John Akouri Newsblog


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

Monday, March 28, 2011

Akouri Announces 2011 Spring Event - The Business & Social Event of the Year, Scheduled on Wednesday, March 30th, 6-9pm at Zazio's Downtown Birmingham

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Washington Times: Ridding Syria of a Despot, by Eliiott Abrams

WASHINGTON, DC - While the monarchies of the Middle East have a fighting chance to reform and survive, the region’s fake republics have been falling like dominoes — and Syria is next.
The ingredients that brought down Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia were replicated in Egypt and Libya: repression, vast corruption and family rule. All are starkly present in Syria, where the succession Egyptians and Tunisians feared, father to son, took place years ago and the police state has claimed thousands of victims. Every Arab “republic” has been a republic of fear, but only Saddam Hussein’s Iraq surpassed the Assads’ Syria in number of victims. The regime may cling to power for a while by shooting protesting citizens, but its ultimate demise is certain.
The Arab monarchies, especially Jordan and Morocco, are more legitimate than the false republics, with their stolen elections, regime-dominated courts and rubber-stamp parliaments. Unlike the “republics,” the monarchies do not have histories of bloody repression and jails filled with political prisoners. The question is whether the kings, emirs and sheiks will end their corruption and shift toward genuine constitutional monarchies in which power is shared between throne and people.
For the “republics,” however, reform is impossible. Force is the only way to stay in power. When Bashar al-Assad inherited power in 2000, there was widespread hope of a Damascus Spring — an end to the bloody repression that characterized the rule of his father, Hafez (which reached its apex in 1982, when he had an estimated 25,000 protesters in Hama killed). Bashar, the thinking went, had lived in London and wanted to modernize Syria. But when he had himself “elected” president with 97.2 percent of the vote, the writing was on the wall. Some still suggested that Bashar’s hoped-for reforms were held back by hard-line forces around him, but over time, his consolidation of personal power , the growing number of Syrian political prisoners and murders in Lebanon made this excuse obscene. The U.N. special tribunal may find the Assad regime, Hezbollah or both guilty of the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. The car-bomb killings of Lebanese journalists and politicians who criticized the Syrian regime have one address: Assad’s palace.
"The U.N. special tribunal may find the Assad regime, Hezbollah or both guilty of the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. The car-bomb killings of Lebanese journalists and politicians who criticized the Syrian regime have one address: Assad’s palace."

The demise of this murderous clan is in America’s interest. The Assad regime made Syria the pathway for jihadists from around the world to enter Iraq to fight and kill Americans. Long a haven for terrorists, Syria still allows the Hamas leadership, among other Palestinian terrorist groups, to live and work in Damascus. Moreover, a government dominated by Syria’s Sunni majority — the Assad clan is from the tiny Alawite minority — would never have the close relations with Hezbollah and Iran that Assad maintains; it would seek to reintegrate into the Arab world. Iran will lose its close Arab ally, and its land bridge to Hezbollah, when Assad falls.
Since the wave of Mideast revolts has spread to Syria, Assad is responding the only way he knows: by killing. What should be our response?
First, the strongest and most frequent denunciations, preferably not only from the White House but also from people such as Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly visited Assad and spoken of improving relations with his regime. All those who were taken in by Assad should be loudest in denouncing his bloody repression.
Second, we should prosecute Syria in every available multilateral forum, including the U.N. Security Council and the Human Rights Council. Others should refer Assad to the International Criminal Court. With blood flowing, there should be no delays; this is the moment to call for special sessions and action to prevent more killing. Even if these bodies do not act, the attention should give heart to Syrian demonstrators.
Third, we should ask the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia to immediately call Arab League sessions to debate the violence in Syria. Libya was expelled; let’s demand that Syria be, too.
Fourth, press the Europeans to speak and act against Syria’s regime. U.S. sanctions against Syria are strong and probably cannot be increased effectively now, but the European Union has far more trade and investment. The French have spoken out and may be willing to take the lead again.
None of these steps will bring down Assad’s regime; only the courage of young Syrians can do that. But we must not repeat the wavering and delays that characterized the U.S. response in Egypt. We must be clear that we view Syria’s despicable regime as unsalvageable, which suggests a fifth step: recalling the American ambassador from Syria. The Obama administration erred badly by sending an envoy — in a recess appointment — for this move was understood in the region as a reduction of U.S. pressure on Syria despite its increasingly dominant role in Lebanon. We should pull our ambassador, as we did in Libya, and unveil a hard-hitting political and human rights campaign against a bloody regime whose people want it gone. Our principles alone should lead us to this position, but the memory of thousands of American soldiers killed in Iraq with the help of the Assad regime demands that we do all we can to help the Syrian people free themselves of that evil dictatorship.
Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! A Parallel in Irish & Lebanese History

