American Arab Chamber honors Ald. Silvana Tabares
The American Arab Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday honored Chicago Alderwoman Silvana Tabares for defending the rights of Arab American business owners.
Tabares, along with Alderman Matthew O’Shea, adjusted an ordinance intended to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco to young people and children under the age of 21. The original ordinance would have also prohibited the sales and use of flavored tobacco by the city’s more than 20 Hookah lounges which employ more than 250 Chicagoans.
The adjustment permitted Hookah lounges to provide flavored tobacco for the use of hookah’s on premises and to see the flavored tobacco for hookahs to adults aged 21 or older from their businesses.
“That slight change saved more than 250 jobs in Chicago, people who would have lost their employment had th ehookah lounges been forced to close because of the original ordinance,” said Hassan Nijem, president of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce.
“After we spoke with Alderwoman Tabares and provided information to Alderman O’Shea that explained how the original ordinance might have an unintended consequence beyond protecting young people, they immediately reviewed the information and adjusted the ordinance. We are grateful to both Alderwoman Tabares and Alderman O’Shea for working with our community to ensure fairness while protecting the interests of our people.”
Nijem said that the adjustment not only prevented the businesses from closing but it also saved nearly 300 jobs.
“The Arab American business community is grateful not only for defending Arab American owned businesses but also saving the jobs of the people who work at the businesses,” Nijem said.
“It only took a small effort to speak with the officials, provide them with the information and then explain how the proposed law might have an unintended consequence that the aldermen had not intended. Alderwoman Tabares was very receptive and helpful.”
Nijem presented a plaque of gratitude to Tabares at her offices on Archer Avenue.
Hanania, a columnist with the Southwest News Newspaper chain that includes the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, The Regional News and the Reporter Newspapers, said Tabares is “one of the most responsive and effective members of the Chicago City Council.”
During the presentation, Tabares said she was honored to received the recognition and also to have been able to help Arab American businesses.
“Maintaining jobs in our city and region is so important and I appreciate the involvement of Arab American businesses from the Arab American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and its president Hassan Nijem and its board members,” Tabares said.
The American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1986, by Hassan Nijem and a group of business men , who brought to the new chamber a vision of changing the way Middle-Eastern and Muslims conducted business. This laid the groundwork for what is now a well recognized and trusted organization, serving , empowering and partnering with local, federal institutions, local Middle-Eastern and Muslim organizations and community at large.
Throughout the years, Hassan Nijem, founder and president of The American Arab chamber of commerce has seen it’s vision and role continuously evolving with the aggressive growth of the Middle-Eastern and Muslim businesses leading these businesses and community to become one of the most economically and culturally affluent communities locally.
Our vision is to build a world class business community chamber of commerce in the US and to connect the Middle-Easter and Muslims and strength our social culture, religion and economical aspects as well as to build bridges with other ethnic and civic communities.
For more information on the Arab American Chamber of Commerce of Chicago visit: www.aaccusa.org.