William McGurn: An Arab for Ground Zero
William McGurn is a Vice President at News Corporation who writes speeches for CEO Rupert Murdoch. Previously he served as Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush.
Today Ameen Rihani and the Little Syria neighborhood of lower Manhattan have largely been forgotten.
That's a pity. In his day, the Lebanese-born author and activist was a world figure—and the New York neighborhood where he once lived was a vibrant testament to America's immigrant experience. In our day, Rihani's unapologetic embrace of American-style freedom for the Arab people dovetails nicely with President Obama's call for a new, Middle Eastern diplomacy that makes it clear that "America's interests are not hostile to people's hopes."
If so, a statue of this Arab-American in lower Manhattan would be a powerful start.
The statue is the dream of Todd Fine, a Harvard grad who now works to promote Rihani's writings. The site Mr. Fine has in mind would be near Trinity Place and Edgar Street—roughly as close to Ground Zero as the proposed Park 51 Islamic Center that caused such an uproar last year. Whatever the objections to that center, they do not apply to Rihani...
comments powered by Disqus
- Kissinger Memo from 1972: Make the North Vietnamese think Nixon and I are crazy
- How Much U.S. History Do Americans Actually Know? Less Than You Think.
- Ice cream cone named after Adolf Hitler on sale in India sparks anger in Germany
- Expressing Outrage over Attacks on Cultural Heritage of Iraq, General Assembly Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling for Urgent Action
- Isis Palmyra demolition has begun with ancient God Lion statue destroyed
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay
- Nick Bunker Wins $50,000 2015 George Washington Book Prize