Power grab and overreach: ADC and Osama Siblani

ADC-Michigan is facing a hostile takeover of its presence and role in the Arab American community.

It’s Osama Siblani- the publisher of the  so-called Arab American News and the treasurer and the de facto president of AAPAC, the Arab American Political Action Committee.

Siblani is out to grab power and expand the reach of his tentacles into all the affairs of the Arab Americans of Michigan via the affairs of a certain percentage of the 8% of the Arab Americans of Michigan who happen to live in the Dearborn area.

From day 1 you could see Siblani pouncing on ADC seeing in it as an easy prey.
The scandal broke from his office. The conspirators and their Palestinian moustache Rashida met in his office. His pontificating to the media, his infamous ADC “dropped the ball on us” happened at his office. Rashida’s sidekick and # 2 public face of the manufactured scandal is his employee Rana Abbas.

 The scandal, incidentally, broke out only months after Rana Abbas started working for Imad’s “friend” Osama and only a few months after Rashida began serving on the board of  Nabih Ayad’s custom- made ACRL, the Arab Civil Rights League. Rana Abbas served for a few months as the executive director for the ACRL. Nabih Ayad is active with Osama's AAPAC with one of his associates holding a key position in AAPAC.

It is a very small world indeed.

And all the roads lead to Osama.

The noisy and ostentatious resignations from the advisory board were by members who are all connected to Osama Siblani.

The funny thing- or unfunny thing- is that Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press has been writing fluff/filler articles over these board resignations as if they are resignations from the Federal Reserve of New York and will end up moving the stock market and global finance. I am sure the citizens of Michigan are eager to know and are losing sleep over who resigned and who stayed on the advisory board of the ADC-Michigan.

To those who don’t know the organizational structure of ADC here is a basic description:

ADC national has an office in Michigan headed by a regional director accountable to ADC national which in turn is accountable to its national board.

ADC has a chapter in Detroit. The chapter has a board elected by the chapter members. It is separate from the office that was headed by Imad until the monkey business of Rashida, Osama and secondary players began. I was the chair of the board at one time and a member at other times.

Imad has formed an advisory board for ADC Michigan office. The membership is by invitation. The board membership, highly diverse as to national background and religious background, includes businesspeople, lawyers, judges, doctors, etc. The members are chosen to help advise the organization. The Judges’ Night, a great idea of Imad which turned out to be a remarkable success, is run by the office assisted by the advisory board.

This is the advisory board of which I am a member and like the majority of the other members have not resigned from. A small part of the reasons for not resigning is that I am not a friend of Osama.
But we are not in the news and are not newsworthy to Niraj Warikoo.

Going back to Mr. Siblani, ADC Michigan and BRIDGES.

BRIDGES, a law enforcement-community body, that was established right after the 9/11 attacks by Imad along with the head of the FBI of Detroit at the time, Special agent in Charge John Bell, meets regularly to discuss community issues. Imad co chaired it with the US Attorney for the Eastern District for the longest time- that is until "the man and woman"- made scandal broke out. The government chair has changed over the years but not the community co-chair, Imad. Everyone understood that BRIDGES is the creation of ADC Michigan under the leadership of Imad. Through the years other organizations and ambitious individuals tried to wrest the leadership of BRIDGES from Imad and ADC but Imad was able to skillfully and bluntly nip the attempts in the bud.

BRIDGES has been recognized as a model to be emulated in other communities. It has been the subject of discussions and studies nationally and internationally. Imad was invited to national and international conferences to speak about BRIDGES.

That helps understand why Osama wants to take control of BRIDGES.

At the last meeting of BRIDGES held this past September there was a confrontation between Abed Ayoub from ADC national and the Osama group because Osama wanted to inherit ADC. Osama's  thinking is that with Imad not present and Abed Ayoub young and polite that ADC is an organization that he can bully and control as if it is the Baraachit club- no offense to that club and its members.

Osama should not be allowed to manipulate an organization that represents Arab Americans of all national backgrounds and religious and sectarian affiliation. There are many reasons key among them is that he is seen as a polarizing and divisive figure. In the minds of important constituencies in the Arab and Muslim communities, he and his paper have devolved from being uniting forces to divisive forces. The extent of the change is debatable but the sentiment is real and is there and it is not something that Osama and his paper have done anything to remedy despite advice from many people who meant well.

THEREFORE Osama of ALL people knows that he does not speak in the name of the Arab American community, in Dearborn and Detroit, let alone in Michigan, the Great Lakes states or the whole 50 states, the way ADC and its people do.

 Let’s be blunt. If there is a community crisis, let’s say sectarian for example, Osama and his paper are seen as part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Simply put- Osama should not be allowed to do to ADC and BRIDGES what he has done to the Arab American News and AAPAC- and to his old self.

Osama Siblani


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