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2016 Events



January 17, February 7, & February 14, 2016

Movie & Pizza Event - A Membership Drive and Networking event hosted by three members of NAAWA.

“The Wanted 18,” which is the highly acclaimed Palestinian movie was screened and enjoyed by all the attendees.

March 12, 2016

PCRF Annual Fundraising Gala - A charitable Event

NAAWA booked two tables to support PCRF at this event that raised funds for building a new Pediatric Cancer Center in Gaza.

March 20, 2016

International Women’s Day Celebration - NAAWA’s Annual Gala

Observing and celebrating the UN recognized International Women’s Day that asserted the vital role of women in society and that empowers women worldwide so as to be involved in all facets of nation shaping and building.

This event took place at Tysons Sheraton Hotel. It was a successful and enriching dinner celebration that showcased diverse talents of accomplished Arab American Women including: art, music, and speeches.  

Participating Ladies who presented their talents and experiences were:

Art - Nadia Darwish (Michigan), Alissar Malouf (Lebanon), and Nadia Duchelle (Morocco).

Music - Kylie Hilali (Morocco - Qanun) and Lena Saikaly (Palestine - Jazz).

Motivational Speeches - Lena Alhusseini (Palestine - Social Services) and Kate Seelye (US - Journalist and SVP at the Middle East Institute).

Master of Ceremonies - Tanya Rahall.

Auctioneer - Deya’ Leonard Dresner.

April 11, 2016

Arab American Heritage Month in Gaithersburg, MD - A cultural Event

Representatives of NAAWA attended this reception that was hosted by the City of Gaithersburg’s Multicultural Affairs Committee in recognition of the Arab American Heritage Month in Maryland.

The celebration included highlights of cultural arts from various Arab countries and performances by youth of Arabic dancing and singing.

April 26, 2016

Arab American Heritage Proclamation Month in Fairfax, VA - A cultural Event

April is the Arab American Heritage Month and Cities across America have been issuing proclamations commemorating it. On Tuesday April 26, 2016 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formally declared April as Arab American Heritage Month in Fairfax.  

The event took place at the County Government Center with a reception that preceded the ceremony.  

Our energetic young friend, Ruba El-Hage organized participation and attendance by Arab American citizens in the region. NAAWA was represented by three of its Board members. Several Arab Americans were recognized for their long time economic and social contributions as well as positive mark in Fairfax, VA.

Ramadan June/July, 2016

Hummus for the Homeless - Community Support

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Arab America had partnered with local churches, businesses, and organizations to provide meals for the homeless, while sharing Arab cuisine. Every Friday during Ramadan (June 10, 17, and 24, and July 1) the partnership provided meals served to the homeless outside Arab America’s office in Washington, DC at 916 G St NW. Representatives from NAAWA joined the volunteers in the community-wide “Hummus for the Homeless” humbling effort.

September 17, 2016

AAI Workshop - “Yalla Vote Campaign”

NAAWA in collaboration with AAI (Arab American Institute) held a workshop under the “Yalla Vote Campaign” at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church, Virginia. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage Arab Americans to be active participants in the voting process on a Local, Regional and National level.

NAAWA’s President, Jihan Andoni, opened the session with a few words about how we must get involved and work within the American Political System in order to effect any change whether it is for the disadvantaged and minorities, or low-income and middle classes, as well as specific issues concerning our own community. NAAWA’s Chairwoman, Najat Arafat Khelil, who has worked tirelessly on this project, introduced Maya Berry, Executive Director of AAI, who has been a committed activist since her college days and has demonstrated extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the election process and the American political structure. Maya gave an excellent presentation explaining to the attendees how the electoral system works, the significance of this year’s election, and the necessity of our community’s involvement during this election cycle and beyond. The Question and Answer part of the workshop raised and addressed many issues that are of particular importance to Arab Americans.

October 08, 2016

NAAWA’s Program Committee - Women’s Empowerment Project - Business Networking and Guidance (1)

NAAWA’s Program Committee organized a luncheon meeting at the Brio Restaurant in Tysons Corner for launching its first empowerment project, Microfinance for Women’s Businesses.

The aim of this project is to support Arab American women entrepreneurs with business start-up issues, provide coaching and mentoring, plus counselling and skill enhancement in order to be able to successfully launch their business ideas in the marketplace.

The guest speaker, HanadiEljari, founder of Le Papiyon Chocolatier ( led an inspiring discussion.

The Program Committee will be organizing more successful Microfinance and Empowerment follow-up projects.

November 11, 2016

NAAWA’s Outreach Committee - Learning from “Women in Public Office”

NAAWA’s Outreach committee coordinated with NOW (National Organization for Women, Vienna Chapter) and arranged for several NAAWA members to attend an informative and networking meeting at the Stratford House social room in Reston. Two guest speakers, Jennifer Wexton (Virginia Senator) and Jennifer Boysko (Virginia Delegate), talked about "Women who overcame the Hurdles of Running for Office", and told their stories of how they became involved in running for office and the challenges they experienced as women, both during and since their campaigns and election.

November 12, 2016

NAAWA’s Program Committee - Empowerment of Arab American Women - Business Networking and Guidance (2)

Building on the positive feedback from the first meeting, the Program Committee organized a second follow-up luncheon at the Brio Restaurant in Tysons Corner. They presented to the members and guests the success story of the new Syrian immigrant entrepreneur (Buthaina) who has started a new home-based catering small business, and noted how NAAWA has empowered her by providing coaching, mentoring and counseling.

During this meeting, NAAWA was honored to have a Special inspiring Guest Speaker, Lobna Ismail (Luby), Founder and President of “Connecting Cultures, LLC” (, and author of the award-winning speech “Longing for Belonging”.

December 02, 2016

NAAWA’s Outreach Committee - Annual Holiday Dinner with NOW – A Presentation and Open Discussion

Representatives of NAAWA attended the annual holiday dinner meeting in Fairfax, VA, that was organized by the NOW, Vienna chapter. NAAWA’s Board member, Dr. Alma Abdul-HadiJadallah was the keynote speaker at the event. Alma gave a powerful motivational speech, entitled “Peace in all of us” about the role of women in peace building. Following the speech, the audience engaged in a very interactive discussion of the subject and agreed to meet regularly to exchange ideas and action plans.

In addition to Alma’s speech, Syrian philanthropists Melika Al-Kawas and Malak Mamish from SAWA (Syrian American Women Association), presented to the audience a compelling description of the basic survival needs of Syrian Refugees who have been recently admitted and settled in Maryland. NOW and NAAWA attendees participated in a blanket drive for the refugees and promised to seek better transportation means that would enable and help them get to prospective work opportunities.

December 13, 2016

“Hattas and Hats” for the Homeless - Community Support

NAAWA has participated with Arab America in the “Hattas and Hats” project in which five bags of warm clothing were collected for the “homeless” to help them endure the cold winter months. The biggest “hit” for the recipients was the “Hattas” (scarves).

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