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.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Al Hurra Television Washington, DC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Joe Tabet to Make Election Week Special Appearances Throughout Chicago & Detroit

WASHINGTON, DC - Chief Pentagon Correspondent for Al Hurra Television in Washington, DC, Joe Tabet, will make an informal visit to Detroit, Michigan following his station's live coverage of the election results at the Obama campaign in Chicago's Grant Park, next week. Tabet, of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks Inc., is pictured above on the right during an April 2008 interview with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon. While in Detroit, Tabet will be feted by the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding work in television broadcasting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lebanese American Mixed Martial Arts Promoter Justin Macksoud (JM Entertainment) Presents Battle at the Barrister

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Second Annual Lebanese Night - A Celebration of Independence at Oakland University

Monday, October 27, 2008

John Akouri to Emcee December 3rd Grand Opening of Palazzo Grande Banquet & Event Center; Over 1000 Expected to Attend Official Launch of Business

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Celebrating Lebanese Independence Day: Akouri, Chidiac Headline Events in Detroit; November Celebrations Planned Throughout North America

(L-R) 2006 International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award recipient May Chidiac talks with Oscar-nominated actress Sharon Stone in Los Angeles; John Akouri poses with Jamie Farr, star of the hit television show M*A*S*H*.
WASHINGTON, DC - Celebrations throughout North America are scheduled to take place next month marking the 65th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Lebanon. John Akouri, CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce, will join in the festivities as a featured speaker on the campus of Oakland University, in the northern Detroit suburb of Rochester, Michigan. Lebanese journalist May Chidiac is scheduled to appear in Dearborn at a reception. More events are listed below and will be continually updated as information becomes available.

Oakland University Lebanese Club at the Oakland Center
Second Annual Lebanese Night Celebration
Special Guest: John Akouri
Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour Alumni US
Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner
Special Guest: Carlos Ghosn
Special Guest: May Chidiac
Our Lady of Lebanon Church
Independence Day Party
Special Guest: Doris Farhat
Lebanese American Club of Jacksonville
Independence Day Celebration
John Assi, President
The Cedars Social Club
Independence Day Hafli
Special Guest: Shadi el Nadaf
Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association
Annual Lebanese American Heritage Ball
Special Guest: Judge Kathryn Michael
Consulate General of Lebanon to Detroit
Independence Day Diplomatic Reception
Host: Consul General Bachir Tawk

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lebanese American University Institute of Diplomacy & Conflict Transformation Organizes Human Rights Film Festival

Friday, October 24, 2008

125ème Anniversaire de la Naissance de Gibran Khalil Gibran

A l’occasion de la Fête Nationale
Et du 125ème anniversaire de la naissance de Khalil Gibran
Sous le patronage de la Délégation permanente
Du Liban auprès de l’UNESCO
l’Union Libanaise Culturelle Mondiale – France
Section Hommes d’Affaires- présidée par Mr. Antoine Menassa
Vous prie d’assister à un spectacle de chants
Et de danses autour de Gibran
En collaboration avec l’Office de Tourisme du Liban
Spectacle conçu et réalisé par Nicole Chami Mouradian
Au profit de l’aménagement de l’hôpital de Aïn Ebel, Liban - Sud
Mardi 25 novembre 2008, à 20h15 précises
Maison de l’UNESCO, Salle 1
125 avenue de Suffren – 75015 Paris
Prix des places : €.25,00 & €.35,00

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lebanese Christians Declare Solidarity With Iraqi Christians

(BEIRUT)...Many Lebanese political parties and parliamentarians called on the Eastern Bishops to hold an emergency meeting to condemn the campaign of assassinations and displacements the Christians are being subjected to in Mosul.
After meeting with the representatives of the Syriac, Assyrian, and Chaldean Iraqis, Mr. Nadeem Gemayel (son of assassinated Lebanese President Bachir Gemayel) called upon Pope Benedict the XVI to act to end the ordeal of the Iraqi Christians. He maintained: "It is a baffling thing that the people of Mosul resort to displace the Christians from their homeland where they existed for hundreds of years. It certainly sounds like a conspiracy concocted abroad to deprive Iraq from its social components and distinguished confessional fabric." He added, "The Christians of Iraq are not intruders but have been there since before Christ; how does the Iraqi government ignore such conspiracy by keeping quiet? And why didn't the honorable among the Iraqi people intervene to stop such human bleeding in their country? And why there is such total silence in the Arab and international community about such displacement practices?"
He went on to say: "I call upon his Holiness the Pope and the Bishops of the East to sound the alarm, I also call upon the Presidents and the Monarchs of the Arab countries to move swiftly to forestall the execution of such a malicious conspiracy, for any harm inflicted on the Iraqi Christians is a harm inflicted on the Christians in Lebanon and the Orient. We will not permit what happened to our brothers in the last century -- when they were subjected to the most heinous crimes of massacre, displacement, and expulsion, and whose tragedy continues until this day -- to happen again to the Christians in Iraq." He concluded: "We will stand by our brethrens in the Christian communities of the East and their extension in Lebanon who painfully expressed their deep worries about what is happening to them in their motherland." (From AINA & AZZAMAN)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Akouri Voices Support for Notre Dame University of Louaize to President Fr. Walid Moussa During AFNDUL Dinner at St. Sharbel Maronite Banquet Centre

