New Lebanese American Journal
New York, NY
Thursday, June 6, 1991

Two years of the NALA Chapter in Washington DC- 1989 / 1991


Washington, D.C. - The Washington Chapter of the National Alliance of Lebanese Americans (NALA) has been busy promoting the cause of a free, sovereign and united Lebanon. Under the leadership of Mr. Walid Maalouf the chapter organized countless cultural, educational and humanitarian activities, candlelight vigils and demonstrations at the White House and the Lebanese and Syrian Embassies, they also disseminated information about Lebanon to members of congress, the State Department and to the American people in the greater Washington DC area. Following are the highlights of achievements:

On November 3, 1989 NALA organized a press conference at the National Press Building with the national leadership of NALA and the Council of Lebanese American Organizations (CLAO) followed by a luncheon. Among those who attended are CNN, NBC, the Washington Post, The Moroccan News Agency and The Washington Times.

On November 30, 1989 they organized a successful demonstration in support of the people of Lebanon against Syrian aggression and foreign occupation. Several hundred people marched in "Solidarity with the People of Lebanon".

On February 27, 2990 the chapter organized a panel discussion at the John Hopkins University in the Washington DC campus with Dr. Mohamed Mograby and Dr. Habib Malik moderated by Mr. Walid Maalouf.

On March 17, 1990 the Washington Chapter of NALA held the first national board meeting and the first annual banquet at the Sheraton National in Arlington, Virginia.

On May 15, 1990 NALA organized at the Heritage Foundation a panel discussion about the "Syrian Drug Trafficking and Terrorism in Lebanon". Panelists were John Mcwethy of ABC News, Dr. Jim Swire, president of the United Kingdom victims of the Pan Am flight 103 and Joseph L. Boohaker, policy chairman of NALA, moderated by Charles Lichenstein, former US Ambassador to the UN.

On June 30, 1990 the Washington DC Chapter of NALA received the 1990 Highest Achievement Award at the second national convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.

On September 16, 1990 a Mass for peace was organized by NALA at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church. More than nineteen Lebanese American national organizations, media establishment, the Ambassador of Lebanon to Washington and the Lebanese American community at large attended this event.

After serving as the first national secretary of NALA, the President of the Washington DC Chapter and the national Vice President Liaison between April 24, 1989 and May 22, 1991 in his farewell remarks Mr. Maalouf said: "Our goal is to see Syria out of Lebanon. We are not attempting to get involved in partisan politics or pitting any Lebanese party against the other. We want to be a productive opposition; and we will never yield until Syria is totally withdrawn". He continues, "The community is in great need of individuals of high caliber and competence to lead. The young professionals and well-established Lebanese Americans are refusing to participate. Why? What is wrong? We must find a solution to see these people eager and willing to be part of the cause of free and united Lebanon in this city".