NAAWA was honored to have Congresswomen Rashida Harbi Tlaib as our special Guest Speaker for 2019 IWD . She is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district since 2019.

During the month of August , the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) hosted an event in partnership with the National Arab American Women’s Association (NAAWA), where a group of social studies teachers from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) came to visit IIIT HQ to engage in a discussion about how best to teach students about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Islam, and other issues relevant to the Arab and Muslim world.

During the month of June, NAAWA co-sponsored the unforgettable Mesopotamia event where Shahrazad, in her journey across time, took us back to the first civilization known to mankind where we saw the portraits of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia (Iraq), and discovered its art, heritage, and culture.

The Education Outreach Program (EOP) held a teacher appreciation event on May 2nd. It was the first gathering of educators from Fairfax County and Loudon County public schools in addition to School Board members and candidates running for the school board. The goal of the event was to introduce educators to the culture and life of people in the Middle East, with emphasis on the contributions of Arab Americans to American society, culture, and education systems. The event also addressed misrepresentations of Middle Eastern history and culture in the education system.The event was attended by about 50 teachers, administrators, parents, and school board members, as well as NAAWA Board members and EOP volunteers.

The event included small group discussions on the social studies textbooks and ways NAAWA can contribute in providing accurate information as well as supplemental materials to introduce the Middle East to students in an inclusive and equitable manner. The various groups also discussed next steps and further action needed to promote this collaborative effort. Some ideas included inviting NAAWA members to speak at schools, participate in equity events planned in both counties and professional development days, and parents’ evenings.
During the month of April, NAAWA participated with Kalimah Programs to celebrate the Arab Heritage Month at John Hopkins University.

On February 7, 2019 two members of the Education Outreach Committee addressed the Fairfax County school board regarding some of the inaccuracies about Arabs and the harm caused by misrepresenting the Arab world.

NAAWA’s 4th Annual Dinner

The National Arab American Women’s Association (NAAWA) is celebrating its 4th Annual Dinner, featuring guest speakers Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Director of the New Internationalism Project—Institute of Policy Studies Ms. Phyllis Bennis and Human Rights Attorney & Assistant Prof. at GMU Ms. Noura Erakat. The event will be this Sunday, April 7 at Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Tysons.

There will be an art exhibition and entertainment with musician Fadi Jano.

“The audience should not expect a performance only, but a musical experience that will take the audience from a time era to another,” said Jano.

One of the participating artists in the art exhibition is Ghada Halabi. She has an exuberant love for colors; her brushstrokes flow smoothly and she does her best to make the painting feel alive.

Halabi taught porcelain and silk painting for 25 years; she paints with oil, the alla prima technique, on museum quality wood panels and canvas. Her main subjects are nature, flowers and trees.

Her painting that is featured in this article is a fascination and inspiration by the 6000 years old olive trees in Bechealeh, Lebanon; the 16 trees are described by the poet Sudeep Adhikari in his poem “The Sisters – Olive Trees of Noah”:

“All I ever wanted,

Is to be you, a silent celebration of

Paradoxes, anomalies and relations”

According to its mission, NAAWA is the platform and powerful voice of Arab American Women for causes and actions that strive to achieve social justice, protect human rights, civil liberties, and provide a welcoming environment for women and families to prosper and thrive