Statement on Alex Odeh by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez




of California

in the House of Representatives

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor the life of Alex Michel Odeh.

Alex was born on April 4, 1944 in Jifna, Palestine and immigrated to the United States in 1972.

He was married to Norma Odeh and settled in Orange County, CA where they had three daughters, Helena, Samya and Susan Odeh.

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Odeh dedicated his professional life to teaching and served as a lecturer of Arabic Language and Middle East History at Coastline Community College in Santa Ana, California.

He dedicated his life to the pursuit of combatting discrimination both at home and abroad as a civil and human rights activist.

He was tireless in working with community and religious organizations to build bridges and foster peace and understanding between diverse groups.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short and Alex was assassinated on October 11, 1985, when a bomb exploded as he entered the office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) at 1905 East 17th Street in Santa Ana, California during his service as the Western Regional Director of ADC.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of his murder and the community and his family has yet to gain closure and justice for his death.

In June of 2013, I sent the Department of Justice a letter asking for closure in the case of Alex Odeh and we have yet to get a concrete answer from them, even though the FBI has characterized Mr. Odeh’s death as a domestic “terrorist attack.”

I will continue to fight for answers to Alex’s death and bring those that killed him to justice, but let us mark his death by remembering what he stood for and what he dedicated his life to: the pursuit to civil and human rights, as well as peace and mutual understanding between our diverse communities.

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