Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2006, pages 66-67

Waging Peace

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Celebrates Beginning of 25th Year

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THE WASHINGTON Report on Middle East Affairs launched its 25th anniversary year with a May 18 fund-raising reception at Dumbarton House in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. Former U.S. diplomats, ambassadors from nearly every Arab, Muslim and North African state, representatives from numerous organizations working for Middle East peace, business leaders, journalists, and Washington Report readers from the Washington, DC area filled a reception room and tent at the historic home.

Guests enjoyed platters of Arabic kabobs, salads and sweets supplied by Yasir Shallal of Skewers Catering. John and Henrietta Goelet donated wonderful Clos Du Val and Taltarni wines from their vineyards in Napa, California, and Australia.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, publisher Andrew I. Killgore, executive editor Richard Curtiss, and other staffmembers welcomed guests. Killgore described the magazine’s recent effort to send the magazine and the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt exposé of the “Israel Lobby” to thousands of journalists and Presbyterians concerned about peace and justice. He was pleased to announce the Embassy of Qatar’s decision to donate subscriptions to 4,200 media organizations and National Capitol bureaus.

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Australian-born Lutheran pastor Rev. Harry Wendt, the founder of Crossways International, described how he uses the Washington Report to educate audiences.

Comedian Maysoon Zayid, who performs at top New York clubs and in galas around the country ended up being the hit of the party. Maysoon, who spends three months a year in Palestine, where she runs an art program for disabled and wounded refugee children, can make an audience laugh uproariously at their own troubles and tragedies.

Former Rep. Paul Findley (R-IL) charged the audience to keep working for justice in these troubled times. Les Janka, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East affairs, asked guests to contribute generously to keep this magazine afloat. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, usually doesn’t hold conferences, lectures, banquets or fund-raising events such as this one, he noted. Its role is to provide information on the Middle East and the U.S. role there not available in the mainstream media, as well as to cover events at universities, think tanks, churches, mosques and synagogues across North America. Janka’s own generous donation led the way for others to follow.

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Ambassador Afif Safieh, head of the PLO Mission to Washington, DC, described the vital work required of everyone who cares about justice in the Middle East. He roused and inspired the audience to do even more to inform Americans about Israel’s annexation wall, its treatment of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and the unconscionable ways the Jewish state spends U.S. tax dollars.

In addition to the previously mentioned donors, the Washington Report would like to thank West End Press, in Washington, DC for donating its printing services for the program and invitations; International Graphics, in Beltsville, MD, which contributed toward the printing of the June fund-raising letter; and Richard Thompson, who donated the DVD “Dead in the Water: the USS Liberty” to guests. The magazine intends to continue celebrating “25 Years of Telling the Truth” for the rest of the year until April 2007. To help us spread the word and increase circulation and donations, we’d welcome hosts and locales across the country.

Delinda C. Hanley

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