Changing Gears is a public media project about the future of the industrial Midwest. Each week, reporters Dan Bobkoff in Cleveland, Niala Boodhoo in Chicago and Kate Davidson in Ann Arbor cover issues of interest to the Great Lakes region. Changing Gears also sponsors public events and conversations.
I’m half-Arab, but maybe I should best be described as a Detroit Arab-American, because this is the place that helped to shape my family and my family helped shape.
Like any family of mixed ancestry, traditions have been blended and blunted, but being in a place with such a large, diverse population with roots in the Middle East has allowed us to keep things like the food front-and-center in our lives.
I’m grateful for being part of a family that is open to many cultural and religious traditions and I think we are stronger for it.
As my family’s 100th anniversary in the U.S. approached, I thought of its contribution to this place. My grandfather worked at Ford while he served as a Muslim minister and Arab-Muslim newspaper publisher. My father played French horn for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and so many classic Motown records.
All of it inspired a song I recently wrote called “Made by Motown.”
Talking Points Memo, an influential political blog, is estimating that as much as $100 million could be spent on the recall fight involving Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
It quotes analysts saying spending could be two or three times the $44 million that candidates and their supporters spent during state Senate recall races last year. Walker, at least, is getting ready for a pitched battle. He raised $4.5 million in just over a month, and has more than $2 million on hand, according to TPM.