Meet the Tarab NYC Board

Introducing the 2024 Tarab NYC Board – these beautiful people will be guiding Tarab NYC to meet our mission of fostering an inclusive and safe community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and/or gender non-conforming Arab, Middle Eastern, and/or North African people in the greater New York City area.


Aram Ronaldo is an Armenian and Palestinian zine maker and zines enthusiast. Their art can be found in the recent Queer Palestinian anthology “Inara: Light to Utopia” (Meraj Publishing). He has worked with many artivists in Jewish Voice for Peace since 2015. They are a big fan of Bluestockings Bookshop and the Astoria Food Pantry.

IG: @aramronaldok Email:


Bashar Makhay is the founder of Tarab NYC. He is a queer Chaldean-Iraqi community organizer, performer, DJ, and activist born and raised in Detroit and currently based in The Bronx. At his day job – he can be found directing communications efforts for the NYC Pandemic Response Institute. As a DJ, Bashar becomes Fursa mixing dabke, shami, chobi, redh, chaabi, bandari, and other MENA beats mixed with pop, dance and global booty beats. As a Drag Queen, Bashar becomes Farfasha, one of the founders of Hishik Bishik, A Middle Eastern and North African Drag Revue. Farfasha is everyone’s auntie and dominatrix, in one hot mess of a package.

IG: @fursafarfasha Email:


Hazem is an International Medical Graduate and a Practice Liaison at a national behavioral health organization. With expertise in multicultural group facilitation, and a “proud -born and raised- MENA LGBTQ person.” Hazem has been facilitating the in-person Tarab Community Support Group since November ‘23 before joining the board in April ‘24. 



Meet Lourans! He’s not just your average stylist and entrepreneur; he’s a lover of life and a dedicated educator. Originally from Iraq, he brought his vibrant cultural traditions with him when he moved to America in 2013, and he’s still keeping them alive and thriving! Lourans is all about inspiring and educating the LGBTQA community, and he does it with a big smile and a lot of heart. Whether he’s styling a home, dressing someone for the runway or running his business, he’s always sharing the beauty of Middle Eastern culture with everyone around him.

IG: @thestylistlou Email:


Maryam was born and raised in Tunisia and moved here for school and work. She speaks Tunisian, Egyptian and standard Arabic as well as French. A scientist by day, she loves to sing and write lyrics the rest of the time. She’s also involved in community activism for collective liberation. Maryam describes her experience at Tarab events as “the first time she ever felt that she belonged”. She decided to join the board this year so she can be a part of creating this beautiful celebration of LGBTQ+ MENA culture in NYC.



Mohamed is a queer Muslim Egyptian American immigrant artist with a background that spans from Alexandria to Brooklyn. Fueled by a passion for storytelling, he delved into film and journalism, using his craft to amplify often unheard voices and contributed articles to “Al-Ahram,” sparking conversations within Egyptian cinema. More recently, his focus has shifted to visual art, curating impactful shows that explore identity and self-expression as well as visual merchandising, blending artistic sensibilities with French design to create immersive spaces. He challenges labels and boundaries, believing in the power of art, community, and love to foster true connection and understanding, transcending societal limitations and promoting acceptance and inclusivity.



Parisa is a philanthropic and international relief professional, a human geography and memory studies nerd, and a musician. As a proud Iranian-American and performer of Persian traditional music (among other global genres), she loves supporting organizing and cultural art forms that showcase the fabulousness, diversity, and heritage of the MENA Queer community. At her day job, she leads grantmaking funds that center participatory governance models and funding to community-based social justice organizations. She can also be found eating her way through NYC.



Ramy is an Egyptian-American designer, illustrator, and photographer who loves making things. He’s built schools, developed brand identities, and designed digital products—but he’s happiest when he’s drawing, pen and paper in hand. Fascinated by Arabic and English typography, geometric forms, printmaking, and figure drawing, Ramy joined the board to nurture creative events and spaces for New York’s Queer MENA community that celebrate diversity, cultural heritage, and shared art making. You’re most likely to find Ramy biking around Brooklyn, photographing his way through NYC, or—once summer rolls around—at the beach.



Tarik is a scientist in academia with experience in medical research, grant and manuscript writing, and science communication. He has been an active member of Tarab since 2018 and joined the board in 2024. Tarik has been organizing with Tarab for Pride and hopes to launch educational initiatives within the organization that focus on pinkwashing and LGBTQ history in the Middle East and North Africa. In his free time he enjoys reading, parks, and museums.