance of Hazrat
Ismaeel rebuilt Kaaba in
Macca. Saudi Arabia
.Kaaba is the ancient
House of Worship, said to
be originally, built by
Hazrat Adam.
The Pilgrimage to
Macca.Saudi Arabia is
(continued on page 14)


Fear
(continued from page 4)
food to feed about 85
needy families instead of
counting on gifts.
There are similar stories
in Muslim communities
across the country. Fearful
that donations to an Islamic
charity could bring
unwanted attention from
federal agents looking into
potential ties to terrorism,
many Muslim Americans
have become reluctant to
donate to Islamic causes,,
including charities..
"We can't stop giving
because it's a pillar of
Islam it's a must," said
Mrs. Bazzy, an animated
46-year-old nurse who
veils her hair with a
headscarf in keeping with
Muslim traditions of
modest dress. "It's a real
moral dilemma. Do you
forget about the rest of the
worldd out: of fear? My
family has been here for
101 years 'and as an
American I'm offended.",


The holy month of
Ramadan is supposed to be
a time of giving,
particularly for the Muslim
faithful, for whom charity,
or zakat, is one of the five
main tenets of their
religion. The meaning of
"zakat" is rooted in the
Arabic word for
purification, and sacred
texts even define the
amount at least 2.5
percent of net annual
earnings.
But recently, fear has
often trumped faith.
When Mrs. Bazzy calls
people to solicit
contributions, they quickly
beg off and hang up, telling
her later in the grocery
store or the bank not to ask
them for money on the
phone because the
government is probably
eavesdropping.
Nobody wants to write a
check for any amount, and
they look at her in horror
when she offers a receipt
(continued on page 15)


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Page 11 THE SYIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

MIDDLEBURG/ORANGE PARK


Sheik
(continued from page 4)
who for nearly 25 years
has arrived each year at
Blue Grass Airport by
private jumbo jet and
has spent hundreds of
millions of dollars on
horses.
Although the sheik
and the company his
family controls
encountered security
concerns and had to
abandon an attempt to
run six United States
port operations in
March, he is treated like
a fellow horseman here
in Lexington, home of
his thriving racing and
breeding business.
In a relatively short
time, Sheik Mohammed
and members of his
royal family have joined
the ranks -of the blue-
blooded Phipps family
and the-: more
commercially driven
lOverbrook Farm as
fabled names in horse
racing in the United
States..
On Saturday at the
Breeders' Cup in
Louisville, Ky., the
:Maktoums are expected
to send out eight horses,
all contenders, in four
races. They are led by
the 3-year-old sensation
Bernardini, who has
won six races in a row,
including the Preakness
Stakes at Pimlico and
the Travers Stakes at
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
They are as


impressive a collection
of horses as any owner
has taken to the
Breeders' Cup in its 22-
year history, and could
help the Maktoums
capture as many as five
Eclipse Awards, the
Oscars of horse racing.
Sheik Mohammed is in
the running for his first
Eclipse as the country's
top horse owner.
Out of equal parts
self-interest and self-
regard, quite a few
denizens of .central
Kentucky will be
rooting the sheik's
horses home. Not only
has he been the leading
buyer at the September
yearlings sales over the
past eight-' years,
spending $245.6
million, but he has also
built a commercial
breeding and racing
business here that is
poised to rule the sport
the way the legendary
Calumet Farm did in the
1940s and 1950s.
"If one September
that big old plane
wasn't at the airport,
you would have a whole
lot of hearts sinking
around here," said
Arthur Hancock III,
who owns Stone Farm
in Paris, Ky. He is a
fourth- generation
thoroughbred breeder
from one of the
Bluegrass's most
famous families.
:'Beyond that, he has
(continued on page xx)


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Member News
(continued from page 5)
Picayune, April 30, 2006
Julia Collins, Khalil
Gibran Stamp Petition
leader, at the Telfair
Museum of Art,
Savannah, Georgia. The
eighty-two Gihran
canvases owned by the
museum are placed on

