Dearborn has and will always be the heart of America, with its diverse community and more importantly, the birthplace of the automobile that brought many immigrants to this country to find their pot of gold.
Each day I walk around our community with my dog and each day my route takes me to the where I pass Henry Ford's statue. I wonder to myself, as I pass the long stretches of green land, if he knew exactly what he was doing when he pretty much bought up this city and then years later his descendent developed it to be one of the most progressive cities in the world?
Ford Motor Company had many opportunities to take their business elsewhere. Instead, their Headquarters sits in the heart of our city where every single flag of every single country that the company deals with is on display. Their employees at lunch time patronize our small businesses, whether it be the ethnic restaurant or the large retailers. Either way, our city benefits from their employment as does the community who are also employed there.
Ford Motor Company for years has also contributed to every single event, whether it be the Arab American Festival or Dearborn's own Homecoming. They have employed people like my my late father and brother, my cousins, my aunts and uncles and my friends. Most of our landmarks are named after him.
So I have to wonder, what has gotten into our politicians that they would think that we would sit idly by and allow these contributions to be ignored by placing the Former Miss USA, Rima Fakih on the Welcome to our City Banner?
As a Lebanese American, I can honestly say that I was very proud that Rima Fakih might have helped our community with her win as Miss USA. I was one of the few who defended her when some of the community members claimed that she had betrayed her faith. To me, her faith was between herself and God and the critics were singing to the choir as I was just relieved that the world would finally see that Dearborn was not (as some of the pundits described) "Dearbornistan."
Miss Fakih's accomplishment in becoming Miss USA is no way a small feat. What she did afterwards is of no consequence, as this letter is about the lack of respect for the identity of our city and nothing more. Henry Ford, even as a dead icon, has done more for this city than Miss Fakih could ever do in a million lifetimes even if she tried.
It would be laughable to the outsider that we would allow anyone to overshadow such an iconic man and his company which, to this day, continues to operate his factory and his headquarters out of our humble city. It would be more laughable if our community sits idly by and allow such an occurrence without protest.
Our city has and always will always be known as the "Hometown of Henry Ford" and we want it to stay that way.