At 32, we remain young and strong
| Thursday, 09.01.2016, 12:11 AM

The Arab American News was established 32 years ago. Osama Siblani founded the newspaper on Sept. 7, 1984, following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and after he witnessed the American mainstream media's atrocious pro-Israeli bias.

Over the past three decades plus, the newspaper has evolved, but its core mission and founding principles have remained consistent.

Telling your stories and amplifying the voices of the community will always be our goal.

Over the past few months, the newspaper has faced a vicious orchestrated campaign by a few reckless individuals that tried to discredit 32 years of relentless advocacy for the truth and the community. Driven by ignorance, envy and personal agendas, some social media users have desperately tried to smear the reputation of our professional work, as if a local political dispute erases 32 years of commitment to the truth.

We rose above the hate and responded with more in-depth investigative pieces on issues that matter to our readers at a time when click-bait reporting has become the norm.

During these difficult times, when hate and xenophobia are on the rise, the newspaper is playing a major role in documenting hate crime, combating stereotypes and dismantling myths about Arab and Muslim Americans locally and nationally.

Last month, a state report highlighted the economic and educational power of immigrants, specifically citing Arab Americans on several occasions.

Arab immigrants and their children have been high achievers. We have proudly shared their successes and told their stories.

However, painting the full picture is a part of our duty. When members of the community get in trouble, hurt others or break the law, we cannot ignore such incidents.

Our writers, editors and publisher often face an unfair backlash when we report on criminal activities, suicides or negative trends in the community. First comes denial. Some readers accuse us of reporting false information. We are not in that business. Every word we report is always attributed to officials and credible documents and reports.

Others have accused us on focusing on negative news in the community. The truth is that our profiles of success and positive stories far outnumber "negative" articles.

There is no doubt that social media websites have changed readers' perception of journalism. The world wide web has given a platform for wannabe Internet celebrities who spew misinformation.

But our quest for the truth will not waver.

Online social networks are a powerful tool that we are using to spread an accurate picture of the community. Our Facebook page has national appeal and reaches millions of people. In this spirit of evolving with the times, we are launching a state of the art website in the coming weeks to accommodate our growing audience. 

We will continue to stand with our readers and support the aspirations of the Arab masses, like we always have.

We will continue to be a two-way medium of communication that fosters dialogue and encourages unity. Our opinion pages are open to opposing viewpoints, where civil criticism is welcomed.

At a time where most newspapers are shrinking, The AANews is growing because it is a reflection of its readers. The size of our staff has multiplied over the years. Our circulation has increased and our online readership is expanding exponentially. 

We thank all individuals and organizations that have contributed to our success over the years. A special gratitude to our loyal readers, who are the biggest motivation for our work.

We also thank our advertisers, who have allowed us to pursue the truth and publish consistently while remaining editorially independent. Our hope is that our readers will return their generosity in kind, by supporting their businesses. And finally, we thank our current and former staff, who have worked diligently to tell your stories.

We look forward to another year of working to continue to earn your trust and support, which has kept us going for more than three decades. 

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