In loving memory of HajHamood Macki, August 5, 1992
I began working as an activist in our community partly as a way to deal with the way I felt pulled in so many directions. East versus west, conservatism versus liberalism, family and religion at odds with individual needs and wants. I found emotional replenishment for this mixed bag—myself—working in the community. I eventually took on a staff position at the Detroit office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
I was on the staff when the U.S. went to war against Iraq. While ADC took the position that Iraq should not have attacked Kuwait, we also publicly denounced President Bush for his invasion. The sanctions should have been given more time. ADC took the moral and just stand, even though we were heavily criticized for it. One of my Chaldean friends called me and said,"Zana, this is crazy! Now I know exactly how you felt during the TWA hijacking while working at Channel 56. They just want to blame someone." Immediately, she and other women formed Victims of War (VOW), networking in the living rooms of each other's homes.
Reporters from around the world went through our ADC office. Japanese, Dutch, and British TV, The New York Times, a Swedish newspaper, all kept calling for the Arab story. Once again, many wanted to go through the south and east ends of Dearborn. Sometimes I think, why not make these Middle Eastern neighborhoods into a backlot movie set for the press? Many reporters didn't seem to know there is great diversity in the community, from third-generation Palestinians in Livonia, to immigrant Lebanese, Palestinians, and Yemenites in the south and east ends of Dearborn. Hell, they didn't know that Iranians are Persians and not Arabs. And contrary to popular belief, we are not all Muslims.
The Detroit press overall is more sensitive to the community, because of our hard work over the years. Groups such as the ADC met with editorial boards to discuss issues and raise our objections