On Sept. 13 the Palestinian Heritage Foundation held its 16th anniversary banquet in Teaneck, New Jersey. Some of the foundation's achievements of the past year include Palestinian costume shows, lectures, and exhibits in Montreal, Princeton, colleges in New Jersey, New York and Maryland, and in Canberra, Australia. It also contributed parts of its collection of traditional Palestinian clothing to the six-month exhibition on Arab Americans at the Museum of the City of New York, and has recently launched a Web site: .
Two special exhibits honored Arab American women who recently died. Palestinian actress Bushra Karaman was a major force in establishing Palestinian theater and cinema. In her memory, and in order to make Palestinian cinema more available to those in the diaspora, the Palestinian Heritage Foundation supports and has contributed to the creation of a Palestinian film archive at Columbia University.
Dr. Hala Maksoud, a university professor and former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), also was the cofounder of the Committee for the Preservation of Palestine Heritage in Washington, DC. The exhibit in her memory featured traditional Arab dresses from her personal collection. The foundation contributed a portion of the proceeds from the banquet to the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab American Leadership.
The evening's honored guest and keynote speaker was her husband, Dr. Clovis Maksoud. A lawyer, journalist, diplomat and academic, Maksoud was formerly the senior editor of Al-Ahram, and the Arab League ambassador first to India, then to the United Nations. Currently professor of international relations at The American University in Washington, DC, he is founder and director of the university's Center for the Global South.
Palestine Heritage Foundation founders Farah and Hanan Munayyer presented Maksoud with a plaque honoring his achievements. Among others paying tribute, former Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, the current ADC president, said that during her years in Congress, "no one was a more effective diplomat than Clovis." She praised Maksoud as a champion of freedom and justice throughout the world.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, said that, as one of the generation of Arabs that has seen defeat in every decade since the 1940s, he shares Maksoud's dream of a united Arab nation, established on democratic values, with no ruler and ruled, but a free people practicing their rights. …