Palestinians in Cleveland

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News and Upcoming Events for Palestinians in Cleveland

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Out & About - Photos and Event Recaps


First Arab Community Bazaar - February 25, 2024

The first Arab Community Bazaar was held on Sunday February 25 in North Olmsted. Sometimes events are not very successful in their first year but the first Arab Community Bazaar was a huge success. The room was packed with dozens of vendors and information resources.

Arab Community Bazaar banner

Dr. Mohammad Alhawawsha, President of the Jordanian Community of Ohio, said the event aimed to support small businesses, especially those led by women working from home to support themselves.

More pictures and videos of the Arab Bazaar

The Kunafah Guy

There was some delicious food (the shawarma chicken wraps were great) at the Arab Bazaar and I had a dessert called kunafah for the first time. There was a food trucks from The Kunafah Guy.

Kunafah (also called Knafeh and other variations) is a sweet cheesy dessert from the Middle East. The Kunafah Guy includes pistachios and syrup with the cheese. Follow him at Sorry about the wind during the interview. This was my first taste of kunafah and it was delicious.

The Kunafah Guy


Palestinian community at 2023 One World Day

One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946. Over 50,000 people visited the gardens on One World Day 2023. The Palestinian community participated in the Parade of Flags which had 1500 people from over 53 countries.

Cleveland Palestinian Community in the Parade of Flags at One World Day

Cleveland Palestinian Community in the Parade of Flags at One World Day

See more of the Palestinian community on One World Day 2023.

Middle Eastern Heritage - World on Stage in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation presented a World on Stage event to showcase Middle Eastern Heritage on July 22, 2023 at the Centennial Peace Plaza in the Cultural Gardens. The plaza was full and the crowd enjoyed musical performances from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

Dancing in the Cultural Gardens

Dancing in the Plaza at the Middle East Heritage event

Dancing to Tony Mikhael band in Cultural Gardens

See more from the Middle East World On Stage event in the Cultural Gardens


Arab American Heritage Month

During the month of April, Arab America formally recognizes the achievements of Arab Americans through the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM). Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and Arab Americans will engage in special events that celebrate the community's rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.

Arab Americans have roots in 22 countries located in the Middle East and North African regions: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. And within all those countries, there are various languages, religions, traditions that are now part of our American story. There are nearly 3.5 million Arab Americans in the United States, according to the Arab American Institute. Establishing Arab American Heritage Month was critical in combatting post-9/11 anti-Arab sentiments, and while Arab Americans still face prejudice regularly, acknowledging their fight for recognition and equality - and becoming better allies - is something we can all contribute toward.

CAMEO president Pierre Bejjani with City of Parma. Arab American Heritage Month Proclamation

CAMEO president Pierre Bejjani receiving
Arab American Heritage Month Proclamation

See more about Arab American Heritage Month in Cleveland


Husein Rabah honored by Cleveland American Middle East Organization

Husein Rabah was born in a vaillage in Palestine in 1927 called Beut Hanina. He came to the US in 1952 and became a citizen in 1958. Husein Rabah was honored with the Cleveland American Middle East Organization (CAMEO) community service award. He was introduced by his son Murat Rabah.

Pierre Bejjani, Husein Rabah and Murat Rabah

Pierre Bejjani, Husein Rabah and Murat Rabah

Here is the video of his award and acceptance sppech.

See more from the CAMEO event honoring Mr. Husein Rabah


Ali Faraj honored by Cleveland American Middle East Organization

Ali Faraj came to the US from his native Palestine and became President and CEO of Seaway Cash and Carry and LaVilla Conference and Banquet Center. Ali Faraj was honored with the Cleveland American Middle East Organization (CAMEO) community service award. He was introduced by Mr. Sam Salem and presented with a proclamation from Cleveland City Council by Jasmim Santana.

See more from the CAMEO event honoring Mr. Ali Faraj


Palestine represented at 8th annual Cleveland Multicultural Holiday Celebration

A highlight of the 8th Annual ICC-WIN Cleveland Multicultural Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland was the International Fashion Show featuring almost 100 models from about 30 countries.

Shirien Muntaser is wearing a traditional Palestinian dress in celebration of her proud heritage. (Click on the arrow to watch the video)

Shirien Muntaser is wearing a traditional Palestinian dress in celebration of her proud heritage.

