JOHN AKOURI NEWSBLOG

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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Destination:BEIRUT - Lebanese American Generation X'ers Reunite at 'Shakespeare'

“My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards"--Khalil Gibran


EVENT: American Lebanese Gathering
DATE: Wednesday, September 21, 2005
TIME: 7:oo p.m. in the evening
PLACE: "Shakespeare" on Rue Monot
AREA: Lebanon-Beirut Central District
CONTACT NUMBER: (961-1-326484)

Are you going to Lebanon soon? Or are you already there?
As many people from across the United States will be in Lebanon during the month of September - why not meet each other? It'll be fun! There will be an American-Lebanese gathering for everyone in their 20s and 30s who is visiting Lebanon this month. For more information, eMail Rita Smayra in Beirut: elhatet@hotmail.com, or her cousin, Sally Farhat, in Seattle: sallyfarhat@journalist.com and let them know if you're coming!
Event C0-Sponsors:
The Bay Area Lebanese Club, The Chicago Lebanese Club, and The Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Akouri Introduces An Nahar/Al Akhbar Canadian Publisher to US Audience

(MONTREAL, CANADA)Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri formally introduced Mr. Elie Moujaess, publisher of Al-Akhbar/An Nahar-Canada, to an audience of American dignitaries and political leaders assembled at an event hosted by a Washington public affairs organization in the United States. Al-Akhbar was founded by Elie Moujaess, and evolved from a bi-monthly magazine launched in 1991 under the name of Al-Rai, to a weekly information newspaper in 1996. Since its beginnings, Al-Akhbar focused on news relating to the Lebanese and Arab communities in Quebec and Canada. In 1997, Al- Akhbar concluded an agreement with An-Nahar in Beirut that allows it to publish a selection of articles of An-Nahar in its own pages. An-Nahar is considered one of the most prestigious newspapers in Lebanon and the Middle East. Its news and analysis inform decision makers concerned with political, economic, cultural and social affairs throughout the world. Al-Akhbar cooperates with An-Nahar for the publication of a quality weekly destined to the Arabic speaking communities of North America. The number of Canadians originating from the Middle East is estimated at about 600,000 persons, of which 250,000 are Lebanese.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Governor Gets Warm Reception at Lebanese Fest

By RUSS FLANAGAN/The Express-Times
(EASTON, PA)...As a gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Gov. Ed Rendell courted the Lebanese-American vote on his way to Harrisburg. On Sunday, he stopped by the 28th annual Heritage Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church to say thanks.
"I wanted to come back in a non-campaign capacity to say hello," said Rendell, who was invited to the festival by the Koury family.
Rendell arrived in a Cadillac about 7 p.m. and drew cheers from the crowd of people that had gathered on the sidewalk. Dressed casually in a golf shirt, khakis and sneakers, Rendell walked around the crowded festival shaking hands, signing autographs and helping to turn chicken on a grill.
"I've been to many, many ethnic festivals but the Lebanese-Americans have the most fun, and without question, the best food."
The governor later made his way to the stage and endeared himself to the local Lebanese community.
"I've been back to Easton several times since I was elected governor, usually with checks in hand," he told the crowd. "I've been to many ethnic festivals but the Lebanese-Americans have the most fun, and without question, the best food."
Rendell then watched a traditional dance and, in accordance with custom, showered one of the child dancers with cash. Rendell's appearance Sunday marked the first time a sitting governor has attended the Heritage Festival, said Tony Koury, deacon of the church.
"It says something about him and all of Pennsylvania, and it says something in particular to the Lebanese people," Koury said.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Akouri, Land Tour New National Museum

Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri shares a laugh with Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in the Ghassan Saab Board Room following an official tour of the Arab American National Museum that was attended with Councilwoman Suzanne Sareini and sponsored by Dr. Yahya Basha, CEO of Basha Diagnostics in Royal Oak.

Friday, August 26, 2005

AKOURI GOES HOLLYWOOD!

2005 has been a busy year for Councilman John Akouri. Recently he had the pleasure of meeting with fellow illuminaries from Hollywood, California. Below are snapshots marking these memorable moments.

John Akouri pictured with Lebanese-American and Toledo native Jamie Farr - also known as Corporal Maxwell Klinger from the hit 70's TV show M*A*S*H
John Akouri pictured with internationally renown movie director and producer Mustapha Akkad - best known for his extremely successful 'Halloween' horror series.

