Khalil Gibran International Academy opening celebrated by AAFSC

Tuesday, September 4th was a special day in New York City, with the opening of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA), the City's first public school that will focus on Arabic language instruction. The Arab-American Family Support Center is proud to be associated with a school that will teach students to become lifelong learners and global citizens.


As the school's lead community partner, AAFSC would like to thank all of the people who worked tirelessly on creating KGIA. The school would have never come to fruition without the hard work and dedication of the 11-member KGIA Design Team. This team, comprised of people of all faiths and nationalities, sacrificed many nights and weekends to develop the concept of the school. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of them!


We would also like to thank our partners in this endeavor, New Visions for Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education. Both New Visions and the DOE worked closely with AAFSC and the Design Team to make this school a reality. This was truly a collaborative effort with many people working together to create and open KGIA.


The Khalil Gibran International Academy is a unique school that will be a valuable addition to the New York City public school system. Learning Arabic will give all students of New York City the opportunity to compete in a global workplace.


AAFSC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization that was created to serve the frequently marginalized Arab immigrant community of New York City. The first and largest Arabic-speaking social service agency in New York, our mission is to help new immigrants become more acclimated to life in the United States so they can fully participate in the world around them.

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About Lena Alhusseini

Ms. Alhusseini joined the Arab American Family Support Center as Executive Director in April 06 after a number of years at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), where she served as international outreach project manager on issues of child protection, abduction and child trafficking. Prior to joining NCMEC, Alhusseini worked for the Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter in Denver, Colorado where she developed the Shelter’s children’s program and worked with immigrant populations including Arab-American women and children. Before coming to the U.S., Alhusseini served with a number of international organizations around the world on issues pertaining to child protection and human trafficking, including USAID and UNICEF. Most notably, she established the Jordan River Foundation’s child protection unit under the direction of HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah. That organization was the first in Jordan to address the issue of child abuse. Born in Jerusalem and raised in Saudi Arabia and the UK, Alhusseini is of Palestinian origin.

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