is Dr. Sami Al-Arian?
The son of Palestinian refugees, Dr. Sami Al-Arian came to the United
States in 1975, where he has since lived with his wife of 27 years,
five American-born children.
Dr. Al-Arian starting teaching computer science at the University of South Florida in 1986 and received two awards
for outstanding teaching during his tenure there. In 1990, he co-founded the World and Islam
Studies Enterprise (WISE), a research and academic institution dedicated
to promoting dialogue between the Muslim and Western worlds.
Dr. Al-Arian is a frequent speaker and lecturer on college campuses,
churches, and conferences and is dedicated to interfaith dialogue,
community development, and civil rights. He served on the board
of the Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE),
the largest community group in Hillsborough Co., Florida. In 1981, he
helped establish the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the
largest Muslim grassroots organization in country. He is the founder
of the Islamic Academy of Florida, one of the nation's top full-time
Islamic schools with over 300 students from preschool to high school.
He also served as the imam of the Islamic Community of Tampa.
Dr. Al-Arian helped empower the Muslim community through his dedicated
hard work and personal relationships with other civic, political,
and religious leaders in Florida and around the country. He helped
establish the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP), a group that
raised awareness about the plight of Palestinians. He organized
voter registration drives, supported candidates for public office,
and lobbied numerous policymakers. Newsweek magazine named him the
premier civil rights activist in America for his efforts to repeal
the use of secret evidence. His activism single-handedly gathered
support for H.R.2121, a Bill to Repeal the Use of Secret Evidence
which had more than 130 co-sponsors and was voted favorably out
of committee by the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
Dr. Al-Arian attended briefings at the White House and Justice Department,
advised several members of Congress, and met both Presidents Clinton
Dr. Al-Arian has been a tireless voice for freedom and justice at
home and around the world. In 1997, he cofounded the Tampa Bay Coalition
for Justice and Peace, a local coalition opposed to the unconstitutional
use of secret evidence and other civil rights violations, as well
as ongoing media attacks against Arabs and Muslims. He also co-founded
the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, the nation's
leading coalition challenging the use of secret evidence, and was
elected as its first president in 2000. Dr. Al Arian is the recipient
of three Civil Rights Awards from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee (ADC), the American Muslim Council (AMC), and American
Muslim Alliance (AMA).
More on Dr.
We encourage those who are interested in learning more about
Dr. Al-Arian to purchase
the recently published biography Shackled Dreams,
which details the life and work of Al-Arian and contains illuminating
interviews, speeches and articles by the former professor.
Land's Man," an article published in Tampa's Weekly
Planet (January 24-31, 2002) is highly recommended to learn
more about Dr. Sami-- his childhood, background and beliefs.