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Famous Arab-Americans

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We were talking about who was of Arab dissent in the "Arabic-influenced baby names" thread and I thought I would share this list.

I’ll bet you many do not even know that some of these people are of Arab dissent.

Have a look!

Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad teaches religion, science and freedom at the University of Maryland, College Park and directs the Minaret of Freedom Institute.[1][2]
Dr. Saddeka Arebi, professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley
Dr. Elias Corey, organic chemistry professor at Harvard University and 1990 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry[3]
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, pioneering American-Lebanese cardiovascular surgeon and researcher[4]
Dr. Abdulrahim Nasr Chafi, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Engineering at National University and Fresno Pacific University.
Dr. Charles Elachi, Professor of electrical engineering and planetary science at Caltech and director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. Taher ElGamal, Inventor of the ElGamal discrete log cryptosystem and the ElGamal signature scheme.
Dr. Ramzi S. Cotran, famous Lebanese-American Professor of Pathology.
Dr. Samih Farsoun Sociology professor at the American University [5]
Dr. Fawaz Gerges, ABC analyst, professor, regular guest on Oprah's Anti-war series
Michel T. Halbouty, famous Lebanese-American geologist and geophysicist, pioneer in oil field research[6] [7] [8]
Dr. Philip S. Khoury, Ford International Professor of History and Associate Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Edward Said, Palestinian-American literary theorist and former professor at Columbia University
Dr. Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami
Dr. Fawwaz Ulaby, Former Vice President for Research of the University of Michigan and first Arab-American winner of the IEEE Edison Medal
Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, appointed by George W. Bush in May 2002

[edit] Business
Najeeb Halaby [9]
Steve Jobs, head of Apple, biological father was Syrian[10]
Mario Kassar, formerly headed Carolco Pictures [11]
John J. Mack, CEO of investment bank Morgan Stanley (Lebanese parents)[12]
Sam Maloof
Maloof family, majority owners of the Sacramento Kings and the Palms Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Sam Moore, the founder and president of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest world-wide distributor of the Bible
Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's photocopy stores [13]

[edit] Writers
Edward Abboud, political writer, author of Invisible Enemy: Israel, Politics, Media, and American Culture [14]
Elmaz Abinader, author, playwright and activist; PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award recipient
Diana Abu-Jaber, novelist, author of Arabian Jazz, Crescent, The Language of Baklava
Elia Abu Madi, poet, publisher and member of the New York Pen League
Etel Adnan, poet, essayist, and visual artist
Munir Akash, author and translator; founding editor of Jusoor and Targa Europa (Decoration of Europe) recipient
Lorraine Ali, (Iraqi) reporter, editor, culture writer and music critic for Newsweek.
Naseeb Arida, publisher associated with the New York Pen League
Wadi Bahout, poet and member of the New York Pen League
William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist
William Catzeflis, poet and member of the New York Pen League
Catherine Filloux, French-Algerian-American playwright
Joseph Geha, author of Through and Through
Khalil Gibran, author and member of the New York Pen League, well-known for his best-selling book The Prophet
Abdal-Masih Haddad, publisher associated with the New York Pen League
Nudra Haddad, poet and member of the New York Pen League
Suheir Hammad, poet, playwright, artist, Tony Award winner, 2003 (Russel Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway)
Ray Hanania
Natalie Handal, poet, editor and PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award recipient
Samuel John Hazo, State Poet of Pennsylvania
Lawrence Joseph, poet
Daoud Kuttab, award winning Palestinian journalist. Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University
Lisa Suhair Majaj, poet and literary scholar
Jack Marshall (author), poet and author (Iraqi father/Syrian mother)
Khaled Mattawa, poet and recipient of an Academy of American Poets award
D.H. Melhem, literary scholar and activist, American Book Award recipient
Claire Messud, author, Algerian
Mikhail Naimy, Nobel Prize-nominated author and member of the New York Pen League; well-known works include The Book of Mirdad and a biography of Khalil Gibran
Naomi Shihab Nye, poet
Gregory Orfalea, poet, essayist and historian
Ameen Rihani, "father of Arab American literature," member of the New York Pen League and author of The Book of Khalid, the first Arab American novel in English; also an ambassador
Abraham Rihbany, writer on politics and religion
Salom Rizk, author of early Arab American immigrant autobiography, Syrian Yankee
Ramzi M. Salti, author of The Native Informant: Six Tales of Defiance from the Arab World
Anthony Shadid [15]
Evelyn Shakir, literary scholar
Mona Simpson, author of Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy

