William McGurn: An Arab for Ground ZeroRoundup: Talking About History
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
- Tales of African-American History Found in DNA
- History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery Documents
- In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim?
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- Family shines light on American POW killed by Hiroshima blast
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize