Birmingham Chapter
Issue 7 - March/April 2015

A Word from Our President….

Our Voice

Pg. 2

Ramallah City

Pg. 3


Pg. 4 & 5

Dates to Remember Pg. 6 & 7

God Bless the
Ramallah Club

Wonderful news! Our website is up and running! Check us out at:
Learn about our upcoming events, our community news, meeting times, access copies of our
Newsletter and much more. Weekly updates so
visit often!
Our club is working to improve communication
in many ways. In addition to our website, we
hope to have an automated phone message system that we will use to remind you of meetings
and events. The Newsletter will be available
on our website as well as our print version.
Our Facebook page will also contain news of
our events. Hopefully, you will help us by
spreading the word about what we are up to.
We need your support to make our club a success.
Our Federation president, Bassam Eways, will
be visiting us soon. He was unable to visit last
month due to the passing of his father-in-law.

Heritage Check list!

Eat Hummus & enjoy!

Join and support the
Ramallah Club!!

Eat zate n’ zatar

Teach your children an
Arabic word every week.

Drink Arabic coffee.

Eat maza drink arak.

Shop using our business
directory first.
Email your own tip
for our heritage check list!

I attended the Federation Midyear Meeting in
Houston along with Nadeem Shunnarah. The
Houston community outdid themselves as hosts
of the meeting. The mayor of Ramallah, The
Honorable Musa Hadeed, was there and spoke
eloquently of their needs. $60,000 was pledged
by clubs and individuals within ten minutes to
fund a hearse for Ramallah. Everyone should
be very proud of our Federation and the wonderful work it is doing. I learned about education and cultural missions that take influential
Americans (clergy, politicians, teachers, etc.) to
the Occupied Territories to see for themselves
the treatment Palestinians receive under occupation. We were all encouraged to write op eds
for our local newspapers regarding issues in
the Occupied Territories. It was recommended
that clubs sponsor their own Palestine Day. We
have numerous medical programs that aid the
sick and needy. We were told of a program
entitled Greening of Ramallah which is working to plant trees there. Clubs were encouraged

to inform members that memorials and celebrations could be honored by sending money for
that purpose. Our club will certainly support
these programs.
Elizabeth Shahid and Shadia Shunnarah attended the Leadership Ramallah Conference during
the Midyear Meeting in Houston and made
outstanding contributions.
The Chicago club is planning an exciting convention from July 2-4. We hope you will plan
to attend and will make your reservations now.
Their website is:
The convention will be in Cancun in 2016
sponsored by the San Jose (California) Club.
Mayor Hadeed asked that Ramallah be the site
for the 2019 conventions. Make your plans to
attend all these events.
Our club has had several functions at the
homes of members of our community. If you
would like to offer your home for a party,
please contact Samya Shunnarah, our Social
Chair, at She’d love
to hear from you.
Also, we would like to have donations to support the printing of our Newsletter. Donations
from businesses or individuals are welcome.
Your donation will be acknowledged in that
edition. Get in touch with Samya about this
We would love to have your suggestions and
ideas about how we can improve and increase
participation in our events. Please call me
205-201-5375 or send me an email me at
I welcome your thoughts
and suggestions.
Helen Shunnarah Mills

Our Voice
ADVICE by Shadia…

is the
ability to understand and share
the feelings of
another. This is
the most basic of
all things. It is
the basis of humanity. It has no
religion, no race, no gender, no labels
or expectations. It has no judgments.
Only when we comprehend our most
basic human desire to be understood
can we really address positive
change; only then can we make progress.
At Leadership Ramallah, we
discussed the empathetic gap
between the generations and how
that is the major problem within our
communities. Each generation has
different expectations and visions of
life, love, work, play and everything
else in between. We discuss politics,
religion, family and etcetera just to
keep running in circles around one
another. We have to constantly ponder our own personal desires and expectations will simultaneously worrying about if the generations before
us will be offended and if the generations below us will be inspired.
Generations above: you are the immigrants who came here from
Ramallah. You packed your things,
fled a war zone and made a new life
in a new country that possesses a
language and culture that are entirely different from the one you know.
You’ve had to adapt and adjust.
Generations below: we are the first,
second and third generations. We’re
stuck in a tug-of-war between the
roots that have been imbedded in us
and the tree that we’re trying to nurture. We’ve been spoken to in two
languages, raised in two
and are

