JOHN AKOURI NEWSBLOG

NEWS | COMMENTARY | SPEECHES | ANALYSIS | LETTERS | STATEMENTS | PHOTOS

My Photo
Name:
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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

House of Lebanon YP's Announce Aquarium of the Pacific Day

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Detroit Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr. to Speak at Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Winter Leadership Luncheon at Skyline Club

(SOUTHFIELD, MI)...The Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce announced today that Detroit's new Mayor Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr., will lead the Winter Leadership Luncheon Series as its first speaker next month. The invitation-only event, taking place at the Skyline Club located on the 28th floor of the prestigious Town Center and overlooking the city's landscape, is made possible by UBS/Peninsula Wealth Management Group. Many of the region's top business and civic leaders will gather to hear the Mayor's address. Past speakers at Chamber functions have included U.S. Ambassador Sam Zakhem, U.S. Senators John E. Sununu and Carl Levin, U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers, Candice Miller, Thaddeus McCotter, and Charles Boustany, Governor John H. Sununu, NASCAR Legend Bobby Rahal, Actress/Director Nadine Labaki, Cardinal Adam Maida, Ford CEO Jacques Nasser, General Motors Chief Economist G. Mustafa Mohatarem, MSNBC News Analyst Raghida Dergham, FOX-2 News Business Editor Murray Feldman, Windsor, Canada Mayor Eddie Francis, Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford W. Taylor, Attorney General Mike Cox, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano, Fmr. Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, GOP National Committeeman Keith Butler, U.S. Army General Mark A. Montjar, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Kaddo, Al Hurra Television Chief Pentagon Correspondent Joe Tabet, and Texas Councilman Hamid Kantara, among others. In 2009, the Chamber will expand the series to include Media, CEO and Newsmaker programs.
About the Mayor: Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr. became the City of Detroit’s 61st mayor on September 19, 2008. A native of Detroit, Mayor Cockrel was a former journalist, Wayne County commissioner and community activist. Most recently, he served as President of the Detroit City Council. Mayor Cockrel made history as the youngest person ever elected to City Council in 1997. He was re-elected in 2001 and was elevated to the position of President Pro Tem. Cockrel was elected to his third term in November 2005 and became President as a result of receiving the most votes of any council member. Mayor Cockrel has a rich family history in Detroit. He is the son of the late attorney, community activist, and Detroit City Councilman, Kenneth V. Cockrel and Carol Cockrel, a former Detroit Public School teacher. A cum laude graduate of Wayne State University with a bachelor of arts in print journalism, Mayor Cockrel is a former reporter for the Detroit Free Press, the Grand Rapids Press and the Cincinnati Inquirer. He is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University, as well as the Program for State and Local Government Officials at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One Year Later: Remembering Lebanese Internal Security Forces Captain Wissam Eid & the Martyrs of the January 25, 2008 Assassination

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ray LaHood Officially Sworn-in Following Senate Confirmation of Lebanese American Secretary of Transportation

WASHINGTON, DC - Ray H. LaHood became the sixteenth U.S. Secretary of Transportation just before 1:00 p.m. today. LaHood was joined for an official swearing-in ceremony in his new office by his wife Kathy, son Sam and fellow Illinoisan and Assistant Majority Leader, U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin. The oath of office was administered by Linda Washington, Assistant Secretary for Administration, and took place before an audience of his new staff and members of the Department of Transportation transition team. The full Senate confirmed LaHood by voice vote on January 22, following his being reported out of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee just the day before, on January 21. A ceremonial swearing-in will be scheduled at a later date.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Lady of Lebanon to Celebrate its 32nd Annual Lebanese Festival in Miami This Weekend

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On to Crawford...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Exclusive Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) Site of This Month's Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President's Power Lunch