Claerhout
(continued from page 5)
An nive rs ar y
Convention. I would
like to particularly
thank Joe Joseph, Jr.
from Austin and
Sharon Renson from
Houston for their
words of inspiration.
I would also like to
congratulate Reba
David and wish her all
the best for the next
two years. What a great
asset she is for our
beloved federation!
I am taking this
opportunity to


view in rotation and at
special presentations. The
delicate nature of the
works require their
protection from extended
periods of exposure to
light. Visitors to the
museum who wish to
view the collection should
call ahead to request a
showing.

announce my
candidacy for Vice-
President for the 2007
Convention in the great
city of Houston. I am
asking all of you to
vote for me, as we take
the path of progress for
the Federation.
Thank you to all of
the clubs in San
Antonio for a
wonderful convention,
especially Peppy and
Richard Laram for
their leadership and
round-the-clock
access.
See -you all in
Houston!


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Page 12 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

NORTH FLORIDA


Veils
(continued from page 6)
woman will be fully
covered, with only her eyes'
peering through; nearby
another woman will cover
her hair, leaving her face
bare, and still another will
have her face and hair free
of any covering.
The dispute highlights
the growing wave of
conservative Islamic
practice across the Arab
world and among


Muslims living in the West
- and the intense struggle
between secular
governments and Islamic
opposition groups. Head
scarves fell out of favor
among some urban Arab
women in the 1920s and
1930s but began
reappearing in the 1970s
and 1980s. The evolution
has been steady with more
women covering their hair
each year and more also
(continued on page .16)


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The secular government
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political opposition.
Disputes on the issue can
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Page 13 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

CENTRAL FLORIDA/FLORIDA'S GULF COAST


Pilot
(continued from page 7)
related disorders. The
organization is named
after the river boat pilots
of the 1900s, who were
admired for their ability
to steer a "true course"
through challenging
conditions. The group has
approximately 25,000
members in 500 clubs
worldwide. Around 9,000
members are high school
students who participate
in Anchor Clubs


Naifeh
(continued from page 7)
qualities of leadership,
integrity, compassion,
vision and courage that
have made the.
legislature. a stoner
institution. Naifeh, a
31-year veteran of the
Tennessee House,
shares the award with
the Honorable Andrew
Romanoff, Speaker of
tle Colorado House of
Representatives.


sponsored by pilot .
The close relationship
between Pilot
International and St. Jude
began during the 1980s
when Danny Thomas,
hospital founder,
personally attended a
Pilot convention and
asked for the
organization's support.
Currently, local club
members are contributing
to St. Jude through a
fund-raising letter writing
campaign.


Naifeh and Romanoff
were selected from
more than 25 nominees
from 20 states by a
bipartisan committee
of scholars, former
state legislators,
business leaders,
journalists and leaders
of the State Legislative
Leaders Foundation
and the National
Conference of State
Legislatures, the co-
sponsors of the award.


(ala
(continued from page 7)
Alex. "Without people
like you, my son
wouldn't be here."
Also on hand at the
gala was David Karam,
event chair, ALSAC/St.
Jude Board member,
and president of Cedar
Enterprises Inc.
"Discover the Dream
shared now St. Jude is
truly unique in helping
young cancer patients
because of it's research
capabilities and
resources," said
Karam. "Danny
Thomas was dedicated
to helping those whom
he believed were some
of the most helpless
and hopeless people -
children who are
fighting cancer.
Columbus citizens are
joining in those
efforts."
' -Thanks to Wendy's
International Inc.;
Cedar Enterprises Inc.,


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Richard J. Karam,
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"It was wonderful to
see so many business
leaders support this
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"Discover the Dream
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Columbus the
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Page 14 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

FLORIDA


Pope
(continued from page 9)
harmony.
The- stages along the
way to reunion with the
Easter Church were more
closely marked out: first
rapprochement,. then
cooperation. Section Ill
in Ad Petri cathedral,
entitled "Church Unity,"
cautiously appeared to the
ecumenical movement as
well as to the "movement
of sympathy for the faith
and institutions of the
Catholic Church and a
constantly growing
esteem for the Apostolic
See." This was combined
with an exposition of the
traditional Roman
concepts of unity.
Cardinal Secretary of
State Tardini discussed
the main line of
ecumenical
procedure at a press
conference held on
October 30. 1959. He saw
little probability of an
invitation to the
representatives of the
separated Churches, but
those representatives who
wished .to do so could
certainly be present as
observers. At any rate the


