About

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About

Welcome to my internet hub where I punch issues in the nose to force people to see past their anger, hatred, frustrations, and their biases.

This website is my personal website and it is a portal to all of my writings. The Daily Hookah (Hanania.com, RayHanania.com, TheDailyHookah.com) reflects my thinking process and my opinions on politics and on the Middle East. My writing is based on 45-years of public writing including 17 years covering Chicago City Hall for the Daily Southtown and the Chicago Sun-Times, and also having served in many activist positions advocating a moderate approach towards the Arab World and the Palestine-Israel conflict. I’ve worked in Arab American leadership in Chicago and nationally for many years including serving as the National President of the Palestinian American Congress (1995-1996). I debated many Arab, American and Israeli officials on Middle East Peace advocating the Two-State Solution, including Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban in 1976 on national TV.

Opinion columnist راى حنانيا. Ray Hanania headshot

Opinion columnist راى حنانيا.  Ray Hanania

Email me a rghanania@gmail.com

Here is a more about my writing and life:

I believe most people who appear to “hate” are just angry and incapable of escaping their frustrations. They are victims of extremists who exploit them, and they lack a voice because “moderates” often lack the passion and energy needed to win. We see this in the divisions separating Palestinians and Israelis, and Americans and Arabs.

Anger is exploited by small groups of extremists who are loud, boisterous and bullies and who turn that anger into hatred, seeking to dominate the conversation with their extremist and fanatical views. These extremists are empowered even more by the corruption of the mainstream American news media which feeds the tragedy, the conflict, and the extremism by pandering to anti-Arab and pro-Israel partisan biases.

It’s important that we separate the small group of true haters, extremists and fanatics from the larger, majority communities who are frustrated, angry and feel there is no hope left for achieving their rights.

I try to do that in my writings.

The Arab Daily News banner 728 x 90

1976. Ray Hanania debating Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban (Aubrey Solomon) on Kup's Show. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania Archives

1976. Ray Hanania debating Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban (Aubrey Solomon) on Kup’s Show. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania Archives

From the main menu you can view my Op-Ed writings on Chicagoland and American politics, on miscellaneous “slice-of-life” features, and on the Middle East on several websites including at the Arab News and at Middle East Monitor where I write a weekly column analyzing Middle East, Israeli and Palestinians issues. (All of there newspaper archives are linked from the Main Menu above.)

You can also listen to my radio broadcast in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 live radio, either live when it is broadcast or through my audio podcast which is available by visiting www.TheArabStreet.org or iTunes. (On iTunes, search using “Ray Hanania”, “The Arab Daily News” or “The Arab Street”).

Plus, you can also view videos of my standup comedy in which I lampoon my life as a Palestinian married to a Jewish wife raising a Jewish son. (My son’s 2014 Bar Mitzvah had 400 Arabs and Jews dancing together as if peace were already here!)

Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News and the Reporter & Newshound newspapers covering Chicago's Southwest Side and Southwest Suburbs

Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News and the Reporter & Newshound newspapers covering Chicago’s Southwest Side and Southwest Suburbs

This website features all of my columns, news writings, feature writing and also other posts that I think may be of interest. It also includes columns and Op-Eds that have been published elsewhere, such as at the Arab News newspaper, SuburbanChicagoland.com and the Southwest News Newspaper Group.

Newspapers that carry my columns on American life and politics include the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper, the Des Plaines Valley News Newspaper, The Reporter Newspapers, The Regional News Newspaper, the Reporter & Newshound Newspaper as well as online at SuburbanChicagoland.com.

It is an archive for all of my writing from both sides of the writing aisle (mainstream politics and Middle East politics.)

Ray Hanania at the Chicago Sun-Times 1985

I love to write about two topics.

The first is the Middle East. A longtime peace activist fighting for justice for Palestinians AND Israelis, and an advocate for the Two-State Solution with security and freedom for both states and people, I write about the Middle East, the Palestinians, Israel, and US peace process. Many of my columns are published at The Arab News in Saudi Arabia and on my Arab Writers Group website at TheArabDailyNews.com.

Copies of the Des Plaines Valley News, The Reporter Newspapers, The Regional News, and the Southwest News-Herald. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Copies of the Des Plaines Valley News, The Reporter Newspapers, The Regional News, and the Southwest News-Herald. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

 

Page from The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper, Chicago's first English-language Arab American newspaper published between 1975 and 1977.

Page from The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper, Chicago’s first English-language Arab American newspaper published between 1975 and 1977.

The second focuses on my base, Chicago politics, and midwest American and U.S. politics. I write for several newspapers in the Chicago area and across the country on a wide range of topics that include politics, government, and also slice-of-life features that include topics on Baby Boomers, humor and family-hood.

I am a Reagan Democrat, a “conservative liberal” which is unique to Chicago where extreme liberal policies have fueled the rise in violence, the poor and a failed educational system.

You can find links to my published books “Arabs of Chicagoland,” my humor book “I’m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing up Arab in America” and “Yalla! Fight Back,” how ethnics can standup to the extremists and advocate the Moderate Voice.

