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June 21, 1991 - Image 92

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-06-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Arabic-Jewish Friends Group
Awards $11,000 In Scholarships

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92

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 1991

communities because it was
Arab and Jewish civilians
who were hurt by the war.
"In a year of tension, Arab
and Jewish freindships
flourished here," he said.

First-prize winners of the
contest were Rudaina
Fakhoury of Detroit Per-
shing High School, Raneem
Jamil of Farmington Mercy,
Susan Levin of Farmington
Harrison and Amy Berris of
Southfield-Lathrup.

Scholarship awards of
$750 were given to Mona
Jabr of Hazel Park High
School, Summer Turfe of
Dearborn Heights
Crestwood, David Dressler
of Berkley and Mara

Scvhonberg of West Bloom-
field.
Scholarships of $500 were
given to Dina Zubi of Bloom-
field Hills Lahser, Suzanne
Bazzi of Crestwood, Lara
Fawaz and Ishraq Thabet of
Dearborn Fordson, Jeremy
Green, Paul Cherrin and
Erin Einhorn of West
Bloomfield High School, and
Jonathan Starkman of
Berkley.
Four high schools were
honored by the AAJF for
their participation in the
project: Berkley, Fordson,
Southfield-Lathrup and
West Bloomfield.
Re-printed below are ex-
cerpts from two of the winn-
ing essays:

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Parents Worked Hard
To Save Arab Customs

RUDAINA FAKHOURY

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T

he American Arabic
and Jewish Friends
group raised more
money this year than at
their two previous annual
dinners and were able to
give out more scholarships
to graduating Arab and Jew-
ish high school seniors than
ever before.
The group had 14 entries
three years ago, 45 last year
and 67 this year. Last week,
at an awards reception co-
sponsored by WKBD-TV-50
and Hexon Corp., the
10-year-old AAJF awarded
$11,000 in scholarships to 16
Detroit area students. The
AAJF gave $1,000, $750 and
$500 awards to winners in
its annual essay contest.
This year's topic was "What
it means to be an American
of Arabic or Jewish des-
cent."
"We ran the contest in the
middle of another war in the
Middle East," said AAJF co-
chair Larry Horwitz. "We
were concerned about the
number of entries and our
relationships. But the
number of entries doubled."
And, Mr. Horwitz believes,
the Persian Gulf war may
have helped bring together
Detroit's Arab and Jewish

I

was only 5 years old when
my family emigrated to
the United States from
Amman, Jordan, in 1979.
Coming to America, I ex-
pected everything to be dif-
ferent, and it certainly was.
In order for us to preserve
our cultural customs, my
parents maintained the same
rules and regulations they
were used to, and I am very
grateful that they did. If it
were not for them treating me
that way, I would not have
been able to live and know
the essence of being an Arab.
There are many things that
make me proud of being an
Arab. First, our family ties

Ms. Fakhoury has just
graduated from Detroit's
Pershing High School and
will attend Wayne State
University in the fall.

are very strong. We respect
and obey our parents no mat-
ter what situation we are in.
We are also responsible for
taking care of our grand-
parents. An elderly person
living with us is counted as a
blessing. Their company is
always enjoyable. They are
like the village storytellers
that were back then telling us
tales and stories of how life
once was for them. They help
us learn more about our
future.
Grandparents are always
consulted about any situa-
tions or problems that happen
to us because of their wisdom.
Another main factor in our
culture is how important the
church really is. Religion is
stressed in all of our
gatherings.
As an adult, growing up in
America, we are torn between
two cultures: the American
and the Arabic. Our parents
expect us to behave according

to what they believe is proper
for an Arab family. Never-
theless, we try to continue to
fit ourselves in the American
society as well.
Our marriages are not bas-
ed upon dating. They are ar-

Family ties are
strong. The elderly
are counted as a
blessing.

ranged by the older members
of both families.
To maintain our language,
our parents kept speaking
Arabic to us at home. When
relatives were visiting, we
were to speak the Arabic
language with them as they
spoke it to us. Our parents did
not only want us to speak the
language, but also to be able
to read and write it.
When we returned home
from school in addition to the

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