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WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 4, 2001) - The Arab American Institute and the U.S. Secretary of Energy, a prominent Arab American, today recognized The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., for its part in establishing a fund to assist the Arab American community in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

In awarding AmeriDream a certificate of appreciation, Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham recognized the charity for establishing the Arab American Rebuilding Fund, which provides financial assistance to Arab Americans and others who have sustained property damage due to race-related crimes committed on or after September 11, 2001.

AmeriDream President and Founder Christopher Russell accepted the award at a ceremony on Capitol Hill earlier today. "All Americans were deeply affected by the attacks on New York and Washington last September. It is unfortunate that certain Americans were further victimized by hate crimes simply as a result of their heritage."

The Arab American Rebuilding Fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to low-to-moderate-income individuals and families, and disadvantaged small businesses, schools, community centers and religious institutions that suffered racially-discriminatory property damage on or after September 11, 2001. Claims for the fund should be submitted to the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIF) for processing; qualifying claims will then be sent to AmeriDream for disbursement.

"Rebuilding and renewing communities is an important part of what we do," said Russell. "This fund is one way for us to serve the Arab American community on behalf of all Americans."

The Arab American Rebuilding Fund is just one of the many programs established by AmeriDream for the benefit of low-to-moderate-income families across the country. The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, the principal program offered by AmeriDream, provides qualified homebuyers downpayment or debt repayment assistance of up to 5% of the purchase price of the home in the form of gift funds. While prospective homebuyers are not required to pay back the gift, they must qualify for a loan that permits the use of gift funds.

For more information on the Arab American Rebuilding Fund, contact Claudette Shwiry at AAIF, 1600 K Street NW, Suite 601,Washington, DC 20006. For further details on The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program or other programs sponsored by The AmeriDream Charity, please contact Ann Ashburn at (301) 977-9133 or visit www.ameridreamcharity.org.

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The mission of The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, is to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved groups through the direct provision of downpayment assistance and through the restoration and development of communities. A 501(c)(3) organization, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. meets HUD requirements for FHA insured loans as a charitable organization. In addition to The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, the Charity also operates The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program in the Washington, DC, area, which focuses on rehabilitating properties and returning them to the market at affordable prices; and is on track to donate over $600,000 by the end of 2001 to a range of community organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.