Opening remarks are provided by Souad Akib and Abdessamad Zouhir, well-known and loved in Malden as generous contributors to community. From Morroco originally, they understand the challenges and significance of being immigrants. They also work directly with many immigrants living in and around Malden. As husband and wife, they help lead the American Association for Arab Women (AAAW), an organization known in Malden for its events, educational services, and outreach to women and families from Arabic-speaking countries who now live in the Greater Boston area. This organization also provides guidance and training to young aspiring leaders looking to develop their skills and expand their impact. Souad and Abdessamad also are always generous and eager to partner and contribute to other community organizations, initiatives, and events. Their intelligent and caring regard for every individual is an inspiration to many.

About Souad Akib

Souad Akib is a Moroccan-American community activist , a mother of two daughters, a wife and a full-time banker at Century Bank. In her position as a personal banker, she met many Arab families who were facing various difficulties and needed translation/interpretation services. In 2010, Souad who is fluent in Arabic, French, and English formed the American Association for Arab Women (AAAW). She felt the need of leadership and community organizing for the Arab community in particular women. Souad’s inspiration is to build Arab leaders in the community who can take on civic responsibilities. She was honored with the 2012 YMCA’s “Women of Distinction” award for her community service and commitment to AAAW’s mission.
Souad is a tireless contributor to the community, a friend of many, and someone with the perspective about all people that is worthy of emulation.

About Abdessammad Zouhir

Abdessamad Zouhir utilizes his advising experiences by consulting the association from the business and community sides. He is a published writer in several magazines regarding various subjects. He is also a freelance translator and interpreter in Arabic and French primarily serving schools and the community. As an Advisor, he is charged with community relations and outreach of the association in various languages, as well as technical administration and language support during workshops and events. He is a strong supporter of the organization and a founding member. His passion for the community, social justice and leadership has helped guide the association and turned our community events into a success.

About the American Association for Arab Women (AAAW)

“The American Association for Arab Women is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Arab Women in the State of Massachusetts.
The Arab Women in the US are often without strong network of extended family that is traditional in Arab culture, which can make dealing with the many cultural issues they face here very stressful. Many lack the language skills and education levels that can help find jobs, leading to financial strain. For women, the issues that arise with raising children here can be very stressful. As children start to Americanize to fit in with their peers at school, tension rises. The AAAW’s committee brings together these women, who recently have come to the US, with more established immigrants to discuss problems and find better ways of coping with social challenges. As a result, many Arab women suffer from depression, and regression.”