Culture and community leaders honored at Arab-American Heritage Celebration

Leaders in charge: President and chief executive officer of the Arab American Family Support Center, Rawaa Nancy Albilal, posed with Borough President Adams, honoree Tahanie A. Aboushi, and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, Rama Issa-Ibrahim, at Arab-American Heritage Night at Borough Hall on April 24.
Photo by Zoe Freilich

Brooklynites gathered at Borough Hall in Downtown on April 24 for Borough President Adams’s annual Arab-American Heritage Celebration as part of his “Embrace Your Hyphen” cultural series.

This celebration of hyphenation aimed to honor one of the borough’s many cultures, according to an employee of one of the organizations that sponsored it.

“It’s about celebrating the community and diversity of Brooklyn and celebrating the heritage of the Arab people who came here so we’re not forgetting our culture,” according to the director of community outreach for the Downtown-based Arab American Family Support Center, Ahmed Mohammed.

The free event — which was also sponsored by Bay Ridge’s Arab American Association of New York and the Salaam Club of New York — featured catering by Downtown’s Yemen Café, whose proprietors, Muthana Hatem and Yahya Alsubai, also received an award for their support of the Arab community. Performers also showcased Middle Eastern dance and Arab music.

Borough President Adams presented awards to several honorees for their service to the community, along with the president of the Arab American Family Support Center, Rawaa Nancy Albilal. They honored the presiding minister of Bay Ridge’s Salam Arabic Lutehran Church, Rev. Khader El-Yateem, and detective Ahmed Nasser, who founded the city police department’s Muslim Officer Society, among others.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

More from Around New York