A weekly newspaper in Dearborn marks its 35th year of publication with language more sweeping than most business anniversary celebrations.
"Throughout our 35 years, we at The Arab American News have been carrying the load, standing on guard to fight for the common causes of our diverse community," publisher Osama Siblani writes in an editorial a week before the March 22 milepost. "It's been an incredible ride."
The paper he founded in 1984 describes itself as "the largest, oldest and most respected Arab American newspaper in the United States." Siblani, a 64-year-old West Bloomfield resident, alludes in this week's commentary to his publication's political impact in the era after 9/11:
When our community needed a voice, ours was the loudest, clearest and the bravest.
We supported candidates from our community and those who are supportive of our causes, nurturing our community's movement grown straight from the grassroots into a political powerhouse capable of defending our interests at the local, state and national levels against the most heartless bullies.
We’ve also been on the front lines of the most controversial world issues, providing a voice for the Palestinian cause and other oppressed communities, even when facing a tremendous backlash from the establishment and the power brokers. . . .
And we've done it all while taking a stand for unity among our community and with our neighbors in the Metro Detroit and Michigan communities at-large, denouncing sectarianism and radicalism while making sure that our community has a seat at the table and is treated with respect.