Exclusive Interview with former ADC President Sara Najjar Wilson: On Imad Hamad and the accusations
Former ADC President Sara Najjar-Wilson
- You were President of ADC. When was that?
I was the President of ADC from March 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.
-Have you heard of the allegations made against the organization and Mr. Imad Hamad?
Yes. It is very troubling, and appears to be an unconscionable action by the perpetrators. The allegations seem to be made in the media, not through the proper protected complaint process, with total disregard for the harmful impact on the ADC organization, Imad Hamad and his family (particularly his children), and in violation of the due process protection afforded by civil rights laws and procedures to all individuals affected. Ms. Abbas is calling for the firing of Mr. Hamad. What about due process for his civil rights and civil liberties? These allegations appear to be an orchestrated conspiracy of classical “character assassination” to defame Mr. Hamad through a shameful public “lynching,” contrary to the due processes that the civil rights laws and procedures are intended to protect. Mr. Hamad should promptly be restored to his position. There is no legal justification to putting him on leave when the claims are of historical nature and not related to any present conduct. Moreover, contrary to the allegations by Ms. Abbas, I am confident that my predecessor, Mary Rose Oakar, a champion of civil rights, did take very seriously any such previous allegations and promptly addressed them.
- Did these allegations previously come to your attention while you were at ADC?
Not at all. No one made any such allegations while I was the President of ADC. Ms. Abbas had left the ADC Michigan office by the time I assumed my position at ADC. I met her and had spoken with her during my tenure, and she never mentioned any such incident to me. It is reasonable to assume that whatever personnel issues may have existed were thoroughly reviewed by and closed during Mary Rose Oakar’s tenure.
- Have you met Rashida Tlaib and did she contact you with the allegations she is making now?
I do not recall meeting Ms. Tlaib, as I had met so many people (all at once) whenever I traveled to MI on behalf of ADC, and had not heard of her allegations before seeing the prejudicial ADC statement. I am surprised that a state representative is using her official stationary and state legislative position to make these personal allegations at this late stage. Based on news accounts, it is apparent that Ms. Tlaib is part of an orchestrated conspiracy to harm Mr. Hamad. While I am not familiar with the State of MI’s legislative ethics requirements, her action at this time and in the manner publicized appear to be an abuse of her position as a legislator. The manner and timing of her action have done or will do irreparable harm to the ADC organization, the Arab American community, and definitely to Mr. Hamad and his family. One does not “cut one’s nose to spite one’s face,” as the saying goes; and it is obvious that the perpetrators of these allegations at this time gave no consideration to the inhumanely devastating impact their actions have on Mr. Hamad’s children. Such shortsightedness is shameful, and saddens me greatly.
-What do you think of Imad?
He is tireless in his defense of civil rights. A tireless servant and selfless employee of ADC, who has dedicated over 15 years of his life to serving the Arab American community. His energy and unrelenting efforts on behalf of ADC, under tremendous economic strains, are unmatched -- as attested to by the innumerable awards he has received from the MI community. It is ironic that Ms. Abbas claims that ADC “did not protect the rights of the people who worked for it,” as she is now doing just that to Mr. Hamad and imploring ADC to not protect his rights! The violation of Mr. Hamad’s rights is further aggravated by the planting of the allegations in the media, timed with the presentation of such allegation to ADC, so as to defame him through a media spectacle. He has done more for ADC than anyone else, as is evident by the success of the many programs in the State of MI, and the existence of the only viable ADC regional office. It is unconscionable that Mr. Hamad is being so unjustly treated by execution through publicity -- a total disregard of the American way of ”innocent until proven guilty” and the guarantees of due process and protection of the law, including civil rights and civil liberties. May God forgive those who have visited such undeserved harm to Mr. Hamad and to his innocent children (whom I understand are suffering tremendously due to the attendant publicity). I can only imagine what his children are going through now -- it’s an outrage and a shame on our entire community to have put them through this currently unjustified ordeal.
For the entire time of my knowing Mr. Hamad, he has been and is always a gentleman. He is a person of high integrity, who has played a vital leadership role on behalf of the Arab American community, and earned my respect.
Mr. Hamad has worked so hard for ADC, at tremendous sacrifice to his personal life and to his health; and has done so much for ADC and the Arab American community in Michigan.
Is this the way to thank him?