[edit] Performers
Paula Abdul, Grammy winning singer, Emmy winning choreographer, and host of American Idol (Syrian Jewish father)
Moustapha Akkad, a Syrian-American film producer
Ferras Alqaisi, Jordanian American singer-song writer
Paul Anka, singer and songwriter (Lebanese)[16]
Jim Avila (half Lebanese), correspondent for ABC News "20/20"
Dick Dale, surf rock guitarist (Lebanese father) [17]
Jenna Dewan (1980 - ), film/TV actress (Step Up)[18]
Mohammed El-Bakkar, Lebanese immigrant to Brooklyn, singer, band-leader
Shannon Elizabeth (1973 - ), film actress ("American Pie", "Scary Movie")[19]
Jamie Farr, character actor, Lebanese[20]
Hala Gorani, CNN anchor (French Syrian) [21]
Khrystyne Haje
Sammy Hagar, Rock musician
Lama Hasan, ABC News anchor
Salma Hayek, actress (Lebanese father), born in Mexico-works in US
Anissa Jones, actress (Lebanese grandparents)
Casey Kasem, radio personality and voice actor [22]
Kerri Kasem, TV hostess
Amy Fadhli, fitness model, actress (Iraqi father) and winner of the Fitness America National Champion 1996
Catherine Keener, Lebanese ancestry
Khaled Khaled, a.k.a. DJ Khaled, Palestinian ancestry, popular Hip-Hop DJ for Fat Joe's Terror Squad group
Herbert Khaury, aka Tiny Tim (Lebanese father) [23]
Hoda Kotb, Egyptian decent, NBC's Today show host
Kurtis Mantronik (Syrian father), born Kurtis el Khaleel, remixer and producer, founding member of 1980's old school hip hop group Mantronix
Kristy McNichol, co-star on "Family" and "Empty Nest" [24]
Mika, half-Lebanese
Wentworth Miller, starring role as Michael Scofield in the Fox Network television series "Prison Break"(Syrian-Lebanese from Mothers side)[25]
Kathy Najimy, actress of Lebanese descent [26]
George Noory (1950 - ), radio broadcaster, as of 2006, the weekday host of the late-night paranormal-themed radio talk show Coast to Coast AM.[27]
Jehane Noujaim[28]
Michael Nouri
Naomi Shihab Nye[29]
Dean Obeidallah [30]
Heather Raffo, actress/playwright (Iraqi father)
Tom Shadyac
Jerry Seinfeld Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning comedian (Syrian Sephardic Jewish Mother)[31]
Shakira, her father is a Lebanese immigrant and her mother a native of Colombia
Tony Shalhoub (1953 - ), three-time Emmy Award-winning television and film actor (Monk)[32]
Alia Shawkat, actress (father is Iraqi)
James Stacy
Vic Tayback, actor, Syrian
Danny Thomas, actor, Lebanese [33]
Marlo Thomas, half Lebanese
Tony Thomas, half Lebanese
Vince Vaughn, Lebanese ancestry
Elliott Yamin, singer (Iraqi Jewish father)
Amy Yasbeck, half Lebanese
David Yazbek, half Arabian
Frank Zappa (part Lebanese father)[34]
Zaida Ben-Yusuf(1869-1933) was an American portrait photographer. Ben-Yusuf was born in London to an Algerian Muslim father and a German mother of Algerian descent. She immigrated to New York in 1897.[14]

[edit] Military
John Abizaid, Lebanese[35]
James Jabara, Lebanese
George Joulwan, Lebanese
Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a Specialist in the United States Army who was kidnapped by insurgents in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 23, 2006

[edit] Politics
James Abdnor
James Abourezk [36], Lebanese
Spencer Abraham, Lebanese ancestry
Victor G. Atiyeh
John Baldacci, Lebanese ancestry
Mitchell Daniels, Governor of Indiana
Pat Danner, former member of Congress
Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the American Congress For Truth, Lebanese
Camille Bud George, Pennsylvania House Representative
Philip Habib, Diplomat of Lebanese descent
Lisa Halaby, married King Hussein of Jordan and became the only Arab American to be the Queen of a foreign country, Queen Noor
Darrell Issa, conservative Californian Congressman, Lebanese father
Chris John, Lebanese ancestry
Aron Kader, comedian
Abraham Kazen, south Texas Congressman
Ray LaHood, Illinois Congressman of Lebanese descent
George J. Mitchell, Lebanese mother
Ralph Nader, Lebanese [37]
Jimmy Naifeh, the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Lebanese ancestry
Mary Rose Oakar, former member of the United States House of Representatives
Jeanine Pirro
Nick Rahall, U.S. Congressman, Lebanese
Donna Shalala, Lebanese
John E. Sununu, Senator from New Hampshire, son of John H. Sununu, Palestinian father
John H. Sununu, former Governor of New Hampshire, Palestinian
George P. Shadid, Lebanese immigrant, Illinois State Police Sherrif, Illinois State Senator.

