Tarab NYC Updates – March 2018

Nowruz Mubarak!
Thanks to everyone that joined us for the More Gardens Chahar Shanbe Suri last week and just this past Tuesday for our first ever Nowruz event, the Nowruz Celebration! We will continue to relect the diversity of our Queer MENA community in our programming and we hope you enjoyed it all! Check out our Facebook page for photos soon!

Team 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 Team Tarab NYC has already raised more than $3000! Learn More

Join Tarab NYC at the NQAPIA Catalyst Dinner
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 for Community Members – If you would like to attend but cannot afford the ticket price, please contact us to discuss further. Buy Your Tickets Now!

Dabke for your Life – New Dabke Instructional Series!The time has come for you to Dabke for your life! Tarab NYC is partnering with the amazing Freedom Dabke Troupe to offer a 5 part series, teaching participants Dabke. The series will begin with a 101 class on April 7th, followed by 4 additional classes, each building your dabke skills incrementally on April 21st, May 5th, May 19th and June 2nd. No experience necessary. This series of classes is for all genders. Learn More

Discussion and Support Group Will Return Soon!
Our support group for LGBTQ persons from the MENA region will relaunch soon. We are currently looking for affordable space to continue holding the important program. Have any suggestions? Email us.

Tuesday: Tarab NYC Nowruz Celebration / طرب نیویورک جشن نوروزی

Tarab NYC is happy to announce our first ever Nowruz celebration! Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. Join us on Tuesday, March 20th as we celebrate Nowruz with Iranian, Kurdish, Assyrian, Azeri and Afghani music, performances by Mark Balahadia and Arian, and more!

Please note: While many of our events are free or donation based, there will be a $10 ($5-$15 sliding scale) cover charge to help compensate the performers and to cover our costs. Happy hour prices until 9pm for everyone that purchases a ticket online or at the door.

Get your tickets today!

Two Ways to Celebrate Nowruz With Tarab NYC

Tarab NYC Joins More Gardens for Chahar Shanbe Suri
Tuesday, March 13th – 6PM – Lower East side
Join us for our first event to celebrate Nowruz: Chahar Shanbe Suri, the Persian fire-jumping festival! We will be joining More Gardens for a transformational fire jumping night in a Lower East Side community garden celebrating the Festival of Fire to usher in the spring! Learn More!


Tarab NYC Nowruz Celebration
طرب نیویورک جشن نوروزی
Monday, March 19th – 6PM – Henrietta Hudson (Village)
Tarab NYC is happy to announce our first ever Nowruz celebration! Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. While Nowruz may not technically take place until the 21st, there is no reason why we can’t celebrate a little early! 😉 Join us on Monday, March 19th as we celebrate Nowruz with Iranian, Kurdish, Assyrian, Azeri and Afghani music, performances, and more! Get Tickets!

We look forward to seeing you at one or both of our Nowruz events soon!

Nowruz Pirooz from the Tarab NYC Board!

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.