Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | September 13, 2022 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is excited to announce that Fozi Khouri will receive the Raymond Jallow Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Alex Odeh Memorial Gala! This award is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional success and leadership throughout their career. The Gala will be held on Saturday, October 8 at the Delta Hotels – Anaheim Grove in Anaheim, CA. Click here to register for the conference and Gala.
Fozi Khouri was born in Nazareth, Palestine in 1942 to a family of 8 children. He was directly affected at an early age during the El Nakba when his two uncles were murdered in a local church yard by Israeli soldiers in 1948 and Nazareth became occupied. Soon after the 6 Day War in 1967, he emigrated to Canada to flee oppression and seek better opportunities and then moved to San Diego in 1969 through his employment with NASCO. Having newly settled in San Diego, he hit the local white pages flipping to common Arab last names and one by one by one started calling fellow Arab neighbors to find and connect the local Arab community. He married in 1970 to a local gal, Christine, who was also involved with civil rights movements. They both supported each other’s causes and continued to get more active and deeply involved with protests, vigils, political campaigns, media coverage, and fundraising. In 1975, Fozi started a small business starting out from a rented garage in the apartment complex he and Christine lived in. The business grew successfully and served the local printing industry well until his retirement in 2019. He and Christine raised two daughters and has one grandson.
He founded the Arab-American Society in the late 70s and subsequently a Palestine Arab Fund chapter for the purposes of supporting local events, assisting Arab immigrants, and promoting awareness of Arab issues. Fozi was the founding chapter president for the San Diego ADC in the early 80s. He worked closely with Alex Odeh helping to pioneer a path for Arab-Americans to demand equality. Alex was a close friend to Fozi, who was both inspired and influenced by Alex’s dedication to the cause, his career, his poetry, and his family. Alex’s assassination was a true loss of a brother for Fozi. They both received harassment and threats for their activism and advocacy, yet they remained vigilant.
Fozi served his Arab community relentlessly from all angles. He networked with business owners, local elders, media and journalists, politicians, newly arrived immigrants, and foreign students in his effort to unify the community to serve as a local, regional, and national platform to address the challenges of discrimination toward Arabs.
Fozi’s approach to opposition was to engage in proactive dialog. When his daughter’s teacher shared in the classroom that Palestinians were terrorists, he seized an opportunity to educate not only the teacher, but the students as well. When the late local newsman Michael Tuck opined a negative commentary of Arabs, he seized that opportunity to educate him who would soon become a supporter of the Arab community and close friend. He never turned down an invitation to lecture at universities on the Palestinian perspective. Whenever Muslims came under harassment, he stood by them as an Arab to demonstrate his Christian background did not divide him from unifying with all families of the Arab community. Fozi’s pan-Arab perspective was key to unifying the Arab community as well as working in solidarity with other ethnic organizations also seeking justice and end to discrimination.
His increasing involvement with the ADC created opportunities to generate support for the Arab community from high ranking politicians and notable personalities such as Jesse Jackson, President Jimmy Carter, the late Muhammad Ali, and was invited as a guest of the White House to be present for the signing of the Oslo Accords to recognize him as a collaborator for peace.
October 7 – October 8, 2022
Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove
12021 Harbor Boulevard Garden Grove, California 92840