Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Readers keep newspapers vibrant

Spread the love

By Ray Hanania

At a time when newspapers are dying, it is gratifying to hear from so many people in the southwest suburbs and in the city who read our important community newspapers.

So, I want to say thank you to our readers. Community newspapers are so important to the viability of our communities. You can judge the health of a community by the health of its local newspaper. Some communities, unfortunately, don’t have community newspapers and you can see how that hurts them.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

It doesn’t matter what your political allegiances are, or your ethnicity or race or nationality. We’re all Americans and we live in the greatest country in the world.

Of course, I wish there were a little less hate from both sides. We can have discussions, disagreements and even passionate debates without hating each other.

I avoid most of the news and talk shows on television these days. They are driven by anger and fuel the hatred that divides this country.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

If we don’t do something about it, to stop the hate, end the animosity over politics and focus instead on how to help each other, we might find ourselves in a lot of trouble, folks.

My trip to Dubai

I traveled to Dubai last week to attend a journalism conference hosted by Arab News, the Gulf newspaper I work for as the U.S. special correspondent.

While the American news media continues to deteriorate, the Middle East news media is growing. They had more than 160 journalists there from 10 bureaus in Saudi Arabia, the UAE (Dubai), France, Pakistan, Japan, England, Asia and, with me, the United States. All anyone talks about overseas is the polarization that has crippled America and the fragile leadership that is so divided, angry and unproductive.

But that’s not the worst thing that shocked me during the trip. The absolutely most shocking thing I experienced was the deterioration of O’Hare International Airport.

O’Hare was filthy. The bathrooms were disgusting. The process of moving passengers through customs and to their planes is bogged down in laziness and poor employee service.

Honestly, the place smelled. It was a pit. I wanted to take a shower and use an in-hand sanitizer when I was out of there.

The parking system is broken. The shuttles they use to pick up passengers from those parking lots were filthy and broken. The shuttle seats were so dirty. The speaker system was inaudible. The road signs directing motorists to the parking lots were few and far between.

It was the worst experience of my life. Customs was terrible. On returning from Dubai, I had to stand in a line of people that zig-zagged through a maze of 22 roped areas (walking back and forth) for nearly three hours. The place smelled. I wanted to barf it was so bad.

The attitude of the customs officials was so terrible. Like they were angry I was returning to this country.

The baggage area was a mess with luggage piled on top of each other. The conveyor belt was jammed with bags because they couldn’t process the travelers quickly enough. It was crowded and the room was small.

I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Contrast that to Dubai, where the system was so clean, efficient and fast. They were welcoming to everyone.

Is Dubai that much better than America?

Worse is that through all that filth at O’Hare, I had to walk past dozens of TV terminals broadcasting an expensive advertisement over and over again promoting Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Even worse is that while I struggled to enter this country as a law-abiding, legal traveler, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more attention and support those who sneak into this country illegally get when they cross the southern border.

Next time, I’ll enter the country illegally and avoid customs. I am sure I will be treated better and even given a free ride to my home with so many benefits: food, healthcare, insurance, education for my kids and even money to make my illegal experience productive.

Check out my Tiktok video comparing O’Hare to Dubai on my page at Titktok.com/@RayHanania. (Even if you don’t like politics, you can see the videos of me making Middle Eastern foods, which I hope you will enjoy.)

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

Local News

new lane configuration 2-6-23

Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Spread the love

Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

Spread the love

Spread the loveRamzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S.…

Matt Dugan

EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being…

dvn beds plus soup1 2023

BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

Spread the love

Spread the love By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs,…

District 230 board member Dave O'Connor urges Sandburg parents to consider having their students take dual credit courses to save college tuition money at the Jan. 26 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Sandburg/MVCC dual courses could save plenty of money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The price of college tuition keeps going up and shows no sign of ever going down. Thus, District 230 Board Member Dave O’Connor is urging Sandburg parents with college-bound students to take a long look at the school’s dual credit program with Moraine Valley. “We get students here who will…

