John Akouri Newsblog


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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.

Monday, November 28, 2005


On the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary and while surrounded by more than 200 of their closest friends and family, John and Helen Habib officially renewed their wedding vows on Sunday, November 27 at St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church in Warren, Michigan USA. Four priests officiated the ceremony with many of the original bridal party standing nearby, including the couple's six children and their families. Guests and well-wishers arrived from throughout the US & Canada and dined on a veritable feast of Lebanese cuisine prepared by internationally renown chef Tony Abunassar, only to be complimented by a champagne fountain and homemade traditional Tripolitan pastries and sweets. A video slide presentation was shown depicting the past half century of life's treasures bestowed upon The Habib's, followed by toasts, speeches and poems from the Habib children. Following the newly-re-wed's official bridal dance, the party goers kicked up their heels on the dance floor at what was truly a joyous occasion. We would like to extend our best wishes to John, Helen & their family for another 50 golden years together!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lebanese Independence Day

In 1941, General Charles de Gaulle visited Lebanon, officially ending Vichy control. Lebanese national leaders took the opportunity to ask de Gaulle to end the French Mandate and unconditionally recognize Lebanon's independence. As a result of national and international pressure, on November 26, 1941, General Georges Catroux, delegate general under de Gaulle, proclaimed the independence of Lebanon in the name of his government. The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, the Arab states, and certain Asian countries recognized this independence, and some of them exchanged ambassadors with Beirut. However, even though the French technically recognized Lebanon's independence, they continued to exercise authority.
General elections were held, and on September 21, 1943, the new Chamber of Deputies elected Bishara al Khuri as president. He appointed Riyad as Sulh (also cited as Solh) as prime minister and asked him to form the first government of independent Lebanon. On November 8, 1943, the Chamber of Deputies amended the Constitution, abolishing the articles that referred to the Mandate and modifying those that specified the powers of the high commissioner, thus unilaterally ending the Mandate. The French authorities responded by arresting a number of prominent Lebanese politicians, including the president, the prime minister, and other cabinet members, and exiling them to the Castle of Rashayya (located about sixty-five kilometers east of Sidon). This action united the Christian and Muslim leaders in their determination to get rid of the French. France, finally yielding to mounting internal pressure and to the influence of Britain, the United States, and the Arab countries, released the prisoners at Rashayya on November 22, 1943; since then, this day has been celebrated as Independence Day.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham Launches International Consulting Firm

Secretary Spencer Abraham & Councilman John Akouri
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Former U.S. Secretary of Energy and U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham and former top aides announced today the formation of The Abraham Group, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
The Abraham Group will provide strategic advice and hands-on assistance for clients seeking opportunities or solutions to challenges arising in the global market. The firm will offer help to U.S. clients in need of counsel in both domestic and foreign markets, particularly, China, Russia, the Caspian, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East as well as assist foreign companies in their U.S. and international operations.
“The energy business is first and foremost a global market,” Abraham said. “Our aim is to help our clients enter and operate in the international energy market, whether it is a U.S. energy company doing business in the Middle East or a foreign energy company seeking to enter the U.S. market. We hope to provide valuable insight and help to enhance relationships with key stakeholders to meet the business objectives of our clients.”
Abraham is a FOX News analyst and a periodic contributor of op-ed articles to the Financial Times, The Weekly Standard and other publications. He is on the Board of Directors of Occidental Petroleum and also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Friday, November 04, 2005

Akouri Extends Congratulations to 2004 Bush/Cheney Campaign Colleague & Friend

George Selim heads to DOJ
(WASHINGTON, DC) - Councilman John Akouri today congratulated George Selim following the announcement of his White House appointment to the US Department of Justice where he has been assigned to the Office of Community Relations as the Special Assistant to the Director.
In expressing his delight with the appointment Akouri issued the following statement: "It is his natural and practical approach to leadership combined with his fundamental principles by which George exemplifies the extraordinary level of success that he has achieved at such a young age. He has continually demonstrated his deep commitment to initiatives that empower the Middle Eastern American community while advancing their interests. In engaging in the American political system, George tirelessly works as a forceful advocate and powerful voice for the people he serves and the nation he so dearly loves. His dedication to public service shapes both his values and vision for a stronger America that brings a new level of distinction and visibility to Arab Americans across the nation."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Politician Gets His Day in Court Against Vandalism

