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.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Text of Speech Welcoming HE Patriarch Sfeir

Pre-Liturgy VIP Reception ~ Pastor's Kercheval Residence
Cathedral of St. Maron Church ~ Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - 5:00 PM
Welcome, Bienvenue & Ahlan-wa-sahlan to Sayedna as he returns to visit his Maronite flock here in the United States. Welcome also to the extraordinary delegation of Maronite Bishops traveling with him and gracing us with their company.

As Chairman & CEO of the national Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce and a Member of the Cathedral of St. Maron's Maronite Church Parish Council, let me just say how pleased we are to have all of you with us this evening.

I would also like to take this time to introduce to you my fellow Council Members: Dr. George Ghafari, Dr. George Ghanem, Mr. Fernand Saad, Mr. Rodolph Jabbour and Mr. Eddie O'Brien. In addition, I see so many of our Church leaders present among us this evening including, Dr. Daher Rahi, Mr. Mike Michaels, Mr. George El Hajj, and Attorney Don Howard. And a special welcome to Maguy Makhlouf and our friends from Tele Lumiere, Tania Mehanna and her crew from LBC, and our Maronite Sisters who have traveled from their Convent at our Shrine in Ohio to join us on this special day.

As you all know, so much planning has gone into making this once-in-a-lifetime event a huge success and I ask you all to join me in a major round of applause for our Pastor and his tireless efforts to make this Commemoration so spectacular, Father Ghattas Khoury.

Forty years ago a group of Maronite faithful led by my own grandmother Labebe Assaff, welcomed to America with open arms our beloved Archbishop Francis Zayek, who is here with us today. Led by Labebe, they laid the groundwork, for the beginning of what has truly become a national Maronite Community in the United States, now with 2 Eparchy's.

During the historic visit of the late great Pope John Paul II to our beloved Lebanon – he left our fellow Lebanese with this thought: "Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message." Well my friends, Lebanon’s messenger comes to us today. And the message he brings us is one of hope, faith, renewal, love, devotion and belief, But, perhaps the most important message of all, is one of optimism.

For as long as I shall live I will always remember the chants of 'Hurieyh, Seyedeh, Istahlal.' And it is my fervent hope to one day tell my children that when they hear and read these words, and understand their meaning, that it is due to this Shepard – Cardinal Peter Sfeir who sought to see that every inch of Lebanon’s 10,452 km2 was free from foreign occupation, aggression and hegemony.

Today, he is the one who reminds those of us in the Lebanese Diaspora to work together for a common cause and most importantly, to remain united. And, my dear brothers and sisters, it is true. For if we remain united - there is nothing we cannot do and there is no one that can separate us.

Again, on behalf of all of us assembled here this evening, I wish to say welcome to Patriarch Sfeir and may God grant him long life. Let us all look to the future and build a prosperous Lebanon together.

Long may you live and long live Lebanon: free, sovereign, independent and democratic!

Patriarch Sfeir gifted with Lebanese Monthly Magazine special edition

DETROIT, MI - At a private reception held in honor of His Eminence Patriarch Boutros Cardinal Sfeir, publisher John Akouri presents to him a Special Edition of Lebanese Monthly Magazine. The issue includes an op/ed written by the publisher highlighting the Patriarchal visit to Washington, DC in 2005 to meet with US President George W. Bush in support of the Cedar Revolution taking place in Lebanon at the time. Click here to read the article.

LACC meets with Patriarch Sfeir

DETROIT, MI - HE Patriarch Boutros Cardinal Sfeir received a delegation from the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce during his visit to the United States. Pictured with the Patriarch are John Akouri & Michel Abi Assaf.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Saturday, July 22, 2006


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Secretary Rice With Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon Nasrallah Sfeir

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
US Department of State
Washington, DC
SECRETARY RICE: I am so very pleased that you could join me and I am, of course, very concerned about the events in Lebanon. I'm very concerned about the people of Lebanon, about Lebanon's freedom and democracy and a Lebanon where all Lebanese can prosper. And we are, of course, working very hard to make certain that Lebanon retains its sovereignty. We're working very hard to try and minimize the impact of the current conflict on the Lebanese people. And I want you to know that we're not only working hard, but we're also praying for the people of Lebanon.
MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: Thank you. Thank you for the action you have taken in favor of this small country but there are many difficulties. The world says the Resolution 1559 will it be applied.
MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: But it is not up to the Lebanese Government to apply it. It is so weak to do so. There is another way to apply this, but I do not know how. But our interest is that all the citizens will be equal (inaudible). When some are having arms and the others have not there is no equality and I've said this a long time that -- how to apply this I don’t know. (Inaudible) perhaps, some other -- some pressure to (inaudible).
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. Well, the international community has to help you.
SECRETARY RICE: I mean that’s it, the international community must insist on the enforcement of 1559 which we, the international community, passed. And so we will work.
MARONITE PATRIARCH SFEIR: There's a better way.
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, we will work.

Monday, July 17, 2006


A Prayer Vigil for the sake of our beloved Lebanon

Thursday, July 20, 2006
7:00 PM in the evening
Special Candelight Service

Cathedral of St. Maron Maronite Church
11466 Kercheval Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214
All are welcome to attend and pray ~ Please forward to all interested parties ~ Press Avail

Friday, July 14, 2006

24 Years Later ~ It's Deja Vu, All Over Again

From TIME Magazine ~ Summer of '82

Sunday, July 09, 2006


DETROIT - Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir arrives in Detroit, Michigan tomorrow Monday, July 10, 2006 for a 3-day visit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the first Maronite Eparchy (Diocese) in the United States of America.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife; I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today, cause the flag still stands for freedom. And they can't take that away.
And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the U. S. A.
From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee. Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea. From Detroit down to Houston andNew York to L. A. There's a pride in every American heart and it's time we stand and say:
And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the U. S. A.
And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the U. S. A.

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">