To keep its members and subscribers up to date on ATFL activities and highlights featuring past honorees, ATFL regularly publishes a newsletter loaded with information on what ATFL has been doing and news about our members and honorees.
We hope you are staying safe and warm as winter approaches.
In the aftermath of the Beirut Port bombings, ATFL joined forces with the Ghassan and Manal Saab Foundation, the Lebanese-American community, and other organizations such as Direct Relief, FedEx, and the Afya Foundation to form the ATFL Lebanon Relief Project. Together, we have coordinated shipments of medicines and medical supplies valued at over $40 million. These supplies provide direct assistance to hospitals and health facilities caring for people in Lebanon. We are so proud of the Lebanese-American community and our amazing partners for the incredible success of this project! Anyone who wishes to donate may do so at https://www.lebanonreliefproject.com/. Your contributions mean so much to the people of Lebanon.
ATFL also coordinated a letter to President Trump signed by over 60 US-based nonprofit organizations that provide humanitarian assistance to Lebanon. The letter called for additional U.S. assistance to Lebanon. The coalition will continue to meet to discuss and identify how the U.S. can support ongoing humanitarian needs.
ATFL hosted a webinar on November 9, 2020, with leaders of the popular protest movement in Lebanon. It was fascinating to discuss their viewpoints and perspectives on the current state of affairs in their country. We look forward to more sessions to continue exploring developments in the protest movement.
Following the US elections, ATFL welcomes returning Lebanese-American members of Congress Darin LaHood (R-IL 18) and Darrell Issa (R-CA 50). We would also like to welcome The Hon. Donna Shalala as the newest member of our Policy Advisory Board. ATFL is planning revisions to our joint policy paper with MEI and country experts. The updated paper will provide recommendations on US-Lebanon policy for the incoming administration. Stay tuned for more on this soon.
A warm welcome to our new board members, Thomas Abraham, Dr. Francois Nader, and Fayrouz Saad, and to our new members, Leila Afas, Elias Daher, Dr. Ghaleb Daouk, Michael Hage, Dr. Samer Suki, and Salim Zakhem. We are honored to have them as part of the ATFL family! Thank you again to all of the board members who recently rotated off. Your service and dedication has been invaluable and we look forward to staying in touch.
We want to thank all who have participated in ATFL’s recent activities. ATFL will continue to build on our programs and activities in support of a strong US-Lebanon relationship. We will also continue to advocate for additional humanitarian support for the Lebanese people in the current time of crisis. We have several events planned for next year and hope that you will be able to join us. Keep an eye out for invitations coming soon.
Speaking of events, mark your calendars…. Our new Gala Date has been moved to December 8th, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there!
We wish you and your families a safe and wonderful Holiday season!
The Team at ATFL
ATFL has joined hands with the Ghassan and Manal Saab Foundation, the Lebanese-American community, and organizations like Direct Relief, Fedex, the Afya Foundation to organize shipments of medicines and medical supplies to Lebanon in the wake of the Beirut port explosions. The shipments are ongoing to continue to provide this important lifeline to Beirut and to the people of Lebanon. The assistance provided to date is valued at over $40 million, surpassing U.S. funds contributed to Lebanon. To learn more about the ATFL Lebanon Relief Project, or if you would like to make a donation, please visit lebanonreliefproject.com.
ATFL also organized a joint letter with over 60 U.S. nonprofits to call for additional U.S. assistance and continues to explore new ways to coordinate U.S. humanitarian assistance to Lebanon. We look forward to more events in the new year as we continue to engage the nonprofit community on this topic and explore opportunities for action.
ATFL hosted a discussion with leaders of Beirut’s protest movement on November 9, 2020. The panelists discussed the current state of affairs in Lebanon from their points of view and how U.S. policy has been affecting the popular protest movement.
Sarah Al Charif
Social Activist and Community Developer
Ali Mourad, Ph.D.
Legal Expert and Political Activist
Political and Environmental Activist
Managing Director, Kulluna-Irada, Lebanon
In September, ATFL hosted an informational session to provide an update on our activities in 2020.
ATFL held a virtual session in September to provide an update on our activities for our members and friends. We enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces! Please check out this powerpoint summary for more.
Save the date! Our annual dinner has been moved to December 8th, 2021.
Welcoming new members to ATFL!
The Hon. Donna Shalala has been a dedicated public servant for over 30 years, serving most recently as the representative for Florida’s 27th district. She was the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, where she was instrumental in the creation and oversight of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 2008, President Bush selected her as the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. See her full bio.
ATFL is proud to have a distinguished group of policy advisers to call upon. See all advisers here.
Chairman of the Board, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation
Francois Nader, MD
Executive Director, Office of Global Michigan
Leila Aridi Afas
Director of International Public Policy, Toyota
Owner and Founder, 24hr Wireless
Ghaleb Daouk, MD
Consulting Physician, Boston Children’s Hospital
President & CEO, American Innovation for International Development
Samer Suki, MD
President, Millennium Physicians
CEO, ERGOS Technology Partners
New ATFL member and AUB Alumni Dr. Ghaleb Daouk organized a 1.3-ton medical send-out from Boston Children’s Hospital to Lebanon. Donations ranged from general medical supplies to antineoplastic chemotherapy medications.
