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.