Raed Jarrar

Raed Jarrar (Arabic: رائد جرار‎) is an Arab-American architect, blogger, and political advocate based in the U.S. Capital Washington, DC. He is currently the Middle East and North Africa Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA.

Raed Jarrar
Raed jarrar 5253348
Alma materUniversity of Baghdad,
University of Jordan


Jarrar was born in Iraq, and raised in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He is half Iraqi and half Palestinian. He holds a degree in architecture from the University of Baghdad, and a master's degree in Architectural Engineering, specialized in post-war reconstruction, from the University of Jordan.

While attending the University of Baghdad, he met the fellow architecture student later known as Salam Pax.[1]

Jarrar first gained prominence as the person referenced in the title of the blog "Where is Raed?", written and maintained by Salam Pax, to which Jarrar himself made infrequent posts. This blog received widespread media coverage during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and afterwards.[1]

Jarrar, along with his family, compiled their blogs into The Iraq War Blog, An Iraqi Family's Inside View of the First Year of the Occupation, which was published in June 2008. The book explores, through their words, how their lives were affected as terrorist activities, as well as the American military and coalition allies response, devastated the city. They persevered through night attacks and daytime missile strikes that often wreaked destruction to their home by blowing doors off hinges and breaking windows. The Jarrar family, while chronicling their daily lives amid the destruction, also provides descriptive analysis of the political climate that resulted from the American occupation of the country.

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Jarrar worked as the country director of CIVIC Worldwide, the only door-to-door civilian casualties survey in Iraq since 2003. He also founded Emaar, an NGO that carried out humanitarian and reconstruction work in Baghdad and southern Iraq.[2]

JetBlue incident

We will not be silent logo
Aspect of the slogan "we will not be silent" in Arabic and English

Jarrar later gained attention after an incident on August 12, 2006 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.[3] Raed had attempted to board a JetBlue flight from New York City to Oakland, California while wearing a black T-shirt with the text "We will not be silent" in English and Arabic. The shirts were produced by The Critical Voice, an anti-war group; the text was inspired by the German phrase Wir schweigen nicht ("We will not be silent"), the slogan of the White Rose, the "subversive" German antifascist anti-Nazi organization.[4] As Jarrar himself related:

"So I went to the airport in the morning, and I was prevented to go to my airplane by four officers, because I was wearing this t-shirt that says 'We Will Not Be Silent' in both Arabic and English. And I was told by one of the officials that wearing a t-shirt with Arabic script in an airport now is like going to a bank with a t-shirt that reads, 'I am a robber'."[5]

After a lengthy exchange with airport staff, Jarrar was persuaded to cover his T-shirt with another T-shirt bought for him by JetBlue staff from an airport gift shop.[4][6]

On August 13, 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against JetBlue alleging illegal discrimination against Jarrar.[6][7] In January 2009 JetBlue paid Jarrar $240,000 to settle the case.[8]

Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, an expert in Constitutional law at the American Civil Liberties Union who followed the trial, noted:[3] "neither the TSA officials involved nor JetBlue could identify a single passenger who had supposedly been 'concerned' by Mr. Jarrar's t-shirt. Nor had they inquired whether the nature of any purported 'concern' was based on a legitimate reason or an illegitimate racial bias, perhaps grounded in the stereotyping of Mr. Jarrar as a "terrorist" simply because he is Arab and wore a shirt with Arabic script."


By 2017, Jarrar was Middle East and North Africa advocacy director for Amnesty International, U.S.A. That year, he was denied entry by Israel to mourn his recently deceased father, in his fathers hometown of Jenin.[9]

Political work

Raed Jarrar translated the new Iraqi Oil Law that was proposed by the Bush Administration. He also translated multiple copies of the U.S.-Iraqi Security Agreement signed between the two nations in 2008. [Citations needed.]

Jarrar testified before the U.S. Congress in two hearings, and helped invite three Iraqi Parliamentary delegations that testified before the U.S. congress in 2007 and 2008.