Shirien Muntaser representing Palestine

See more from the 8th annual Cleveland International Holiday party

Remnants of Palestine - Poem by Shirien Muntaser

People of the Quran, Bible, and Torah
Forgiveness is our duty ordained by God
Clear in the distance sits a white dove
Upon the Olive Branch
Let us rejoice in God's Mercy

Holiest of the holy cities
Land of hope but destitute
Lingering coldness in the air
Sorrow is prevalent in the land

Palestinians in turmoil:

Although we Stand proud
Many wait for us to Whittle away

Our hearts passionately thriving for justice
But an iron fist carries no strength
We are disconnected from the world
We must put our pride to the side
Although our lands are occupied
Because of the soil beneath our feet

We shall not succumb
To our own demise

Battered with patience
Many can not bear

We must wash away all the hatred
That burdens our souls
Embrace our enemies
With brotherhood and good intent

We shall not shudder
For the pen is our sword
Our words of peace engraved in stone

Our voices are clear to be heard:

Muslims, Christians, and Jews
Let us March for humanity
Release the pain of the past
Self prophecies only cause harm
In God's Kingdom
War has no home

Cleveland American Middle East Organization 47th anniversary

The Cleveland American Middle East Organization (CAMEO) is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian political action organization established in 1970. They celebrated their 47th anniversary and induction of new officers at a dinner event at St. Elias Cultural Center.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and CAMEO Board

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and CAMEO Board

Photos and video of the CAMEO event


Cleveland Palestine community at Cleveland Multicultural Event

The Cleveland Palestine Community was represented at the 7th annual International Community Council - Worldwide Intercultural Network (ICC-WIN) holiday party on December 14, 2016.

120 people participated in the fashion show and each walked the runway to music from their country. Click on the white arrow to watch the short video of the Palestinian model Shirien Muntaser.

Shirien Muntaser

Shirien Muntaser

Shirien Muntaser

See more from the 2016 International Fashion Show


Palestine Fashion at Cleveland Multicultural Event

Representatives from the Cleveland Palestinian community participated in the International Community Council - Worldwide Intercultural Network's (ICC-WIN) 5th annual multicultural holiday celebration at the Global Center for Health Innovation in the Cleveland Convention Center in Cleveland Ohio. They modeled Palestinian costumes at the International Fashion Show which featured traditional costumes of dozens of countries.

Fashion of Palestine

Fashion of Palestine

Photos and videos of the International Fashion Show

Musical Journey along the Silk Road - Musicians at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Ali Amr was born in Morocco and now lives in Palestine. Ali Amr debuted as a qanun prodigy at 12 years of age and has earned overwhelming international recognition for over a decade. Amr's compositions span a variety of genres including classical music, flamenco, jazz and electronica. A Qanun is an Arabic zither instrument with 76 strings. He joked that he spends half his life tuning it.

He explained the different parts of the qanun and told about the instrument and Arabic music.

Tareq Rantisi is a percussionist who was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. This self-taught artist began his percussion career at 12 years of age. Rantisi received the Al-Qattan Foundation Music Scholarship to attend the prestigious Berkley College of Music in 2008. Graduating with honors in Percussion Performance, Rantisi performs with many modern musicians, composers and ensembles.

He explained the Arabic tambourine, a classical Arabic instrument with a high pitch and 4 different sounds. It is "a frame drum that jingles - the original snare drum."

More from the Museum performance


The offices of immigration attorneys Margaret W. Wong & Associates has a new location in Parma, Ohio. Malak Jadallah is Director of Community and International Affairs for Ms. Wong and will run the Parma office. Malak is Palestinian-American and very familiar with the Middle Eastern community in Cleveland and formerly worked for Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Malak Jadallah with honors

Malak Jadallah

See more from the grand opening

Organizations and Resources for Palestinians in Cleveland

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Business, Education and Employment Information

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Cleveland Palestinian Feedback and Memories

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Palestinian History and Culture

Map of Palestine

The September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled following the outbreak of an intifada in September 2000. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, and Russia) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. Following Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's death in late 2004, Mahmud Abbas was elected PA president in January 2005. A month later, Israel and the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments in an effort to move the peace process forward.

In September 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew all its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and withdrew settlers and redeployed soldiers from four small northern West Bank settlements. Nonetheless, Israel still controls maritime, airspace, and most access to the Gaza Strip.

In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas took control of the PA government in March 2006, but President Abbas had little success negotiating with Hamas to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift economic sanctions on Palestinians. Violent clashes between Fatah and Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip in 2006 and early 2007 resulted in numerous Palestinian deaths and injuries.

In February 2007, Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Mishal signed the Mecca Agreement in Saudi Arabia that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government (NUG) headed by Hamas member Ismail Haniya. However, fighting continued in the Gaza Strip, and in June 2007, Hamas militants succeeded in a violent takeover of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas dismissed the NUG and through a series of presidential decrees formed a PA government in the West Bank led by independent Salam Fayyad. Hamas rejected the NUG's dismissal, and despite multiple rounds of Egyptian-brokered reconciliation negotiations, the two groups have failed to bridge their differences. The status quo remains with Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and Abbas and the Fatah-dominated PA governing the West Bank.

Fayad and his PA government continue to implement a series of security and economic reforms to improve conditions in the West Bank. Abbas has said he will not resume negotiations with current Prime Minister Netanyahu until Israel halts all settlement activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

(The above courtesy of the CIA World Factbook)

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Profiles of Palestinians in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio

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ClevelandPeople.Com - Palestinian Ambassadors

Nasser Assad
Shirien Muntaser
Nasser Assad
Shirien Muntaser

Read more about the Palestinian and other Ambassadors. If you are interested in being considered to be an official Ambassador to the Cleveland Palestinian community, please contact us.

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