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Letter: Dearborn – Hometown of Henry Ford, or Rima Fakih?

A resident sends a reminder about the city's most esteemed former resident.

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.

Mary Fawaz
Dearborn resident

samia kabbani August 15, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Well said Mary. Henry ford is Dearborn!!!!
Millie August 15, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Mary is correct. Henry was and remains, the icon.
Anthony Mazza August 15, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I agree 100%! Well said Mary.
Marilyn Filip August 15, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Thank you Mary for putting everything in perspective. Marilyn
Yasmine August 15, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Great letter Mary!!!! Henry Ford is a true blessing to Dearborn and its community!!!
Hussein August 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Henry Ford was also a notorious anti-Semite who published conspiracy theories demonizing Jewish people. He wasn't a saint. Just saying, Dearborn is big enough and modern enough to embrace a new generation of notoriety.
Dave August 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Hussein is reminding all that we all have our flaws.
july sobczynski August 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM
excellent comments. i too believe that dearborn is now and will always be the home of Henry Ford. our current politicians should take heed when they need something from good old fordmotor company. i continue to be amazed by our current local government and am convinced that a few changes are in order.
Mary August 16, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments. I am certainly relieved to learn that so many of my fellow Dearbornites feel as strongly as I do about this.
Heba August 16, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I agree with Mary word per word!!
Gilda Tamburro August 17, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Thank you Mary!! Well said.
Helen Hammad August 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Very well said and most proud of the words chosen to describe our beautiful city that we grew up in. My father wasn't educated but he was able to support his family of 10 kids thanks to Ford motor co. Mary thanks for sending this letter I agree 100%.
Joel E. De La Fuente August 17, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Well said indeed, Mary.
Lee Jacobsen August 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Mary's comments are right on! There are so many Beauty contests, Miss USA, Mrs USA, Miss Michigan, Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, Miss Congeniality....etc However, there is only one Henry Ford. Due to sports and whatever, I have been fortunate to travel all over the world, and when they ask where I am from, it's "Dearborn....puzzled look?...."Home town of Henry Ford"...smiles!!! The whole world knows and loves Henry Ford, and we have him right here in Dearborn!!
Jennifer Accra- Daoud August 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Dearborn is the home of the Ford family who brought jobs and life and put us on the map!!! Tina sorry sweetie you have nothing compared to these brains of the Ford family!!! Dearborn is Dearborn and don't ever think anyone else can change it cause of beauty. Do something for your city to help others not yourself!
Jennifer Accra- Daoud August 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Stupid auto correct! Rima not Tina sorry
jackie hammoud August 18, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I strongly agree with you mary dearborn is Henry ford and always will be so to take off henry ford and he be replaced no way to add is a different story I bring back henry ford
KC August 19, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Compare the accomplishments of the two and make a decision. It's not rocket science!!
henry ford August 23, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Who really cares who's name is next to that sign. To me it seems like it's a Tibnin vs Bint jbeil thing, we should just replace it with Tarick Salamaci's name "Home of the Pretender". Hello , Kabbani, Hammoud, Fawaz And Hamid. The hater family. Was this a plot to tarnish Rima's name during a sitdown in your garage drinking tea and smoking hookahs. Remember ladies she is one of your own and if it was one of your daughters this would not be said. Thank you, Henry Ford
Lee Jacobsen August 23, 2012 at 06:57 PM
henry...if we follow your thought pattern, if there truely is one, then the name next to the 'Dearborn' sign means little. The space may have more value leased on an annual basis to the highest bidder, including politicians. For example, Dearborn, home town of The Fairlane Center Dearborn, home town of Vote for Sam Dearborn, home town of The Henry Ford Lease it for $20 grand a year, and use the money to improve Dearborn.
Samar Awada August 25, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Hi Henry Ford, I would just like to clarify things. Mary in no way whats so ever intended to insult or tarnish Miss Rima Fakih's reputation. If you know Mary the way we do, you would know that Mary would never belittle anyone. If anything, Mary was the first to support Rima's win. We all where happy about her title that she won. If anyone tarnished her Reputation it was of her own doing not anyone else. Mary's whole point was that Henry Ford is History to us all. Our fathers and their fathers all worked there and feed, clothed, and educated their kids from Ford's. Many family members worked there from the day Ford opened his first factory. We only intended to preserve the name and the history that came with him, in appreciation and respect for all his has done for the city of Dearborn. Nothing more nothing less. So, I hope you understand there is no need for you to be defensive when no attack has ever been made. No hard feeling, yes she is after all one of us.
Amal Berry August 25, 2012 at 08:57 PM
@"Henry Ford". Obviously ur trying to start some kind of trouble. No it's not an anybody vs. anybody thing, although it's apparent YOU have a problem with Tibneen people. And by taking a shot at Tarick Salamaci is proof enough. Exactly what have YOU accomplished compared to him? Yes, we are proud of Tarick. As to your comment that "we" tarnished Rima's name, you're off base on that one. It's up to Rima herself and her actions whether her name is tarnished or not. "We" had nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, "we" were proud when she won. And you leave everyones daughters out of it. At least we don't hide behind fake names. All the names you mentioned Kabbani, Hammoud, Fawaz, Hamid, Salamaci are names that have contributed economically and socially to Dearborn. And Henry Ford and the Ford family BUILT this city. For THAT reason there is a push to keep the sign with the Ford name only. They've created jobs, opportunities, to this community. There are 3rd generations of families working at Ford. They deserve the honor of having their name attached to this city. Thank YOU,,, AMAL HAMMOUD BERRY
Samia Saleh Kabbani-realtor September 03, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Whos tarnishing ms America? No one said anything offensive about her. I just agreed that this is the Heart of Henry Ford. His name stays. WHo ever you are. Stop posing. Ur not henry ford. Sissy!!! hid behind your lil wall. I think you are the hater. Jealous that Tarick Salmaci is a house hold name in Dearborn? I am very proud of my nephew. He has done more for this community then alot of people have. I didnt tell anyone here. Put Taricks name on the Dearborn sign. I dont sit in garages. and I dont smoke hooka. We leave that to you and your family. Rima is a beautiful girl. SHe got mixed in the fast life. God guide her inshallah. Stop making this personal. Nobody wants to hurt Rima. grow up and read what Mary wrote again. this time slow enough for you to comprehend what she said. Not what you think she should have said. Poser!!!!

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