Andy Shallal

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Andy Shallal

Anas (Andy) Shallal is an artist and peace activist. He owns Busboys and Poets in Washington DC.


Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Shallal's family came to America in 1966. He attended Catholic University and Howard University and worked as a medical immunologist at the National Institutes of Health. Shallal switched careers, opening several restaurants, including Busboys and Poets, a DC institution that has received national recognition. His artwork has been featured in many publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, PBS, HBO, Al Jazeera International, and CNN.

Demoratic delegate candidate

Candidates for Sanders District 1 Delegates Anas "Andy" Shallal.

Anas “Andy” Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets, a group of restaurants in the Washington Metropolitan area where art, culture and politics intentionally collide over mindfully sourced food, drinks and programming that feeds the mind body and soul. With 7 locations in and around DC, including the latest location in Anacostia, Busboys and Poets has become home for progressives, artists and intellectuals including such notables as the late Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Alice Walker and Nikki Giovanni to name a few.

Shallal has founded and co-founded several peace and justice organizations and holds leadership positions in numerous others. He is on the board of trustees for the Institute for Policy Studies, Race Forward, the Anacostia Coordinating Council and a founding member of Think Local First DC, a local business association and has served in advisory and leadership roles to advance progressive business and labor practices including recently chairing the Workforce Investment Council of DC. He holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland.

Busboys and Poets is a member of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) focusing on sustainable business and employment practices. Busboys and Poets has also been at the forefront of environmental stewardship being one of the first businesses in Washington DC to be 100% wind powered and are at the cutting edge of the local/sustainable food movement winning many awards and recognitions locally and nationally for its innovative, conscious cuisine. Shallal has received numerous awards including the Mayor’s Arts Award, Employer of the Year from the Employment Justice Center, the Mayor’s Environmental Award, Washingtonian of the Year (Washingtonian Magazine) and DC Hall of Fame among others. More recently he was tapped to be a member of the re-open DC task force during the coronavirus pandemic.[1]


Shallal works on "social justice and peace issues" and speaks extensively on these topics. He is also a board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, the Anacostia Museum, DC Vote, the Washington Peace Center, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and Think Local First, working to create sustainable local-business models. He advises several nonprofits and works with students and others in their entrepreneurial endeavors.[2].

He has publicly stated that he is a marxist [CITATION}.

Institute for Policy Studies

Andy Shallal is Treasurer[3]of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies. Owner, Busboys & Poets; Artist.

Progressive Democrats of America

Andy Shallal serves on the Advisory Board of Progressive Democrats of America.[4]

Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation

On Sunday, August 29th 2010. at Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts. NW, Washington, D.C., an event "Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation" was held;

Is the U.S. military really leaving Iraq or just rebranding? What is the toll of seven years of occupation on Iraqis, U.S. soldiers and our economies? What is the status of Iraqi refugees around the world? Is it still possible to hold accountable those who dragged us into the war or committed crimes such as torture? What role did Congress and the media play in facilitating the invasion/occupation? We'll also look at the role of the peace movement -- its strengths and weaknesses -- and draw key lessons to make our work for peace, including in Afghanistan, more effective.

Speakers/performers included:

The event was sponsored by: CODEPINK, Peace Action, Institute for Policy Studies, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Exchange, Just Foreign Policy, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), U.S. Labor Against the War, ANSWER, World Can’t Wait, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, War is a Crime, Rivera Project, Washington Peace Center.[5]

DSA endorsement

In February 2014, Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America made its endorsements for the April 1 DC primary election. As Bill Mosley writes, the local made three endorsements in the Democratic primary: Andy Shallal for Mayor, Phil Mendelson for Council Chair, and Eleanor Holmes Norton for Delegate to the House of Representatives.[6]

DSA for Bernie meeting

A forum and rally featuring the acerbic and hilarious populist Jim Hightower on Oct. 22, 2015 stands out among many Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America activities planned on behalf of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in October.

This event, among many others, is part of the larger Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) We Need Bernie campaign.

The event was held at Busboys and Poets on 5th and K St. Among other speakers, were Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal, labor leader Larry Cohen. The keynote for the event will be the entertaining and always on-point progressive agitator Jim Hightower... a powerful force to be reckoned with in American culture and a persuasive advocate for Bernie Sanders’s campaign.[7]

Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee

As of 2015 the Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee included;[8]

  • Andy Shallal.

NIAC Forum

Yasmine Taeb January 23, 2017:


Enjoyed participating in a panel discussion yesterday about actions we can take to push back against hate and bigotry. Thank you NIAC & IAAB for organizing the event. The first 100 days of this administration is critical. Please be prepared, organized, and resist policies that will infringe on the rights of anyone from our communities! #RejectHate — with Andy Shallal and Ben Shnider.


  1. [1]
  5. [ Withdraw the Last Combat Politicians from Washington by David Swanson, pacific free Press, Aug 29, 2010]
  6. Welcome to the Washington Socialist for March 2014 Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
  7. [ Hightower Has Friends in Low Places that Aren’t Wall Street Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 The Washington Socialist <> October 2015 By M. Miller]
  8. Justice Alliance, who we are