(WARREN, MI)...At the Maronite church his grandmother led the founding of, Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President & CEO John Akouri last night pledged to Notre Dame University of Louaize, Lebanon (NDU) President Fr. Walid Moussa his continued support of the Catholic college. Carrying on the traditions of his mother's mother Labebe Assaff, Akouri was a special guest of Dr. Nabil Chalhoub (Detroit Chapter President) at the annual dinner banquet hosted by the American Friends of Notre Dame University Louaize (AFNDUL).
Patrons included many familiar Lebanese faces within the Detroit area as well as those from the parish communities of the Cathedral of St. Maron, St. Sharbel Church, and St. Rafka Mission. Also in attendance were Lebanese Consul General to Detroit, His Excellency Bachir S. Tawk and a delegation from Madonna University led by Vice Presidents Sr. Nancy Marie Jamroz & Dr. Ernie Nolan and Director of International Programs Dr. Jonathan Swift.
Highlights of the evening included a visit from His Eminence Most Rev. Bishop Stephen Hector Youssef Douaihy, Maronite Bishop Emeritus of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, a performance by Lebanese comedian and poet Georges Khabbaz, and concert featuring Lebanese diva Amalia Kaddo. In addition to Akouri, several members of the Chamber leadership showed their commitment and dedication to NDU by attending and/or supporting the dinner. They included: Mr. Lew Ansara, Mr. & and AFNDUL Board Member Elie Naim.
Financial supporters to this year's event include: Ansara Restaurant Group, Red Robin & Big Boy; Count Plus Certified Public Accountants & Business Advisors, Woody & Josie Kaadou, Jessica Kaadou, Liz Kaadou, Farrah Kenaya, Jihan Kort, Shenel Savaya, Crystel El-Khoury; Denny's Restaurant Owners Walid & Dolly Matta and Tony & Nicole Matta; Nabil Matar Restaurant Group, Taco Bell, Big Boy, Sonic America's Drive-In; and Soyad Brothers Textile.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

John Akouri Salutes Northern Ohio Lebanese American Association (NOLAA) for Producing Video Reflecting on Lebanese American History in Cleveland, Ohio

Friday, October 17, 2008

AKOURI TO SALLOUKH: Priority Number One - Demand the Unconditional Release & Return of All Lebanese Hostages, Detainees, Captives, MIA & POW in Syria

(WASHINGTON, DC)...Fmr. Capitol Hill Senior Advisor & Washington Press Secretary John Akouri issued the following statement yesterday upon the announcement of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between Syria and Lebanon for the first time since independence 60 years ago:
"Your Excellency Foreign Minister of Lebanon, The Honorable Fawzi Salloukh, you and I have met in the past. And I tell you now, as I told you then: Lebanese Americans have a vested interest in their country of origin and ancestral homeland. It is this fervent interest that fuels our desire to serve Lebanon and play an active role in its future. This is an historic day for the people of Lebanon and throughout the diaspora, with respect to the nation's national security and border relations.
With the authority granted you by the duly elected Lebanese government in signing official documents formalizing the launch of diplomatic relations between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Lebanese Republic, I urge you to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned Lebanese detainees, hostages, MIA's & POW's held in that country and to insist upon the return of remains of any captives to their families in Lebanon.
"I strongly urge you to fill your returning motorcade and transport convoy with all Lebanese detainees, ending their fate of the unknown, and freeing them from the chains of Syrian dungeons. Bring our boys home, sir."
As you are keenly aware, Mr. Salloukh, reputable Media Outlets along with Human Rights groups have evidence of at least 176 Lebanese in Syrian jails, many of whom have been there for more than a decade, and include civilians, dozens of soldiers, two Maronite Christian monks and at least one politician. International Human Rights organizations say hundreds of Lebanese have been taken to Syria since it first sent troops onto Lebanese sovereign soil in 1976. These detainees are from various Muslim and Christian sects and different political factions and geographic locations within Lebanon.
The reality is that these individuals, who were kidnapped and taken as prisoners, are regularly subjected to extreme forms of torture. And while in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, Syria's denial of holding these prisoners had made their release a near-impossible task. While we applaud your efforts today as Lebanon begins a new chapter with its sisterly neighbor, I implore you to heed the global call for freedom of these detainees arbitrarily held in Syrian jails under the cruelest of conditions, and bring an end to this tragic human rights crisis.
Clearly, the plight of these captives, the fathers, brothers and sons of Lebanon, deserve every right of return to their families with amnesty and jubilant celebration in the same fashion afforded other former wartime captives, generals, leaders, soldiers, presidents and prisoners. In fact, upon completion of your diplomatic mission on behalf of Lebanon, and as you depart Damascus en route to Beirut, I strongly urge you to fill your returning motorcade and transport convoy with all Lebanese detainees, ending their fate of the unknown, and freeing them from the chains of Syrian dungeons. Bring our boys home, sir."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UPCOMING APPEARANCES: John Akouri to Emcee US Army Event at Detroit Lions Ford Field, Catholic Benefit Auctioneer with WOMC Personality Dick Purtan