His relief efforts were mainly directed at the AUB Medical Center (AUBMC), Makassed Hospital, and Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), which will extend cancer medications to over 20 children’s cancer clinics in Lebanon.
See AUB’s statement of gratitude.
US Elections Results and Caesar Act Update
ATFL would like to congratulate past honoree and Philip C. Habib award recipient Darrell Issa for being the U.S representative-elect for California’s 50th congressional district.
ATFL would like to congratulate past honoree and Philip C. Habib award recipient Darin Lahood, who was re-elected to serve as U.S representative for Illinois’s 18th congressional district.
As of June 17th, 2020, the sanctions provisions of the Caesar act are in full force. This legislation requires the U.S to mandate sanctions on allies and representatives of the Syrian Regime. This includes countries or individuals who profit off the Syrian conflict and/or support the Syrian military regime.
More information is available here: https://www.state.gov/caesar-syria-civilian-protection-act/
Several organizations are working to assist the people living in Lebanon. Here are updates from a select few.
The American Task Force on Lebanon partnered with the Country Fund of Rotary Association Lebanon to provide assistance to the Lebanese Food Bank, supported by 28 geographically diversified Rotary Clubs in Lebanon. 100% of the funds collected will be distributed to Rotary Association Lebanon and designated for the Lebanese Food Bank. Together, we donated hundreds of food boxes to families in need across Lebanon. Thank you to everyone who contributed! Learn more about this project here.
Separately, Rotary and Rotaract clubs of Lebanon joined forces to take part in a large project where the United States NGOs sent $12.8 million worth of medical supplies to Lebanese hospitals. Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Metn Gate, Rotary Club of Zahle-Bekaa, Rotaract Beirut Center, and Rotaract Club of Aley helped distribute the medical equipment received. Learn more about Rotary Lebanon’s efforts here.
The Beirut Emergency Fund coalition was set up following the Beirut port explosions in August. They have so far raised over $8.7 million. $6.4 million has already been assigned, with 45% going to hospitals, medical needs, and mental health, and 55% to rehabilitation and reconstruction. Learn more here.
UNCHR Lebanon has conducted protection monitoring during the period 20th March – 9th August to assess the impact of covid-19 by analyzing trends in the protection environment and situation of refugees in all regions of Lebanon.
A more detailed overview of their findings is available in this powerpoint.
UNICEF’s response to Lebanon’s crisis was successful in distributing $3.7 million dollars worth of COVID-19 protection items, providing 22,00 children under the age of 5 with essential nutritional supplements, providing 20,675 people with access to water, and saving over 1 million doses of vaccines all with 38% of needed funding. Additional funding is needed for response priorities: such as water and sanitation, health and nutrition, and education.
Anyone wishing to donate to UNICEF Lebanon may do so here.
Since the Beirut port explosions of August 2020, Project HOPE has reached over 30,000 patients with medicines and disaster health kits and supported 20,000 health care workers and 24+ hospitals, health facilities, and health NGOs. Project HOPE is continuing to provide assistance coordination with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, local partners, and health facilities. Learn more here.
AMIDEAST is committed to expanding opportunity and strengthening mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. They provide educational and training programs as well as scholarships to students in the Middle East. Check out some stories from Lebanese students pursuing higher education in the U.S., and stories from students across the MENA region.
LMAC reported that Zaatar and his handler searched 13,450 square meters of land between March and June 2020. They worked in Deir el Kamar, Koraya, Al Omra, Abbasiya, and Bsab to help provide quality control to the manual demining teams, minimize working days, and assist with clearance tasks.
The Lebanese Armed Forces estimate that clearance of the land will benefit over 800 people by returning it to agricultural use and housing development.
Jobs for Lebanon is a global recruiting platform that connects job seekers in Lebanon with the Lebanese Diaspora community of employers globally. The movement’s mission is to have foreign companies hire Lebanese in Lebanon to work remotely, enabling them to remain in Lebanon. Learn more here.
After publishing her book, Strangers No More, Linda Jacobs is back to blogposts on the early Syrian diaspora in the U.S. The first of these is titled “Carneys: Carnival Impresarios of the Early Syrian Diaspora.” It briefly describes the careers of three of the half-dozen men who became entertainment impresarios, a career path that was unusual for the time and culture. Jacobs reconstructs life histories of people from the Lebanese-American community who are little known and who deserve to be remembered. Read the blog here.
Lebanon Called Out on Its Human Rights Record
December 14, 2020
Lebanon’s Human Tragedy Is a Leadership Travesty
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Are Lebanese Youth Different from Other Young Arabs?
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
The Same Old Song in Lebanon – Who’s Left to Trust?
Thursday, November 19, 2020
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