As one of more than 80 student organizations at NEOMED, the National Arab American Medical Association wants to represent the voice and interests of Arab-American students and faculty on campus.
Andrew Yazji, a second-year NEOMED College of Medicine student and NAAMA president, tells us about the new group and its faculty advisor, Fayez Safadi, Ph.D., whom Yazji calls “the real deal.”
What inspired you to introduce a NAAMA student chapter to NEOMED?
AY: After talking to some of my Arabic classmates, we wanted an organization that represents the voice and interests of Arab-American students and faculty at NEOMED. This is the main purpose of the organization, and is very important to me and the members of NAAMA - NEOMED. After speaking with the national organization board, as well as the president of the local Cleveland chapter, Fadi Bashour, M.D., we were given the go-ahead to start the chapter!
Introduce us to your board!
AY: Our board consists of M2’s from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt.
- Vice President - Mark Kodsy
- Treasurer - John Abdelnour
- Secretary - Christine Bashour
- Committee Chair - Alexis Schweibinz
- Fundraising Chair - Salam Osman
- Faculty Advisor - Fayez Safadi, Ph.D.
Tell us more about NAAMA.
AY: We plan to host an Arabic cultural event with Arabic music, food and dancing for everyone to enjoy. We are also planning on having different speaker events with Arabic physicians who can talk about their experience being in the U.S., as well as physicians who have worked overseas with refugees throughout the Middle East. Additionally, we plan to help out with and fundraise for different refugee organizations in Northeast Ohio.
Who can become involved with NAAMA?
AY: Any NEOMED student of Arab descent can join, but you do not have to be Arabic by any means to participate in the chapter’s events. By joining, you gain access to a ton of resources that the national organization provides, such as opportunities in clinical research, mentorship, and international/national health care community service. It’s always nice to meet other Arabic students and faculty at NEOMED.