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

THIS JUST IN: Lebanese and Turkish Leaders in the United States to Sign Historic Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation; Press Conference to Follow Signing

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Campaign Strategist John Akouri to Appear on MBN Satellite TV with Host Wally Jadan Today at 3:00pm (EDT) Discussing the US Presidential Election

Monday, October 13, 2008

SAVE THE DATE: Turkish Republic Day Celebration Annual Ball

Sunday, October 12, 2008

His Beatitude The Most Reverend & Most Holy Father Ignatius IV, Founder of Orthodox Theological Seminary in Balamand, Lebanon Making Rare Visit to USA

Friday, October 10, 2008

John Akouri Addresses Delegates at the 2008 National American Arab Nurses Association National Convention at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

Remarks by Councilman John Akouri
National American Arab Nurses Association (NAANA)

2008 Inaugural National Convention
Building Cultural Bridges in Healthcare: Strength in Diversity
Introduction of Oakland County Sheriff

Friday, October 10 / 1 p.m. / Detroit, MI, USA
Thank you ladies and gentlemen for that warm welcome. I would like to extend my appreciation to Dean Katherine Howe of the Henry Ford Community College School of Nursing - a key director on your Board with the National American Arab Nurses Association and a member of the this weekend's convention committee, for that very kind introduction. I also thank NAANA for making this presentation of Senator John McCain’s Healthcare Platform possible. This is an opportunity to let the people of Michigan know that he cares deeply about the health of the people of this state and in our nation.
I’m grateful to have been invited to introduce Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. He runs one of the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Offices in one of the largest counties in the state, overseeing 1,200 employees and managing an annual budget of over $128 million. He has 21 years of law enforcement experience and 21 years as an elected official. The Republican candidate for the 2006 Michigan US Senate
election, he discussed his own healthcare platform during the campaign. It was one of his key issues because he believed that Michigan and the country needed a comprehensive approach to health care and healthcare coverage. He, like myself, support Senator John McCain’s healthcare platform.
At this time, I invite the sheriff to the podium to present the Senator's healthcare plan for America. As you depart this afternoon, you will find handout material at the back of the room, Please feel free to take with you to learn more about Senator McCain's platform.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

John Akouri Named to Wayne State University President's Advisory Group

(WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY)...John Akouri has been named to the Wayne State University President's Advisory Group, according to the Councilman's Press Office. The group is designed to advise incoming university president Dr. Jay Noren, and his cabinet. Noren, the university's 10th president, succeeded Irvin D. Reid, who stepped down on August 1 after a decade at the helm of one of Michigan's largest research universities.
Akouri, head of the national Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce, is a graduate of the Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and during his academic years at the college, served on the Student Council Executive Committee on Policies & Procedures. In 2006 Akouri was a candidate for the Wayne State University Board of Governors garnering over 1.3 Million votes from across the state of Michigan. He is also a former Senior Advisor & Press Secretary to US Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Farmington Hills City Councilman.
"I am honored and proud to serve my alma mater in this highly influential role, and I look forward to working with President Noren and the members of the distinguished group," said Akouri. "My years at Wayne State were an awesome experience and since graduating, I have endeavored to give back to the institution in various ways. So, it is with great excitement that I accept the President's request as he embarks on his new administration. This is a welcome opportunity to strengthen old friendships, forge new relationships and help continue the Wayne State tradition," concluded Akouri.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

American Friends of Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon Fall Banquet

Political Analyst John Akouri on WNZK AM-690 Radio Show 'Sawt al-Jalia with William Salaita' Today at 4:30pm (EDT) Discussing US Presidential Election

