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Hani Almadhoun
Hani Almadhoun is director of donor development at ANERA, a non profit that has been providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinian communities in the Middle East since 1968. Hani is originally from Beit Lahia in the Northern Gaza Strip, where he completed his secondary and part of his university studies. Hani moved to the United States in 2000 and continued his studies, eventually moving out to the Washington D.C. area. After some time in D.C., Hani decided to pursue a graduate degree at Brigham Young University as a Masters of Public Administration student in the Marriott School of Business. When Hani is not working nor worrying about his loved ones back in Gaza, he blogs often for Hot Arabic Music Blogs and when given a free opportunity, does standup comedy in D.C. area clubs.

Entries by Hani Almadhoun

A Vacation and Family Reunion in Gaza? If Only...

(2) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 5:58 PM

I have not been with my family for almost three years now. My parents, siblings and grandparents haven't met my 14-month-old daughter, our first born. I really miss my family and desperately would like to visit with them, but I can't. Why? Because I am from Gaza.

My wife...

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Living Gaza's Horror From Beyond Borders

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 2:28 PM

Gaza is more than 5,800 miles from my home outside Washington D.C. But I live the horror every day through phone calls to my family back home. I hear the bombs in the background as my Mom tells me the latest news of my extended family, assuring me that everyone...

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Palestinian Rock Star Finds His American Comeback

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Haitham Shomali is Palestinian and has been in the music industry his entire life. From childhood, growing up with a musical family and the youngest of six, Haitham stood out among his siblings to sing with the vocal strength of no one his age. His musical genius allowed...

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Syrian Crisis Creating a Lost Generation

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 11:34 AM

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has now registered one million Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon to escape the war back home. They account for one fourth of Lebanon's population.

But that figure sadly does not take into account more than 50,000 Palestinian refugees from the Syrian...

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Palestinian Woman Fights Back And Attacks Her Harasser (Video)

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Earlier this week, a group of Palestinian students kept away from their schools and universities by the closure of the Rafah crossing organized a protest at the borders. Naturally, there were dozens of students and hundreds of supporters who demonstrated to protest the Egyptian closure of the border by the...

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The Palestinian Idol and the Gaza Rocket

(13) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 10:59 AM

In March 2013, I read a story on a Palestinian website about a young man from Gaza who auditioned to be on the Arab version of the popular show American Idol. The show is produced in Egypt but includes participants from across the Middle East. It is rare that a...

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Cairo, Rafah, Gaza

(12) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 5:22 PM

Seeing my family in Gaza is a priceless experience, but the journey there has always been a nightmare from hell. It isn't possible for Palestinians to enter either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank through the Israeli airport, and the only functioning airport in the Palestinian territories closed after...

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What Not to Wear: The Gaza Episode

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Reports of the Hamas police grabbing young men from the streets of Gaza to give them a haircut have been making the rounds. This practice is foreign to the Palestinian experience and most local human rights have spoken out against such an invasion of privacy and...

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Egypt's Jon Stewart Is No Hero

(17) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 5:31 PM

Bassem Youssef, the famous host of an Egyptian satire news show, is being sued. Bassem is no hero of mine, and there are countless others who share my view. Facebook is riddled with pages and groups who declare their lack of affection for Bassem...

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American Gifts, Chinese Hands

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 5:49 PM

In the not too distant past when I went to visit my family, they would ask me to bring them some gifts from the United States. They all look forward to bragging about having something from America -- other than something that blew up their home. I love to bring...

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Cooking In Peace Inside The Gaza Kitchen

(5) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 11:52 PM

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have...
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More and More Married Palestinians Women Enrolling in Universities

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 9:04 AM

On Facebook, I spotted pictures of my older sister Hannah in the forefront of a peaceful protest to promote national unity and offer political prisoners some support and encouragement, as a large number of them are on a hunger strike. It was a surprise to me, because when I left...

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Dear Homeless Man, Thank You for Stealing My Phone

(1) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 4:00 PM

A few days ago, a homeless man walked into my office and grabbed my smartphone -- he snuck it in his jacket and as he walked away thanked me for some reason. A few minutes later, I learned he had stolen my phone. I hope he gets arrested for his...

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GOP Insults Yet Another Minority Group

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Ever since the embarrassing loss of the 2012 elections, the GOP is wondering how they can win over minority voters. I feel that they are genuine and well meaning in their quest to widen their base and attract those voters who have traditional sided with the Democrats.

Yet when the...

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Immigrants: What to Expect When You're Expecting a Legal Status?

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 2:52 PM

Members of Congress and the president are working toward giving illegal immigrants a legal status. But what will it take for an immigrant 'illegals' or otherwise to becoming an American?

In 2000, I left the Gaza Strip and came to the United States for education. I left our...

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Jazz Meets Maqam on December 1 -- A Celebration of Arab Culture in America

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 3:16 PM

Arabic music does not often come to America, and when it does, it is usually in the form of pop songs that have little appeal to the casual American listener. Yet Arab music is a perfect tool to build bridges of understanding and appreciation. As someone who has taught Arabic...

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Thankful to Be Alive In Gaza: My Family's Story of Survival

(2) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 11:14 AM

My two-year-old nephew Omar had been confined to a small apartment with six other screaming children and their families since Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Shortly after a cease-fire was announced on Wednesday, he and his parents returned to our family home in Bait Lahia. My mother,...

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My Conversations With My Mom In Gaza

(22) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 5:16 PM

My mom is the matriarch of our family. She is the family's central bank and the great mother and a grandmother you would want for your own kids. While Israel was waging its war on the civilians in Gaza, my mother Fatema was busy keeping her 30 grandchildren...

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Muslim Brotherhood vs. Jihadist Salafis: The Showdown

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 12:33 PM

The anti-Islam film responsible for provoking protests across the Muslim world over recently was, to say the least, a bad idea. This is a project with a lot of vile motivations behind it that must be uncovered. At the same time, violence as a response to a film is certainly...

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Not Without My American Car

(2) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 3:20 PM

So now that I have passed my driving test and feel that I have practiced enough to consider buying a car, I have to wrestle with what kind of car to buy. My wife and I live in the city, so a small car seems the sensible way to go....

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