Why is it so important to join
and support the Ramallah Club?

having to constantly consider what is It is more than just a social club.
appropriate for one culture and what is It’s a way of connecting with our
family and our heritage. Who are
inappropriate for the other.
we and where did we come from?
Through these definitions, while not en- We didn’t just wake up and find
tirely conclusive, we see that the genera- ourselves living in a fancy house
tions are living in two different worlds. on the hill. We all struggled to get
What we don’t see is that we each want
the same thing.
Generation above has developed a need Lets not forget our elders who
to seek out what is familiar. Generation suffered in sheer poverty to pave
below developed a need to seek out what the way for our freedom. They
is different. This is similar because we lived threw a war that alienated
equally desire balance. Generation them from their homeland and
above was torn from what was familiar specifically their soil which they
and thrown into the unknown. They had cultivated to feed their families
to adjust to constant change. Generation for centuries.
below grew up believing change was difIn 1948 their world was turned
ficult, education was a priority but when
we learned more, did more, were more upside down leaving them
than the generation above, it became a displaced. We are people without
problem. We search for different because our homeland but never without
we were held down by our parents need tradition!! Besides the clothes on
for consistency. Don’t misinterpret me. their back, that was the only
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I’m thing they could bring with them
simply saying that we ALL NEED AND and hold close to their hearts.
DESIRE BALANCE. That’s where Merriam-Webster defines Tradition
empathy comes in.
as “the stories, beliefs, etc., that
We’re imposed with the notion that each
generation’s expectations and desires
are so severely different from one another that trying to convey ideals will only
result in chaos and disillusion. There is
a lack in empathy between the generations and yet it is the key to connecting
them. We have to learn to empathize
with one another and to truly seek
understanding before we can expect to
make positive change.
The next time you’re in conversation
with a different generation than your
own, seek not to only express YOUR ideas but also empathize and try to
understand and embrace THEIRS.

have been part of the culture of a
group of people for a long time”
cited at

The Ramallah Federation was
formed to help sustain our unity
and keep those traditions alive.
When I was a little girl, My dad
would say to all of us, “Your to
speak and learn English at school
and speak and learn Arabic at
home.” and of course I said
“Why Yabba”, and he would reply, “So you could learn two
languages and not forget your
native tongue.” I didn't come to
appreciate this gift, until years
later when I was able to use both
languages!! Thanks you Yabba
for helping me hold on to our
Let’s keep united our
people and keep alive
because it matters!
Shunnarah, Editor

Ramallah City
Al-Manara Square
Architecture and Power
By Adania Shibli

century, a dirt road that stretched for about
one kilometre and a half, connecting the
two villages of Ramallah and al-Birah,
and appearing on a map of the area dating
to the 1870s. At the beginning of the
twentieth century, this road’s importance
His essay addresses one of Palestine’s began to increase due to many factors,
renowned public spaces, Ramallah’s al- among them the establishment of the
Manara Square. It examines the role of Friends Boys School in 1901 by the Quakthe square in developing the spatial prac- er mission in Palestine on a piece of land
tices of Ramallah area inhabitants, in- in al-Birah, approximately 300 meters
cluding visitors from neighboring villag- from the current site of al-Manara Square.
es and cities. Moreover, it seeks to ana- The school’s renown soon spread, and it
lyze the various dimensions of al- became the most prestigious school in PalManara’s role in the organization of estine
Ramallah society and the definition of Al-Manara Becomes a Monument
various social groups in relation to each In 1951, during the period of Jordanian
control over the West Bank, work was
completed on a monument to replace the
old al-Manara pole, which had become
In Saleh Abdel Jawad’s 1999 article unnecessary with the centralization of
“Ramallah and al-Birah: al-Manara street lighting in the 1940s. The Ramallah
Square Rises From the Rubble of Histo- municipality, which made all decisions
ry,” published in the daily Palestinian regarding al-Manara, commissioned a
newspaper al-Ayyam, we learn that the monument from a Ramallah artist in 1946.
space currently occupied by al-Manara The artist carved the heads of five lions
was, until the end of the eighteenth and placed them on a stone pillar, around

