Meet the 2018 Tarab NYC Board!

Wardeh is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in a variety of agency and clinical settings. She specializes in working with LGBTQ persons of color, immigrants experiencing bicultural issues, and individuals identified with kink and alternative lifestyles. Wardeh supports Tarab NYC in a variety of areas – most notably by facilitating the Discussion and Support Group.


Reem is a Community Organizer by day and musician by night. She works to advocate for the Arab and/or Muslim and/or Immigrant community in NYC. She’s always centered her queer identity in her work and her music and continues to advocate for the Queer MENA community through building relationships and partnerships to strengthen our base. Her main focus at Tarab NYC is member building and member engagement.

Nick is an Assyrian-American Social Worker from California with a long background working in non-profits as a teacher, an evaluator, a counselor, a program developer, a therapist, and a case manager. When he’s not lamenting the state of avocados in New York City, you can find him adding to his list of restaurants that he’s visited or frantically adding to the list of restaurants he intends to visit. He joined the Board in 2018 with the goal of enhancing Tarab NYC’s ability to be able to serve the needs of its community members more deeply and more broadly

Kenza is a DC native who moved to NYC for grad school. She is now putting her new degree to good use developing affordable housing in NYC. Along with a die hard obsession with losing sports teams from the DC area, Kenza loves exploring new neighborhoods and can often be found with a book under a tree in Prospect Park.


Hilal is a Queer Muslim Lebanese American and graduate of the CUNY School of Law (2016), where he worked for the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic and CLEAR. In 2014 he worked on refugee resettlement in Lebanon and in 2010 he founded the Arab Queer Collective (AQC) to create affirming spaces for queer identified Arabs living in NYC. In his free time he loves to cook, dance and meditate, and also fundraise for the Homaidan-Desclaux Scholarship Fund for Homeless Youth. He currently spends his time between New York, France, and Lebanon.

Christina Chala is a social justice educator committed to creating transformative educational spaces and promoting access to higher education for underrepresented student populations. Chala currently works as an ASAP Academic Advisor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Queensborough Community College and lives in Brooklyn. A queer Arab-Latina originally from Southern California, Chala was raised in the Antiochian Orthodox church, and is passionate about raising visibility for other QueerBiTGNC MENA folks. Chala is an Affiliate member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and enjoys volunteering for WIllie Mae Rock and Roll Camp for Girls.

Bashar Makhay is the founder of Tarab NYC. His work is deeply rooted in his passion for social justice. Bashar has worked for a variety of organizations including ACCESS (Dearborn), Affirmations (Detroit’s LGBT Center), The Arcus Foundation, NAAP, and the ACLU. Today, Bashar works for the Office of Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University, but on the side Bashar can be found DJing, organizing campaigns, volunteering, biking around NYC, cooking and working on a variety of campaigns. At Tarab NYC, Bashar is currently focused on programatic and strategic planning as well as the operations and infrastructure of the organization.

Amin is a techy Leo based in New York. He was born and raised in Jordan by his loving Palestinian immigrant parents and is one of ten children. He loves his husband, family, friends and community. As a board member, Amin helps with community relationships, event coordination, and social media.

Tarab NYC Update – Mixer, Gaza 5K, Nowrus, Support Group & more!

Hello Tarab NYC Members, Allies and Supporters! Introducing Tarab NYC Update (Work in Progress) – a semi-regular newsletter where the Tarab NYC board shares whats coming up in the community from Tarab NYC and some other events that you may be interested in.

Tarab NYC Happy Hour & Mixer this Monday!
Join Tarab NYC on Monday, February 26th for a special extended Happy Hour and Mixer at Henrietta Hudson With the hottest music and videos from the Middle East and North Africa by Bashar Makhay! Half priced drinks 6pm – 9pm

More via our Facebook Event!

Join Tarab NYC at the Gaza 5K!
Join Tarab NYC team at Gaza 5K and Dabke party on Saturday, March 24. We are running, walking, and dancing for mental health with UNRWA USA at the #Gaza5K. In light of the US Administration’s decision to cut funding to UNRWA by 83%, this is a tangible and meaningful way to show your solidarity with Palestine refugees and UNRWA’s critical work!

Learn More!

Discussion & Support Group
Join us for a peer support group in which LGBTQ persons from the MENA region can process experiences in a safe space. Group discussion can foster support and develop ways of coping with struggles afflicting our community. This group will be facilitated by Wardeh Hattab, LCSW and will take place Wednesday, February 28 at 7PM at the LGBT Center in Manhattan.

Register Today!

NQAPIA Catalyst Awards
NQAPIA’s annual New York City Community Catalyst Awards will be on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Joy Luck Palace in Chinatown. Join the Tarab NYC table at the New York City Community Catalyst Awards! Tickets are $85 – If you would like to attend but cannot afford the ticket price, please contact us to discuss further.