Cubework has purchased the former Sears propertry at Orland Square Mall. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Cubework to turn Orland Park Sears site into Coworking Mall

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong That vast empty space at Orland Square Mall that was once the home of retail giant Sears may be getting new life. California-based Cubework has purchased the former Sears property at Orland Square Mall and is marketing the former mall anchor store as a Coworking Mall. The 16-acre purchase includes…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
new lane configuration 2-6-23

Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Spread the love

Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

Spread the love

Spread the loveRamzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club. Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor…

Oak Lawn resident Clayton J. Beck III displays his work of art accompanied by the model at the first unofficial event for the Acorn to Oak Studios at the Pilgrim Faith Church campus. Beck will be on hand to moderate the first official session to be held Sunday at the church. (Supplied photo)

Oak Lawn studio wants to be haven for artists

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An acorn may be the symbol that inspires the Oak Lawn community to unleash its artistic talents. The first official session of the Acorn to Oak Studios will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the north wing of the Pilgrim Faith Church campus, 9411 S.…

Matt Dugan

EPCHS names Matthew Dugan next principal

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Evergreen Park Community High School has hired Matthew Dugan as its next principal. Dugan’s appointment was made official during the January 24 meeting of the Evergreen Park Community High School Board of Education. Dugan will become principal on July 1, upon the retirement of current Principal Bill Sanderson. “I am…

Willow Springs resident Jim Distasio was the first speaker to criticize the proposed land sale for use as an industrial park. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Township school board rejects sale of 70-acre parcel in Willow Springs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The sale of 70 acres in Willow Springs to a developer who wants to build an industrial park has been rejected by the Lyons Township High School District 204 board, but the door remains wide open to a sale. The board voted unanimously Jan. 23 to reject bids of $46.5…

Children enjoying themselves at Flying High in Countryside on January 14. (Supplied photo)

Venezuelan asylum seeking families enjoy a night out at Flying High in Countryside

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Twenty-three adults and 30 children of Venezuelan families seeking asylum enjoyed a fun night out on January 14 courtesy of Flying High in Countryside. The event was a collaboration between St. Cletus Church in LaGrange, and Flying High, at 5400 East Avenue in Countryside. Flying High opened their gym doors…

All that's left of Georgis Catering is a burned out shell. To the right, is mom and Dad's Deli, which suffered smoke and water damage. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Georgis Catering owner vows to rebuild after fire

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Georgis Catering owner Buz Georgis is maintaining an upbeat outlook despite the destruction of his business in an early-morning fire Friday at 63rd Place and Central Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood. “It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said Monday. “But we are moving forward and we plan on being…

dvn beds plus soup1 2023

BEDS Plus Soup & Bread event to raise money to assist the homeless

Spread the love

Spread the love By Steve Metsch One way to warm up on a cold winter’s day is with a bowl of soup. And on Sunday, soup lovers can sample 20 different soups and also get the warm feeling received by helping a local charitable organization. BEDS Plus, which helps the homeless through the southwest suburbs,…

District 230 board member Dave O'Connor urges Sandburg parents to consider having their students take dual credit courses to save college tuition money at the Jan. 26 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Sandburg/MVCC dual courses could save plenty of money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The price of college tuition keeps going up and shows no sign of ever going down. Thus, District 230 Board Member Dave O’Connor is urging Sandburg parents with college-bound students to take a long look at the school’s dual credit program with Moraine Valley. “We get students here who will…

Cubework has purchased the former Sears propertry at Orland Square Mall. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Cubework to turn Orland Park Sears site into Coworking Mall

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong That vast empty space at Orland Square Mall that was once the home of retail giant Sears may be getting new life. California-based Cubework has purchased the former Sears property at Orland Square Mall and is marketing the former mall anchor store as a Coworking Mall. The 16-acre purchase includes…

CRR NH Reliable Waterproofing House Ad
CRR NH Ptecik Bakery House Ad