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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Over 300 Attend Lebanese Chamber Holiday Party and Celebrate Yultide; Beirut Artist Georges Misk & Hollywood Actor Alex Safi Make Special Appearances

(BIRMINGHAM, MI)...Just hours before the entire Midwest was turned into a Winter Wonderland, mistletoe, jingle bells and eggnog with a kick were the order of the evening yesterday, as over 300 friends, associates, members and guests joined together to celebrate the season at the annual Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party at Dick O Dow's Public House in Birmingham, MI. A veritable feast awaited the festive party-goers and the halls were decked with boughs of holly, tinsel, and stockings as Chamber President & CEO John Akouri greeted each and all who entered with a hearty ho, ho, ho!
Toasting, cheering and extending Holiday wishes were City of Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Allen, Detroit Auto Dealer Tarik Daoud, St. Mary's Christian Orthodox Church Pastor Very Rev. Father George Baalbaki, Consulate of Mexico Deputy Consul Jorge Sanchez-Catano, American Druze Society Past-President Kamal Shouhayib, Lebanese American Professionals Founder Elie Naim, MBN-TV Correspondent Jennifer Isso, WNZK AM-690 Broadcaster Mike Bahry, The Journal Newspapers Publisher Aziz Harridy, Detroit BellyDance Superstars Lana & Lalena, United States Army Captain Derrick Goodwin, former Mount Clemens Chief of Police Joe Macksoud, and celebrated Birmingham attorney Norman Yatooma.
Also enjoying the frosty evening were Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Chairman Lew Ansara, Metro East Chamber of Commerce Chairman Maroun Hakim, Esq., American Arab Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fay Beydoun, Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce Directors Johnny Oram and Jay Yasso, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit Director Nada Dalgamouni, Yemeni Arab American Outreach President Ibrahim Aljahim, State Department International Visitors Council of Detroit Executive Director Julie Oldani, Michigan Mortgage Brokers Association Past-President Steve Hagar, Michigan Association of Realtors President Furhad Waquad. Marriott Hotels Executive Renee Hanna, City of Dearborn Heights Community & Economic Development Director Hassane Jamal, leading the Canadian delegation, Mr. & Mrs. Tony Nader, and the delegation arriving from Ann Arbor was led by Dr. Oscar Lahoud and Dr. Myriam Afeiche.
A number of Lebanese Chamber officials joined in the merriment including: Lou Peters, and Advisory Board Members Fred Andary, Bill Kowalski, Renee Ahee, James & Danielle LaHood-Sarkis. Other members of the Lebanese Chamber's key leadership in attendance included: Gibran Nicholas, Jack Riashi, Ron Pruette, Ibrhahim Marji, Sam Attisha, and Tom Powrie.
Seen at the joyful gathering passing along tidings of good cheer were Beirut Bakery’s Catherine & Mona Hallis, Chrysler Executive Awny Fakhouri, Developers Jawad & Joe Defouni, Grosse Pointe socialites Caren & Crystel El-Khoury, and the husband and wife doctor team of Wassim & JoAnn Eid. Special guests celebrating the December splendor included: Christopher Gerges, Paul Borkosh, Roland Tohme, Jeff Abood, George Habbouche, Elie Tohme, Elias Awad, Josephine Nicholas, Andrew Agbay, Sandy Lahoud, Charbel Abi Badra, Karla & Micheline Bouchar, Hiam Khoury, Justin Macksoud, Mariam Arraf, Fadia Beiz, Malik Haddad, Jamal Choucair, Fadi Tahan, Al Mehanna, Loubna Fayz, Maha Jaber, Samira Alcodray, Nada Kerrdi, Imad Al Farrah, Maysoun Sweis, Mona Hanna, Rola Karadsheh, Fuad & Ibtisam Binno, Harry Barash, Wally Ammori, Layth Barash, Najib Attisha, Tony Dallo Nowfal Akash, ShawnBold Hanaee, Ed Babbie, John Oram, Arlene Kakos, Kastine Habib, Denise Arafat, Beth Saffar, Rana Sulaiman, Leeann Marougi, Debbie Kallabat, Rita Khayat, Valerie Koza, Jackie Rosenblat, Laura Roggero, Jennifer Allers, William Mazzola, Joseph Cool, Richton Appel, Joel Whitbeck, Richard Cross, and Chris Kittides.
A major
highlight of the evening was a special appearance by renown Lebanese artist Georges Misk, who was in town from Beirut while on a North American tour. The internationally renowned contemporary artist's idiosyncratic and complex pictorial language known worldwide, was not the only celebrity at the affair, accomplished local Lebanese American artist and professor Stephen Deeb made a cameo appearance to the event, as did Hollywood actor Alex Safi and model Heather Afram. The Chamber is working to secure an exhibit of Deeb's works at the Paramount Bank office in Ferndale, Michigan. Safi performed to rave reviews at this summers LEBFEST! '08 in Birmingham on the MainStage, where over 10,000 people attended.
Another exciting highlight of the night took place when LACC President & CEO Akouri along with Mexican Deputy Consul Sanchez-Catano led a group of guests in one of the season's all time favorite Christmas Carols 'Feliz Navidad' by José Feliciano. Benefiting the Salvation Army, this year's yuletide extravaganza was sponsored and presented by The Community Guide and Mr. Nizar Matta.

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