(DETROIT, MI)...The Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce (LACC) held its monthly President’s ‘Power Lunch’ today, gathering some of the region’s top business and civic leaders including: captains of industry, chief executives, financial gurus, medical & legal experts, academic heads, successful entrepreneurs, and fast-growing young professionals. This highly anticipated series is an extension of the Leadership Luncheon program, which was spearheaded in 2006 by LACC President John Akouri, and features prominent elected officials and decision-makers from throughout the country. Fittingly, today's event held at the historic Detroit Athletic Club and overlooking Comerica Park, took place at noon - the precise moment of the peaceful transfer of power from one US President to the next in our nation's capital.
In addition to Akouri, luncheon guests included: Andary Real Estate Chairman Fred Andary, St. John Hospital & Medical Center Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Richard Cross (Saliba), Al Long Ford, Inc. President/Owner & Detroit Philanthropist Dr. Tarik Daoud, Skanska USA Building, Inc. Co-Chief Operating Officer George J. Fadool, Federated Capital Corporation President & CEO Louis P. Ferris, Jr., Lotus Bank of Novi President & CEO Satish B. Jasti, NAI Farbman/The Farbman Group Chief Operating Officer Michael Kalil, Former Detroit FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge & Kerby, Bailey & Associates Vice-President Bill Kowalski, J-Mack Investigative & Security Solutions & Former Mount Clemens Police Chief Joe Macksoud, Freedom 55 Financial of Canada Investment Advisor Tony Nader, Madonna University Vice President for Academic Administration Dr. Ernest Nolan, Paramount Bank Executive Vice-President Louis J. Peters, Jr., Peninsula Wealth Management Group/UBS First Vice-President Ron Pruette, Butzel Long Shareholder, Board of Directors Vice President Carl Rashid, Jr., Esq., Consulate of Mexico Consul General & Chief Diplomat Vicente M. Sanchez-Ventura, and Consulate of Lebanon Consul General & Chief Diplomat Bachir S. Tawk. Attendees celebrated the 90th birthday of Frank Stella, the chairman & CEO of F.D. Stella Products Co., and close personal friend of the late Luciano Pavarotti & Pope John Paul II.
The President’s Power Lunch series is an exclusive meeting designed to create new rules and new avenues for powerful impact in the region and business world. It is about bringing business leaders together to discuss current and future goals while forging tangible relationships that turn networking into substantial gains for Chamber members, associates and the business community. The goals and objectives of the Chamber’s new luncheon series are focused at achieving business objectives well beyond foremost organizations and prime individuals across the nation. These structured business goals are aggressive and participants are part of the power of working together to further deliver the mission and contribute to the overall growth and advancement of the national Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Eve - An American Tradition of the Peaceful Transfer of Power in The White House

Presidential History: In a mural of the first U.S. presidential inauguration to take place at the Capitol Building, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall administers the oath of office to Andrew Jackson in 1829.

Friday, January 16, 2009

U.S. President George W. Bush Receives Flag of Lebanon Flown Over Beirut; Lebanese Ambassador Antoine Chedid Attends Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC - (From Naharanet) U.S. President George W. Bush, making his final visit to the U.S. State Department, said Thursday that the U.S. should confidently engage the world with the "transformative power of freedom and liberty."
"We've made our alliances stronger, we've made our nation safer, and we have made the world freer," Bush said, summing up his foreign policy initiatives around the globe. Bush said State Department employees worked to advance the ideals of freedom and can be proud of the results, whether in the Mideast or Asia or Africa. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented Bush with the flags of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia and Lebanon -- countries that she says have joined the "circle of freedom" during the past eight years.
"Mr. President, it's also going to seem inevitable that peoples with long histories of oppression would gain the opportunity to liberate their countries, and that they would seize these opportunities, with America's support, to make a new life for themselves in freedom," she said. "On that day, we will remember, but it will seem inevitable, that an American president would stand before the flags with democratically elected leaders in Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Afghanistan, and Iraq," Rice told Bush.
Looking back, Rice listed things she said she never expected to witness: Kuwaiti women gaining the right to vote; a democratic provincial council meeting in Kirkuk, Iraq; the king of Saudi Arabia at an interfaith dialogue at the United Nations listening to the Israeli president; and men, women and children across Africa who no longer are dying of AIDS. Bush also gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ryan Crocker, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lebanese American Congressman Darrell Issa Named Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Republican Member

