May 17th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Rima Fakih

The 26-year-old from Dearborn, Michigan, was crowned Miss USA on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pageant-watchers say Fakih, of Lebanese descent, is thought to be the first Arab-American and Muslim to wear the crown, The Detroit Free Press reports.

According to TIME magazine, Fakih was raised in New York, attended the University of Michigan and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in business administration. She won the Miss Michigan USA title in 2009. She told TIME, “I grew up watching pageants with my father, but never knew I can really do it. Possibly because I was picked on a lot in school, and had a very shy personality. I can proudly say that I don't think I would have reached so high and come such a long way had I not went through the pain I did growing up.”

Detroit Free Press: Detroit celebrates Miss USA's first Arab-American winner

Time: Miss Michigan USA Rima Fakih on serving others

Geno Auriemma

President Obama is scheduled to welcome the NCAA champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team to the White House on Monday. The president will honor the Huskies for their second straight NCAA Championship and back-to-back undefeated seasons.

According to the university, since Auriemma’s arrival as head coach in 1985, the Huskies have been transformed from a program with only one winning season into one with six national titles, 10 Final Fours, three perfect seasons in 1995, 2002, and 2009 - and 32 Big East titles. Auriemma, who moved from Italy to Pennsylvania with his parents at the age of 7, was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He also has been named head coach of the U.S. National Team, which will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Geno Auriemma bio

Paul Sacco

The father of a missing Greeley, Colorado, hiker says he is ready to travel to Nepal today on a mission to find his 23-year-old daughter. "I'm not coming back without her," Sacco told The Denver Post. "Dad's supposed to protect her, and here I am 12,000 miles away. It's crazy."

On Saturday, Aubrey Sacco was scheduled to take a flight from Nepal to Sri Lanka, where she was to spend the last week of her six-month trip. But the newspaper reports she was last heard from on  April 20 when she e-mailed about plans to hike alone through Nepal's Langtang trail. Nepalese government officials, the Nepalese army and the U.S. Embassy began searching the park's 52 miles of trails almost a week ago but have been unable to find her.

Denver Post: Father heading to Nepal to search for missing daughter, 23

Jonathan Alter

There’s still more to learn about the most covered individual in the country. Alter, the Newsweek columnist and historian, reveals new details in his book “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” which is scheduled to appear in bookstores on Tuesday. New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes that Alter “actually does give us a new perspective on the 44th president by providing a detailed look at his decision-making process on issues like health care and the Afghanistan war, and a keen sense of what it’s like to work in his White House, day by day.”

According to the newspaper, Alter reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was initially “too deferential to the president in meetings, just shy of obsequious”; that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, called “Yoda” by some White House staffers, was “almost certainly the most influential member of the cabinet”; and that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner bonded with the president because “they had the same ‘no drama’ style.” Obama reportedly read Alter’s 2006 book about FDR’s first 100 days before taking office.

New York Times: Penetrating the process of Obama's decisions

Zach Lipson

The Nashville, Tennessee, student is fulfilling his dream of being involved in the University of Kentucky basketball program. reports that Lipson has never played a minute of organized hoops. But he’s earned the position as a student manager on the Kentucky team. The senior at Christ Presbyterian Academy has overcome medical odds. He has a spinal deformity and will never be over 4 feet tall. Lipson told the website, "I want to tell people you don't have to fall and beat yourself up over your problems. You can take them and help them make you stronger. You can turn a losing situation into a winning situation." Perseverance pays off for student manager

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Petey

    By and large, the Lebanese are not Arabs.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Janey

      they never consider themselves Arabs but they are. They speak Arabic like Arabs but they always classify themselves as Lebanese. Ive been around my fair share to know and see the arrogance of who they think they are. Personally MIss America should belong to People born in this country not naturalized. I'm surprised with her religion she was even aloud to strut her ass in a beauty pageant. So tired of the hypocrisy

      May 17, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Lioness

      Fact Check: Lebanon is situated in the Middle East; borders Syria and Israel, has a 95 % population of arabs, official language of Arab, and a stakeholder in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It has a rich history with its existance predating recorded history i.e. 7000 years ago.
      I respectfully suggest you do some reading before making uninformed comments.

