John Akouri Newsblog


My Photo
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, November 30, 2008

An Article of Faith for Thanksgiving Sunday: At the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Striking Photo of Three Maronite Nuns

(From the Boston Globe)...This photograph by Ranya Mattar, a Lebanese-American artist living in Brookline, Massachusetts is among the works now on display at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art as part of an exhibit of the work of four promising Boston artists competing for the James and Audrey Foster Prize. In last Saturday's Globe, art critic Sebastian Smee examines the photo, called "Three Nuns," as part of a review of the exhibit.
"The best is a photograph taken this year in Beirut called 'Three Nuns.' It shows three Maronite nuns in black garb standing in front of a congregation praying with eyes closed."
An excerpt of the review follows:
"Mattar was born in Lebanon and took these photographs on travels back to her homeland. Her images feature many women wearing black headwear, although not all of them are Muslim; many are Christian Maronite nuns. As a collection of images, Mattar's fairly small display argues for the human richness and complexity of Lebanese society even in a context of destruction (several images show battered buildings and rubble). But there are individual images that stand apart and have a genius all their own.
The best is a photograph taken this year in Beirut called 'Three Nuns.' It shows three Maronite nuns in black garb standing in front of a congregation praying with eyes closed. All face the same way, toward Mattar's camera. The nun on the left regards the camera sourly, with pursed lips and contemptuous eyes. The middle nun looks at the camera, but with an expression of calm equilibrium, while the nun on the right has caught some of the mood of the congregation: Her tilted head suggests dreamy, divinely inspired detachment. The photograph is the result of what looks like astonishing serendipity, but Mattar obviously had to put herself in an awkward position before serendipity could strike. The photograph is the best in the room."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jimmy Akouri Sings National Anthem Before Capacity Crowd of Over 20,000 Fans Prior to Detroit Red Wings/Columbus Blue Jackets Game at Joe Louis Arena

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wishing All Newsroom Visitors a Blessed & Bountiful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Pilgrims and America's First Thanksgiving

(PLYMOUTH ROCK)...The Pilgrims, who celebrated the first thanksgiving in America, were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. In 1609 a group of Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom in Holland where they lived and prospered. After a few years their children were speaking Dutch and had become attached to the dutch way of life. This worried the Pilgrims. They considered the Dutch frivolous and their ideas a threat to their children's education and morality. So they decided to leave Holland and travel to the New World. Their trip was financed by a group of English investors, the Merchant Adventurers. It was agreed that the Pilgrims would be given passage and supplies in exchange for their working for their backers for 7 years.
On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England and aboard were 44 Pilgrims, who called themselves the "Saints", and 66 others ,whom the Pilgrims called the "Strangers." The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. Since there was the danger of fire on the wooden ship, the food had to be eaten cold. Many passengers became sick and one person died by the time land was sighted on November 10th. The long trip led to many disagreements between the "Saints" and the "Strangers". After land was sighted a meeting was held and an agreement was worked out, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality and unified the two groups. They joined together and named themselves the "Pilgrims." Although they had first sighted land off Cape Cod they did not settle until they arrived at Plymouth, which had been named by Captain John Smith in 1614. It was there that the Pilgrims decide to settle. Plymouth offered an excellent harbor. A large brook offered a resource for fish. The Pilgrims biggest concern was attack by the local Native American Indians. But the Patuxets were a peaceful group and did not prove to be a threat.
The first winter was devastating to the Pilgrims. The cold, snow and sleet was exceptionally heavy, interfering with the workers as they tried to construct their settlement. March brought warmer weather and the health of the Pilgrims improved, but many had died during the long winter. Of the 110 Pilgrims and crew who left England, less that 50 survived the first winter. On March 16, 1621 , what was to become an important event took place, an Indian brave walked into the Plymouth settlement. The Pilgrims were frightened until the Indian called out "Welcome" (in English!). His name was Samoset and he was an Abnaki Indian. He had learned English from the captains of fishing boats that had sailed off the coast. After staying the night Samoset left the next day. He soon returned with another Indian named Squanto who spoke better English than Samoset. Squanto told the Pilgrims of his voyages across the ocean and his visits to England and Spain. It was in England where he had learned English.
Squanto's importance to the Pilgrims was enormous and it can be said that they would not have survived without his help. It was Squanto who taught the Pilgrims how to tap the maple trees for sap. He taught them which plants were poisonous and which had medicinal powers. He taught them how to plant the Indian corn by heaping the earth into low mounds with several seeds and fish in each mound. The decaying fish fertilized the corn. He also taught them to plant other crops with the corn. The harvest in October was very successful and the Pilgrims found themselves with enough food to put away for the winter. There was corn, fruits and vegetables, fish to be packed in salt, and meat to be cured over smoky fires. The Pilgrims had much to celebrate, they had built homes in the wilderness, they had raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. They had beaten the odds and it was time to celebrate.
The Pilgrim Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native Americans. They invited Squanto and the other Indians to join them in their celebration. Their chief, Massasoit, and 90 braves came to the celebration which lasted for 3 days. They played games, ran races, marched and played drums. The Indians demonstrated their skills with the bow and arrow and the Pilgrims demonstrated their musket skills. Exactly when the festival took place is uncertain, but it is believed the celebration took place in mid-October. The following year the Pilgrims harvest was not as bountiful, as they were still unused to growing the corn. During the year they had also shared their stored food with newcomers and the Pilgrims ran short of food.
The 3rd year brought a spring and summer that was hot and dry with the crops dying in the fields. Governor Bradford ordered a day of fasting and prayer, and it was soon thereafter that the rain came. To celebrate - November 29th of that year was proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. This date is believed to be the real true beginning of the present day Thanksgiving Day.The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.In 1817 New York State had adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IN PICTURES: Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce November Power Lunch

