Online forum hosted by Arab-American Chamber of Commerce pays tribute to Tabares and Pappas

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The Arab-American Chamber of Commerce is hosting an online forum that will be broadcast live on Facebook today, Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. CST (Chicago time).

The forum will feature a presentation by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on her efforts to be more inclusive of Arab Americans, as well as other ethnic and national groups in Cook County.

Pappas has translated nearly all of his department’s information into hundreds of languages, including Arabic, to better serve the residents of Cook County.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas with elected officials and Arab community leaders at the celebration of Arab-American heritage at Oozi Restaurant, April 10, 2019. Photo courtesy of Anthony Caciopo
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas with elected officials at a community event on April 10, 2019. Photo courtesy of Anthony Caciopo

The Chamber will also award an award to Chicago Alderman Silvana Tabares for her work to protect Arab Americans from the unintended consequences of cracking down on sales of flavored tobacco to youth.



In 2020, Chicago City Council was preparing to approve a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco in the city. While it only impacted sales in Chicago, it would become framework law for many suburban municipalities around Chicago.

The law is said to have inadvertently made it illegal for approximately 25 Chicago-based hookah lounges to continue to operate. Hookah lounges use flavored tobacco in hookah lounges which are only for people who are 21 years of age or older.

When the issue was raised, Tabares immediately responded. Working with Alderman Matt O’Shea, chairman of the city council committee reviewing the law, Tabares was able to adjust the law to allow the continued use of flavored tobacco in hookah lounges that prohibit entry to people under the age of 21.

Chicago Alderman Silvana Tabares, 23rd District
Chicago Alderman Silvana Tabares, 23rd District

This change allowed the 25 Chicago hookah parlors to remain in business and preserve the nearly 300 jobs these companies hold in Chicago.

“Alderman Tabares was very interested in the responses of each community and businessman impacted by efforts to protect the health of young people and she did not hesitate to contact us and allow us to present our point of view. view, ”said the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce. President Hassan Nijem.

“As a result of the information exchange and our discussions, the law was changed to allow hookah lounges to continue to operate and this has saved nearly 300 jobs in Chicago. It also sent a signal to suburban communities that evening, consider that as well. “

Award to Silvana Tabares, 23rd alderman of the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce, May 27, 2021
Award to Silvana Tabares, 23rd alderman of the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce, May 27, 2021

Nemer Ziyad, CEO of Ziyad Brothers Importing and Hassan Musaitif, co-owner of Golden Corrall restaurant at 33rd and Cicero Avenue, will also join the forum, to talk about their businesses and their mission to serve the general public.

“There are many misconceptions about American Arabs due to factors abroad over which we have no control and the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce and President Hassan Nijem provide a very important platform from which these stereotypes can be confronted with and the public can be informed of the facts. , and our elected leaders can also have a reliable and active resource where they can come and get information about our community, ”said Ray Hanania, former Chicago City Hall reporter and award-winning Arab News columnist in the Middle East and Southwest. Group of newspapers in Chicagoland.

“American Arabs need to be better organized to educate everyone about who we are and the Arab business community is no exception. Getting the support and understanding of those responsible can make a significant difference in ensuring that our community gets the services and representation it deserves, and that the public better understand who we are, our priorities and even our points of focus. view and our actions.

Sonia Khalil, interim director of the Arab American Democratic Club, will also join the forum at 7 p.m.

The Arab-American Chamber of Commerce forum will be available live on Facebook on the Arab Daily News Facebook page.

Click here to watch the live stream at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, 2021

The forum video file will then be publicly available on many Facebook pages.

#AmericanArabChamberofCommerce Forum May 27, 2021 with Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ Program to Help Arab Businesses; 23rd Ald Silvana Tabares, AACC Pres Hassan Nijem, owner of the House of #Hookah #RayidKhalil on the safeguard of 300 Arab-American jobs.

Click here to watch the video.



Ray hanania
Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served in the Vietnam War and recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Columnist Awards, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on major US and Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers and Chicagoland suburbs.

Hanania also writes on Middle East issues for Arab News and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hanania was named “Best American Ethnic Columnist” by New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for Columnist.

Email Ray Hanania at [email protected]

Ray hanania
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