Jay McMullen, husband of Mayor Jane M. Byrne, with the author after Jay threatened to punch the author in the nose at Chicago City Hall 1979. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania.

The Late Daily News reporter Jay McMullen, husband of the late Mayor Jane M. Byrne, with me at Chicago City Hall after Jay threatened to punch me in the nose at Chicago City Hall 1979 in anger over a column I wrote. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania.

I have several Facebook Pages where I encourage you to share your opinions, column topics, and story ideas.

My personal Facebook page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Because there is a limit on personal Facebook pages, you can also go to my Fan Page at:

Facebook.com/ColumnistRayHanania/

I also have a Forum at Disqus where you can share your opinions not just with me but with other followers online. The Daily Hookah network reaches across the Internet and across the seas. Let go and state your opinions. Then, share your opinions. Engage people and help them understand the truth! Make a difference in Middle East activism and in Chicago and Illinois politics. Click here to visit the Readers Forum.

Ray Hanania and Harry Golden Jr., at City Hall in 1982. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania and mentor and veteran political journalist Harry Golden Jr., at City Hall in 1982. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

 

The Ambassador of Morocco (2nd from left) greets Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (2nd from right) at his City Hall office to receive a commemoration honoring the special relationship between America and Morocco. Picture center is Baker Lemseffer who was the director of the CHicago office of the Morocco Cultural Center. On the right is Col. Jack Reilly and on the left is a Moroccan aid who accompanied the Ambassador. The story was the main story in a 1976 issue of The Middle Eastern Voice Newspaper published by Ray Hanania in Chicagoland. Photo (C) Copyright 1976-2017 Ray Hanania. All Rights Reserved

The Ambassador of Morocco (2nd from left) greets Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley (2nd from right) at his City Hall office to receive a commemoration honoring the special relationship between America and Morocco. Picture center is Baker Lemseffer who was the director of the Chicago office of the Morocco Cultural Center. On the right is Col. Jack Reilly and on the left is a Moroccan aid who accompanied the Ambassador. The story was the main story in a 1976 issue of The Middle Eastern Voice Newspaper published by Ray Hanania in Chicagoland. Photo (C) Copyright 1976-2018 Ray Hanania. All Rights Reserved

You can click here to review photographs of Ray Hanania with celebrities, politicians, Chicago mayors, Middle East leaders, clients and from my “Palestinian Married to a Jewish Wife” Standup Comedy

More background:

What Editor & Publisher Magazine says about Ray Hanania’s columns
Dec. 28, 2006

“Ray Hanania, a former Creators columnist who’s now self-syndicated, is a Palestinian-American writer married to a Jewish woman. He writes about Mideast issues in an evenhanded way that makes him seem positively radical in a sea of columnists who back Israel almost unconditionally. … Hanania’s approach, as former President Jimmy Carter discovered with his latest book, is not popular with much of the mainstream media. But it would be interesting if U.S. dailies followed the lead of Israeli newspapers in allowing a much wider spectrum of debate about Mideast issues. By the way, Hanania is also a stand-up comedian who’s hilarious when he opts to use humor.”

AWARDS

Ray Hanania’s writings are recognized by the nation’s most professional & prestigious journalism organizations.

SIGMA DELTA CHI NATIONAL AWARD
Society of Professional Journalists National Award Sigma Delta Chi, 2009 Southwest News-Herald (Column Writing)

PETER LISAGOR AWARDS, ILLINOIS
26-SPJ Award April 2003Chicago Headline Club/Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
– 2009 Southwest News-Herald Newspaper (In-Depth Reporting)
– 2005 Southwest News-Herald Newspaper (Column writing)
– 2002 Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Column writing)
– 1985 Daily Southtown Newspaper (Column Writing)
Also, Eight-time finalist Peter Lisagor Awards

M.T. MEHDI NATIONAL COURAGE IN JOURNALISM AWARD
Awarded by the Mehdi Foundation and the Mehdi Family
May 2009

AMERICAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE AWARDS
ADC National Award of Excellence, ADC National 1995
ADC National Media Award for Excellence 1993
ADC Chicago Chapter, Media Freedom Award 1988

BEST ETHNIC COLUMNIST IN AMERICA, NATIONAL AWARD
Awarded by the New America Media, San Francisco
Nov. 2006 YnetNews.com column writing

NAAJA EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARD
National Arab American Journalists Association
Excellence in Journalism 2002 (Chicago) and 2011 (Detroit)

NOMINATION FOR PULITZER PRIZE
Chicago Sun-Times nomination for series on the Palestinian Intifada, 1990 by the Chicago Sun-Times (nomination only)

EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARD
The Suburban Chicagoland Press Club for service as Board President and for Excellence in Journalism, 1988

ARAB AMERICAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
AAUG National Award of Excellence, ADC National 1981 (Houston)

STICK-O-TYPE AWARD
Chicago Newspaper Guild regional Stick-O-Type Award
– 1987 Chicago Sun-Times
– 1985 Chicago Sun-Times

UPI Award
1983 Daily Southtown Newspaper, Illinois