Mayor Turner Proclamations for Arab Heritage Month – April
Mayoral Proclamations April 11, 2023
I had the honor to be among other invitees to a public session of the City Council of Houston on April 11. Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum called the meeting to order and presided over the presentations of proclamations from Mayor Sylvestor Turner who could not be in attendance. Each proclamation issued in this special session was presented by a council member.
The first proclamation was presented to Sam Houston State University by Tiffany Thomas of District F. Being a graduate of the university herself, she began by pointing out how many Bearkats, graduates of Sam Houston State University, are serving in leadership positions for Houston including the Chief of Police. Sam Houston State University is the 3rd oldest public university, founded in 1879. It has been recognized by Carnegie Rating as high for funded research both within the University itself and other research projects giving students the opportunity to participate in research projects. U.S. News and World Report designated it as the Best in Texas. Historically, Sam Houston State University has welcomed a very diverse student population. Many of its graduates were the first members of their families to go to college. The proclamation was presented by Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum and accepted with sincere appreciation by the president of the University, Dr. Alisa White. After pausing to allow photos of Dr. White and her invited friends, members of the faculty, and family, a second proclamation was presented.
Council Member Tarsha Jackson District B was obviously happy and proud to be able to give a proclamation to Gladys R. Goffney, attorney age 90, as a role model, trailblazer, and community leader. Not only was Mrs. Goffney the second woman to receive her JD from the South Texas College of Law, she has been active for more than 50 years and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for 71 years. She and her husband started the Kashmere Community Garden to address the problem of feeding the people of 5th ward. It has grown way beyond that. Mrs. Gladys Goffney was very grateful for Council Member Jackson’s recommendation for the proclamation. Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum read the proclamation as she gave it to her and posed for a photo. In her acceptance, Mrs. Goffney declared how proud she was to have received such an honor and how much she loves Houston where she has lived her entire life. She continues to live a life of service. She had a host of invited guests who came forward to pose with her and congratulate her as they took photos. Following the proclamation for Mrs Goffney, a 3rd proclamation was given in honor of Arab-American Heritage Month.
Council Member Robert Gallegos District I had the honor of presenting a Mayoral Proclamation recognizing Arab-American Heritage Month to Ahmed Alyassin, prominent Jordanian American businessman. entrepreneur, founder of Optima Global Finance, and diplomat for the Houston Arab Community. Mr. Gallegos expounded on the contributions to the lives of Houstonians by the Arab Community. He pointed out their art and culture, family values, work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and loyalty not only to their community, but also to their adopted country. Upon receiving the proclamation from Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Casex-Tatum, Mr. Alyasin asked distinguished guests whom he had invited to come stand with him. Among the distinguished guests were H. E. Hossam Alkaweesh Egyptian Ambassador, the Hon. Consul General of the UAE, Saeed Almheiri, and the Hon. Consul General of Saudi Arabia,Shafi Bajad Al Otaibi.
As a part of Arab American Heritage month, a Mayoral Proclamation for the Sudanese American Association was presented to Ms. Wafa Mansour, a Sudanese American. She is an entrepreneur owning her own interior design business in Houston..
Following the proclamation presentations and photos, everyone was invited to a reception at City Hall.
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