most important
preparatory documents
would be brought to their
attention so that they
could adopt a private
position in regard to them.
E c u-m e n ic a 1
cooperation was to be
carried out by the
Secretariat for Promoting
Christian Unity,
established on Pentecost'
1960, at the same time as
the conciliar missions "in
order that our love and
our good will toward
Christians separated from
the Apostolic See may
stand out even more
visibly, and in order that
the latter can more easily
follow the work of the
council and find the way
to achieve that unity
which Jesus beseeched
from his heavenly
Father."-
The first act of the
Secretariat, under the
direction of Cardinal Bea.
was the private
reception that the Pope
tendered the Primate of
the Church of England,
Archbishop Geoffrey
Fisher of Canterbury, on
December 2, 1960. This
(continued on page 16)


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Eid-UI-Azha
(continued from page 10)
incumbent upon every
Muslim, male or female at
least, once in a life time,
provided he/she enjoys
good health, is clear of all
kinds of debt, and passage
is safe to travel. Then on
the 10th of Zil Haj, every
pilgrim, sacrifices a lamb
or goat or shares the
sacrifice of a cow or
camel. This 'sacrifice
completes the pilgrimage.
Throughout the world,,
billions of Muslims,
celebrate the festival of
Eid-ul-Azha on the 10th
of Zil Haj with zeal and
enthusiasm.
On the morning of Eid,
every one gets busy in
taking bath, put on new
clothes, new shoes.
Ladies adorn themselves
with ornaments. Every
one must have a light
breakfast, except those on
whose behalf, the
sacrifice will be made,
after the Eid prayers.
People proceed to Eid
Gah, an open space
designated to say Eid
Prayers, usually, from one
direction and return from


another direction, to show
unity of Muslims and
their pomp and show.
Eid Prayer is led by
one Imam,men in one tent
and ladis, close by, in
different cent, connected
by loud-speaker.After the
prayer, people greet one
another saying 'Eid
Mubarakfthat is
'Blessings of Eid be upon
you' same scene occurs in
ladies tent together with
the noise of children. An
atmosphere of gaity,
peace, happiness, and
enjoyment pervails every
where.
Having reached home,
people are eager to
slaughter a lamb or goat.
The animal to be
sacrificed is purchased
well in advance to feed
properly. It is understood
that that the sacrificed
animal will carry the
person,on whose behalf
the sacrifice was made,
across a bridge called 'Pul
Siratf leading to Heaven.
The meat of the
sacrificed animal is
divided in three portions;
one for the family; one
for relatives and one to be
(continued on page 17)


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Page 15 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

GEORGIA


Fear Imam Qazwini, by his
(continued from page 10) own account, has been
- some of the largest invited to the White House
donations she still receives four or five times, with the
have been anonymous president even
wads of $100 bills stuffed photographed kissing the
into envelopes. turbaned cleric on the
The developer of the cheek. Imam Qazwini
new building that had delivered, the opening
volunteered office space benediction in Congress on
for her charity begged off, Oct. 1, 2003, the first
saying that even the Muslim religious figure
potential for a raid might. accorded that honor after
drive away other tenants Sept. 11.
and bring downrents. The Yet, his gleaming new
irony, she points out, is that $15 million mosque here, a
she deliberately :avoided handsome white structure
any connection with a with a gold dome and
religious institution, even soaring twin minarets that
taking out a loan on her is billed as the largest
house tto, finance her- mosque in America.
longstanding dream of remains $6 million in debt.
starting the charity. But Contributions dropped
given her headscarft many sharply this summer after
people assume it is a faith- the war in Lebanon, the
based organization. imam said. when the Bush-
Seemingly noindividual. administration expressed
or organization trying to, its unreserved support for,
collect funds is immune. Israel. Other mosques
SThe imam at the Islamic report similar difficulties.


'Center of Ainefia. 'Sayyid
Hassan Qazwini. is a
favorite of the American
government for publicly
standing behind President
Bush, both literally and
figuratively, over the
invasion of Iraq.


