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After his retirement, Mr. Naifeh settled in Washington and created the American-Arab Affairs Council with two State Department colleagues with the goal of addressing the "persistent stereotyping of Arabs."
The organization, of which Mr. Naifeh was president and chairman from 1981 to 1990, published a quarterly journal, attracted prominent speakers and held educational conferences nationwide to promote cooperation between Arabs and Westerners.
Soon after Mr. Naifeh stepped down, the organization changed its name to the Middle East Policy Council. This new name rankled Mr. Naifeh, who wanted to emphasize an Arab perspective for policymakers and educators.
George Amel Naifeh was born in Kiefer, Okla., to a father from what is now Jordan and a mother from what is now Lebanon.
His parents, both Christian, fled because of poverty (in his mother's case) and sectarian violence (in his father's). They settled in Oklahoma because of family ties there.
During World War II, Mr. Naifeh served in a B-17 Flying Fortress unit of the Army Air Forces in England. His decorations included the Purple Heart and the Air Medal.
After the war, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma and attended what is now the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
He moved to Aiken, S.C., from Washington in 1998 and told a local newspaper his hobbies included painting religious scenes and working in his garden.
A son, Roger Naifeh, died in infancy in 1954.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Marion Lanphear Naifeh of Aiken; and two children, Carolyn Naifeh of Arlington and Steven Naifeh of Aiken, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of artist Jackson Pollock.
Matilda Robinson SuggEconomist
Matilda Robinson Sugg, 96, an economist with the U.S. Labor Department for 30 years, died of gastric internal bleeding Nov. 2 at Dirigo Pines assisted living center in Orono, Maine. She was former resident of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.
Mrs. Sugg worked in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specializing in international technical assistance. She was an instructor in the bureau's training program in labor statistics for statisticians and economists from other countries.