"Patriotic Arab Americans Making a Difference"

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JAMAL S. BAADANI, First Sergeant, United States Marine Corps 

Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt to Yemeni parents, Jamal Baadani emigrated to the United States at the age of 10. At the age of 17 Baadani joined the United States Marine Corps and attended Boot Camp one week after graduating from High School.

Due to his belief in “Duty and Patriotism” to country, Baadani felt that as an immigrant to America serving in the U.S. Military by making the transformation as a United States Marine legitimized his place as a citizen of this great country. Coming to America as a child who couldn’t speak English followed by struggles as a teenager to fit in as a normal young man alongside his American peers was always a challenge for him during his early days in America. Service in the United States Marines enabled Baadani to feel that he had overcome the challenge of belonging to America - becoming a strong and proud American man.

Jamal felt an obligation to give back to his community, and shortly after the horrific days of September 11th, 2001, he founded the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military to stand up for the Arab and Muslim American Communities in response to the backlash and discrimination they received at the hands of their fellow Americans.

Baadani quickly understood that the backlash and discrimination faced by the Arab and Muslim American Communities after 9/11 was mostly due to a lack of understanding by their fellow Americans. Using the U.S. Military uniform as the bridge to understanding coupled with Baadani’s will to educate his fellow Americans about the Patriotism of Arab and Muslim Americans, Baadani’s hope of bringing them closer together resulted in his continuing persistence to make America a better place for all Americans. Sharing in the same conviction of using the uniform and “Duty and Patriotism” as a bridge to understanding, hundreds of Arab American service-members, to include General John Abizaid, joined APAAM to share in Baadani’s vision of making America a better place for all Americans.


An Ambassador:  Jamal was a member of the 2001 – Military Goodwill Ambassador Contingent to Australia to represent the US State Department in a five country symposium celebrating the ANZAC and ANZUS Treaty between the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain. 


A War Veteran:  Jamal recently returned from his second tour in the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Jamal served on active duty in participation with the Global War on Terrorism from April 2002 – June 2004 and most recently from June 2005 – July 2006.  At the age of 19, Jamal served with the US Marines in Beirut, Lebanon from January – June 1984 as part of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force at Beirut International Airport followed by service as part of the external security force for the United States Embassy in West Beirut.


An Inspiration:  For his efforts, Jamal was awarded the 2007 "Distinguished Public Service Award" by the American Immigration Law Foundation.  Also the 2002-“Immigrant of Inspiration” Award by the National Immigration Forum – a major national organization representing immigrants in America.  He was also awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal by the US Marine Corps for founding APAAM.  Additionally in 2005, First Sergeant Baadani appeared on the cover of Parade Magazine featuring an extensive article on the accomplishments of Arab Americans in the military



·         Founded the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in military -APAAM shortly after September 11th, 2001.

·         Awarded the "Distinguished Public Service Award" by the National Immigration Law Foundation in March 2007.

·    Received "Immigrant of Inspiration" Award by National Immigration Forum in February of 2002.

·         Received Resolution & Citation from the City of Dearborn, Michigan for his outstanding service to the Arab American Community in Dearborn, Michigan.

·         Received "Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal" by US Marine Corps for Founding APAAM in June 2002.

·         Exclusive Feature on CNN's Newsnight with Aaron Brown/Brian Cabell.

·         Part of PBS Documentary "They Came To America " Profiling Immigrants Contributions to America.

·         Featured in People Magazine's 9/11 Anniversary Edition

·        Featured in over 30 Major Newspaper publications for Founding APAAM since 9/11







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