(Councilman John Akouri, NFL Legend Lem Barney, Congressman Darrell Issa & Detroit Pistons Announcer Ken Calvert pose for a photo at a campaign event for Akouri in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 2002)
(WASHINGTON, DC)...The House Republican Conference has voted to confirm U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) as the Ranking Republican Member for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) for the 111th Congress. Rep. Issa, who served as the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Domestic Policy received broad backing from his Republican OGR colleagues in seeking the position of Ranking Member. As Ranking Member, Issa will lead Republicans on the House’s chief investigative committee and will become "the chief GOP watchdog on the Obama administration." Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) is the chairman of the committee; Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, who retiried from Congress, was the ranking Republican previously.
“I look forward to leading committee Republicans and working with my Democratic colleagues in helping the new Administration of President Barack Obama root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the Federal government,” said Issa. "As Americans across the political spectrum want return on their tax dollars – oversight can and should be bipartisan. While objective and bipartisan hearings are a priority for Republicans, the minority will not tolerate inappropriately partisan hearings or investigations,” added Issa. We also stand ready to pro-actively probe any critical failures of government neglected by the Committee majority.”
Rep. Issa also announced key appointments to the panel's minority staff. Lawrence Brady will become minority staff director. He previously served as a senior policy adviser on the panel and staff director of the Energy and Resources Subcommittee that Issa chaired during 2005-06. John Cuaderes will be deputy staff director. He served the committee as a senior policy adviser during the last Congress. Jennifer Safavian will be chief counsel for oversight and investigations, continuing the role she has played since 2003. Charles Phillips will become chief counsel for policy after previously serving as senior counsel. Frederick Hill will move from Issa's office as press secretary to become communications director for the subcommittee, and Kurt Bardella will become press secretary. Bardella had worked for Rep. Brian Bilbray, (R-CA), and Senator Olympia Snowe, (R-ME).
And in getting right to work, on the first day of the 111th Congress last week, Rep. Issa reintroduced five legislative measures addressing critical issues facing the people of California's 49th District including key water projects, border security, increased healthcare availability, and the economy. Rep. Issa also plans to introduce other key bills in the next few weeks of the new Congress.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beirut Tops Number One Spot in New York Times '44 Places to Go in 2009' List

"From the Aegean Sea to Zambia, this year’s most compelling destinations are awash in sublime landscapes, cutting-edge art, gala music festivals, and stylish new resorts. With a recent (though perhaps tenuous) détente keeping the violence in check, the capital of Lebanon is poised to reclaim its title as the Paris of the Middle East. Two hotels scheduled to open later this year are raising the luxury quotient — the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut and Le Grey, the latter from the people behind One Aldwych in London — and a clutch of high-profile restaurants are transforming the city’s culinary scene.
"Lebanon is poised to reclaim its title as the Paris of the Middle East"
Traditional Lebanese cooking finds its apotheosis at the cozy Al-Ajami restaurant, while the glitterati settles into Hussein Hadid’s Kitchen, run by a nephew of the Zaha Hadid. But nothing symbolizes the city’s gastro-political awakening like Souk el-Tayeb, Beirut’s first farmers’ market. The market, founded in 2004, reconciles Lebanon’s warring factions through their common love of their country’s food."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 North American International Auto Show

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

International Symposium on Christianity in the Middle East Features Religious Scholars & World Experts, Lebanese Bishop Roland Aboujaoudé to Speak

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

CAPITOL HILL: Lebanese American Congressman Charles Boustany Sworn-in Today for Third Term in US House of Representatives, Washington, DC

Councilman John Akouri pictured with Congressman Charles Boustany
Boustany Sworn-in for Third Term, Looks to Provide Solutions for Southwest Louisiana BlockquoteAlign Center
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr., R-Southwest Louisiana, today was sworn-in today for his third term in Congress. Following the swearing-in, Boustany looked ahead to the 111th Congress.
“Our region faces many challenges – coastal restoration and healthcare – to name two pressing ones, which must be met,” Boustany said. “I look forward to building on the success we have had, but dealing with these issues will take broad, bi-partisan solutions. Working together, we can accomplish much more for Southwest Louisiana.” Congressman Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, was first elected to Congress in December 2004. Serving his second term in office, Boustany represents Louisiana’s Seventh Congressional District, which covers Acadiana and Southwest Louisiana. Boustany has championed healthcare reform, sound energy policy and hurricane recovery with time-proven solutions for all Americans.
As a physician, Congressman Boustany understands the importance of healthcare and is at the forefront of healthcare policy in Congress. He believes the patient-doctor relationship is the most important part of healthcare and has worked to implement patient-centered healthcare solutions. Increased access to tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs) represent one opportunity for patients to strengthen their control over their healthcare decisions, and Boustany introduced legislation allowing seniors and veterans to participate. Much of America’s energy flows through Southwest Louisiana, and Congressman Boustany promotes responsible American energy production to help the American economy prosper. Agri-based energy alternatives and American ingenuity are a critical part of fulfilling the nation’s energy demands. Boustany is a member of three House Committees- Transportation and Infrastructure, Education and Labor and Agriculture.
Through these Committees, Boustany directed legislation critical to Southwest Louisiana’s recovery effort, including the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that authorized more than $1.7 billion for Louisiana infrastructure projects. In addition, Congressman Boustany continues to work towards a new Farm Bill to provide stability for Louisiana’s farmers and ranchers. He also served on the Head Start Reauthorization Conference Committee to mediate differences between the House and Senate on priorities for the early education program. Congressman Boustany was raised in Lafayette and graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1982. He returned to Lafayette in 1990 and began a successful medical practice. For fourteen years, he ran a small business and committed to helping others by providing the highest quality healthcare to his patients and the community. In Congress, Congressman Boustany is committed to serving the people of Southwest Louisiana with the same dedication and care that he provided as a physician and community leader. Charles and his wife Bridget reside in Lafayette and have two adult children.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Akouri Congratulates Lebanese Cleric Monsignor Youssef Antoine Soueif, Newly Named Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

