CHICAGO--In the early hours of this morning fire broke out at the
building which houses the offices of the Arab American Action
Network (AAAN). No one was injured in the fire which caused
extensive damage to the offices of the Chicago-based community
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which started
near the back of the two story building at 63rd Street and Kedzie
Avenue in Chicago's Southwest Side. We have no indication at the
present time as to the cause of the fire, and we cannot speculate
about it. We await the outcome of the investigation.
The building which houses the Arab American Action Network has
served as a community center and meeting place for Chicago's Arab
community since the early 1970s. Most of the damage was concentrated
in a first floor store, where it is believed to have started, and
rose to the second floor area above, where the AAAN offices are
located. Other parts of the building sustained moderate damage or
are intact, and there is water damage and broken windows from the
fire department's fight against the fire.
AAAN has received a number of messages of support and concern from
around the City of Chicago and the country, as the fire was reported
on the television news this morning. We gratefully acknowledge the
support and solidarity of all our friends.
We are still assessing our situation in the wake of this fire, and
in due course may be able to better respond to the generous offers
of assistance we have already received. In the meantime, we ask that
offers of assistance be directed to the Crossroads Fund at
(773) 227-7676 which has kindly agreed to accept such calls on our behalf
until we can restore our telephone service and relocate the office.
A community is made up of more than buildings and an organization is
more than its offices. Even at this difficult time for the Arab
American community, we are determined to emerge from this challenge
stronger than ever before.
On behalf of the staff and board,
Ali Abunimah (vice president of the board)
Arab American Action Network
3148 W. 63rd Street
Chicago, IL 60629
Tel: 773-436-6060 (telephone is not currently functioning)