Al-Manara in the Early
Nineteenth Century

*The Five Lions at the Al-Manara Square, Ramallah Palestine

which were set fountains and flower
beds, all encircled by a metal railing.
The five lions represented the five
Ramallah families who viewed themselves as the city’s ‘original’ inhabitants: the families of Ibrahim, Jerias,
Shqair, Hassan, and Haddad*.8 All five
of these families were descended from
the Rashid al-Haddadin family, which
fled to Ramallah in the sixteenth century from the Shobak area in east Jordan after local leader Sheikh Dhiyab
bin Qaysoum sought to forcefully marry his Muslim son to
Christian daughter.9
Read more from Adania essay on our
website: See PDF Copy under History

20 top Middle Eastern foods -- which is the best?
According to
“Fresh, wholesome, healthy, rich,
aromatic -- it's no wonder that the past
decade has seen Middle Eastern cuisine's global profile skyrocketing.
While everyone has their favorite dish,
we hit up Lebanese-American food
blogger Bethany Kehdy of, who a cookbook on Middle Eastern cuisine due out in 2013, for
her take. Her favorite dishes are simple and rustic, such as the m’jadarrah,
lentil stew, also known as poor man’s
stew, consisting of slow-cooked lentils
with a sprinkling of burghul and caramelized onions and served with a side
of zesty cabbage salad. Or Kkshik, a
porridge made from burghul fermented
with yogurt and dried in the sun on
rooftops over seven days during the fall
before being ground into fine powder.
“It’s soul-soothing, wholesome food in a
jiffy, although an acquired taste, I’ll
admit,” says the power blogger. So
what is your favorite Mideast dish?
Along with Kehdy’s takes, we rounded
up 20 of our favorite Middle Eastern
dishes to get you started.

1. Hummus
The big daddy chickpea spread can be
slathered on anything from a burger or
baked potato to the traditional hot pita

2. Manakeesh
The pizza of the Arabic world,
manakeesh is a round bread sprinkled
with either cheese, ground meat or
herbs (zaatar). It's ideal for breakfast
or lunch. Varieties come from both fancy Levantine restaurants or street vendors.

3. Grilled halloumi
These mini-slabs of chewy goodness
are made from goat and sheep milk.

Healthy Body
+Healthy Mind
= Happy Life!!

Unlike other cheeses, no acid or bacteria
is used during processing.

eggplant kick. Spiced up with chili, it
delivers a zing.

4. Foul meddamas

8. Fattoush

Made of fava beans, olive oil, parsley,
onion, garlic and lemon, this dish doesn't
have the most appetizing of presentations -- blobby brown mush is about the
best we can say of it. Taste and texture
make up for it.

This tangy salad is one of the Middle
East's greatest contributions to world
culture. Crispy lettuce, crunchy fried
squares of pita, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and onion, garlic, lemon, olive
oil and mint make for a refreshing addiction.

5. Falafel
You may consider fried chickpeas with
herbs as simply a great snack. Or tasty
pita filler. For Middle Easterners, however, the origins of falafel are a matter of
patriotic interest.

9. Umm Ali

6. Tabouleh

Egyptian bread pudding, or umm ali,
is a hearty pastry cooked in milk and
cream. Versions are made with croissant pieces, raisins, pistachios, vanilla
and condensed milk.

You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this magical combination of bulgur,
parsley, mint, onion and tomatoes. But
watch out, you just might be tempted to
switch teams after a steady diet of this
popular salad. Baba ghanoush comes in
a variety of styles.

This cow or sheep milk cheese is usually fashioned into golf ball-sized bites
and rolled in zaatar herbs or chili
flakes (the latter version favored in
Syria). Also often enjoyed with diced
tomato, onion and olive oil.