      May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Yoda

      Yeah and US-born people don't consider themselves English but they speak English!
      So tired of bigoted ignorance like yours. Go back to your cave.

      May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Kine Seeds

      She's beautiful, but I'd still vett her for any Islamic connections. There are a lot of arabs in Michigan ....which is certainly nerve racking for anyone living in the area.....especially with the Paki sitution in Times Square

      May 17, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Heem

      At Lioness....ummm we speak Lebanese. And again we don't consider ourselves Arab.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Rog


      Why are you surprised because of her religion? Why does she have to be part of the "People born in this country"? She is more American than you are, if you cannot understand how she deserves to be both a contestant and a winner of the Miss USA pageant. I'm so tired of the hypocrisy, Janey.


      Of course she has Islamic connections, It's part of her history. Do you mean to say if she has some anti-American extremist connections?

      May 17, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • IEK

      "I'm surprised with her religion she was even aloud to strut her ass in a beauty pageant. So tired of the hypocrisy"

      What hypocrisy? Unless she's actually spoken out against women dressing like that, how is she a hypocrite? Simply because she's a Muslim, so she must wear a burka? Guess what, most Christians don't keep to all the rules in the Bible about clothing and diet, but there was a time most did. Likewise, it shouldn't be surprising to find more and more Muslims who feel the same way that most Christians do now. Just look at the Queen Rania of Jordan; she's a monarch of a Muslim nation and "struts" around in makeup, skirts and high heels. Not everyone fits into nice little boxes based on race or religion, get over it.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevareeno

      I am so tired of hearing from bigoted asses like Janey. People like you are the main reason for the image of the "Ugly American." Shut up and deal with the world.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Rusty

      I bet she has terrorist connections.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      I'm Lebanese and say I'm Lebanese and not an Arab. Israel is also bordered by Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon... Is Israel an Arab country too and I didn't know about it?!

      Having lived in both Beirut and in Dubai, I can tell you that the two people have nothing in common. If you want to say language, then you're obviouly ignorant because written Arabic is a different language than spoken Arabic. I'm saying language and not accent/dialect... I have friends from Morocco and I can only talk to them in English or French because I don't speak Moroccon and they don't speak Lebanese...

      Americans also speak English, does that make them British or Australian?

      May 17, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Chet

      @ Rusty

      I bet you're a redneck with a name like Rusty..... Am I right, or did you just realize we are both wrong?

      May 17, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • MAK

      @Billy wow you're argument is so weak and silly...ARABs are an ethnic group of people yes people in morrocco will not understand the dialect fully of someone from say Jordan but that's because of the dialects they chose to speak that is mixed with other things like french but they offically still speak arabic. When the lebanese president is speaking he is speaking in arabic not Lebanese. There is no such thing as a Lebanese language ...Lebanese people face it, you're arabs and that's that ....Sorry!!!! I cant believe how people are so ignorant

      May 17, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • SenseCommon

      @Janey: Wow; you trash piece of crap!! You are what is wrong with our country.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • procter

      Janey is a fat american white woman, PERIOD!

      May 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      Congratulations Miss America!. As for her Arab-American tag, In 1915, Teddy Roosevelt said it best. "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.... A hyphenated American is not an American at all... Americanism is a matter of the spirit, and of the soul...The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans...each preserving its separate nationality.... The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans.... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American." I have my own opinions, but she IS Miss America not Miss Arab – American! I pray America and America's children can survive all this foolishness!

      May 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Henk, Colorado

    It would have just been so nice if I would have read only "The 26-year-old from Dearborn, Michigan, was crowned Miss USA on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada". Nothing else. Why the labeling? The day that the press and politicians stop labeling people will be the day that we can finally use the word 'equality'.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I agree. Americans are American period. This kind of press keeps racism alive andwell.

