Meet Our Staff
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director
Susannah Gund, Adult Education CoordinatorSusannah joined the AAANY in July 2013 as the Adult Education Coordinator, having previously taught English, Arabic, and French in a variety of contexts. She has a Master's degree in Education and is a proud alumna of Swarthmore College where she studied Linguistics and Languages with Arabic and French. Susannah spent over two years living in Fez, Rabat, and Massa, Morocco teaching, working, studying Moroccan Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and Tachelheit Berber, and researching multilingualism and mother tongues in Moroccan classrooms. She is passionate about supporting multilingual, multicultural individuals and communities, linguistic human rights, and education for social justice. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Somia Elrowmeim, Adult Education InstructorOriginally from Yemen, Somia El-Rowmeim moved to New York in 2007. She joined AAANY as Adult Education Instructor in April of 2013. Before that, she volunteered in the AAANY as citizenship tutor. She graduated from Sana'a University, Yemen in June 2006 with Bachelors of Education/Major in Physics-Mathematics. She also has Administrative Assistant Certificate and Accounting Program Certificate from Kingsborough Community College in 2012. She has Teacher Assistant Certification from New York State. She has Secretary and Computer Diploma from Space Town Center for Computer & Language, in Yemen at 2002. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ahmad Al-Ashqar, Advocacy and Civil Engagement CoordinatorAhmad—an immigrant, son of an immigrant—was born in the Middle East, bred by displacement, and raised in Chicago. Having grown up in one of America’s largest Palestinian communities and under the wisdom of his grandfather—one of Chicago’s first Muslim community leaders—he was introduced to social activism at a young age. He spent a vast majority of his youth volunteering at IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Action Network), and performing his socially-conscious raps, poems and spoken word pieces at various events throughout Chicago. During his tenure as an English Literature student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ahmad became heavily involved with on-campus organizations such as the SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) and MSA (Muslim Student Association), as well as several off-campus organizations committed to social justice and community empowerment: namely the AAAN (Arab American Action Network), the Mosque Foundation and its Youth Center, and the AMP (American Muslims for Palestine). After connecting with Viva Palestina, an international organization run by George Galloway, Ahmad was able to visit his country for the first time when he joined their multinational, interfaith humanitarian convoy to the Gaza strip in late 2009. After teaching high-school English and writing in Dubai for the past few years—where he remained involved with the UAE chapter of the PCRF (Palestine Children’s Relief Fund)—Ahmad is permanently back in America; however, he and his wife have bypassed their native Chicago on a quest to discover New York City. They’re settling in Bay Ridge, intent on pursuing graduate studies, and still committed to striving for social justice.
Enas Almadhwahi, Office ManagerOriginally from Yemen, Enas Almadhwahi moved to New York in 2007. She joined AAANY as An Office Manager August 2014. Before that, she volunteered in the AAANY as office administrative and a case worker , as well as an intermediate ESOL instructor and child care supervisor. Enas studied English in Yemen American Language Institute (YALI) , and studied English literature in Sana'a University, Yemen in 2007. She also has an Administrative Assistant Certificate and Accounting Program Certificate from Kingsborough Community College in 2012. She has a Teacher Assistant Certification from New York State.
Patrick Harned, Development Intern
Patrick is a senior at Hunter college, were he majors in Classical Languages and German and Arabic, as well as studying French and Japanese. He comes to the AAANY after a summer of volunteering at the Arab American Family support center's youth summer program. He plans on studying Arabic in Egypt after graduating next year, before preparing a masters degree in Migration Studies.
Jarrod Crockett, Citizenship Intern_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Corin Smith Kent, Development Intern
Sophia Agag, NNAAC Youth Fellow_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Nelly Abdalla, Adult Education AssociateNelly is currently pursuing her Masters degree in International Affairs at NYU, with a strong interest in Middle Eastern politics and justice. She received her Bachelors degree from John Jay College, majoring in criminal justice and law. She is passionate about social justice and community service involving minority groups. Her future goals includ becoming a police officer that supports both the community at large and minority groups, with emphasis on social justice and perhaps bridging the current gaps in the relationship between the police community and minority groups.