FARMINGTON HILLS - (From today's Oakland Press Newspaper) John Akouri, through his many years in local and state politics, has developed a thick skin. But when a Birmingham man allegedly damaged his car and threatened his life and the lives of his family members after months of negative e-mails and letters, Akouri decided enough was enough. "I could take it when it was just directed toward me," said Akouri, a Farmington Hills city councilman. "But I couldn't take the threats against my family." Akouri will get his day in court today, when the trial of Christopher Cummins begins before Oakland County Circuit Judge Mark Goldsmith.
Cummins is charged with malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,000. Akouri said the charges stem from an incident in Royal Oak in October 2004 when, he said, Cummins damaged his car and made threats. He also said Cummins made ethnic slurs against him. Akouri, who is of Lebanese descent, filed a civil lawsuit against Cummins on Oct. 13. Cummins' attorney, Jeffrey Leib, declined to comment Wednesday. Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Jeffrey Hall said Cummins faces five years in prison if convicted of the felony charge. He said Cummins does not have a criminal record. Akouri said Cummins began harassing him in the spring of 2002. Akouri, former press secretary to U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, was running for state representative. Cummins sent a derogatory letter to a local newspaper, calling Akouri "sniveling," a "parasite" and a "trained monkey." Akouri said his house was also egged and someone damaged his lawn. Then, someone damaged a lawn sign at his parents' home. Akouri said he brushed it off and tried to move on. But another letter was sent several months later, in 2003, to another local newspaper, in which Cummins called Akouri a "political opportunist" and a "problem for the Middle Eastern community." Akouri, who was running for a seat on the Farmington Hills City Council, said he tried to ignore the letter. But Cummins began sending e-mails to Akouri urging him to drop out of the race. Akouri was not dissuaded and won the seat.
On Oct. 21, 2004, Akouri said his troubles with Cummins came to a head. Akouri was leaving the Oakland County Republican Party's headquarters in Royal Oak when he said Cummins approached him and made several comments to Akouri, asking him if terrorist organizations paid for his car. He also made a slashing motion across his throat that frightened Akouri. As Akouri - who was running for a seat on the Oakland County Commission - pulled away from the lot, he said, Cummins damaged his side mirror and kicked his car, damaging it. Akouri filed complaints with the Royal Oak and Farmington Hills police departments. He also got a personal protection order against Cummins. Akouri said he has no idea why he's been having problems with Cummins. He said he barely knows the man and is baffled by Cummins' actions."I've been asking myself the question 'why' for many years," he said. Akouri's civil attorney, Michael Rizik, said Cummins clearly has a problem with his client - one he hopes to resolve soon. "This situation continued to escalate until John took action," Rizik said. For Akouri, the last few years have been stressful and taxing. He said he hopes a jury will see what he's been through and convict Cummins. "My life is public," he said. "I have nothing to hide. If I knew what (Cummins') problem is with me, I'd like to address it."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

14th Annual St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Gala Benefit Next Week: Saturday, November 12

Event poised to top $350,000 in total proceed funds raised
(DETROIT, MI) - Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri and world-famous entertainer Princess Madiha will host a dance workshop and dinner concert event to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Farmington Hills Manor in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Over 500 patrons are expected to be in attendance at the event and this year benefit is projected to raise over $50,000.

The event begins Saturday morning with a Middle Eastern dance workshop from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those interested in this workshop may register that morning on location at 8 a.m. Tickets are $60 each. Princess Madiha and special guest instructor, Aida al-Adawi of San Francisco, California, will be the dance instructor.

Saturday evening at 7 p.m. the doors open for the benefit concert and culinary feast which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets for the evening event are $55 each in advance and $60 at the door. The ladies who participated in the day's dance workshop will perform live cultural dancing for the dinner guests. The ticket price for the evening event includes a full-course, family-style Lebanese dinner, Mediterraneanan entertainment and live music. A cash bar will be available and special guests and raffle prizes will complete the evening.

Nearing the $350,000 fundraising mark since this event's inception in Dearborn, Michigan - as always, all proceeds from Princess Madiha's Event go directly to St. Jude. For the 2005 workshop and dinner ticket information please call Princess Madiha directly at 248.478.3456 or Beth Campbell of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 248.546.8086.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">