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Changes to ACW Bylaws

Dear ACW Members and Friends of ACW,Consistent with ACW’s by-laws and in consultation with ACW’s attorney, the Board has voted to change ACW from a membership to a non-membership organization,therefore releasing ACW members from the responsibility and obligation of meeting once a year to elect new board members.

In Addition, the Board made the decision to move forward to restructure the functioning of ACW for the coming year and recruit board members with expertise that helps build ACW into its envisioned future New Board members will be recruited through a board process that aligns the strategic needs of ACW with the expertise of professionals (Arab and non-Arab).

By virtue of changing ACW to a non-member organization, there is now no need to hold an Annual General Assembly meeting.

ACW will remain as a charitable 501c3 non-profit organization with the same mission. 

The current functioning board consists of Rasha Qamheyeh, Huda Giddens, Rachel Peterson and Mona Stucki who have volunteered to continue on to transition ACW and steer it into its new direction. We encourage input from ANYONE – Arab and non-Arab alike – interested in participating in this exciting and monumental opportunity. It is our hope that Arab Americans will participate “at will”, rather than “out of obligation”, to build an organization that functions as a platform with a voice that speaks to the relevance of our time.

The Board welcomes your ideas, your contributions in terms of your Arab background that can be shared, practical help, organizational expertise, and other resources you may have.  Our Arab community is a rich resource for those wanting to learn and partner with us. Most importantly, let us know if you would like to serve on this new board.

We are accessible through our emails, listed below, and we will be having open sessions to dialogue, create and envision what is possible. Please check the website and Community Calendar periodically to stay in touch with what is happening. We will also continue to send out our e-newsletter with updates and post our Annual Financial Report on our website.  Our website is

Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Let us hear from you in ways that will enhance our efforts to project a new ACW image.

In closing, we would like to leave you with the following thoughts inspired by this quote:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Anonymous

Thanks to all of you for your support and loyalty through the years.

Mona Stucki (President):
Huda Giddens (VP):
Rasha Qamheyeh (Treasurer):
Rachel Peterson (Secretary):

The 2011 Arab Festival Program Guide!

The much anticipated Program Guide for the 2011 Arab Festival is here! Be sure to check it out so you don’t miss all your favorites, and keep coming back to the website for updates and features on your favorite performers and artists!

The Arabesque Trio at the 2011 Arab Festival

The Arabesque Trio, featuring Moroccan-born qanun performer Hicham Chami, Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khory and Syrian-born percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain, will be headlining at the 7th annual Arab Festival on October 8th and 9th at Seattle Center.

The performance will take place at the Mahrajan Stage in Fischer Pavilion on Saturday, October 8th from 3:30-5:00 pm. The trio will deliver an Arabic Music workshop on the Freedom Stage on Sunday, October 9th from 1:15-2:00 pm. The trio is dedicated to increasing understanding of Arab culture through the universal language of music.

Moroccan-born Qanun player Hicham Chami is an educator, a musician and a graduate of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Rabat, Morocco. Chami is founder and Executive Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble as well as the Arabesque Foundation for Arab Culture, an organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of classical Arabic, Turkish and Armenian Music.

Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khoury graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a bachelor’s in Economics and Music Performance, and obtained his Master’s in Music from Temple University. As Artistic Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble, he has led several nation-wide tours, performing traditional Arabic music in major venues and universities.  Khoury recently toured with Lebanese superstar Fairuz and can be heard on several pop recordings including the Grammy-nominated song “Beautiful Liar” (featuring Beyonce and Shakira), and “Love and Compassion” (with Paula Cole and Kazem Al-Saher).  Khoury recorded strings for Shakira’s Grammy performance of “Hips Don’t Lie”.

Syrian born, Venezuelan raised percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain is an accomplished master percussionist, fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven, made his first stage performance at nine, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan; winning the regional percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela, he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught middle- and high school students for several years a variety of percussion styles, blending Arab and Latino music.


The 2011 Arab Festival Poster and Postcards!

The Arab Festival 2011 is pleased to unveil this years’ poster and postcard, designed by our wonderful volunteer Abdul Hawasli. Please join ACW and the Arab Festival in thanking him for all his work on these lovely works of art!
















Festival Update – Remi Kanazi, the Arab Suite, and so much more!

