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Found this on the salam review website (


Another casualty from the recent Iraq crisis.
From: (Jennifer Bing-Canar, Chicago AFSC)
Subject: fullbright fires US critic
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 11:31:59 -0500
X-Info: American Friends Service Committee 

I'm sending this to all of you with the hopes that you will forward it on
to others and get the word out. The story is as follows: The Fulbright
program officer, Aida Dabbas--holder of both a U.S. and Jordanian
passport--has been fired, effective March 31, as a result of her
activities criticizing U.S. Foreign policy in the region during the recent
crisis with Iraq. The Director of the Fulbright office, Alain McNamara,
issued a memo to Ms. Dabbas detailing the reasons for her dismissal. Among
the reasons cited were her participation in a demonstration in support of
the Iraqi people which was held in downtown Amman. In addition, other
activities such as circulating information on the Internet and passing out
bumper stickers criticizing US and British agression in the region were
mentioned. Furthermore, the memo asserted that Aida's activities caused
"nervous confusion" amongst some of the American grantees. This is
spurious, at best. In an article regarding her dismissal, published in the
Jordan Times, one member of the Binational Fulbright Commission Board in
Amman stated: "If I were a student, I would probably be concerned to see
or hear my contact at the commission behaving this way." As a Fulbright
Grantee, I can assert that I was not concerned. In fact, I was encouraged
to learn that Aida was vocalizing her outrage with the policies the U.S.
is carrying out in Iraq. Even worse, her actions have been labelled
"anti-American" by the same board member. Considering that as a young
student, studying abroad, Bill Clinton participated in demonstrations
protesting the role of the U.S. government in the Vietnam War, are we to
also assume that the U.S. President is 'anti-American' as well? The
language being utilized and the manner in which Ms. Dabbas is being
treated harkens back to the days of McCarthyism in the US or the current
situation whereby one almost always faces the charge of 'anti-semite' if
one criticizes Israeli government policy. 

While there are clearly legal matters regarding her dismissal which are
currently being investigated, there are larger issues at work here. There
is the implied belief that employees of American organizations or
institutions forego their right to criticize US foreign policy (i.e. their
right to freedom of speech). If we as American citizens can's speak out in
defense of the oppressed who are victims of the policies of our own
government, who can? 

At this point, we think it is important to inform as many people as
possible--esp. in the academic/activist communities--about what is
happening to a Fulbright employee who chose to speak out. So PLEASE
forward this email to as many people as possible. And is you know of
anyone who can assist Ms. Dabbas (i.e. activists, academics, Human Rights
lawyers/workers, etc.) please let us know. You can reach Aida via email at 


Cathy Cook 

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