Board of Directors

Board of Directors of the Arab Center of Washington

The board is composed of a president, one treasurer, one secretary and directors at large. If you are interested in becoming a board member please fill out our ACW Board Member Form and submit to info@arabcenterwa.org.

2015-2017 Board Members

Oussama Alkhalili

Oussama Alkhalili

Oussama Alkhalili, President

Oussama Alkhalili, also known as Sam, was born and raised in Beirut Lebanon. He came to USA as an international student in 1981 where he entered Cal State LA, as an electrical engineering major. The civil war in Lebanon has forced Oussama to drop out the university and work in private sector until 1989. He entered a community college where he received an AS degree in Math/Science, has a minor in Mathematics from Cal State University of Fresno, BS in Computer Information Science from Strayer University, and master degree in Information Technology.

During that time, Oussama was a program director at College of the Sequoias for 9 years, and then 3 years at CSU Fresno. Oussama has been teaching all aspects computer technologies since 2000 until he landed a tenure position at Highline College where he is a professor and department coordinator for Business Technology department.

Oussama has served as the President for Arab Alliance Chamber of Commerce in Washington State for 5 years, was an executive board member at the Islamic Center of Kent for 1.5 years. Oussama now volunteer at United Muslims of Washington, serve as the treasurer for AACCWA, and volunteer as club advisor for a table tennis club at the college. Oussama has also been volunteering many times with ACW until he elected to be the treasurer of the organization.

Oussama loves teaching and help Arab businesses to flourish. Oussama also enjoy Arab communities as he is consulted by many local Arab non-profit organizations. Oussama drives to promote the richness of Arab culture and the beauty of Arab values.

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Hakeem Basheer

Hakeem Basheer

Hakeem Basheer, Vice President

Hakeem Basheer is a Palestinian American finishing his doctorate degree in Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education at Washington State University, where he works to raise awareness of Arabic and Islamic culture. Hakeem is a co-founder of “Volunteers Without Borders”, a Palestinian organization active in the Gaza Strip. He served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Arab Festival in 2011. This year, he is the Programming Chair and he succeeded in his goal of bringing authentic Arab culture to the local community.

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Tasha Duberstein

Tasha Duberstein

Tasha Duberstein, Secretary

Born in a suburb of Boston, Tasha is the only child of a Lebanese mother and a Jewish father. She was raised in a tight-knit Lebanese family, where she developed a passion for Arabic culture, history, and her grandmother’s kibbeh. In 2005, Tasha received her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations with a Middle East concentration, and she is currently applying to Middle East Studies graduate programs. Tasha moved to Seattle in 2010, and became involved with the Arab Center of Washington in 2012 through the biennial Arab Festival. She is deeply honored to be a member of the Board of Directors, and looks forward to establishing strong relationships within the community.

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Hiba-photo-1

Hiba Yamani

Hiba Yamani, Treasurer

Hiba doesn’t like to answer the question “where are you from?” – she’d much rather answer “where are you now and what are you up to there?”

Ever since she was a kid living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, she liked to help organize social events.  At 14, she dressed up as Santa for her neighbor’s kids, put up a magic show for her little sister’s birthday party, and helped organize a huge Eid party for kids in the compound where she lived.  This trend hasn’t changed much as she grew up and moved from one place to another.

Shortly after her family moved to Montreal, Canada, she found herself organizing a prom and fundraising for the yearbook at her new high school.  While studying software engineering at McGill University, she organized lots of different events including fundraisers, Halloween/Christmas parties, Ramadan iftars, Eid celebrations and end-of-year banquets. In 2011, she became an active member of the Arab Development Initiative and helped organize the 2012 Envision Arabia Summit which took place in New York.

Hiba is relatively new to Washington; she moved to Seattle in late 2012 to join Microsoft.  Shortly after she arrived, she heard about the Arab Festival and signed herself up to help.

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Hala Karaki

Hala Karaki

Hala Karaki

I’ve been in Washington for a little more than three years now and I love it! I came all the way from Beirut, first to California and then here. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I’ve been blessed with a great network of friends, a charming city, and breathtaking nature. It’s starting to feel so quickly, like a second home!

As part of ACW I feel I can give back to this community, I love planning social events, activities, and getting people togather! I look forward for an exciting year ahead of us, getting the community connected and everyone involved, and exposing the beauty of the Arab cultures!

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Angie Kamel

Angie Kamel

Angie Kamel

Angie is an Egyptian-American who moved to the US in the early 90s. She has devoted herself to a career in the performing arts because the medium helps us understand
humanity and celebrate it. She believes in a community’s right to tell it’s own story and while she was limited in her ability to share her own heritage through art, she shepherded the stories of other communities. Now, she hopes joining the board will allow her to be more intentional in sharing the beauty of the MENA region.

She has worked with various arts and educational organizations in California and here in Seattle at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Seattle Opera. Her current position as Artistic Engagement Manager at ACT –A Contemporary Theatre allows her to engage audiences in conversations about today’s most pressing questions through the lens of theatre and other forms of art.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre from the University of California, San Diego. She is thrilled to be part of the Arab Center of Washington’s board and is looking forward to getting to know this community and to regaining her lost Arabic language skills.

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McCall Paxton

McCall Paxton

McCall Paxton

McCall Paxton, or as he likes to be called Pax, is half Palestinian who grew up in Colorado. At the age of 17 Pax joined the US Army as an infantry man and served for 15 years in a variety of positions and locations. After the Army Pax went into Cyber security.

In his new role as a board member, Paxton hopes to be a champion for the amazingly diverse Arab community we have in Washington. It is also his hope to combat the ignorance and misunderstanding of those who may not know about our amazing people.

 

 

Board of Directors Contact Information:

President Oussama Alkhalili: president@arabcenterwa.org

Treasurer Hiba Yamani: treasurer@arabcenterwa.org

Secretary Tasha Duberstein: programs@arabcenterwa.org

Hala Karaki: halakaraki@arabcenterwa.org

Hiba Yamani: marketing@arabcenterwa.org

Tasha Duberstein: tasha@arabcenterwa.org

Hakeem Basheer: hakeem.b@arabcenterwa.org

Angie Kamal: angie.k@arabcenterwa.org

McCall Paxton (Pax): pax@arabcenterwa.org