In 2004, Ferial Masry, born in Mecca, became the first Saudi American to run for political office in U.S. history. A recent immigrant and naturalized citizen with a heavy Middle Eastern accent, Masry made a spirited run for the California State Assembly seat in a staunchly Republican district, which sparked worldwide interest. She was ABC’s Person of the Week, was interviewed by Peter Jennings, and made headlines in the New York Times and Associated Press. Against all odds, her grassroots campaign succeeded in winning the write-in vote, a historic victory for all Arab Americans.
Running for All the Right Reasons chronicles Masry’s remarkable life, from her childhood in Mecca and her decision to emigrate to the United States to her career as an educator and her bold entry into the world of politics. Masry’s story, as well as her passionate belief in democracy and commitment to her community, is the stuff of legends.
Ferial Masry is currently running for California State Assembly in the 37th District. She teaches government and history at Cleveland High School in Los Angeles and has served on the boards of the Education Committee for the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and of the National Women’s Political Caucus, among others.
Susan Chenard is an English professor at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut, and a freelance writer.
Review: This is a fascinating book, especially if you are interested in how immigrants merge into the American political system. Ferial Masry’s experience is the quitessential American experience. The book is not only a personal insight into Saudi Arabia — a very misunderstood country that has been a strong ally of the United States — it is also a compelling tale of the Arab American political experience. Masry is a role model for Arab Americans who, after more than 150 years years in this country, are only now engaging the American political system with widepsread and growing empowerment and engagement.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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