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI)...The Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce (LACC) today held its monthly 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, NAI Farbman/The Farbman Group Chief Operating Officer Michael Kalil, AXA Advisors/The Equitable Group Senior Executive Abe Karam, J-Mack Investigative & Security Solutions & Former Mount Clemens Police Chief Joe Macksoud, the LACC General Counsel, UBS First Vice-President Ron Pruette, and Bloom Asset Management Financial Advisor Jack K. Riashi, Jr.
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 Lebanese Chamber.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tickets Now Available For Superstar Karen Newman's Annual Christmas Spectacular

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Three Classic Television Scenes to Celebrate Thanksgiving Week 2008

To celebrate Thanksgiving week, The Newsroom is posting two of the funniest scenes in the history of television - the turkey dropping scene from WKRP in Cincinatti, and the food fight from Cheers, and also the classic TV treasure - A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Lebanon

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 21, 2008

IN PICTURES: JM Entertainment 'Battle at the Barrister' Mixed Martial Arts Motor City Caged Combat League Huge Success; Akouri Brothers Perform

Big Bad John revs up the crowd before the Main Event
Jimmy Akouri sings the US National Anthem
John Akouri with Boxing Promoters Joe & Justin Macksoud
John Akouri with Lebanese Chamber Board Members James LaHood-Sarkis (owner of the Barrister Gardens Banquet Centre) & Fred Andary

Snapped! at the Barrister Gardens - Official Ringside Medic Dr. Richard Cross, America's Thanksgiving Parade Director of Marketing Steve Abood, Neptix Co-Founder Sam Attisha. Sponsored by J-Mack Agency, Lebanese Monthly Magazine, Cellular City Verizon Wireless, Law Offices of

Remembering a Young Martyr: Anti-Syrian Minister of Industry & Scion of Prominent Lebanese Political Family, H.E. Cheikh Pierre Amin Gemayel 1972-2006

Thursday, November 20, 2008

IN PICTURES: Lebanese Consulate Independence Day Diplomatic Reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel

Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President & CEO John Akouri is interviewed on the international satellite network MBN-TVActing Consul General of Lebanon H.E. Bachir S. Tawk
Posing with John Akouri are Garden Foods, Inc. President Chaker Aoun, DTE Energy Economic Development and Ethnic Marketing Manager Fouad Ashkar, Executive Chef and Owner of The Beirut Restaurant of Toledo, Ohio Labib Hajjar
(L-R) Lebanese Forces Party U.S. Representative Edward Moussawer, Kataeb (Phalange) Party U.S. Representative Ibrahim Marji, John Akouri, Lebanese Forces Party Members René Eid & Nizar Maalouf
(L-R) Lebanese American Professionals Founder Elie Naim, Mary, Acting Consul General H.E. Bachir S. Tawk, Christopher Jergess

Snapped! at the Hyatt Regency Hotel

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Message de l'Ambassade du Liban et H.E. Dr. Ali Ajami, Ambassadeur en Côte d'Ivoire

Friday, November 14, 2008

SAVE THE DATE: Lebanese Chamber Holiday Party / Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Grateful Nation Remembers

Monday, November 10, 2008

Holiday Concert With Singer-songwriter Steve Acho

Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Year's Eve Celebration 2009

Friday, November 07, 2008

Over 250 Turn Out to Celebrate Autumn in Style at Lebanese Chamber Event; Guests Arrive from Chicago, Miami, Washington, DC & Canada

(l-r) The Honorable Mayor of Warren Jim Fouts, President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce John Akouri, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer (l-r) The Townsend Hotel Corner Bar General Manager Jad Habayeb, Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President & CEO John Akouri, Acting Consul General of Lebanon H.E. Bachir Tawk
Mexican Diplomats from the Consulate of Mexico to Detroit
(l-r) Voice of the Detroit Red Wings Karen Newman & her sister Patti, Councilman John Akouri, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca, newly-elected Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca

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">