Arab-American Family Support Center

Award Recipients - 2001

Emira Habiby Browne, Founder & Executive Director

Emira Habiby Browne established The Arab-American Family Support Center, Inc. (AAFSC), the only Arabic-speaking agency in New York City. Its purpose is to strengthen families and help newly arrived immigrants adapt to life in the United States.  Between 200,000 an 300,000 Arab-Americans from 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa live in the city, with the majority residing in Brooklyn.  Since the 1980’s, there has been an increase in the number of immigrants arriving from Yemen, Egypt, Palestine and Morocco with a tremendous need for services.  Ms. Habiby Browne points out that new Arab immigrants do not receive basic services and believes that the main reasons are discrimination and the stereotyping of Arabs as terrorists and religious fanatics.   
AAFSC provides individual and family counseling, crisis intervention, and emergency services.  A core program addresses domestic violence issues and women’s legal and human rights.  The organization provides parenting education, translation/interpretation, information/referral services for employment, job0training, and child-care needs.  It assists with obtaining housing, social, medical, community services and public school registration.  AAFSC offers English as a Second Language classes for adults and tutoring the children, assistance with immigration issues, and citizenship classes.

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