Festival Update

In addition to the Arabesque Trio mentioned in the last newsletter, Arab Festival Al-Noor will also feature a performance and workshop by young Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi of New York City. He’ll be bringing copies of his new book Poetic Injustice.

NEW this year: instead of individual “country booths” the festival will have an Arab Suite! This will include the Freedom Stage, which will feature a variety of panel discussions, lectures, stories and presentations by local Arab Americans. The Arab Suite will be dressed in Arab Décor with highlights from different countries, symbolizing our unity. Guests will have opportunity to get to know who the Arab’s really are over tea/coffee and sweets, by meeting us and having meaningful conversations. The Arab Suite will be housed in Seattle Center’s Pavillion B, which is next to the new skateboard park.

This promises to be a truly inspirational festival. To learn more and get involved, please join us at the programming meeting this Saturday, July 30th, from 11am -1pm at Seattle Center, Center House Room 311.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, but want to volunteer, please email volunteer (at) arabcenterwa (dot) org

Fashion Show was a success!

Absolutely Stunning.

This is the shortest way to describe the work of Intisar Khalifeh. Ms. Khalifeh presented a sample of her world-renowned thobes (or Palestinian dresses) at the ACW Arab Festival Fundraiser Saturday June 18, 2011 at the Red Lion in Bellevue. In true vogue style, tens of beautiful women walked the runway modeling outfits ranging from casual to extremely formal. Each ensemble had the audience “oohing” and “aahing.” Ms. Khalifeh became interested in the dresses, or thobes, the Palestinian women were wearing during her work with the Palestinian Red Crescent. From her talks with the women about their dresses and from her studies about the patterns and the history, Ms. Khalifeh fell in love with the motifs, the colors, and the meanings behind each design. She saw how deeply the Palestinian identify was connected with the thobe and she became determined to bring the thobe out of the refugee camps and keep it alive in modern society. She did this by maintaining the integrity of the thobe: keeping it long, conservative, handmade and full of beautiful and colorful cross-stitches. But, she modernized it with new cuts, lighter fabrics, and more vibrant colors. The result is absolutely stunning and cannot be described with words.

Thanks to the hard work of Patricia Auch and Oraib Khalifeh and all the table captains who invited their friends and family. We were able to experience the work first hand and in motion. This fashion show was held as an ACW fundraiser for the past two festivals, and both have been a phenomenal success. Hopefully, ACW can convince Ms. Khalifeh to return in 2013. If so, be sure to sign up as a Table Captain, it’s an event you don’t want anyone to miss!

Please click here to view photos from the fashion show, courtesy of Katherine Gaudette.


Festál Fabric of America Project: E=mc2!

The Arab Festival 2011 is excited to announce its participation in the Festál Fabric of America Project: E=mc2! FFAP: E=mc2 (Engaging through Media spreading Culture at the speed of light) is the participatory art project that lets you express your passion, your pride, and your point of view on ethnicity and cultural heritage in 2011.


Our question “What does Arab culture look like?” invites you to move beyond the stereotypes and appreciate Arab Culture in all of its depth and diversity.

Create an image by answering our question through images, symbols, and words, then submit it! Share with people from all walks of life and backgrounds in drawing a complex yet meaningful picture of Arab Culture. Define Arab Culture and what matters to you!

Visit the FFAP Facebook page to check out the project, and upload your images to the Arab Festival Festal Project website!


Introducing the New ACW!

After many months of hard work, the marketing team has finalized a new logo and branding scheme for the Arab Center of Washington. As you explore the new website we you’ll get a chance to explore the new logo and color scheme. We hope you are all as excited about this transformation as we are!

Global Rhythms: Arab in America a success!

The latest installment in Town Hall’s ongoing “In America” concert series offered a weekend of events celebrating the Arab-American experience through the lens of the performing arts. The featured concert showcased the West Coast debut of French-Algerian singer Nassima Chabane with her ensemble. Chabane is a popular artist in North Africa and the Middle East for her performance of the music of Andalusia and North Africa, and appeared at Town Hall prior to a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Also performing on the program is noted Iraqi ud player Rahim AlHaj, who made his Town Hall debut. AlHaj has twice been nominated for a Grammy for his traditional performance of Iraqi music, and for his explorations combining Arab and Western music.