Tag Archive for Roqayah Chamseddine

Roqayah Chamseddine Confronts Donald Rumsfeld

Ikhras’ friend and guest contributor Roqayah Chamseddine bravely stood up to mass murderer Donald Rumsfeld (she is the second activist in the below video). The day any of the House Arabs and House Muslims confront a war criminal this way, or at least stops collaborating with imperialism and Zionism, Ikhras will be happy to stop writing about them on its pages.

More On Egypt: Mubarak & The U.S. Empire

[Ikhras Note: The Arab American community must remain aware of the continuing revolutionary struggle of the Egyptian people, support their fight for freedom, dignity, and justice, and highlight the role of our own American government in Egypt and the region.  The Egyptian people continue a struggle for freedom, full sovereignty and independence, and social justice.  The outcome is not yet determined, but their victory, in this most geopolitically important Arab state, can break foreign imperialist domination of the region and create a new Egypt and with it a new Arab world.  Arab-Americans should make the success of the Egyptian people and their 2011 uprising a central concern.  Ikhras Friend Roqayah Chamseddine* takes a look at the relationship between the regime of Hosni Mubarak and the United States, and what the ouster of American imperialism’s main ally in the region means for the future of our beloved Egypt and the Arab world.  This article first appeared on The Cynical Arab website on February 13, 2011 under the title Apologies For An Empire.] 

The Middle East is often spoke of by the elite and their apprenticed citizens in a way an overlord would speak of his slave; commanding, repressive and domineering. For far too long the West has remained the dominant, hegemonic entity in the region – that is until recently.

The ‘Salam’ Witch Trials: Main Characters, Opening Scene

By Ikhras Friend Roqayah Chamseddine.  This article first appeared on Roqayah’s blog The Cynical Arab where you can find more of her articles and follow all the writings of this radical Lebanese-American journalist, and powerful Anti-Imperialist voice.*

The play is set in Washington, District of Columbia. The year is 2011; growing controversy over the loyalty of Muslims in the United States of America has created a rift within the political and social arena of mainstream American society. In December 2010, US Congressman Pete King announces that upon becoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee he would hold hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims. On Thursday, March 10, 2011, the Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing entitled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.”

Character Panel I:
Honorary members of the US Congress; all besides Rep. Pete King will be testifying during the “radicalization” hearings which begin on the 10th of March, 2011.

Sensationalizing Orientalism: The Media’s Hummus and Kebab Analysts

By Ikhras Friend Roqayah Chamseddine.  This article first appeared on Roqayah’s blog The Cynical Arab where you can find more of her articles and follow all the writings of this radical Lebanese-American journalist, and powerful Anti-Imperialist voice.*


“It is quiet common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

— Edward W. Said

The word ‘analyst’, routinely fatigued by the mainstream media (MSM), has become comparable to the sound of nails against a chalk-board.

When the media finally caught on to the explosive uprisings in the Middle East they seemingly had  ’experts’ on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya etc. waiting in queue; in this context the term “expert”  being any individual who has convienently waltzed through the most westernized boroughs or whose ventures are pock-marked with xenophobic back-wash outlining categorical divisions between “The West” and “The Arab World”. Evidently, any correspondent who has spent a number of days in Cairo, Beirut et al. on a network tab while downing a falafel sandwich and a bottle of Pepsi was being described as a qualified professional – being able to spit out a number of Arabic words, in the harshest accent mind you, solidified said ‘experts’ proficiency on the subject.

Imperialist Barbie: The Case Against Rimah Fakih

Unlike Rima Fakih, Abeer Will Never Be Forgotten

By Guest Writer & Ikhras Friend Roqayah Chamseddine*

Rimah Fakih, a native of my very own Southern Lebanon, was recently photographed crowd surfing atop a slew of American soldiers – flaunting a set of prim and polished nails in the ironic shape of a peace sign. This perverse display during the first half of an NCAA college football game between the Virginia Military Institute and Army in West Point, N.Y. was a public relations stunt; an Arab woman being carried by a profusion of United States occupation soldiers, wearing a smile filled with sheer delight. On Ms.Fakih’s personal twitter account she goes onto proclaim her excitement at being invited to “…flip the coin at the Army Football game… GOArmy.”

US Elections: A Meaningless Ritual

Ikhras Guest Writer Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo. Check out her tweets at http://twitter.com/iRevolt.

Ah, election day – the endless controversy, petulant midterm adverts, and sheer bureaucratic distortion of reality; you can almost feel yourself tethered that much more to the corrupt political machine.