-:The general sentiment is
that the American
government's tilt toward
Israel extends to hounding
anyone supporting Arab
causes.
Much of the feai comes
(continued on page xx)


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(continued from page 11)
proven over the years
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horseman," Hanc.ock
said. "When the sheik
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He moves among
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"I tried to win the
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Sheik Mohammed told
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Mohammed, 57, has
combined one of his
great interests with his
burning ambition to turn
Dubai into the
Singapore of the Middle
East, generating
fascination and some
criticism along the way.
In- an episode last
year closest to his
interest in racing, the
State Department
rebuked the United
Arab Emirates, which
includes Dubai, for
allowing young children
to be held in captivity
and used as jockeys in
camel races. In June,
the State Department
cited improvements but
said it was still keeping
watch.
The sheik has had
much success in his
business and racing
endeavors. Since 1995,
he or his brothers -
Sheik Hamdan and the
late Sheik MNaktoum -
have been at or near the
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Godolphin is a sort of
(continued on page 17)1


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Page 16 THE SYRAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

VIRGINIA/WASHINGTON, D.C.


Veils
(continued from page 12).
wearing body cloaks.
But the biggest dispute
has been over the niqab a
full facial veil that leaves
only a slit for the eyes that
re-emerged in Egypt in the
late 1980s and has since
grown in popularity, both in
the Arab world and among
Arab Muslims in the West.
Former British Foreign
- Secretary Jack Straw said in
early October that he asks
women who visit his office
to remove the veil so he can
see their faces, and called it

Jazz Festival
(continued from page 6)
mainly in -Arabic and
French).
What was immediately at
odds with this picture,
however, was the image or
Mariah Carey, GDCFP
(gralit defying, cleavage
fully prominent),. Her
mounted promotional photos
Were found on billboards
throughout the airpo ariial
hall. I \as later informed that
she would be perfonning for
local charities in and around


a disturbing sign of the
divisions in British society.
Aishah Azmi, a 24-year-old
Muslim teaching assistant
in northern England, was
then suspended from her
job for refusing to remove a
black veil that left only her
eyes visible.
In Egypt, the issue has
simmered for years and
caught new fire after
Straw's comments.
The president of Helwan
University on the outskirts
of Cairo banned students
who wear the niqab from
(continued on page 18)

Tunis.
It didn't take me too long
to- discover that many
Tunisians enthusiasricaUll
soak up a huge variety of
musical influenced piped to
them through the mass media
- and that Mariah Carey is as
popular among the country's
youthful population
(comprising some 700 o of the
country's IOn inhabitants) as
Bob Marley and Fifty Cent.
After ovemighring m
Tunis. I travelled to Tabarka.
(continued on page 211


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(continued on page 18)


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Page 17 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

ALABAMA/TENNESSEE


Eid-Ul-Azha
(continued from page 14)
distributed among the
poor. The skin of the
slaughtered animal is-
given in charity.
Every one in the:
household- receives
spending money called
'Eideef to spend at one's
own sweet-will. Joy of
the children knows no
bounds. They go to
special festival held on
the Eid Festival. People
visit one another-
exchange greetings freely
with friend--relatives
and every one. who,
happens to meet them any


Fear
(continued from page 15)
from federal actions that
many Muslim Americans
view as unnecessarily
invasive.
The Office of Terrorism
and Financial Ihtelligence
at the Treasury Department
has shuttered five major
Muslim charities in the


where. Streets, houses are
illuminated. Eid Festival
lasts for three days. All
places of business, and
educational institutions are
closed.
The Muslim Festival of
Eid-Azha is an occasion
of enjoyment and
happiness. No one is
permitted to indulge in
any sort of frivolity. All
sorts of alcohal drinks,
illegal drugs, gambling
and vulgarity are strictly
prohibited. Muslims are
urged to spend the Eid
days in righteousness,
piety .and Glorifying
Allah, Almighty.