(DUBLIN) - Around 1000 BC, the Phoenicians the ancestors of today’s Lebanese, were trading and bringing valuable goods to the Pharos and the Greeks roaming between Phoenician colonies around the Mediterranean. Tin mixed with copper was sought after for making Bronze. Tin was found mainly in the region of Marseilles. It may have become increasingly difficult for the Phoenicians to comply with demands on this commodity that they sourced it out beyond Gibraltar or the Columns of Hercules and in particular from Cornwall, Ushnagh County Westmeath in Ireland and probably as far as Scotland. It is surprising to find that the Celtic God Bél was celebrated in Bonfires and offerings similar to the ones offered by the Phoenicians to the God Baal on the same period, in the same way. Today the estimated number of Lebanese living in Ireland is around 400 while the number of Irish living in Lebanon has decreased due to political unrest but is estimated to be around 45. Yet the greater number of Irish Lebanese remains beyond the boundries of the two Countries. Thousands of Irish Lebanese live in Australia, the US and Canada. In recent years Senator George Mitchell of Irish Lebanese decent had a pivotal role in securing the Good Friday agreement the road map to permanent Peace in Ireland. In November 2001 the Irish Lebanese Cultural Foundation is born and bears a huge responsibility to continue the work of many giants the members of the Irish Defence Forces, true Ambassadors of Peace, W.B Yeats, Gibran Khalil Gibran, George Mitchell, and Suheil Bushrui. (To continue reading, please click here :

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

John Akouri Leads Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce Delegation Evening Conference With Albion College Officials

(ALBION, MI/USA) - Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce President John Akouri tonight led a delegation to meet with Albion College academic officials. In addition to Akouri, the group was comprised of Chairman of the Board Louis J. Peters, Jr., General Counsel Jeffrey Lance Abood and Charter Member & Pillar of Baalbek Honoree Abe Karam. The evening was organized by philanthropist and humanitarian Dr. Tarik S. Daoud and began with a dinner hosted by the President of the College, Dr. Donna Randall. Attendees included College Provost Susan Conner, Religious Studies Department Chairman & Professor Dr. Ronney Mourad, New York Times Journalist Steven Solomon, Wayne State University Associate Vice President Ahmad Ezzeddine, and Plymouth Township Trustee Abe Munfakh, among others.
Following the dinner, the delegation was then led to Towsley Hall in the Science Complex for a lecture and presentation by Solomon entitled: "Water, Wealth & War in the Middle East."
The Middle East's most valuable resource – water – and its impact on the past, present and future and its complicated and compelling story was the subject of Solomon’s presentation sponsored by the Albion College 2011 Daoud Lectureship in Middle Eastern Studies. Solomon's work appears regularly in national publications, including the New York Times, Business Week, the Economist, Forbes and Esquire. Solomon also appears as a guest commentator on network news television, National Public Radio and BBC Radio. He is the author of "Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilzation."
The Daoud Family Lectureship in Middle Eastern Studies was created by Detroit businessman Dr. Tarik S. Daoud and his family to promote a better understanding of Middle Eastern history, peoples, and cultures, and of the crucial role the Middle East plays in today’s world. The series brings to campus speakers with expertise on different aspects of this diverse and fascinating region. A native of Iraq, Daoud has long been an active leader in the Detroit business community, a leading member of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce and is a previous recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Detroit News’s Michiganian of the Year award. The 2010 Daoud Family Lecture in Middle Eastern Studies is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Albion College Communications at 517/629-0445 or

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14th, 2011 - The Cedar Revolution Continues...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Second Cedar Revolution

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lebanese Demand Hezbollah Disarm: Mass Rally Planned Tomorrow at Martyr's Square in Downtown Beirut

Friday, March 11, 2011

Capitol Hill Reception Commemorating the Sixth Anniversary of the Lebanese Cedar Revolution to Feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Season of Lent: March 9th through April 23rd, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday 2011

"Remember, O man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shall return."
~Genesis 3:19

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mardi Gras 2011

Monday, March 07, 2011

Beirut Duty Free Flash Mob Rocks Rafic Hariri International Airport With Hip Hop Dabke Dance

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">