Dr. Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute (AAI), Senior Advisor for the Polling Firm Zogby International, and Author of “Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters” (October 2010), outlined how all people are the same…they have the same aspirations and dreams for their children; they have the same desires for good health care and self governance. Unfortunately, Dr. Zogby said our misperceptions about others (and specifically to this discussion, Middle Easterners) are developed because of media’s overuse of stereotypical representations, which reinforce our misperceptions of people from that region. Moreover, we fail to recognize the differences between countries in the region, which is largely shaped by each countries unique historical events. And it is these misperceptions that impact our public and foreign policy. And it is such wrongly influenced policies that lead to a divergence between how the United States would like to be perceived and how the region perceives the U.S. Thus, American’s misperceptions bred by Western media, feeds misconceived U.S. policies, and this, in turn, leads to Middle Eastern misperceptions of U.S. intentions…it is a vicious cycle of wrong-mindedness that draws wrong conclusions on both sides of the world.
At the close of the well attended event was a book signing of Dr. Zogby’s new book “Arab Voices”. In attendance were a number of the Committee for Ethnic Affairs current and former members, elected officials and representatives, and members from the community at-large. Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and the discussion. (see photo- photo credit to Arwa Elbeshbishi).
If you want to get a sense of what leading authors and commentators are already saying about Dr. Zogby 's book, follow the link: http://www.aaiusa.org/dr-zogby/entry/arab-voices-what-they-are-saying-to-us-and-why-it-matters/
For more information about the event and about Montgomery College’s Arab American Heritage Month Calendar of upcoming Events in April 2011, follow the link: www.montgomerycollege.edu/aahm , or contact Program Coordinator, Enas Elhanafi at 240-567-1759 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Post contributed by Jeff Lynch, Member At-Large, Committee for Ethnic Affairs