Community News (V12-I22)

Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, CEO Fresh Del Monte

D4C5 Mention Del Monte and the first thing that comes to mind is its variety of fruits and produce. The company’s chairman and CEO is Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh who has been serving in the position since 1996.

Born on February 2nd 1942 in Jerusalem, Mohamad Abu Ghazaleh was the eldest of 9 children. In 1948 and due to the war in Palestine, his family moved to Cairo, Egypt, with the idea it was temporary until the war ended. The family would never return to live in Jerusalem leaving everything they owned behind. With a BBA from the American University in Cairo, he joined the family business which was struggling at the time in Kuwait. January 1971 would see Mohamad Abu Ghazaleh import the first shipment of Latin American banana’s in the history of the gulf region.

During those times most of the bananas being imported into the region came mostly from Somalia and other parts of Africa. These bananas were much smaller in size. This shipment was a huge gamble and was very risky but it paid off and the Abu Ghazaleh family soon came to dominate the banana import business in Kuwait and later Dubai. Little did Mohamad Know that this first step would lead to him acquiring the largest and most prestigious fresh produce company in the world. Actually, his largest accomplishment came in 1996 when he bought fresh Del Monte from the Mexican government for 435 million US$. In 1997, Del Monte’s fortunes turned around and Mohamad was able to sell 30% of Del Monte’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange for 300 million US$. Today Del Monte is the largest fresh produce company in terms of Market capitalization. It has sales of over 3.8 billion US$ dollars and employs over 38,000 employees around the world.

Investigation launched into pork shoving harassment of Muslim students

ST.CLOUD, MN–The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into allegations of harassment of Muslim students at St. Cloud and Owatonna public schools in Minnesota.

Among a list of racist incidents is the allegation that two students approached a group of Muslim high school girls and asked them if they would like some pork bacon.

When the girls informed them that their religion prohibited pork, the students made disparaging remarks about their religion. A week later, the two students brought pork bacon to school and shoved it in the faces of Muslim students and chased after them when they tried to get away.

The Council on American Islamic Relations had called for an investigation based on Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance.

Mosque expansion plans denied in Alpharetta

ALPHARETTA, GA–The Alpharetta City Council voted to deny a request for a mosque expansion. Both sides made passionate pleas before city council before the decision was made.

“My concern is quality of life and property values,” said one man opposed to the expansion.

“It feels like if you deny us a decent place to worship, you might as well hang a banner downtown Alpharetta that the Muslims are not welcome in this city,” said a member of the mosque.

The Islamic Center of North Fulton has been on Rucker road for 12 years. Since people began worshiping there, the membership has grown from 25 to 600. At the heart of the matter is expansion and growth of the center. In the beginning, the center said they had no intent to expand past 25 members.

NYPD investigating attack on Muslim man

NEW YORK, NY–New York City police say a Muslim man was attacked from behind outside a Brooklyn housing project and they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the construction worker in East New York was walking through a park near a housing project after getting some food when he was attacked from behind by a group of young men.

The Muslim man is from Bangladesh and was wearing a prayer cap at the time. Kelly says no robbery took place and there seemed to be no other motivation for the attack so the Hate Crimes Task Force is looking into the incident. The man’s family has said his attackers yelled anti-Muslim insults.


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