(NICOSIA, CYPRUS)...John Akouri, former executive Parish Council member and congregational leader at the Cathedral of St. Maron Maronite Church of Detroit (Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles) during the pastoral adminstration and under the auspices of esteemed senior priest Very Reverend Fr. Ghattas Khoury, today congratulated his friend and colleague Joseph Soueif on his enthronement as the new Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus. The ceremony took place in the Maronite Church in Nicosia and was attended by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, Bishops of the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus, Maronite Archbishops and Bishops, members of the Cypriot Council of Ministers, leaders and representatives of the political parties of Cyprus, members of the Cypriot Parliament and Cypriot Members of the European Parliament, heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of the Maronite community in Cyprus, mayors and others.
In his address, the new Maronite Archbishop thanked especially the Cypriot President and the Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus for attending the ceremony, saying “I interpret your presence at this ceremony as an honor to the Maronite community in Cyprus and to my self and I express to you all my deep appreciation”. “My special gratitude to you Mr President for your presence among us today. This is a proof of love and concern for our community. In his address, the President congratulated the new Maronite Archbishop for his enthronement and wished him every success, reassuring him that their cooperation will be “close and daily”. “Today’s message is a message of unity, a message on behalf of the Maronite community, the Maronite Church, a message on behalf of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus as well as a message of unity on behalf of the Armenian and Latin communities of Cyprus”, he said, adding “it is also a message of love, brotherhood and unity with the Turkish Cypriot community of the Republic of Cyprus”.
The new Archbishop was born in Chekka, Lebanon, in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987 by Archbishop Antoun Joubeir. From 1974 to 1982, he completed the complementary and high school studies at the minor patriarchal Seminary of Saint Maron in Ghazir (Sagesse School-Jdaidet Al-Maten) and between 1982-1987, he attended the Major Seminary in Ghazir, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theological Studies at the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik. He also took musical courses (piano). In 1992, he received his doctorate in Eastern Ecclesiastical Studies-liturgy, from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. And in 1997, he was nominated General Secretary of the Episcopal Liturgical Commission by His Excellency Monsignor Boutros Gemayel where he also participated in the preparation of the liturgical texts and the coordination of the celebrations during the visit of the Pope John Paul II, to Lebanon. Prior to suceeding his predecessor Petro Gemayel in Cyprus, he was the representative for pastoral care and the implementation of synodal acts of the Arch-Eparchy of the Tripoli diocese.
The Maronite Church is one of the largest Eastern-rite communities of the Roman Catholic Church and is especially prominent in modern Lebanon. The Maronite community in Cyprus are Catholic Christians of Lebanese origin, who settled in Cyprus 1,200 years ago from Lebanon where the Maronite Archbishop is elected by the Holy Synod of the Maronite Church in Bkirki and confirmed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. At present the Cyprus Maronite community is a very small community forming an integral part of the people of Cyprus but, at the same time, continuing to exist as a separate community. The Maronites who now live in Cyprus consider themselves of Lebanese origin and they are Christian Catholics. The Maronite community of Cyprus today numbers around 6.000 scattered all over the island.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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">