United States since 2001.
seizing millions of dollars
in assets, yet-not a single
officer or organization has
been convicted of anything
connected to terrorism.
Muslim charities operating
overseas have been directly
linked to terrorist
operations. but if such
evidence exists in the
(continued on page 181


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Sheik
(continued from page 15)
all-star team of horses
owned by the Maktoum
brothers.
By acknowledging
that Dubai could not
prosper on a
diminishing oil reserve,
the Maktoums set out
more than 20 years ago
to diversify the
economy and become
the financial capital of
the United Arab
Emirates.' a federation
of seven sheikdoms that:
won independence from
Britain in 1971.
"Horses and Dubai
are his two loves," said
John Ferguson, the
sheik's bloodstock
manager. "He spends 98
percent of his time on
Dubai, however, and 2"
percent onh .-horses.
Godolphin has been the
culmination of -those
two forces."
SGodolphin, created in
1992. is based in Dubai
to take advantage of a


temperate winter
climate and a state-of-
the-'art training center in
preparing to compete in
the most prestigious
races around the world.
This strategy has
worked in Europe and
Asia, but has met with
mixed results in the
United States, most
notable\ in Sheik
MN o h a mm ed s
unsuccessful quest to
win the Kentucky
Derby.-
So the sheik took a
deeper interest in
Kentucky breeding and
racing in the United
States. In 2001. he
bought Jonabell Farm
and, after the death of
his older brother
Maktoum in January,
i n c o r p o r a t .ed
Gainsborough Farm into
what is now\ called
Darley America.
Sheik Mohammed
has 160 employees -

(continued on page 19)


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Page 18 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

LOUISIANA/TEXAS


Veils
(continued from page 16)
living at the university's
hostel, citing security
reasons and leading to
small protests by students.
The female head of the
Islamic department of the
women's college at Al-
Azhar University, Soid
Saleh, was recently sued by
a radical cleric and received
death threats after she said
she was "disgusted by
women in niqab."
In the West, traditional
Muslim dress is seen as a
refusal by Muslim
immigrants to assimilate
and accept Europe's secular
values. Two years ago,


France banned head scarves
and other religious symbols
from public places,
enraging many Muslim
immigrants. Australia's top
Islamic cleric also recently
sparked outrage when he
said that women who do
not dress modestly invite
rape.
In the Arab world, the
dispute centers on fears of
growing Islamic extreinism
and concerns by secular
governments, like Egypt's,
that they will lose ground to
Islamic opposition groups.
Complicating the issue,
there is no uniform
religious opinion across the
(continued on page 19)


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(continued from page 16)
President of the
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Fear
(continued from page 17).
United States it has
remained secret.
"The sad fact is that
there are some Islamic
charities involved in
terrorist financing.We can't
close our eyes tothat," said
Daniel L. Glaser, the
deputy assistant secretary
for. terrorist financing and
financial crimes. "We have


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and on March 28, 1963,
Archibald C. Craig,
Moderator of the
Presbyterian Church of
Scotland.


to find ways to deal with
that."
Imam Qazwini, the
descendant of a long line of
prominent Iraqi Shiite
Muslim clerics, points out
that 'many Muslim
Americans, particularly
those from the Arab world,
fled the region to escape
repressive I regimes,
expecting the United States
to provide both freedom
(continued on page 20)


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Page 19 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

TEXAS/NEW MEXICO


Sheik
(continued from page 17)
virtually all of them
h o m e g r o w n
Kentuckians and 11
stallions, including
Holy Bull, the 1994
Horse of the Year. By
November, he will have
160 mares, and soon
after their foals,
gamboling on a
sprawling 4,000
manicured acres. of
bluegrass.
With Bernardini, the
sheik's new focus on the
United States paid off
immediately. Bernardini
was bred in Kentucky;
was entrusted to an


American trainer, Tom
Albertrani; and will be
the favorite in the
marquee race of the
Breeders' Cup, the $5
million Classic.
Bernardini, however,
will have to dispatch
Invasor, a colt that has
won eight of his nine
races. Invasor is owned
by Sheik Hamdan, who
is also a big-money
spender at the sales and
who has had a farm here
since 1985.
Bernardini's victories
in this year's most
lucrative races are the
primary reason Darley
(continued on page 20)


