TAMKEEN: The Center for Arab-American Empowerment

Award Recipients - 2005

Nora Alarifi Pharaon & Ghada Jiha, Co-Founders

TAMKEEN: the Center for Arab American Empowerment is a direct service and advocacy organization serving new immigrants and members of the Arab-American community in New York City.  Its mission is to enable Arab Americans to expand their choice, claim their voice, and take their place in American society. TAMKEEN, which means empowerment in Arabic, is the only organization in the city that provides culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services to this population.  It aims to help individuals and families cope with acculturation challenges as well as residual 9/11 backlash issues.

Located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, TAMKEEN focuses on all aspects of mental health in order to improve individual quality of life and to empower communities.  Services include psycho-education, support groups, youth and family empowerment programs, all free of charge, and referrals to bilingual, licensed mental health providers for counseling using third-party insurance or sliding scale.  In addition to mental health care, the organization offers workforce and career preparation, and English as a Second Language program for men and women.  TAMKEEN also conducts training sensitizing service providers to the values of Arab culture and, in partnership with the NYU Center for Immigrant Health, has conducted focus groups examining community knowledge and beliefs on health and mental issues as well as access to insurance and services.

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