On March 31, our federation hosted a Farwell reception for Ambassador Maen Areikat at the Ramallah club in Virginia. The event was attended by many members of our community; many distinguish guests from the Arab-American Community, and government officials.
Among the attendees were, Mr Todd Holmstrom, Director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs at the State Department, and Mr David Staples, outreach coordinator at the Bureau of Near East at the State Department. We were also joined by the Palestinian Deputy Ambassador, Mr Omar Fakeh and the President of Anera, Mr. Bill Corcoran.
Our Deputy President, Dr Hanna Hanania welcomed our guests and thanked Ambassador Areikat for his hard work the past eight years. He mentioned that Ambassador Areikat had reached out to us from his early days and had visited our clubs across the country and attended most of our conventions. He also empathized on the outreach programs we worked on together to educate the American public about the plight of the Palestinian people for freedom. Dr Hanania mentioned some of the accomplishments the federation achieved with the Ambassador’s help such as the formation of the Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations and the diverse missions we take to Palestine. He also highlighted the Ambassador’s leadership and his role of allowing the community to meet with many Palestinian leaders during their visits to DC.
Then, the Washington club Deputy President, Sam Shihadeh, took a moment to thank Ambassador Areikat for his leadership, guidance, and for the great relationship he built with the DC club and the federation over the years. He remarked on the numerous community engagement events the Ambassador took part in and his commitment to help keep the community involved and active. Sam acknowledged Ambassador Areikat’s willingness to assist the DC Ramallah club. He noted that he made his office staff readily available to help in many of the projects; the club took part in, especially planning the 53rd annual convention.
Ambassador Areikat thanked the federation for hosting the event and showed gratitude for the partnership he had with the federation for years. He asked the federation to continue working with the mission and other Palestinian American Organizations in support of our people’s just cause.
Mr. Holmstorm thanked the Ambassador for his work. He said the Ambassador’s accomplishments will make it easier for the new Ambassador to continue working on behalf of our people. He mentioned that ambassador Areikat managed to establish a good relationship with the administration, non-profit organizations and the community. He also thanked our federation for hosting this event.
Mr George Eways, a former Federation President and member of the PNC presented the Ambassador with an Award for Outstanding leadership. Mr. Eways was accompanied by past Presidents Bassam Eways, Hussam Misleh, and board member Anees Zaiback. He thanked the Ambassador for his friendship and his service to the community, and handed a plaque to the Ambassador on behalf of the federation. The Ambassador was very appreciative and thankful.
The evening ended by remarks from our club President, Mr. Jason Musleh, who gave his thanks to Ambassador Areikat for his work to the community. Mr. Musleh thanked the guests for attending and always supporting the club’s events. He encouraged the guests to continue to mix and mingle throughout the night, while enjoying some delicious Arabic food.
April 12-26. Ramallah Easter trip.
May 31 Deadline for applying for scholarship.
July 6-9 Houston convention
July 6-20 Medical mission
July 20-August 6 Project Hope
August Educational and Cultural exchange mission
October Youth leadership summit.