      May 17, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Well said.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      It is important to note her Arab-American ness because it will cause her to get stopped in airports and watched closely in train stations. As long as profiling is used (even "unofficially") racial heritage is important. As for being Islamic, it is great to see a modern Muslim woman in action. Not all Muslims strictly adhere to the customs of Orthodox Islam. It is time to lose the stereotype of the veil!

      May 17, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That is exactly what needed to be said.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Delores Wilson

      I definitely agree. Stop all the "labeling". No African-Americans, native Americans, Arab Americans, etc. Just plain ole ordinary Americans...naturalized or born. Americans, plain and simple. By the way, Miss USA (Miss Michigan) beat my home girl, Miss Oklahoma. No one characterized her as a "white Caucasian American", if she, in fact, is one,.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Guy

      What a good point. Everybody goes off in theie various and sometimes twisted directions because the media makes it a BFD that she has mid-east heritage. So does the guy who is currently repairing my son's car. Should I care ?? Love the comment about airport stops ! Hilariously retarded. I get a complete search and pat down every time because I have an artificial hip. Again – who cares ??

      May 17, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Heem

    Hey Henk good one, and at Janey your the example why we as a country still have racism stronger then ever. Funny I served as a Marine for 8 years and I am Lebanese American, I defended my country proudly and was born in Lebanon. Do you have anything else to say? Did you forget America was built by immigrants from all over the world. People like you are a disgrace to humanity, and people like you usually start wars. How bout I say must be jewish.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim S.

      Your response makes absolutely no sense. These two people are merely stating that being American should be all that matters. That the color of your skin or the nationality you came from should be neither a hindrance or some sort of benefit. This girl was pretty, well-educated, and well-liked. That should be why she won, and that should be the headline in the papers, not that she was an Arab-American. To continually call people by some hyphenated nationality-based monicker is just what Martin Luther King Jr. was fighting against.

      Either we're Americans or we are not. There's no problem in being proud of one's heritage, but that shouldn't be the REASON for attention.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Henry Miller

      People who talk the loudest generally have the least to say. Janey seems to fall into that category.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruth

      Based on your comment you are just as racist.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • youreanidiot

      Where does the comment, "you must be jewish" come from. You are just as big a bigot. The person is an idiot, yet, you just proved you are as well.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heem

      My jewish comment was proving a point.

      May 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jon

    One look at the women in this pageant was enough to convince you that Morgan Woolard was the most beautiful woman on the stage. Her answer was correct, she was gusty as hell to make the statement she made and America should be proud of her. Morgan, you ARE Miss USA in our book despite what any of those spineless judges might think.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • ftb

      i think she would have won had she been given a different question.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Waldorf and Statler

    An Arab-American winner?

    When they put the crown on her, I'm surprised she didn't blow up! Doh ho ho

    May 17, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • BReal123

      You should be ashamed of yourself you dumb hick.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Heem

      The name says it all. As a Lebanese-American and US Marine Go uck yourself racist.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • AK

      Go rot you Racist *rick

      May 17, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. brown

    Lebanese women are very hot!

    May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Susan

    Good for her. People need to get off of their high horse and realize that this country was founded by immigrants and that it was makes this nation strong. The anti immigrant sentiment that appears to be growing in this country is truly shameful. The majority of us citizens, including myself, have a heritage that is not Native American. What does it matter is a Miss USA isn't blond and blue eyed. It is time for this nation to come together and address the issues that are important and stop showing ignorance towards people who do not look like us or have names that are difficult to pronounce.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      American's aren't anti-immigration. We're anti illegal immigration. And we expect legal immigrants to assimilate into our culture, customs, and history. They need to learn and speak English. We shouldn't have to adapt to them by providing literature and labeling in several languages. My ancestor's and millions of others came here and assimilated into the American culture and didn't expect everything handed to them. If you want to immigrate to the United States, you need to assimilate or get out!

      May 17, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • JB

      So Steven, does "ass-imiliate" mean do as YOUR grandparents who ran away from the British and Italians did? i.e., subjugate and torture the native American Indians? Go get a life you hypocrite. Dont expect the white man to continue ruling this place for long, viva la Mexico!

