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About

راى حنانيا Ray Hanania

راى حنانيا
Ray Hanania

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.

I write weekly columns that address politics in the Middle East and in the United States for several newspapers. Topics addressing the Middle East are published each week in the Arab News in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East Monitor in London. Topics addressing mainstream American topics from politics, humor and slice-of-life Op-Eds appear every week in the Southwest News community newspaper chain which includes the Southwest News-Herald, The Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, the Reporter Newspapers. I also contribute to two online newspaper websites, TheArabDailyNews.com and SuburbanChicagoland.com.

Here’s an overview of everything I do:

Middle East columns (weekly)

ArabNews.com (also published in their print newspapers in Saudi Arabia, London and Pakistan with a newspaper coming soon to the US based in Washington DC)

MiddleEastMonitor.com which is based in London. This one has a huge following and the columns there get a lot of traction and shares.

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TheArabDailyNews.com addresses Arabs and Muslims in America

Mainstream Columns (weekly)

Southwest News Newspaper (published in 8 newspapers including The Regional News, The Reporter Newspaper, the Des Plaines Valley News, the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper (75,000 weekly circulation mainly in the Southwest and west suburbs)

SuburbanChicagoland.com News and columns about Chicago’s suburbs, Northern Illinois and Illinois state issues (politics, entertainment, sports)

Arab American Radio (2 to 3 each month)

The Arab Street Radio Show WNZK AM 690 Greater Detroit. I host a live radio show in Detroit (which I do from Chicago) that runs one hour on the 2ndFriday of each month at 8 am EST Detroit time. With listener call-ins.

I also host other Friday mornings but not on a regular basis.

Arab American Podcast

All of the Radio shows, as well as occasional audio podcasts are published at TheArabStreet.org (Podbean is the host)

They are also all published at iTunes

Books

I’m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist (Humor book)

Arabs of Chicagoland (Arcadia Publishing, history of Arab settlement in Chicago)

PoweR PR: Ethnic Activists Guide to Strategic Communications

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Can’t get to Chicago, its suburbs, London or Saudi Arabia? You can find my columns archived here usually within a few days of being published in print.

I also use this portal to archive research I have done, such as my exhaustive analysis on how Israel helped midwife the birth of Hamas in the 1970s as a failed strategy to undermine the rising influence of the PLO and Yasser Arafat. And, I also post links to my audio and radio podcasts that are broadcast on The Arab street Radio in Detroit Michigan every Friday morning.

The Daily Hookah (Hanania.com, RayHanania.com, TheDailyHookah.com) reflects my thinking process and my opinions on politics and on the Middle East.

My Op-Ed commentary writings are based on nearly 45-years of public writing that includes 17 years covering Chicago City Hall for the Daily Southtown and the Chicago Sun-Times.

I do not hide the fact that I now engage in political and media consulting services, but I ALWAYS identify any consulting interest I might reference in my columns. I am upfront, transparent and honest about my feelings.

No one tells me what to write, and I don’t listen to anyone’s pressures other than my own opinions. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t be writing about the contentious issues of the Middle East. It would be so much easier to avoid that topic and make everyone happy.

But, I am not in the business of making people happy.

Opinion columnist راى حنانيا. Ray Hanania headshot

Opinion columnist راى حنانيا.  Ray Hanania

I am proud that over the years, my columns and Op-Eds have won numerous awards including 4 Peter Lisagor Awards for Column writing, a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for news an issues writing, the New America Media Award for Column Writing, two Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper Guild, a UPI award for writing, and several journalism awards from the National Arab American Journalists Association and the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Oh, and I also perform standup comedy lampooning the insanity of the Palestine-Israel conflict, and more in fun my humorous life as a Palestinian Christian married to a Jewish wife raising my Bar Mitzvahed son. If you can’t find humor in that, you don’t have a sense of humor.

Humor is one of the most powerful forms of communication. And I have used humor in the Arab Israeli conflict to try to bring both sides together. I believe if we can laugh together, we can live together.

Please feel free to send me your comments, reactions, thoughts, story and column ideas, love, hate or indifference by email at 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 2003

Chicago Headline Club/Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
– 2009 Southwest News-Herald Newspaper (In-Depth Reporting)
– 2006 Southwest News-Herald Newspaper (Column writing)
– 2002 Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Column writing)
– 1985 Daily Southtown Newspaper (Column Writing)
Also, Eight-time finalist for the Peter Lisagor Award

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

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