Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

American Task Force for Lebanon Holds Gala

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

American Task Force for Lebanon Holds Gala

Article excerpt

Songwriter/singer Paul Anka, public opinion pollster John Zog by, and Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL), all of Lebanese descent, were honored for their professional achievements by the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) at its April 5 gala at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. The ATFL, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization grouping prominent Americans of Lebanese descent, works to reinforce the historic relationship between the United States and Lebanon, and honors Lebanese Americans who have made contributions to their community and respective countries.

After a moment of silence to mourn the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and remarks by Ambassador of Lebanon Dr. Farid Abboud, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), who is serving his 15th term in Congress, introduced the honorees.

As pollster John Zogby came to the stage to accept his award, he said that while he was happy there was such a huge turn-out at the gala, he was a little worried that so many people weren't home to answer their phones for a Zogby poll. In 1996 the pollster garnered national attention when he called the percentage of President Bill Clinton's margin of victory by one-tenth of one percent. Zogby accurately predicted Ariel Sharon's 26-point victory in Israel's 2001 election and was the first pollster to predict the victory of Vicente Fox in the 2000 Mexican presidential elections.

Ray LaHood, just re-elected to his sixth term, said he found himself in the unenviable position of being squeezed in the program between Zogby and Anka. …

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