ABC’s 20/20 Broadcast On Islam Delivered Blurred Vision Of Reality

Ms. Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo. Check out her thoughtful tweets at http://twitter.com/iRevolt. This article demonstrates that not all Arabs and Muslims in this country are enamored with the mainstream media, and consider a media appearance a badge of honor, or a validation of being a good Muslim and Arab. This Lebanese-American takes to task ABC, its anchors and Muslim-Americans who try to appeal to them.

Diane Sawyer, Bill Weir and Lama Hasan attempted to answer a variety of dynamic questions about Islam during an ABC broadcast on Friday called“Islam – Questions & Answers.” The programme aspired to respond to five questions American viewers submitted via comments, email and video submissions: What is Islam? Why Do Radicals Feel Violence is Justified? Is Western Culture at Odds with Islam? Where is the Moderate Muslim Voice? How Can We All Get Along?

The premise of the broadcast, to explain away misconceptions in respect to Islam and Muslims in America, sounds plausible – commendable even; ABC is touted as ‘America’s News Service’ and their tagline heralds that “…more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source“. The delivery of the ABC ‘Islam’ special solidified many contentions, one of the most pivotal being that of the anatomy of American ignorance.

Diane Sawyer’s voice lulled viewers through a barrage of images and videos, including that of Osama Bin Laden and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. It is a simple technique used by even the most liberal of media orthodoxy; them and us, extremists verses moderates, radicals against pacifists. The clip of Osama Bin Laden was inaudible but Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s was not, a few seconds were played wherein he was heard saying ‘Al Mawt La Amreeka’ – ‘Death to America’ and then, of course, there was nothing more given. The video ABC stripped was from a speech by Hezb’Allah Secretary General, in it we can see that his statement was blatantly taken out of context. The video of his speech can be found here:

Let the Arabs sleep

We’re excited to receive another article by Ikhras’ friend, the eloquent Ms. Roqayah Chamseddine. Roqayah is a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo.

Ikhras Comment: If , as Roqayah points out in this article, the Arab people’s excuse for not rebelling against tyranny is the “emergency laws” of oppressive police states, what’s the excuse for Arab-Americans?  Why are Arab-Americans busy preparing galas at which illegitimate rulers, princes, kings, and oil-sheiks are featured guests and keynote speakers? The Arab Mukhabarat don’t dare operate in the banquet rooms of of Washington DC hotels, and they are too busy keeping an eye on their domestic opposition. More Arab-Americans are increasingly willing to speak out against those whom the ADC and ATFP “honor” at their galas, banquets, and festivals, and Ikhras.com pledges to be their platform.

Ah the Arabs; the inventors of hummus, the culinary architects of falafil, the loud and seemingly obnoxious lovers of football. When they aren’t watching Star Academy, listening to a concord of deluded music by vapid artists or brushing up on their français they are sound asleep – dreaming of shopping in Beirut Mall, dancing in taste-less clubs or uploading a mountain of photos onto Facebook. Très chic, no?

What else is there to fret about? What more is there to care for?

We have our Haifa’s, Nancy’s and Hosni’s. We don’t care for your Barghouti’s, Salah’s and Corrie’s.

Let the Arabs sleep as the rest of us wipe the tears from our cheeks in the middle of the night, laying restless and shaken. Let the Arabs sleep and snore through the screaming of our mothers and the wailing of our fathers. After-all, they are helpless and cannot act – at least that is their excuse.

– You see we are living under ‘Emergency Law’!

Bl rooh,bl dam nafdeek ya shu? Ya Falasteen?

– Don’t you know, we cannot speak one ill word against our King or Queen! Don’t you know the reprecussion?

– Sure, there are millions of us, but what can we do? We are just people after-all!

The Arabs are full of excuses,unlike, for example, the Turks. The people of Turkey have shown more courage than the useless body of Arabs preoccupied with their iPod and iPads and iDiocy.

The activists aboard the Flotilla’s to Gaza some months ago did what no Arab community has done for over 60 years,since the illegal creation of the Zionist entity known as “Israel”.

Bl rooh, bl dam nafdeek ya shu? Ya Falasteen? No. Nafdeeki ya Queen Rania, Nafdeek ya King Abdallah, Nafdeek ya Obama.

Those are the ‘leaders’ our people turn to in times of great trials and tribulations.

The Arabs, in their unwavering apathy – are aiding Israel.

How much longer can Palestine be strangled while the Arabs of the world watch and wait for a “chance to act”. Another massacre? More bodies?

Must the Mediterranean sea turn red for the Arabs to act?