Monday, August 22, 2005

2005 Lebanese Mahrajan A Smashing Success!

On Sunday, August 21, members of the Detroit-area Lebanese American community gathered at the Cathedral of St. Maron Maronite Church and joined together to enjoy a fun filled day with mouth-watering barbecue hamburgers & hotdogs, garden vegetables, juicy watermelon, refreshing ice cold soft drinks, summer time games, children's rides, Lebanese music, Turkish coffee, backgammon competitions, playing cards, traditional argilieh, awesome prizes, and so much more. Guests came in from all over the metropolitan Detroit area to participate in the annual event and festival.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Statement by Councilman John Akouri on the Visit of Dr. Samir Geagea to the United States

(MICHIGAN, USA)...As reported in An Nahar today, released Lebanese Forces leader Dr. Samir Geagea is planning a visit in the near future to the United States. According to the Lebanese newspaper, "Reports making the rounds in Beirut say Geagea plans to go, or has already gone, to Belgium from France and would travel with his wife Sitrida Geagea to the United States from Brussels." Lebanese-American City Councilman John Akouri issued the following statement:

The Lebanese American community stands ready to greet Dr. Geagea upon his arrival to the United States. His release combined with yesterday's decision by Parliament to reopen the MTV television station reaffirms the commitment of the new Lebanese government to continue national reconciliation and dialogue, while also upholding the freedom of expression through all forms of media. Historically, Beirut and Washington have always maintained a close relationship and in that context, I extend an invitation to all Lebanese leaders from all political backgrounds to visit the US and our Lebanese American community to remind them that the Lebanese diaspora has a deep and vested interest in the future of Lebanon. The release of Dr. Geagea beckons us all to continue our calls for an immediate release of ALL political prisoners and human rights activists held captive inside and outside of Lebanon, as we continue to witness our beloved Lebanon - like the Phoenix, once again rise from its ashes - to begin a new dawn.

Monday, August 08, 2005

John Akouri Mourns the Passing of ABC News Anchorman and Friend, Peter Jennings

(NATIONAL)...Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri joins the millions of Americans who mourn the untimely death and loss of ABC World News Tonight Anchorman Peter Jennings. Akouri, a former Congressional Press Secretary in Washington, DC had always admired the veteran newsman, who in April courageously announced to his audience that he had lung cancer. Jennings, who was the Beirut, Lebanon bureau chief from 1968-1974 while establishing the first ever American television news bureau in the Arab world, died Sunday at his New York home.
Akouri had the privilege of meeting with Jennings in the Winter of 2002 during the taping of a WXYZ-TV Special entitled "Ask The Media" which Jennings hosted and was aired live locally in Detroit on February 5 on the ABC affiliate Channel 7. The show featured a media panel answering questions from studio guests of which Akouri was one of.
"It was an amazing opportunity for me to have the chance to meet with a man of Peter's global stature," said Akouri. "I found him to be truly and incredibly personable, attentive and charming. When he discovered I was of Lebanese descent, he began to speak with me in Arabic, greeting me with the traditional 'keefek' (how are you) and upon my departure saying 'shookrun, ma asalamy' (thank you, go in peace).
"I can remember that when I graduated from college and following my internship with FOX2 News, I was interviewed for a feature story by a local TV magazine about a community cable television program I was hosting," continued Akouri. "In that interview, when asked about my future goals I stated even then that I wanted to be the 'Peter Jennings of the future' inasmuch as all of the anchors I have watched throughout the years, Peter's on-air style was the one I always admired the most - and wanted to emulate."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Big Bad John Lands TKO on Heavyweight Boxing Champ Muhammad Ali aboard Northwest Flight

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
On a recent Northwest Airlines flight bound for Washington DC, three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was sitting in the Councilman's seat...when politely asked to move - Ali refused and so John had to rough him up a little. It was all in good fun as Muhammad Ali, the consumate sportsman was more than willing to take the time to have his picture taken with a lifelong fan and admirer.
TRIVIA: Muhammad Ali won his first heavyweight title a year before John was born.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Councilman Hammers Away in "Ground Shaking" Ceremony at Fire Station No. 3

Councilman John Akouri recently donned a hardhat and joined his fellow colleagues at an impressive ground breaking ceremony that will officially begin construction of Fire Station No. 3 in southeast Farmington Hills. Over 100 people were on hand at the long awaited event including state and city officials, firemen, neighbors, residents and the media. The new brown brick 16,500 square foot building is expected to be completed this year at a cost of $5 million, and will house the latest in advanced life support and fire equipment.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Statement on the Appointment of the new Honorary Consul for the Republic of Turkey

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI-USA)...The following statement was released today by Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri following the announcement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry of the installation and appointment of its newest US Honorary Consulate:

It is with the greatest of pleasures and with extreme enthusiasm that I extend my sincerest best wishes to my good friend - the Honorable Nurten Ural - on her new post as Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Turkey in Detroit, Michgan. I cannot think of a better Ambassador for the Turkish people both here and abroad than Ms. Ural. I am confident that she will represent the Turkish American community with the utmost integrity and dedication possible. It is a true honor to know her and I cherish our longtime friendship. Alferim Sana!

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">