StoryCorps stayed closer to home last Thursday and visited the Arab American Association of New York in Brooklyn. Under the leadership of Co-founder and Board President Dr. Ahmad Jaber, AAANY actively responds to the the social and economic programming needs of the Arab community in the greater New York City area. AAANY’s clients include Arabs and Arab Americans from the countries of Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Moracco, and Palestine, among others. With youth programs like after-school tutoring, boys basketball, and the Princess Club, the organization’s providing ESL and citizenship classes, and its upcoming Salaam Series Workshops with Brooklyn for Peace, AAANY is poised to remain “the Ellis Island of the Arab Community” while fulfilling its mission threefold: “Our aim is for families to achieve the ultimate goals of independence, productivity, and family stability.”
Since the events of September 11, 2001, AAANY has broadened its mission, taking on the tasks of also “empowering and defending its community.” In December 2001, AAANY officially established itself as a non-profit organization and opened its offices in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
During StoryCorps’ visit to Bay Ridge, Majed Seif, an AAANY volunteer from Palestine, participated with his friend and coworker Heidi Rosbe. Majed shared the story of his obtaining a college degree during the Intifada and showed us the art he produced before coming to the United States over ten years ago.