ADC Mourns Passing of Dr. Jack G. Shaheen

Washington, DC | | July 10, 2017 – It is with a profound sense of loss and sadness that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee mourns the passing of Dr. Jack Shaheen, who passed away last night.

ADC Board Chairman Safa Rifka expressed: “The community lost one of its best. We will miss his sharp intellect, his enthusiastic demeanor, and his infectious personality.

Dr. Shaheen was an internationally acclaimed author, lecturer and media critic considered to be the foremost authority on media images of Arabs and Muslims in American Popular Culture. Dr. Shaheen authored five books, the award-winning Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People; Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11, Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture; Nuclear War Films, and The TV Arab. His writings include more than 300 essays in publications such as Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as chapters on media stereotypes in 40-plus college textbooks.

ADC President Samer Khalaf expressed:

“Dr. Shaheen worked passionately and tirelessly to shed light on the common media stereotypes of Arabs in Western film, providing invaluable resources to the academic community at large. His work started a conversation about the representation of Arabs in Hollywood and the need for more nuanced depictions of the community. Dr. Shaheen will be greatly missed.”

Regularly discussing media stereotypes on national programs and networks such as CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Nightline, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, and The Today Show, Dr. Shaheen gave over 1,000 lectures in nearly all 50 states and three continents. Oxford, Amherst, Harvard, Kenyon, the University of Southern California, Emory and Northwestern, are among those universities which welcomed him, as well as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr. Shaheen was instrumental in ADC’s efforts to change the original song lyrics that served to characterize the Arab world as alien, exotic, and “other” in the film Aladdin. His positive impact in the Arab-American community will be felt for generations to come.

Dr. Shaheen created the Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship, which awards annual scholarships to Arab American college students studying journalism and mass communications through the ADC.

Among Dr. Shaheen’s many awards, the ADC recognized him for “his lifelong commitment to bring a better understanding towards peace for all mankind” with ADC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

ADC sends our deepest condolences to Jack’s wife Bernice and his family. May his memory be eternal.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Jack G. and Bernice M. Shaheen Endowed Media Scholarship Fund.

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