[CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Coordinator Aliya Latif, Tel: 212-870-2002 or 732-429-4268, E-Mail: alatif@cair.com]

(Special thanks to Ms. Almontaser and Ms. Alhusseini for their transparency in providing us with the correct information so as to leave no room for speculation.)

In response to the resignation of Debbie Almontaser as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, the Arab-American community in New York will be holding an impromptu town hall meeting to be scheduled Monday at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge at 6:30 p.m.

Ms. Almontaser told me Sunday, “For the record, I have not had any discussion about continuing with the Department of Education with anyone. As for my replacement, the Arab-American Family Support Center can make a recommendation to Chancellor Klein who then decides who to hire.”

Lena Alhusseini, head of the Arab-American Family Support Center, also told me later today, “The DOE decides on hiring a new principal not AAFSC. I also wanted to assure you that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the NYC Department of Education, New Visions, and AAFSC remain fully committed to the school’s mission and success. We are all dedicated to ensuring that KGIA is an institution of high academic standards. The school is going to open on Sept. 4 to welcome its first students, and I am certain it will be an institution our community will be very proud of.”

The Arab American Yemeni Association, The Arab Women in Arts (AWAAM) and the Arab American Association will be holding the town hall meeting tonight. Discussions will include a city-wide boycott of the New York Post as well as on how the situation has been handled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Department of Education.

Rima Abdelkader is a NY-based journalist and a graduate of Pace University in NY.


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