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James Zogby
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Dr. James J. Zogby is the author of Arab Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2010) and the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. Since 1985, Dr. Zogby and AAI have led Arab American efforts to secure political empowerment in the U.S. Through voter registration, education and mobilization, AAI has moved Arab Americans into the political mainstream.

For the past three decades, Dr. Zogby has been involved in a full range of Arab American issues. A co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in the late 1970s, he later co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. In 1982, he co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a private non-profit, humanitarian and non-sectarian relief organization which funds health care for Palestinian and Lebanese victims of war, and other social welfare projects in Lebanon. In 1985, Zogby founded AAI.

In 1993, following the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord in Washington, he was asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza. In his capacity as co-president of Builders, Zogby frequently traveled to the Middle East with delegations led by Vice President Gore and late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. In 1994, with former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine, his colleague as co-president of Builders, Zogby led a U.S. delegation to the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement in Cairo. Zogby also chaired a forum on the Palestinian economy at the Casablanca Economic Summit in 1994. After 1994, through Builders, Zogby worked with a number of US agencies to promote and support Palestinian economic development, including AID, OPIC, USTDA, and the Departments of State and Commerce.

Dr. Zogby has also been personally active in U.S. politics for many years. Most recently, Zogby was elected a co-convener of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee (NDECC), an umbrella organization of Democratic Party leaders of European and Mediterranean descent. On September 24, 1999, the NDECC elected Dr. James Zogby as its representative to the Democratic National Committee's Executive Committee. In 2005 he was appointed as chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee.

A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues, U.S.-Arab relations, and the history of the Arab American community, Dr. Zogby appears frequently on television and radio. He has appeared as a regular guest on all the major network news programs. After hosting the popular "A Capital View" on the Arab Network of America for several years, he now hosts "Viewpoint with James Zogby" on Abu Dhabi Television, LinkTV, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

Since 1992, Dr. Zogby has also written a weekly column on U.S. politics for the major newspapers of the Arab world. The column, Washington Watch, is currently published in 14 Arab countries. He has authored a number of books including two recent publications, "What Ethnic Americans Really Think" and "What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns."

Dr. Zogby has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees, has been guest speaker on a number of occasions in the Secretary's Open Forum at the U.S. Department of State, and has addressed the United Nations and other international forums. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of State "in recognition of outstanding contributions to national and international affairs."

Dr. Zogby is also active professionally beyond his involvement with the Arab American community. He currently serves on the national advisory boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Forum, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he is a Senior Analyst for the polling firm Zogby International.

In 1975, Dr. Zogby received his doctorate from Temple University's Department of Religion, where he studied under the Islamic scholar Dr. Ismail al-Faruqi. He was a National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University in 1976, and on several occasions was awarded grants for research and writing by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Defense Education Act, and the Mellon Foundation. Dr. Zogby received a Bachelor of Arts from Le Moyne College. In 1995, Le Moyne awarded Zogby an honorary doctoral of laws degree, and in 1997 named him the college's outstanding alumnus.

Dr. Zogby is married to Eileen Patricia McMahon and is the father of five children.

You can follow Dr. Zogby on twitter at: www.twitter.com/AAIUSA

Entries by James Zogby

The Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel: Pointing the Way Forward

(149) Comments | Posted March 28, 2015 | 9:34 AM

In 1971, I was in Beirut on a grant from my university to conduct research for my doctoral dissertation on the emergence of Palestinian national consciousness. Since the subjects of my study were the Palestinians in Lebanon's refugee camps, I set about to visit Ein al Hilweh to interview families...

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Naked Bibi

(41) Comments | Posted March 21, 2015 | 7:18 AM

In the lead up to Israel's March 17th election, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, fearful that he might lose his reelection bid, threw caution to the wind making blatant appeals to scare voters into returning him to office. He did so not caring who he alienated or what might be...

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Killing Off Myths

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2015 | 9:54 AM

Some of the myths that drive Arab discourse about American behavior in the Middle East are fascinating for what they say about our relationship with the region. Though often profoundly wrong, they are nevertheless frustratingly persistent. I am writing on a plane returning from the Middle East where I spent...

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An Ugly Week in Washington

(81) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 8:45 AM

If "l'affaire Netanyahu" weren't bad enough, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell added insult to injury when he announced that early next week he will move for a vote on a bill requiring the White House to secure Congressional review and approval of any agreement concluded between the P5+1 negotiators and...

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Netanyahu's Legacy: A Fractured Israel and a Divided America

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2015 | 8:17 AM

In a few days, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mount the podium of the U.S. Congress to speak before a joint session of the House and Senate. He will use the occasion to blast Iran and issue dire warnings about the current US-led negotiations designed to limit Iran's nuclear...

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Obama: 'Pitch Perfect'

(41) Comments | Posted February 21, 2015 | 9:15 AM

I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical as I approached this week's "White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism" (CVE). I was concerned that it might end up being nothing more than a "box-checking" exercise. I was troubled that it might be perceived as targeting American Muslims and fostering...

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Obama: Sound Theology and Smart Politics

(220) Comments | Posted February 14, 2015 | 8:32 AM

President Obama's remarks, last week, at the annual National Prayer Breakfast were theologically sound and politically smart. In spite of this, his comments set off a storm of criticism from conservative critics who took him to task for both his theology and his politics. While I cannot read their hearts,...

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Jindal: From Rhodes Scholar to Dangerous Demagogue

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 8:09 AM

A few weeks back, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered a speech to the Henry Jackson Society in London focusing on the dangers "radical Islam" poses to the world's "freedom loving people". Far from a serious discussion, the speech amounted to little more than a dangerous mix of trite sloganeering and...

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Boehner/Netanyahu: 'So Smart, They're Stupid'

(740) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 5:27 AM

When I was growing up, I remember a saying that was used to describe the behavior of persons who were so cocky that they did really dumb things -- "He's so smart, he's stupid."

I thought of this expression when I heard Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner,...

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Were the Murders at Charlie Hebdo Really About Islam?

(43) Comments | Posted January 17, 2015 | 7:33 AM

The perpetrators of the horror at Charlie Hebdo were not devout Muslims outraged by insults directed at their faith. They were not motivated by religious piety, nor did they seek to strike a blow at "freedom of expression". Rather they were crude political actors who planned an act of terror--seeking...

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Syria: The Way Forward, Without Illusions

(12) Comments | Posted January 10, 2015 | 8:35 AM

It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict.

From the beginning, it was inevitable that this conflict, however it...

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A Bad End to a Bad Year

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 8:42 AM

The closing weeks of 2014 spelled disaster for US leadership and the rule of law.

During the last two weeks of December, the US countered three different efforts designed to affirm Palestinian rights. It was unfortunate since in doing so the US undercut its stated commitments to uphold the rule...

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The Silent Cry of Bethlehem

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2014 | 7:06 AM

Bethlehem has always loomed large in our imagination. For generations, the feelings evoked by this town have been captured in multiple art forms, serving to inspire both believers and non-believers with its message of hope and the joyful promise of new life.

For those who do not know the place,...

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The Unraveling of the Arab Spring Narrative

(15) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 8:02 AM

Four years ago, Tunisia and the Egypt erupted in broad popular revolts. At first, analysts, Arab and Westerners alike, were confounded. When Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria followed, in short order, the upheavals came to be described as the "Arab Spring" -- the assumption being that what was occurring in...

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Eric Holder: Profiling Continues

(15) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 7:38 AM

I first met Eric Holder during the Clinton years when he was serving as Deputy Attorney General. Back then, my community was deeply troubled by FBI harassment, the government's use of "secret evidence" to detain individuals, and profiling of Muslim or Arab-looking individuals at airports around the country.

Working with...

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'Protect and Serve' or 'In Your Face'

(21) Comments | Posted December 6, 2014 | 7:24 AM

In 1971, I was working at a Boy's Club in the Germantown section of Philadelphia running an after-school program. One day, the Police Athletic League representative dropped off a pile of coloring books for the younger kids. On the cover was a picture of a policeman walking hand-in-hand with a...

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The Arab and Iranian Disconnect

(50) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 7:07 AM

There is widespread upset in capitals across the Arab World at having been sidelined by the Obama Administration in the on-going P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Many are suspicious of U.S. intentions and worried that their concerns with Iran's regional role will be given short shrift in the effort to reach...

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Arab Americans: Confident and Concerned

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 9:30 AM

Over the many years I have been involved working within the Arab American community, I have had to contend with a range of myths and misunderstandings about both the nature and composition of the community as well as their attitudes toward major issues of concern facing the United States.

...
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Arab Americans Getting Ready for 2016

(20) Comments | Posted November 15, 2014 | 7:27 AM

Next week, Arab American leaders and activists from a dozen key electoral states will convene in Washington to map out a political strategy for 2016. Despite the very real challenges facing the leaders who will gather, this generation of Arab Americans can approach the future with some confidence given the...

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A 2014 Postmortem

(36) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 6:50 AM

A few observations about this week's elections:

1. Our politics continue to be distorted and corrupted.

In October, 1994, I was in the lounge at Kennedy Airport in New York City waiting to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo. My fellow passengers, mostly Egyptians, were seated near a television...

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