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Veils
(continued from page 18)
Muslim world about
whether a head scarf -
much less a face veil is
required. Some view
various forms of head
scarves and niqabs as signs
of cultural or Islamic pride.
Others, however, view face
veils as indications of
Islamic extremist political
opposition.
But some who wear the
face veil contend they do so
for purely personal
religious reasons.
"Believe me, we are
normal human beings. But
they deal with us like
terrorists who are going to


blow up everything," said
Ashgan, a woman wearing
the veil at Helwan
University, who would give
only her first name during
an interview with The
Associated Press because
she did not want to appear
immodest.
She began wearing the
niqab three years ago, and
takes it off her face just
before she enters the
hostel's gate, she said.
The top theological.
authority of Al-Azhar
University, the highest seat
of Sunni Muslim learning,
said he accepted the
Helwan University
(continued on page 21)


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Page 20 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

ARIZONA/NEVADA


Fear
(continued from page 18)
and opportunity. Instead
they find themselves facing
similar problems..
"Many people who
came from the Middle East
still live-with the psyche of
being chased by the
intelligence forces," he said
in an interview. "Having
these same forces acting
here intensifies the sense of
fear in these communities."
Ahmad Chebbani, 46,
served as the president of
the American Arab
Chamber of Commerce for
eight years until this June.
-His accounting firm,
Omnex Accounting and
Tax Service, occupies a
neat two-story building on
Warren Avenue, the heart
of the community with
most of the shop signs in
both English and Arabic.
Arab Americans make
up More than one third of
Dearborn's population of
100.000, and Michigan has
one of the country's largest
concentrations of Muslim
Americans. The sentiments
expressed here are echoed
in Muslim communities
across the United States.


Between himself and his
company, Chebbani says
he used to contribute some
$50,000 annually to
charity, the bulk of it to
religious organizations. He
still gives, but either
directly to needy families,
business groups or secular
institutions like the Arab
American National
Museum.
As one of the
community's most
successful accountants his
office sports a picture of
himself with former Vice
President Al Gore he also
sees the tax returns of some
of the most affluent
families in Dearborn. Some
have. stopped giving'
entirely, and some give but
decline to claim any
deductions. His rough
estimate indicates that
community giving is down
by about half.
"Contributions across
the board have been
drastically reduced because
ofthe fear; people associate
contributions with risk and
they don't want that," he
said. "There's a lack of trust
in the U.S. judicial'system,
with just an accusation you
(continued on page 22)


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Sheik
(continued from page 19)
is atop the American
owners standings with
nearly $5 million in
purse winnings. Still,
the Darley stable is
deep and developing,
having won 54 races
and finishing in the
money 56 percent of the
time with 247 starters.
In the $2 million
Sprint, Henny Hughes is
favored to win to
conclude a perfect year
and capture the Eclipse
Award as champion
sprinter. He is owned by
Sheik Rashid, the 25-
year-old son of Sheik
Mohammed.
With commercial
breeding operations and
thousands of acres of
land in seven countries
from Europe to
Australia to Japan,
Sheik Mohammed's
extraordinarily deep
pockets have been taxed
by his investment ,in


horses. His associates
argue, however, that it
is money well spent
when put in the context
of the sheik's global
vision for Dubai.
Among horsemen
here, there is an adage:
"Be happy with the
money, not with the
horse."
In the sheik's case,
however, the horsemen
are happy with his
horses.
"We've had a huge
drain on our bloodlines
between our great sires
dying and being shipped
overseas," said Rob
Whitely, who breeds
under the name
Liberation Farm. "He is
bringing back some of
that quality blood to
Am6rica and we need it.
We also need horses
like- Bernardini to stay
here, and that is what
looks like is going to
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Page 21 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

Los ANGELES, CA


Veils
(continued from page 1)
decision to keep women
wearing niqabs from the'
hostel as long as Helwan
officials do not require
women to also remove their
head scarves.
Clerics who believe
women should be veiled
refer to a verse in the Quran
to back up their beliefs: "0
Prophet! Tell your wives
and your daughters and the
women of the believers to
draw their cloaks all over
their bodies."
Many Islamic scholars
do say that covering the
hair is a religious duty, but
others disagree and say the
verse has other
interpretations. As for the
face veil, the majority of
Islamic scholars say it is not
required but is merely a
custom that dates -back to
tribal, nomadic societies
Living in the Arabian desert
--Ei'forc Islam began.. _
In Saudi Arabia, most
women wear a face veil