No, I doubt even then they will muster the courage to abide by the empty phrases they throw around at rallies and protests – the general populace are simply reactionaries. They are more than willing to shout out that they will die for Palestine during a moment where they are most secure, away from death.

So, as you head out the door do not slam it – do not shout – do not scream. After-all, we don’t wish to wake the Arabs.

Rima Fakih: The Beauty Pageant Scholar and The Arabs

Arabs were elated a short time ago; 24 year old Rima Fakih – the first Lebanese American, the first Arab American, the first Muslim, and the first immigrant to win the Miss USA title – Fakih seemingly established the foundation for ‘victory’ according to the acclimatized Arab community.

The tight-knit hamlet of Arabs, stemming from Egypt to England, were grinning from ear to ear and it is all thanks to what they called a “historic victory” in the curvaceous shape of an Arab woman.

Fakih, in keeping with the indiscretion of the inane online polity, paved the way for the Arabs – with her crown came the breaking of a new dawn, the coming of change. You can almost hear the animated sound of ululations once more.

In light of such an aberrant occasion Ms. Fakih once stated that her acquisition, embodied in the form of a beauty pageant, would exhibit that “…there are Arabs that are caring, that are good people, and who love the country they live in. I think it would make the Arab image a more positive one.” The mainstream view of the Arab people would be castrated, made void and questionable due to this bold achievement; Rima was evidently our one-way-ticket to adulation.

Arabs have certainly come a long way. From strategic achievements against the Roman Byzantine forces to creating the largest bowl of Hummus we now have Rima to add to our ever expanding list of ‘victories’.

Victory no longer means the redemption of our lands in spite of brutal foreign occupation, no, we are instead making it permissible to capture the soul of the Western military machine one high-heel at a time.

Recently Ms. Fakih has used her fundamentally nefarious platform to stigmatize Muslims; yes, who would have seen this coming?

In an interview with Inside Edition Fakih was asked about the “Ground Zero” Mosque – She stated that “…it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.”

I assume Rima, who is now busy practicing for the ‘Miss Universe Pageant’, is not at all concerned about the thousands upon thousands of 9/11’s conducted, promoted and orchestrated by the United States of America; Her crown seems to be on a bit too tight.

And of course, the masses applaud her for not only being “beautiful” but for having an “…intelligent opinion about the Ground Zero Mosque.”, one comment reads.

Her beauty somehow makes it permissible to hold an opinion contrary to US Law and common sense.

But this is the overwhelming fulfillment praised by the Arabs; Rima Fakih’s vacuous accomplishment , which comes in the form of a misogynistic ‘beauty contest’, and the acclaim which the Arab populace has laced with the empty ‘victory’ has made me realize how far we have fallen as a people.

Victory is when we take back Al Aqsa. Victory is when we free our Iraqi mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of Western occupation. Victory is when we redeem every tear shed by those made orphans under Western imperialism.

Qais Nawwaf said it best:

In light of the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, I believe the main political objective of Arabs living in the west generally and the US specifically ought to be disruption of, and eventually putting a halt to, the war machine that has devastated and exhausted the lives of innocent millions. Arab-Americans are in an ideal position to demand this. They live in the belly of the beast, and they are in no need to be educated on the fundamentals of the realities of war and occupation, at least in comparison to the general American public the majority of which is frequently found unable to find Afghanistan and Iraq on a map. Arab and Muslim-Americans’ perpetual quest for acceptance, pursued with disregard for the responsibility of seriously opposing the wars and occupations, brings to mind Malcolm X’s statement addressing African-American involvement in opposing war on Congolese: “they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits Black men, Black women, Black children, Black babies, and you Black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. They’ll do it to them today, and do it to you tomorrow. Because you and I and they are all the same.”

Rima Fakih, regardless of her origin and her religious ties, is someone to be vehemently admonished. Muslims and nonMuslims should be rebuking all those who align themselves with xenophobia, Islamophobia and any individual who blatantly disregards religious/irreligious freedom.

Fakih may be a ‘beauty queen’ but her subjective ‘beauty’ only goes so far and it certainly does not make up for her other shortcoming, especially in terms of intellect and logic; she is using her platform to further promote the mainstream mantra – that Muslims are not to be accepted into society.

Fakih in Arabic means “scholar”, ironically; There is a phrase in my native Arabic – “Laysa Kul’i Fakih b Fakih” which translates as “Not every scholar is a scholar”. This rings most true, especially when applying it to Rima Fakih.

This is a special contribution to Ikhras by Ms. Roqayah Chamseddine, a Lebanese-American humanitarian activist. She is a an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law and Journalism. She was a member of the Gaza Freedom March last December in Cairo.