See also


  1. ^ a b McCarthy, Rory (May 30, 2003). "Salam's story". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
  2. ^ "Raed Jarrar profile". Inquest Iraq. Retrieved 2007-03-17.
  3. ^ a b Nusrat Jahan Choudhury (2009-01-10). "Jarrar settlement promotes security in civil aviation while protecting civil liberties". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2009-12-05. This settlement is a victory. Even absent a court judgment, it marks progress in the fight to promote safety and security in civil aviation while protecting the civil rights and liberties that are the hallmark of this country.
  4. ^ a b "Arabic T-shirt sparks airport row". BBC News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  5. ^ "We Will Not Be Silent: Movement Grows to Challenge Racial Profiling at Airports". Democracy Now!. September 1, 2006. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  6. ^ a b Lenkowitz, Eric (August 10, 2007). "JETSUE: Arab T-shirt 'bias' rap". New York Post. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  7. ^ "ACLU Sues Jet Blue & TSA for Barring Man Wearing Arabic T-Shirt". Democracy Now!. August 13, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  8. ^ "240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt". January 5, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  9. ^ Why Won’t Israel Let Me Mourn My Father?, by Raed Jarrar, Nov. 23, 2017, NY Times

External links


Antiwar.com is a libertarian website which describes itself as devoted to "non-interventionism" and as opposing imperialism and war. It is a project of the Randolph Bourne Institute. The website states that it is "fighting the next information war: we are dedicated to the proposition that war hawks and our leaders are not going to be allowed to get away with it unopposed and unchallenged."

Eyes Wide Open (exhibit)

Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee observing the American soldiers and marines that have died in the Iraq War. It contains a pair of combat boots to represent every American soldier and marine that has died in the war, as well as shoes representing Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives during the invasion and occupation. The exhibit was first shown in Chicago's Federal Plaza in January 2004. At that time, the exhibit contained 504 pairs of boots.As of March 2007, the national exhibit contained over 3,400 pairs of boots and had visited more than 100 cities in 40 states. However, as a result of its unmanageable size, the exhibit has been broken down state-by-state. Currently, nearly every state has its own state exhibit. The national exhibit in its entirety would currently contain more than 4,000 pairs of empty boots.


Googlefight is a website that allows users to compare the number of search results returned by Google for two given queries.

People often use this for entertainment by implying one subject is better than another, such as Microsoft vs. Google, with Google the winner. It can also be used as a measure of competitiveness; Salam Pax posted a Googlefight result between himself and Raed Jarrar on their blog in 2002, as their worldwide readership rose in the prelude to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.Googlefight has been highlighted as an example of a site making money from contextual advertising, as well as one that derives its longevity from community participation (in this case, the always changing search terms).

Jarrar clan

Jarrar (Arabic: جرار‎) is a large Palestinian clan that served as rural landlords and tax-collectors (mutasallims) in the Jenin area during Ottoman rule in Palestine. During this era, they were the most powerful of the rural clans in Palestine's central highlands.

Palestinian diaspora

The Palestinian diaspora (Arabic: الشتات الفلسطيني‎, al-shatat al-filastini), part of the wider Arab diaspora, are Palestinian people living outside the region of Palestine.

Palestinians in Iraq

Palestinians in Iraq are people of Palestinian ancestry, most of whom have been residing in Iraq after they were displaced in 1948. Before 2003, there were approximately 34,000 Palestinians thought to be living in Iraq, mainly concentrated in Baghdad. However, since the 2003 Iraq War, the figure lies between 10,000–13,000, although a precise figure has been hard to determine. The situation of Palestinians in Iraq deteriorated after the fall of Saddam Hussein and particularly following the bombing of the Al-Askari Mosque in 2006. Since then, with the rise in insecurity throughout Iraq, they have been the target of persecution and violence by Shia militants, with militant groups targeting them for preferential treatment they received under the Ba'ath Party rule. Currently, several hundred Palestinians from Iraq are living in border camps, after being refused entry to neighbouring Jordan and Syria. Others have been resettled to third countries.


Raed (pronounced [ˈræːˈed]; Arabic: رائد, Rā'id) is an Arabic male name, meaning leader or pioneer.

Salam Pax

Salam Pax is the pseudonym of Salam Abdulmunem (Arabic: سلام عبد المنعم‎), aka Salam al-Janabi (Arabic: سلام الجنابي‎), under which he became the "most famous blogger in the world" during and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Along with a massive readership, his site "Where is Raed?" received notable media attention. The pseudonym consists of the word for "peace" in Arabic (salām) and in Latin (pax). His was one of the first instances of an individual's blog having a wide audience and impact.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790 was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on December 18, 2007, extending the mandate of the multinational force in Iraq until December 31, 2008. The mandate had been established in 2004 by Security Council resolution 1546 and previously extended by resolutions 1637 and 1723.The resolution was requested by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said that this would be the last extension, pending formal talks that would allow the UN mandate to be replaced in 2008 by a new pact between the United States and Iraq regarding the long-term presence of U.S. forces. However, the Iraqi parliament was not consulted regarding the extension of the mandate, despite having passed a binding resolution in June 2007 affirming that any extensions would require the parliament's approval. This led to a hearing before the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs discussing the renewal.This was the last UN resolution authorizing the multinational force in Iraq. The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement is widely seen as a successor to the mandate.

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