along with a head scarf and
full black cloak or face
harassment by religious
police.
Many Egyptian women
took off their head scarves
in the 1920s. But Egypt
became more religious in
the 1970s and women
began wearing scarves
again, even though the
government does not
encourage it.
Egypt keeps newscasters
who wear head scarves off
its TV stations; the
president's wife, Suzanne
Mubarak, and most female
officials wear neither head
scarf nor face veil.
But the streets are full of
veiled women. There are no
accurate ..statistics on
Egypt's 75 million people,
about 10 percent of whom
are Christian Copts who do
not wear veils. But between
70-80 percent of all
Egyptian Muslim women
are believed to wear a head
scarf, .according to most
estimates.


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Jazz Festival
(continued from page 16)
The first half of the festival
from all accounts saw much-
lauded performances from
the extraordinary funk-
influenced duo of Stanley
Clarke and George Duke and
the local jazz/Maghrebian-
influenced, Neelo Feel
Project This was followed by
the Algerian percussion
specialist Karim Ziad, and the
Polish Tigrita Project and
Swiss fusion ensemble, B
Connected.
On my first night of what
was arguably the most
delicious half of the annual
Tabarka jazz feast, so to
speak, I took in the Oleg
Lundstrem Memorial Jazz
Orchestra, conducted by yet
another Soviet-era jazz
stalwart, alto saxophonist
George Garanian. This was a
full-bodied 15-piece unit that
utilized swing rhythm
effectively. What's more, the
big band roared with leonine
authority on stock repertoire
numbers such as Frank


Foster's Whirly Bird, Duke
Ellington's Cottom Tail, and,
inescapably, Dizzy
Gillepsie's Night in Tunisia.
Virile solos were turned in
by Garanian himself, tenor
saxist Ivan Volkov, drummer
Vladimir Zurkin and
trumpeter Viktor Gusseinov.
Insects buzzed around the
stage of the quaint 3,000-seat
Tabarka amphitheatre and the
humidity left the brow fully
drenched, but this was Big
Band Jazz at its most
delightful. The hour-long
Russian jazz set was only a
tune-up however; the
evening's main act, Randy
Weston and The African
Spirit, was balm for the
musical soul. Weston,
resplendent in his blue kaftan
suit, reigned supreme at the

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height
A definite coup for the
jazz festival and a towering
figure of American jazz,
(continued on page 22)


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Page 22 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

CALIFORNIA


Fear
atinued from page 20)
ild end up in jail with
secret evidence used as a
means of prosecution."
Religious scholars point
out that compromises made
over who gets charity
might not wash under
Islam's precepts. Verse 60
in Chapter 9 of the Koran,
the Sura of Repentance,
specifies eight religiously
sanctified beneficiaries of
zakat. All eight dictate
giving to the poor or those
who help them. Other
charity is considered a
blessing, but does not fulfill
the religious obligation in
the same way, they argue.

Jazz Festival
(continued from page 21)
Weston is also no stranger to
North Africa; he ran a jazz
club in Tangier, Morocco,
during hte early 1970s and
was one of the first musicians
-to perform at the inaugural
Tabarka Jazz Festival in


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under sanctions that now
works across the Muslim
world. "You can't give
money to the animal shelter
and call this your zakat."
The offices of Life for
Relief and Development
were raided in September
on the basis of a sealed
affidavit. The government
has said that the raid was
not terrorism-related,
although agents of the Joint


1970. Weston's piano playing
combines a European
classical grounding with
evident African percussive
aspects and his sympathetic
sidemen (Alex Blake on
double bass and Neil Clarke
on congas and percussion)
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youthful audience, especially


