ADC announces new center for Arab American civil rights
By Delia Habhab | Wednesday, 09.19.2007, 12:11 AM

DEARBORN The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Michigan gathered with members of the community for a special press conference on the first ever American-Arab Center for Civil and Human Rights (ACCHR) on Wednesday, September 12, at the Center site on Chase Road in Dearborn.

The ACCHR grounds were crowded with over 150 local, national, and international officials, ADC Board Members, public servants, and community members, as future plans for the construction of the Center were announced.

The press conference was held to discuss the second phase of development for the Center, which ADC plans to break ground on within two months. Several invited guests delivered remarks, including Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Dearborn Mayor Jack OReilly, The Arab American News Publisher Osama Siblani, and ADC National President Mary Rose Oakar.

ADC Michigan Regional Director, Imad Hamad, began by welcoming the community members and officials who had convened for the event. He recognized that the day was a time of celebration for all who were in attendance.

"I would like to welcome you all to this very special occasion," Hamad stated. "We are here today to celebrate together and stand united, as this will be a center for the entire community. We at ADC take pride in initiating this project, but at the end of the day, the Center is for the community. It will serve the community in many ways and help us embrace our true American values."

Fahad Mohamad Kafoud, Deputy Chief of Mission of the State of Qatar receiving a citation from Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano

The event also hosted special guest Fahad Mohamad Kafoud, Deputy Chief of Mission of the State of Qatar. Kafoud delivered remarks to the audience, expressing his pride in being a part of the momentous occasion.

"It is a great privilege and honor to represent the State of Qatar in this historic event," Kafoud stated. "We are confident that this center will help further ADC's mission to promote understanding and defend the rights of all Arab Americans. The Center will offer a great setting for all communities to share knowledge and participate in debate, which will result in a better understanding of Arab American values and culture. We are proud to be a part of this very important event."

The State of Qatar has played a large role in the launching of this project, providing the vast majority of the funding. Kafoud was presented with a special commendation by Ficano on behalf of Wayne County, as well as a certificate of appreciation presented by a representative of Congressman John Dingell.

Mayor O'Reilly stated his support for ADC and its efforts, and spoke of the many contributions the Center will make for the city.

"I am happy to be here on behalf of all the people of Dearborn in welcoming this new community asset," he said. "We are glad that this center will be here, we pledge to support this activity, and we will make sure that it grows and prospers in this community."

The overwhelming presence of the community members at the event was a testament to ADC's strong role in the Arab American community. Hamad expressed ADC's appreciation to the community for their tremendous support and encouragement.

"Since its inception, ADC has been an organization for the people," concluded Hamad. "Twenty seven years later, this center is going to live up to that fact. The ADC Michigan team in particular, and ADC as a whole, takes pride in the fact that we managed to make this dream a reality for the Arab American community to share together. We trust that the warm support expressed today will translate itself into practical action, and the community support will be materialized for all of us to celebrate this landmark contribution."

By Delia Habhab

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