[edit] Sports
Mark Copani, half Italian half Jordanian-Arab professional wrestler, known for his controversial yet highly memorable Muhammed Hassan character whilst in WWE
Omar Hassan, pro Skateboarder [38]
Vince Dooley
Doug Flutie, NFL player (Lebanese)
Jeff George, NFL quarterback
Sam Khalifa
Khalid Khannouchi, athlete marathon runner
Bobby Rahal
Rony Seikaly [39]
Kelly Slater
Joe Lahoud, MLB player for Boston & California

[edit] Others
Joseph Abboud (1950 - ), menswear fashion designer and author[40]
Reem Acra
Wahbi Al-Hariri, artist and architect (Syrian) Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (fr.)
Rosemary Barkett, federal judge and first woman Justice and Chief Justice on the Florida Supreme Court (Syrian)
Jamal Dajani, television producer and Middle East analyst.
Emilio Estefan, Cuban-born, manager and producer of wife Gloria Estefan
Ismail al-Faruqi
Gibran Khalil Gibran, Lebanese poet and artist
Hussein Ibish
Nabil Kanso, artist
Hoda Kotb
Candice Lightner (Lebanese mother), founder of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)[41]
Edward L. Masry, lawyer
Walid Rabah
Karim Rashid
Anthony Shadid [15]
Helen Thomas, journalist (Lebanese)[15]
John Zogby, pollster for Zogby International (Lebanese)
James Zogby, Arab-American civil rights activist (Arab-American Institute); brother of John
Zainab Salbi co-founder and president for Women for Women International (Iraqi)
Kuttab, Jonathan human rights Palestinian activist, New York bar member.
Helen Zughaib famous artist whose work is on display in the White House, the World Bank, and many other prestigious locations [42]
post #2 of 11
Dr. Peter Alachi.. Biology professor at Salem State. And Bewitched fanatic.

Actually know the man... he is pretty cool.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Another thing that bothers me... When someone of Arab disent does something bad,they are refered to as Arab.
When someone of Arab disent does something good then they are no longer refered to even as being Arab.
I feel like nobody is even interested in the good stuff and they only want to hear about the bad.
That makes me very sad!
post #4 of 11
Here are a few more:

Diane Rhem, radio talk show host, Syrian descent

Fouad Ajami, professor at Johns Hopkins University and MacArthur Fellow

Rashid Khalidi, professor and historian, Palestinian descent (and not even close to being a terrorist, despite what the McCain campaign suggests. )
post #5 of 11
Cool list! Thanks!
post #6 of 11
tj houshmanzadeh wide receiver for the cincinnati bengals' father is iranian and his mother black
post #7 of 11
Oh, I wanted to say that I claimed in that other thread that Bill Maher was Lebanese. This turns out not to be true. Apparently many think he is because of his last name, and because he talks so much about the problems in the Middle East. But Maher is also an Irish last name, and Bill apparently has Irish ancestry on his Dad's side, and a Hungarian-Jewish mother.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was wondering about that since Bill Maher is not on any Arab-Americans list.

Funny I used to think everyone with the last name Sheehan was Arab too untill I realised it is also an Irish last name!
Cool that Ralph Nader is Lebanese on both sides!

Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
Oh, I wanted to say that I claimed in that other thread that Bill Maher was Lebanese. This turns out not to be true. Apparently many think he is because of his last name, and because he talks so much about the problems in the Middle East. But Maher is also an Irish last name, and Bill apparently has Irish ancestry on his Dad's side, and a Hungarian-Jewish mother.
post #9 of 11
dont forget about kareem abdul jabbar he played basket ball

and Hakeem Olajuwon
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by IloveAllMyBabies View Post
dont forget about kareem abdul jabbar he played basket ball
AFAIK he's not of Arab descent, but just took an arabic name when he converted to Islam. Could be wrong though.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by IloveAllMyBabies View Post
dont forget about kareem abdul jabbar he played basket ball

and Hakeem Olajuwon
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not Arab, he's an African American Muslim. Hakeem Olajuwon is an African Muslim.
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