Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00
People who knew Ghazi Y. Khankan will always remember his velvety voice, his silvery white hair, his unmitigated commitment to justice in Palestine and his vision for Muslim contribution to American society. A pioneer in broadcasting, he launched Arabesque radio in 1967 – the longest running radio Arab-issues radio program in America. His work with the late Dr. Mohammad T. Mehdi put Khankan at the forefront of political advancement for Arab and Muslim Americans.
A native of Syria, Khankan studied at the Lycee Francais, at Aleppo College, and at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his education at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in the fields of business administration and international relations (1954-1960). He was the director of the Organization of Arab Students in the U.S. and Canada (1960-1964), and is past president of the National Council on Islamic Affairs (NCIA).
The Islamic Center of Long Island was spiritual home to El Hajj Ghazi Khankan for two decades. He directed and developed the public relations arm of ICLI, positioning the center as a base for information, education, interfaith efforts and influence.
Khankan campaigned for Palestinian rights and recognition alongside closely his friend Dr. Mohammad T. Mehdi, founder of the American Arab Relations Committee and helped promote the cause of Muslim integration in the United States with the NCIA which merged, in 1999 (after Mehdi’s death) with the American Muslim Alliance.
A relentless advocate for inter-religious accord, Ghazi Khankan participated with the Islamic-Roman Catholic Dialogue, American Muslims and Jews in Dialogue, the Jewish-Christian-Islamic Commission of the National Conference of Community and Justice, the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum and the Long Beach Clergy Association. He was a regular guest on Long Island Cablevision Channel 25’s Telecare programs, Father Tom and Religious Leaders and Circle of Faith. Khankan was a member of the N.Y. State Advisory Committee of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in November 1996 was designated by Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta to serve as his coordinator with the Muslim community on Long Island.
Many people remain grateful to Ghazi Khankan for officiating at their weddings; he was devoted to performing Islamic marriage services.
Khankan won numerous awards from Arab and Muslim student associations across the country. He was lauded by the Suffolk County Police Department, by CAIR-NY and by the Kiwanis Club of Long Beach.
Khankan was Islamic affairs advisor at the Long Island University, C. W. Post campus, and volunteered as Muslim advisor at North Shore University Hospital, where he passed away surrounded by family and friends on Thursday, April 26 after suffering a massive stroke.
His funeral was at the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury on April 27. He is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Linden, NJ.
Ghazi Khankan is survived by his wife Tanya, daughter Dahlia, son Yahya, their spouses, six grandchildren, devoted nephews, nieces, and extended family in the United States and around the world.
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.