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Mark Arabo

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Full Name  Mark Paul Arabo
Role  Businessman
Name  Mark Arabo
Website  markarabo.com
Nationality  American

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Born  February 17, 1983 (age 32) (1983-02-17)
Alma mater  San Diego State University

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Mark Paul Arabo (born February 17, 1983) is a Chaldean-American businessman, San Diego community leader, and global humanitarian He is a human rights activist for the Chaldean community and speaks to the national US media advocating greater US engagement since the Islamic State has threatened the Christian community in Iraq. Arabo was chosen by Voice of San Diego as the Voice for Refuge for 2014 for his relentless work pressing the Obama Administration to provide humanitarian aid to religious minorities in Iraq. In 2015, Voice of San Diego panelists recognized Arabo as an "emerging leader to watch" in the coming year. Arabo has been featured on all major news stations including CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and The Wall Street Journal. Arabo is the President and CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association (NMA). The NMA serves as a group that represents the interests of small businesses in local and statewide issues.

Contents

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Early life and education

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Arabo was born into an Iraqi Chaldean Christian family. The Arabo family immigrated from Iraq to the United States. Their first business venture was a Wrigley's Supermarket in San Diego. This was Mark Arabo's first experience with the retail grocery business. Eventually, the Arabo family managed a chain of supermarkets throughout San Diego. He attended Valhalla High School before graduating from San Diego State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Career

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After graduating he was offered a position within the Anheuser-Busch sales team in San Diego. During this time he was trained in viral marketing and promotional events while being involved with the company's marketing department.

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Later Arabo was offered the vice presidency of the Neighborhood Market Association. In 2008, Arabo was appointed as President and CEO of the NMA. During this time Arabo founded the quarterly industry-specific magazine Quarterly Voice. Under Arabo's leadership, the NMA has become the largest grocers association on the West Coast. Arabo continues to serve as President and CEO of the NMA.

Neighborhood Market Association

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NMA is a nonprofit industry organization with 2300 business members, headquartered in San Diego with multiple offices throughout California. The organization was founded in 1995. It was originally called the Chaldean Grocers Association and was modeled after other ethnically-based grocer organizations. In 1996 the organization changed its name to the San Diego Merchants Association in hopes of promoting inclusiveness. In 2001 the organization changed its name again to Independent Grocers and Convenience Stores and began accepting members from outside of California. In 2007 the organization merged with the California Beverage Merchants, creating the Neighborhood Market Association. The NMA actively lobbies for candidates and measures through its NMA Political Action Committee (NMAPAC).

Minority Humanitarian Foundation

Arabo founded the Minority Humanitarian Foundation in order to streamline efforts to establish a safe passage for those needing to leave the country of Iraq, and provide humanitarian aid to those who wish to stay in the country. Since its founding, the non-profit has made contact with 70,000 Chaldeans who fled from Mosul and surrounding cities when ISIS stormed the region in July. Through the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, Mark Arabo has assisted in providing safety to hundreds of individuals in Iraq and Syria. The foundation is credited with saving numerous lives from war torn area. And, while some within the United States government have criticized the methods utilized by Arabo, the foundation has received overwhelming support. It was announced in September 2015 that the foundation would be expanding its support to displaced youth in Syria. In March 2016, Arabo and members of the Minority Humanitarian Foundation began to engage in high level discussions with State Department officials, including Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein regarding the designation of Christians as victims of genocide. Following the talks, on March 17, 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Christians would be listed as Genocide victims at the hands of ISIS. The decision by the State Department was only the second time the United States has condemned an ongoing genocide. In June 2014, Arabo was the first prominent individual to declare that the persecution of Christians by ISIS was one that constituted genocide, making him the first in the United States to make this claim.

Community activism

Arabo is a nationally recognized Global Humanitarian. He has engaged in dialogue with many leaders including Barack Obama regarding the persecution of Iraqi Christians, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki concerning security issues within the country. Arabo crafted House Resolution 683 with Congressman Juan Vargas that reaffirms the United States' commitment to minorities within Iraq. Arabo is currently working with lawmakers on House Resolution 5430 which would grant asylum for Iraqi-Christians out of the country in the United States. Arabo and a Chaldean bishop also traveled to New York in order to lobby United Nations representatives to have their countries accept some of the refugees. Arabo is a supporter of Obama's immigration reform which he advocate for through contact with President Obama. Arabo was also the first to call upon the resignation of El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis in the wake of his racism scandal.

Arabo has taken stands against measures affecting small business members like the proposed plastic grocery bag ban in San Diego, as well as other ordinances. Arabo has been a constant vocal supporter for the rights and protection of small businesses in the face of corporate interest. In his presidency at the Neighborhood Market Association, Arabo has worked on grassroot efforts in stopping corporate and big box influence from adversely affecting the small business community.

Arabo recently posted a $10,000 bounty on the North Park Creep who had sexually assaulted more than 6 women in the North Park area. A week after the bounty was posted, David Angelo Drake was booked Tuesday on six counts of assault with a deadly weapon, six counts of assault with the intent to commit sexual assault, five counts of battery and two counts of sexual assault with a foreign object.

Mark Arabo is currently working on legislation within California that would mandate cameras for police officers. Arabo hopes to make body cameras mandatory for all police forces within the United States. Arabo has been a leading voice in the fight to keep Father Noel and 14 other priests from deportation to a war torn Iraq. His efforts in conjunction with St. Peter's led to the Vatican overturning a ruling by the patriarch keeping the priests in San Diego.

Personal life

Arabo resides in San Diego with his wife Randa Arabo, and their four children. His brother, Auday Arabo ran for California State Assembly in 2008.

References

Mark Arabo Wikipedia