Our FOUNDER

Bridging the Gap.

 
 

New England Arab American Organization is created by the people and for the people to serve the social and economic needs of the growing Arab population in Maine.

Founder and Executive Director of the NEAAO, Zoe Sahloul, is an immigrant and a prominent and active member of the Arab Americans community, she has recognized the growing need in our community for a variety of services.

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"I was born in Beirut, Lebanon.  I immigrated to Canada in 1992 to escape the civil war and to look for peace and safety. I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and am presently working on my master's in social work at USM. I am a wife for a successful, kind and loving man and a mother of three wonderful kids and two beautiful cats. I am a strong advocate for women’s justice and rights, children’s rights and protection, education, and a strong activist for immigrant social integration, and racial equity." -Zoe Sahloul

1. Founder and Executive Director of New England Arab American Organization (NEAAO). NEAAO’s mission is to help ease the integration of Arab immigrants into the American society and bridge the gap between cultures.

2. Former President of Maine Immigrants’ Right Coalition. The Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition strives to improve the legal, social and economic conditions experienced by Maine’s Immigrants—enhancing their lives and strengthening Maine—through advocacy, information sharing, and fostering collaboration among member organizations.

3. Former board member of Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP). ILAP provides free and safe legal immigration help to every immigrant in their community and in their language.  As an ILAP board member, my responsibilities consist of outreaching and advocating for immigrant, refugee, and religious rights. 

4. Member of the Governance Committee of Maine Immigrant Right Coalition (MIRC).  I'm a member of MIRC, a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Maine to develop a unified voice and defend their rights. I am currently working with a team to prepare documentation for MIRC to become a 501(C)3 organization.

5. Board member of Maine Association for New Americans (MANA) which promotes the social and professional integration of immigrants in Maine.  As a MANA board member, my responsibility is to provide outreach services for Arab communities for enhanced professional development.

6. Currently partnering with: Family Crisis, Westbrook Police Department, Westbrook Community Center, Portland Empowered, Westbrook School Department and many other organizations to support marginalized Arab communities.
 
7. Working on creating avenues for new Arab immigrants to engage in their communities by establishing a collaborative connection that will create more opportunities in the workforce. 

8. Recipient of the City of Westbrook police department Citizen award 02/2018, recipient of Women United Around the world Press for Progress 2018 award.

 
 
  Zoe Sahloul ,   photography by Molly Haley, mollyhaley.com

Zoe Sahloul, photography by Molly Haley, mollyhaley.com