On Wednesday, February 13th, our event for the day was the monthly meeting of the Cleveland American Middle East Organization, otherwise known as C.A.M.E.O., that took place at Sky Mediterranean Lounge and Cuisine on Pearl Road in Parma Heights. We had never been to this restaurant before, but soon discovered this to be our loss because the dinner served was nothing short of excellent. We thus complimented the owner, Mr. Samir Nakhle, who immigrated to the United States from Lebanon. Mr. Nakhle told us that he founded Sky Mediterranean Lounge about two years ago, and it was very much a family-run operation. Therefore, he credited his wife, Norma, and their sons Samir, Jr., George, and Joe for a lot of its success.
Besides dinner, the evening’s main activity was the election of officers, which resulted in all outstanding incumbents being re-elected. We were also heartened by the appointment of our good friend and colleague Mr. George Koussa to the C.A.M.E.O. board. George was born in Syria but has been living in the United States for many years. He works at Margaret W. Wong as a Middle Eastern Community Liaison and Arabic Translator/Interpreter.
Later in the program, all of the officials were sworn in by Judge Gayle Williams-Byers of the South Euclid Municipal Court, who is a frequent visitor to C.A.M.E.O. meetings and, in fact, once gave a presentation to its membership about the process of sealing a criminal record in Ohio. Exploring issues such as that one is an excellent reason to be involved with C.A.M.E.O. because almost each monthly meeting has a speaker on an important topic that involves the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio community.
Along these lines, Mr. Pierre Bejjani, the re-elected president, and Mr. Walid Dardir, the new membership secretary, gave a brief presentation where he noted that C.A.M.E.O is a social/political organization that “is designed to articulate the political interest of more than 200,000 Northeastern Ohio resident of Middle Eastern Heritage, Arab Americans.”
Moreover, C.A.M.E.O. provides an excellent venue for all of us (not only those of Middle Eastern origin) who have an interest in current affairs to connect with others who share our concerns in order that we may help each other as we move our community forward.