Please find below the five candidates that are up for election and their biographies.
Dr. Almontaser is the founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in New York City. She is a veteran of the NYC public school system who has been involved for more than twenty years. Dr. Almontaser has taught special education, trained teachers in literacy, and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity advisor. Dr. Almontaser is the go-to person on cultural and religious diversity issues for Marty Markowitz, the Mayor’s office of Immigrant Affairs, the New York Police Department, and the New York City Councilmembers. Dr. Almontaser is a founding board member of The Dialogue Project and the Brooklyn Borough President’s New Diversity Task Force. She is the board advisor for the Same Difference Interfaith Alliance and Youth Bridge NY, and a member of the board of directors of Muslim Consultative Network, Women in Islam, and Saba: The Association of Yemeni Americans. She is also a co-founder of Brooklyn Bridges, the September 11th Curriculum Project, and We Are All Brooklyn.
Mr. Awad is a partner and founding member of the law firm of Awad & Khoury, LLP. He is a graduate of St. Peter’s College, the University of London, and Pace University Law School, where he served as a managing editor for Pace International Law Review. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, Mr. Awad holds a Master of Arts in Near and Middle East Studies and a Certificate in Comparative Law from the University of London. He has extensive experience in the areas of commercial transactions and matrimonial, Islamic, and international law. Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Mr. Awad its highest level of professional excellence, the AV Peer Review Rating. As a frequent public speaker at bar associations, universities, conventions and political events, Mr. Awad lectures on subjects ranging from law, politics, gender, religion, and culture internationally, with more than 200 television and radio appearances. He has appeared on ABC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabia, and BBC. Mr. Awad has been quoted in numerous American newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune.
Bishara A. Bahbah
Dr. Bishara Bahbah was born and raised in the Old City of Jerusalem. He is the son of Palestinian refugees and currently serves as a member of the ADC Board of Directors. Dr. Bahbah has been a managing director of the Washington, DC-based United Palestinian Appeal, Inc., an Associate Director of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Institute for Social & Economic Policy in the Middle East, and a Senior Investment-Management Consultant for one of Wall Street’s four major firms. Dr. Bahbah was a founder and the first chairman of the board of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. He cofounded The Palestine Center and was its first direct. Since 2000, Dr. Bahbah has been a guest columnist with the Arizona Republic and, since 2012, with USA TODAY as well. He is an adjunct professor of Investment, Finance & Wealth Management at Al-Quds and Bethlehem Universities, a senior portfolio manager and wealth advisor at a major Wall Street Firm. Prof. Bahbah has also authored two books: Israel and Latin America: The Military Connection; and Wealth Management in Any Market: Timeless Strategies for Building Financial Security. He has authored over 150 publications and appeared on major international television shows.
Alma Khoury Korkor
Mrs. Alma Khoury Korkor is an activist in the Arab-American community on a national and local level. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2013. She has been active with local political initiatives and is a co-founder of Ohio’s ADC chapter. She founded the Arab-American Community School in Ohio, where she taught Arabic, and has been a frequent guest speaker at schools and civic events on Arab-American issues. On a national level, she has played an active role in ADC’s Women’s Initiatives and participated in strategy discussions regarding that and other ADC national initiatives. She has served on the AAI’s National Leadership Council since 2005, and was the president of the national auxiliary of the National Arab American Medical Association from 2002-2004.
Mr. Yasir Shallal is currently a board member of the ADC. Originally coming from Iraq and living in the US for more than 50 years, his experience working in politics and business has provided him opportunity to advocate for the Arab community. Mr. Shallal has worked as a mechanical engineer with several fortune 500 companies in the United States and abroad. He has been involved with the ADC for more than 25 years. The ADC became a refuge for him after the Gulf War in 1991, when he started the first organization for Iraqi art and culture called the Mesopotamia Cultural Society (MCS). By joining forces with the ADC, MCS was able to showcase the first Iraqi art exhibit at the US Congress and highlight Iraq as the cradle of civilization with a deep rooted history that spanned thousands of years. He has also been a board member of Al-Diwan, an Iraqi social and cultural organization and has continued to work on issues advancing social justice and equality not only for Arab Americans but for all Americans.