County Treasurer Maria Pappas celebrates Arab Heritage Month with business and community leaders

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas will celebrate Arab American Heritage Month by recognizing more than 30 business, civic, political and religious leaders from the Chicagoland Arab community with Certificates of Excellence.

Pappas will also unveil her office’s new Arab-language outreach video at the event. The video will show taxpayers how to see if they are due a property tax refund for previous overpayments or missed exemptions.

The celebration will take place on Monday, May 1 at 3 p.m. at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 112.

“Arab Americans have advanced our nation in diplomacy, science, technology, cuisine and the arts,” said Pappas. “They’ve been at the forefront of the fight for civil rights and social justice. It’s important that the Arab American community is seen and celebrated.”

The honorees include: Mohammad Abdallah, president of the Community Retail Association; Ambassador Dr. Sameh Aboul-Enein, Consul General of Egypt; Laura & Farah Abuhamda, from Arab Folk Dance; Maha Abuhamda, president of Family Service Association; Mike Al Musa, regional sales manager with BMO Harris Bank; Ghassan Ballut, executive director of the Al-Nahda Center; Cory Cassis, of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois;

Sayeed Dilar, president of the Muslim Civic Coalition; Mazen Dola, president of the Palestinian American Club; Naderh Elrabadi, an attorney at Elrabadi Law; Abdel Ghouleh, of the U.S. Palestinian Council; Ray Hanania, editor of Suburban Chicagoland; Radi Hashish, owner of Fresh Stop Produce & Deli; Nidal Jarad, president of Nationwide Distributors Inc.; Sonia Khalil, vice president of the Arab American Democratic Club;

Mohammad Khamis, an internal medicine specialist with Northwest Medical and Urgent Care; Shadin Maali, director of operations at Emgage; Sundus Madi McCarthy, academic advisor at Moraine Valley Community College; Jamal Masoud, owner of Amigo Food Mart; Sandy Matar, from Arab Community TV Channel; Kifah Mustapha, director of the Prayer Center of Orland Park; Amir Nijem, Arab American activist;

Lobna Rabadi, nurse at Holy Cross Hospital; State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid (D-Berwyn); Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero; Nida Sahouri, of the American Muslims for Palestine; Rouhy Shalabi, Cook County Circuit Court Judge; Jawad Shalabi, attorney at Rohy Shalabi & Associates; Maha Sweis-Dababneh, professor at Moraine Valley Community College; Ihsan Sweiss, consul general at Consulate of Jordan; and Nemer Ziyad, CEO of Ziyad Brothers Importing Inc.

The National Arab American Heritage Month initiative was launched in 2017. During the month of April, communities across the country celebrate the Arab community’s rich heritage and the contributions that Arab Americans have made to American society. There are close to four million Arab Americans in the United States.