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Terrorism Task Force were
along on the raid. The
hanging questions put a
damper on fund-raising..
Events like that have left
some Muslim
organizations across the
country pondering whether
to sue the federal
government for denying
them their First
Amendment rights to
practice their religion
freely.
Like most Muslims
interviewed for this article,
Imam Qazwini emphasized
that he fully supported a
crackdown on any real
terrorist financing, but that
he thought the government
was blindly casting far too


on pieces such as the
Moroccan Gnawa-influenced
Blue Moses and the Afro-
Cuban tribute to Machito,
African Sunrise.
The heaven continued to
be merciful on the following
day with clear skies and no
rain, making way for
Tunisian guitar sensation


wide a net. In a speech that
President Bush gave
immediately after Sept. 11,
the imam noted, the
president said terrorists
might be able to destroy a
few buildings in this
country, but they could not
harm its foundations.
"I hope he's right, but
I'm afraid he's not," the
imam said after hosting a
Ramadan banquet for a
cross-section of Michigan's
political. and religious
leaders. "It seems like the
terrorists have been able to
touch our foundations-our
civil liberties are being
compromised, our religious
freedoms are being
compromised."

Nabil Khemir who played his
customized double-necked
instrument, the Rayjam (oud
and electric guitar). Khemir, a
prodigy from Tunis, went
down very well with a unique
combination of virile funk-
jazz guitar rifs, scat singing
and Tunisian oud playing.
(continued on page 23)


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Page 23 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006

CALIFORNIA


Jazz Festival
(continued from page 22)
Next up was the New Orleans
blues sensation Mem
Shannon and his
Membership road band. Yet
another feather in the cap of
the festival organizers.
Shannon, a former taxi driver
from the Crescent City mixed
in an uncommon, cliche-free,
song-writing ability, with fun
and great humor. His BB
King-styled guitar-playing
was the perfect foil for
popular pieces such as
Phunkville and Perfect
World.
The penultimate night of
the festival bore little relation
to jazz but was very
entertaining nonetheless. The
evenings opening act lifted
the curtains on the eclectic
pop music sound of Austrian
instrumental group Tiefland,
fronted by the excellent-
violinist Gerhat Fechner. The
piece de resistance, however.
camhe im the fonn of the
breathtaking guitar playing of
New York cit bluesrock


artist Popa Chubby. He sang
with great conviction on
numbers such as Walking
with Omar, and he had fine
supportfrombassistAJPapas
and drummer Chris Reddan.
The festival came to a
fitting close on the Saturday
with the American opening
double act of pianist Judy
Blair and tenor saxophonist/
flautist Abdou Salim. They
played a mixture of jazz
standards and originals such
as the delightful middle-
eastem tinged The Passage.
The jazz session that most
patrons were waiting to the
end for including the
national director general of
tourism was the Ahmad
Jamal Trio comprising a
sprightly 76-year-old Jamal
on electric and acoustic piano,
agile New Orleans drummer
Idris Muhammad, and a
young James Cammack
playing the bass violin. Theirs
was a much-enjoyed session,
taking listeners -down
memory larie to hits such as
Poinciana and Swahililand. It
was amazing to see the


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obvious rapport between
these elder gentlemen of jazz
and their much younger
audience, who were in the
main, young locals.
The first Tabarka jazz-
festival was in 1970, with
Randy Weston at the top of
the bill. The -festival was
founded by Tunisian Lotfi
Belhassine, who believed
"there was much more to the
beach than sea and sand",
according to Faycal Jebari,
the regional director of the
Tunisian National Tourist
Office. Jebari adds: "There is
also the important aspect of
culture. Ever since then the
festival has really grown and
has put Tabarka on the map as
an important tourist
destination."
Jazz, however, is but one
of many unique facets of
Tabarka, just over two hours
by road from Tunis, and
22km away from the
Algerian border.
It is a laid-back little town
(population: 100,000) set at
the foot of lush mountains,
and began life as Thrabaca, a


Phoenician settlement.
There is an impressive 16th
century Genoese fort on
Tabarka island which is
linked to a wide bay of
impressive beaches and
splendid four and five star
hotels.
SUnlike the rest of
Tunisia, the mercury hardly
hovers above 24 Celsius.
Alongside all things jazz,
Tabarka also plays host to
well-regarded Latin, Rai
and World Music festivals
between July and
September every year.
Tabarka and its environs
offer a variety of attractions
to visitors. These include
PADI-centre diving,
excellent golf links (18
holes par 72), and the quaint
town ofAin Draham nestled
in the thickly forested
Khroumirie Mountains at
900m. For those with an
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Page 24 THE SYRIAN-LEBANESE STAR December 2006
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