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Agency History

TWO DEDICATED WOMEN WITH HEARTS OF GOLD

Arab American Family Services (AAFS) founded was established in 2001 by Nareman Taha and Itedal Shalabi-two women who witnessed the dire need for a social service agency that will advocate and address the issues and concerns of the Arab-American community. With hard work and dedication, they took their idea from conception to the reality of AAFS today.

AAFS provides a multitude of services focused on building both a healthy and a stable family, a community and a society. We invest in educating and advocating for and on be-half of the Arab American community.  For Arab-Americans, culture and religion are a strong component to their existence and security as a community in the mainstream society. Culturally it is taboo to discuss private issues and problems in the home with any outsiders. Many Arab-Americans truly believe that such issues and concerns are private affairs should never be addressed in public. The Arab-American community has gone far too long in denying the fact that problems do exist in our community, as they do in every community.

AAFS brings these issues out of hiding and promotes awareness. We provide education and prevention for the very issues never previously addressed due to religious and cultural taboos. AAFS is in a continuous struggle to advocate and address issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, DCFS, drugs, sex, and youth behavioral issues as well as many others.  Our job is to reduce the cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that limit Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans accessing existing services and opportunities for personal growth. In doing so AAFS established programs and services geared towards empowering the Arab/Muslim American community.

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