7. Moutabal/baba ghanoush
Just when you're ready to declare hummus the best dip on the planet, you find
moutabal. Similar to baba ghanoush, the
dip offers a similar consistency with an

10. Shanklish

We only featured 10 See more at By Jade Bremner
12 November, 2012

Its not enough to just eat good you have to feel good.
Mind and Body, working together harmonically.
I was able to find lots of great information, visit the sites below:
“7 Tips for Mind-Body Balance” Visit:
“14 Easy Tips for a Healthy Mind & Body” Visit:
“Mind and Body” Visit:

Garbanzo Beans
What's New and Beneficial
about Garbanzo Beans

There's now direct
and appetite! Participants in a recent study reported more satisfaction with their diet when garbanzo beans were included, and they
consumed fewer processed food
snacks during test weeks in the
study when garbanzo beans were
consumed. They also consumed
less food overall when the diet
was supplemented with garbanzo
Garbanzo beans (like most legumes) have long been valued for
their fiber content. Two cups provide the entire Daily Value! But
the research news on garbanzos
and fiber has recently taken us
one step further by suggesting
that the fiber benefits of garbanzo
beans may go beyond the fiber
benefits of other foods. In a recent
study, two groups of participants
received about 28 grams of fiber
per day. But the two groups were
very different in terms of their
food sources for fiber. One group
received dietary fiber primarily
from garbanzo beans. The other
group obtained dietary fiber from
entirely different sources. The
garbanzo bean group had better
blood fat regulation, including
lower levels of LDL-cholesterol,
total cholesterol, and triglycerides.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

Puree garbanzo beans, olive oil,
fresh garlic, tahini and lemon
juice to make a quick and easy
hummus spread.
Sprinkle garbanzo beans with
your favorite spices and herbs
and eat as a snack.
Add garbanzo beans to your green
Make a Middle Eastern-inspired
pasta dish by adding garbanzo
beans to penne mixed with olive
oil, feta cheese and fresh oregano.

Quick and Easy
Hummus Dip
1 (15 once) can of garbanzo
beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt
Directions: Blend garbanzo
beans, tahini, lemon juice,
garlic, and salt in a blender
until smooth. If mixture is
thick add more water or lemon
juice depending on taste.
Stores remaining hummus in
refrigerator up to 10 days.
Serves 7


Simmer cooked garbanzo beans in
a sauce of tomato paste, curry
spices, and chopped walnuts and
serve this dahl-type dish with
brown rice.
Adding garbanzo beans to your
vegetable soup will enhance its
taste, texture and nutritional

Learn more at
Worlds Healthiest Foods:

Chickpeas Nutrition Facts
Calories 269

(1124 kJ)

Calories from fat 38
Total Fat



Sat. Fat








< 1%

Total Carbs.



Dietary Fiber











This Issue Sponsored by

DATES to Remember...
Join us for our Mexican Fiesta
hosted by the Ramallah Club
At the lovely home of Jeff and Kendall Snider
3724 Wimbleton Lane
Birmingham, AL 35223
March 14th 6:00-9:00 PM


Please RSVP on our site:

AGE GROUP: 25-50

We need everyone to participate!
Please start your big spring clean up today!
REYAD 205-266-5771 OR SAMYA 205-617-0155

T h a n k s T O A L L f o r at t e n d i n g
this years Las Vegas night!
W E h a d a s u p e r t i m e at O v e r t i m e
Ba r & gr ill wi th Big Wi nners !

Farrah Shunnarah 4th
Tina Iqal 10th
Rickey Shahid 10th
Anthony Shunnarah 10th
Monica Shunnarah
Hardman 11th
Janet Shunnarah 13th
Hala Valekis 17th
Leeba Shunnarah
Strong 18th
Joseph S. Shunnarah 19th
Kendall Snider 25th
Steven M. Shunnarah 30th
Fuad Shunnarah Jr. 31st

Zeyad Shunnarah 3rd
Elizabeth Shahid 3rd
Rima Deep 8th
Bishara Shunnarah 15th
Saliba Shunnara 17th
JoAnn Shahid 18th
Helen Shunnarah 18th
Michael Shunnarah 20th
Freddy Shunnarah 27th
Rima Shunnarah 27th
Sam Shatara 29th
Lina Far Awwad 30th

A celebration of her life!

Bahia Shunnarah



Newsletter Sponsored by
The Ajlouny Family & Piggly Wiggly
Many Thanks & Appreciation

Reyad & Ghada
March 13th
Joe & Susie Fawwal
March 13th
Michael & Samya
Shunnarah April 9

Newsletter Sponsored by
The Ajlouny Family

Club of Birmingham
PO Box 55631
Birmingham, AL 35255

American Ramallah
Visit our new site today!!