AROC’s work is led by a team of collective (advisory board), staff, and members. Currently, this also includes a Transition Team made up of past advisory board members and community leaders.
Transition Team & Advisory Board
- Alia Ghabra
- Ashwak Hauter
- Heba Nimr
- Lily Haskell
- Maherah Silmi
- Monadel Herzallah
- Nancy Hormachea
- Nadia Babella
- Rama Kased
- Ramsey El-Qare
- Ramiz Rafeedie
- Reem Assil
- Sami Kitmitto
- Senan Khairie
- Amria Ahmed, Immigration Attorney
- Lara Kiswani, Executive Director
- Lubna Morrar, Youth Program Coordinator
- Miriam Zouzounis, Membership Coordinator
- Mokhtar Al-Khanshali, Immigration and Outreach Coordinator
Amria Ahmed is an immigration attorney and community organizer at AROC. Ms. Ahmed has experience in immigration law, family law, and trial litigation. In addition to her work experience, she has interned for the Honorable U.S. Federal District Court Judge George C. Steeh, the Honorable U.S. Representative John D. Dingell, and the ACLU. Ms. Ahmed is admitted to practice in California and Michigan and is a member of the Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers. Ms. Ahmed received her B.A. summa cum laude (2003) and J.D. (2006) from Wayne State University. In law school, she was an associate editor of the Journal of Law in Society and a member of Student Trial Advocacy Program. Prior to joining AROC, Ms. Ahmed organized Muslim and Yemeni community members in Detroit, Michigan around the issues of education and civil liberties.
Ramsey El-Qare is 28 years old and was born and raised in San Francisco. He is currently a student at City College of San Francisco taking photojournalism classes, and has also taken political science classes at San Francisco State University (SFSU). He is both a member and leader of the General Union of Palestinian Students at SFSU, and the Palestinian Youth Network (PYN). Ramsey works with his family business as a property manager.
Alia Suad Ghabra is a mixed Syrian-Italian American organizer, activist, and educator. She has been volunteering with AROC since 2008 and became a part of the organizing collective in August 2010. In addition to working with AROC, she also organizes with Break the Seige, and has done fundraising and performance art for Arab LGBT organizations Helem (Lebanon), Al-Qaws and Aswat (Palestine). She is currently in her second year of teaching at an elementary school in East Oakland through Americorps, and is applying for a Fulbright program to teach English in the West Bank, Palestine for the next academic year.
Lily Haskell is a Moroccan American organizer who worked with AROC as Program Director from 2007-2012. Her previous work centered around youth development and multi-racial political education. Lily has contributed to and led Arab organizing and educational initiatives through cultural and political work, as well as anti-war organizing for over 10 years. Lily graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. Originally from Georgia, she has been living in Oakland for 7 years.
Ashwak Hauter is a recent graduate from the University of California Berkeley earning a BA in Anthropology and Development Studies. At Berkeley, Ashwak was an active MSA and SJP member. As part of the MSA, Ashwak was the head of the community service committee and the Youth Outreach committee. She continues to work with MEMSA communities in community building and organizing. As a McNair and HAAS scholar, Ashwak has undergone fieldwork in Yemen on post-colonial development and also the social development of the Yemeni community in the Bay Area.
Rama Kased completed her Masters in Education with a concentration in Equity and Social Justice at San Francisco State University in 2008. As a co-founder of 2 youth organizations in Brooklyn, New York, her wide range youth work experience includes curriculum development, base building on school campuses, and leadership development. Both youth organizations focused working in the Arab Community of Brooklyn, New York, post 9/11. She currently serves as the Projector Coordinator and instructor at the Metro Academies a program through the Health Education Department at SFSU.
Lara Kiswani, a Palestinian raised in the SF Bay Area, has been active with antiwar, Palestinian, Arab, feminist, and student organizations. Lara earned an MA in Education with an emphasis on equity and social justice at SFSU. Her research focused on Palestinian American youth identity, language and decolonization. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC Davis, where she cofounded the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, organized with Third World Forum, and also helped to establish the Middle East South Asia minor. She has worked as a youth and adult educator, and is currently the executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.
Sami Kitmitto holds a PhD in Economics and currently researches K-12 education at a non-profit organization in Palo Alto. His activism work has included anti-war work, union organizing, reproductive rights, and Palestine Solidarity work in both student and community settings.
Lubna Morrar is a Palestinian poet, currently studying Pre-Law and Ethnic Studies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Lubna and her work were featured on the popular Arabic news network, Aljazeera Arabic. Not only an artist, Lubna has also been recognized as a significant contributor in the greater Palestinian community, both locally and internationally. An Oakland resident, Lubna has worked closely with the Arab Youth Organization (AYO) since 2009. Lubna comes from a long line of political activism, especially as the women in her family have instilled in her a strong political and humanitarian consciousness for all victims of race inequality.
Miriam Zouzounis was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and History. During her time at UCSB she was student organizer with Students for Justice in Palestine and El Congreso. She also spent a year studying Arabic at the American University of Cairo and hopes to eventually work on public/water policy. Along with her position at AROC, she helps at her family’s deli in San Francisco.