We are an energetic group of first generation immigrants who are passionate about advocating for our mission and vision. Our experience as immigrants puts us at an advantage as we understand the integration and inclusion challenges new immigrants are facing. We speak the same language, share the same culture, and cherish the same values and concerns. Using this compassion and experience makes us a highly effective service helping new Arab immigrants integrate and positively contribute to our new society.
New England Arab American Organization was founded at the request of many new Mainers that came to Maine fleeing their country because of war and seeking safety for their families. NEAAO's goal is to have multiple hubs in different cities of New England to support people coming from all different Arab countries. Presently, NEAAO has two locations, in Westbrook and Portland.
Why We Do This Work
Arab immigrants experience various feelings of grief during their transition. They struggle with the loss of their home country, family and language.
In particular, women and children are most targeted and impacted by those changes. Women are especially isolated as they are in constant fear of being judged and potentially harmed due to their different appearance and culture. On the other hand, many children suffer from severe losses in motivation, leading to chronic absence and even early dropouts.
OUR VISION AND MISSION
Our vision is to create an environment where women and children feel safe. In this safe space, we build a supportive community by eliminating barriers in culture and language through interactive opportunities with the community.
In this way, NEAAO can create a roadmap to educate and prepare a new generation of Arab Americans who enrich the diversity of our community and positively contribute to the growth and prosperity of our great state and country.
Unlike other organizations, NEAAO is not only a service provider. As cultural brokers, NEAAO is proactively identifying the root causes of exclusion and social challenges. Knowing that leaders in the organization share the same culture and language as the people we serve allows us to better support our clients in bridging the culture gap and easing inclusion into society.
Knowing the struggles of the Arab community, New England Arab American Organization's main goal is to have a “Hub” in multiple cities to serve the Arabic communities there. We are using the Iceberg model to provide not only essential needs but to support clients through struggles with culture, traditions, language, and gender.
No matter what country, dialect, religion, age or gender, NEAAO serves all immigrants that speak Arabic. Looking forward, we are planning to expand our services throughout the state of Maine with a hub in every major city. Currently, we are focused on Westbrook where the Arab immigrant population has recently risen sharply.
“NEAAO aims to create a hub to serve Arab immigrants (refugees and asylum seekers) to fight social issues and struggles causing the isolation of individuals.”