      May 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Steven, you may consider learning English yourself before posting. Your usage of the language is atrocious. Please consider working on your writing ability before criticizing others' ability to utilize English. kthxbye.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. zephyrwinds

    Beautiful young lady and I wish her the best. However I cannot help but wonder about Miss Arizona who was first runner up and asked a question about supporting the immigration bill or not. She replied she supported it and that sealed her fate. Too many politics today in these, not fun anymore. If she had been another nationality, it probbaly would not be mentioned.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • WindyCityLady

      I agree 100%... She best represented the USA but the question was totally out of line!

      May 17, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ftb

      That was Miss Oklahoma's question. Miss Arizona was not in the top 5.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • hsmith

      It was Miss Oklahoma – Clearly, she should have won. She was poised and classy. Miss Michigan tripped and was unpoised – answering questions poorly and flippantly; she will be an embassment to the country.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ian

    Can you not just say American???? Why does it have to be Arab-American, African-American etc.??? This is so stupid and why our country is so divided. I dont; call myself an English-American, I'm an American, period.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • NKM

      I agree. I'm of Irish and Scottish descent, but I don't even celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I'm American, period. That's the way my grandparents wanted it. When they immigrated (legally), they left everything about their homeland behind and proudly proclaimed allegance to THIS country. I disagree with all the hyphenated nationalities. This is supposed to be a "melting pot", from many becoming one.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      The reason is simple. Too many Americans are still RACIST. Until that changes, we have to point out shining, beautiful examples of Muslims, Afrucan Americans (whatever) that bust ignorant Americans stereotypes. It is unfortunate, but it is true. There are ignorant, morons all over the country who have "notions" of Muslims as not loving this country–what is more American that these types of events? How do you not see that?

      May 17, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      It was certain races and liberals who started classifying people as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. While it's considered positive to be proud of your ethnic heritage in this Country, this is not true if you're white. If you did expressed "white pride" you'd have Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton all over the TV Networks proclaiming that you're a racist. In my opinion those two gentlemen are some of the biggest reverse racist's in this Country. On the 2010 Census form they asked for your ethnic background and because I was so sick of all the labeling wrote in "Euro-American" instead of "Caucasian". It's time for white American's to stand up to this reverse racism and vocalize their pride as well. It doesn't mean you're a racist by doing so.

      May 17, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Elijah

    This is a politically correct win, statement, and so, outrage.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      when is the miss white america pageant ? must be during white history month

      May 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BReal123

    Unbelievable. I was reading posts on another news site and it was attacking her faith and her race. I am ashamed that these conservative nutbags dare to call themselves Americans. Blatant racism and religious discrimination. They made comments that she was carrying a bomb in case she lost. Unbelievable B.S!!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rog

    Henk, it's sad to say, but you and I will probably never see that day.

    But regardless, the point of labeling her Arab-American is to show how, even after 911, we can still see a multi-cultured American shine through.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Extremecenter

    Why does Delaware even send a girl when in 52 years Delaware has never placed even in the semi-finalists and looks like it never will

    May 17, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      a state with biden in it is never gonna win

      May 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    What are you people so upset for? You're reading this on JNN The Jewish News Network where to insert the word arab to a lebaneese is an insult, meant to demonize the winer because she is muslim. Did you see a complete lack of coverage on this from CNN? Joan River's bigotted remarks, are all that you will see on this supposed news channel. CNN is the most hypocritical bunch of BS there is.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • BReal123

      Funny that you caught yourself on the site then.

      May 17, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Whenever I see Joan Rivers or Cathy Lee Gifford I have to think to myself how corrupted is the entertainment world that they would even let either one of these near a camera? Are there any 2 more obnoxious self promoters than these 2 witches?

      May 17, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. David

    Who cares where her or her family are from. Shes fine

    May 17, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      if you go near her with a name like david, your gonna get your throat slit and be on Al Gezzera TV

      May 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
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