Friday, October 03, 2008

Madonna University Benefit Raises Over $350,000 at the Ritz; Award Winning Television Personality John Akouri Emcees Inaugural Foundation Gala

(DEARBORN, MI) - The stars were out last night at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, as luminaries from around southeast Michigan gathered to show their support to Madonna University. 'Dress for Dinner & Celebrate' was the event theme for the academic institution's inaugural gala, seeking to raise funds for its newly embarked upon capital campaign. The evening's program and activities were led under the direction of National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA) Award-Winning Television Personality John Akouri, who served as Master of Ceremonies.
As the distinguished guests made their way to the elegant dinner joining over 400 patrons, Akouri announced each by name. Escorted by the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard, His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican Ambassador to the United States, was formally welcomed by Akouri as the Holy See Prelate entered the grand ballroom. Other special guests in attendance included His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida of Detroit and His Eminence Edmund Cardinal Szoka, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for and Governatorate of Vatican City State.
Influential Detroit business leaders in attendance included Edsel Ford II, great grandson of carmaker Henry Ford, Frank Stella, advisor to Presidents & Popes, and philanthropist Tarik Daoud, owner of Al Long Ford. Many diplomats from the city's consular corp were seen enjoying the evening including the Consul General of Lebanon Bachir Tawk, Consul General of Japan Tamotsu Shinotsuka, and Consul General of Italy Carlo Romeo. Also present at the gala was Fr. Steven Boguslawksi, executive director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.
Several highlights framed the spectacular evening, which included a surprise performance by the New York City Singing Waiters (with a magnificent rendition of The Three Tenor's version of Nessun Dorma), presentation of an Honorary Doctorate degree conferred upon the Papal Nuncio by University President Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, and a video presentation featuring the story of Madonna University. The event also featured a live video interview from Los Angeles between Akouri and Christopher Coppola, of the film family dynasty which includes Francis Ford Coppola, Talia Shire, Nicholas Cage, and Sophia Coppola.
Akouri also served as the evening's auctioneer raising $30,000 - with all funds donated to the catholic University. Some of the items up for bid included Detroit Red Wings & Lions tickets, a personal golf cart, a one week stay at Everglades Waterfront Cottage in Florida, courtesy of Tom Monaghan, a Peter Max painting, and a holiday in the South of France. In all, the evening's premiere gala rasied in excess of $350,000 towards Madonna University's capital campaign goal.
Before closing out the evening's program, Akouri, from the floor of the ballroom and at the Archbishop's table, asked the Prelate to remember the staff, faculty and students of Madonna University. He then reminded the Archbishop, who prior to his appointment to Washington, DC, had spend eight years in the Holy Land, to carry on the sentiments of Pope John Paul II during his visit to Beirut in 1997 when he said: "Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message." Akouri asked Archbishop Sambi, who speaks Arabic, to keep the people of Lebanon in his prayers and hoped that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI would also carry on that message.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Launches 'President's Power Lunch' Series

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI)...With the theme: 'Stepping Up, Taking Charge, & Setting An Agenda' as a backdrop, the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce (LACC) today launched its inaugural President’s ‘Power Lunch’ series, gathering some of the region’s top executives, entrepreneurs and fast-growing young professionals. This highly anticipated series is an extension of the Leadership Luncheon program, which was spearheaded in 2006 by LACC President John Akouri, and features leading business and civic leaders from throughout the country.
In addition to Akouri, luncheon guests included: Andary Real Estate Chairman Fred Andary, Wayne State University Vice-President Harvey Hollins, NAI Farbman/The Farbman Group Chief Operating Officer Michael Kalil, AXA Advisors/The Equitable Group Senior Executive Abe Karam, Kerby, Bailey and Associates Vice-President Bill Kowalski, the LACC General Counsel, Founder, Chairman & CEO of the CMPS® Institute Gibran Nicholas, Executive Vice-President of Paramount Bank Louis J. Peters, Jr., UBS First Vice-President Ron Pruette.
The President’s Power Lunch series is an exclusive meeting designed to create new rules and new avenues for powerful impact in the region and business world. It is about bringing business leaders together to discuss current and future goals while forging tangible relationships that turn networking into substantial gains for Chamber members, associates and the business community. The goals and objectives of the Chamber’s new luncheon series are focused at achieving business objectives well beyond foremost organizations and prime individuals across the nation. These structured business goals are aggressive and participants are part of the power of working together to further deliver the mission and contribute to the overall growth and advancement of the Chamber.
Next month's theme: November 2008: Unleashing Our Entrepreneurial Spirit.

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">