Get Your Tickets Today!

Help Plan a Nowruz Event!
This year, we want to host an event for Nowruz and we need your help! It’s important to us that we host an event that our community wants, so, as a community member, we are inviting you to give us your quick feedback about what kind of event you’d like. Please take a moment to take a one question survey and or contact us if you would like to help plan the event.

Take the Survey!

In Other News

Become a Member
Joining Tarab NYC not only supports our organization, but also comes with a slew of benefits! Memberships come in two forms, one for community members and the other for allies. Membership is only $25 per calendar year! Learn more and become a member today!

This year, The Task Force rejected all sessions related to Palestine/Israel and pinkwashing at Creating Change and put Israel advocates at the lead for all Jewish programming at the conference. Beyond Creating Change , the Task Force has further indicated its alignment with Israel by partnering with the Israeli-based circuit party Forever Tel Aviv at its annual Winter Party Festival in March. In response, we are asking people to sign and share a letter demanding that the Task Force end its blackout on Palestine and stop pinkwashing Israel. Take Action!

Tell the Task Force, #cancelpinkwashing!

Dear friends –

This year, The Task Force rejected all sessions related to Palestine/Israel and pinkwashing at Creating Change and put Israel advocates at the lead for all Jewish programming at the conference. It should also be noted that they rejected all three of Tarab NYC’s workshop submissions, which included a Queer MENA Caucus (Zionism Free), a workshop on Orientalism, and our Security Culture know your rights training. Beyond Creating Change (which begins this Wednesday), the Task Force has further indicated its alignment with Israel by partnering with the Israeli-based circuit party Forever Tel Aviv at its annual Winter Party Festival in March.

In response, we are asking people to sign and share a letter demanding that the Task Force end its blackout on Palestine and stop pinkwashing Israel.

Visit to learn more!

-Tarab NYC

A Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays Tarab NYC Mixer

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Tarab NYC

Its the end of the year – come out and celebrate whether you observe Christmas, Haunukah, the Winter Solstice. something else or even nothing at all. Come one, come all to a Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays Tarab NYC Mixer

Who: YOU!
Where: Henrietta Hudson 438 Hudson St, New York, New York 10014
When: Monday, December 11th @ 6pm
Why: Half priced drinks 6pm – 9pm, Arab, Middle Eastern and North African Music, Videos, Mingle, Network, Dance, Drinks and Fun!

Cost: FREE but donations of $5 or more are welcomed to support Tarab NYC and you get to choose one song to add to the queue.

Learn more via Facebook

Tarab NYC hosts THREE contemporary queer films at the 2nd annual Arab Cinema Week!

Tarab NYC is excited to be hosting THREE contemporary queer films at the 2nd annual Arab Cinema Week presented by MoviePigs, from November 17th to 23rd, at Cinema Village. Tarab NYC members – check your email for a special discount code for $5 off all films! (Opening Night Excluded)

This Little Father Obsession on Saturday Nov 18 @ 1pm (Lebanon)
Director: Selim Mourad

Selim Mourad is a young man who still lives with his parents in a traditional family house in Beirut. He has no siblings and he likes men, which is no good news to his family which will therefore end with him. As the new wave of reconstruction finally reaches them, Selim and his parents find themselves obliged to move houses to allow the demolition of the building in which both Selim and his father Antoine were born. It’s an occasion for the son to face his family with his truth and take his father on a quest inside their mysterious family tree hoping to find a lost relative who could maybe continue the lineage.

Upon the Shadow on Tuesday Nov 21 @ 8:30pm (Tunisia)
Director: Nada Mezni Hafaiedh

We discover the mysterious side of Amina boui (former Femen) and her daily life. Her friends of the LGBT community, who live at her home, have been rejected by their families and the society. Through out Amina, we dive into their stories: Sandra (transvestite), Ramy (gay) , Ayoub (gay) , Atef (gay and transvestite). Many unexpected events keep coming and caught live… Tarab NYC Board Member Hilal Khalil hosts a discussion following the screening.

Only Men Go to the Grave on Wednesday Nov 22 @ 8:30pm (UAE)
Director: Abdulla Al Kaabi

After the Iraq-Iran war ended in 1988, a blind mother welcomes her estranged daughters to tell them a secret. Unfortunately, she accidentally dies while sharing it. During the funeral, the daughters try to deal with their mother’s sudden death and also work together to unveil her secret by looking for clues from visitors. Throughout the funeral, their own lives continue to unravel, giving room for buried family tensions to gradually surface, while struggling to deal with their own secrets and deep-rooted guilt. The daughters start to question everything about their mother’s life after a peculiar encounter…