AAAEA-Capital Area
Arab American Association of Engineers & Architects -Capital Area


7:00 PM19:00

2018 Ramadan Iftar

On Friday 6/1/2018, the AAAEA - Capital Area Chapter held the annual Ramadan Iftar at The Owen Brown Community Center in Columbia, Maryland. The event was well attended by a large number of AAAEA members, their families, and guests form Maryland and Virginia who enjoyed delicious Middle Eastern food and desserts and had the opportunity to socialize and network in a very relaxing atmosphere.

Special thanks to the Social Committee who has done a great job in planning and organizing many successful events this year including this memorable one.

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7:30 PM19:30

2018 Governor Iftar Reception

Thanks to Governor Hogan and Mrs. Hogan for celebrating Ramadan this year and for hosting the Ramadan Iftar Reception on May 29 at the Governor's House in Annapolis.

A few members of the AAAEA - Capital Area participated in the event that was attended by many community leaders and organizations

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10:00 AM10:00

May Learn & Network Meeting

On Saturday 5/12/2018 Bashar Callas, a bridge Engineer with 30+ years of experience and currently working for HDR Engineering, shared his experience working on the renovation of the Bayonne arch bridge that connects New Jersey to Staten Island in New York. Mr. Callas presented all aspects of the "Raise the Roadway" project from design, manufacturing, delivery, time, cost, project management, and logistical prospective. He discussed design and cost trade-offs and additional challenges that influenced the decision making process throughout the project including but not limited to maintaining traffic flow during construction, eminent domain, weather among many others. The project was designed to provide the additional clearance that facilitated the passing of Super Panamax ships through the Kill Van Kull strait.

The Capital Chapter of AAAEA is thankful for Mr. Callas for his time and for sharing his experience that was very informative to all attendees and looking forward to hosting him again for future events.

More information on how crews are lifting the Boyonne Bridge's Roadway can be found at

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10:30 AM10:30

By-Laws Meeting

Thanks to Mohamad Shahine who gave a great historical prospective and background review of the Bylaws (After arriving from a 24-Hr trip) and for Rabih Najib for giving a refresher of all Articles of the Bylaws. Also thanks to all who attended this session in the first real spring day....Your commitment is really appreciated!

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7:30 PM19:30

10-Year Anniversary Celebration

AAAEA - Capital Area held a dinner social event on April 27, 2018 at Cazbar Restaurant in Baltimore to celebrate 10 years of success and advancement.

The event was sold out and featured recognition awards to key members of the organization including Eissa Haj-Hamad and Walid Halboni who brought the idea of the chapter to the Capital Area in 2007 and helped in establishing the chapter in 2008; and an award to Rabih Najib for his relentless effort and 10 years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the association.

AAAEA - Capital Area also presented an Honorary Member award to Mr. Bilal Almasri who came from Chicago to attend this event and celebrate with us. Mr. Almasri is the founder of AAAEA in 1996 in Chicago and has been serving and continuous to server the organization since 1996.

A special thanks to Mr. Raed Milhem who came from Pittsburg to celebrate with us.

Finally, the Executive Committee thanks Asma Soliman, Milly Jamal, and the rest of the Activity and Social Committee members for organizing this great event.

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UMMC Grand Luncheon
12:00 PM12:00

UMMC Grand Luncheon

Members of AAAEA - Capital Area attended the grand luncheon event that was hosted by United Maryland Muslim Council on April 22, 2018. An event that had 600 people in attendance and featured the presence of politicians from all parties led by Governor Hogan.

UMMC presented Mr. Mamdouh Elsakka, president of AAAEA - Capital Area with an award for the associations' contributions to the community.

AAAEA - Capital Area representatives included Mamdouh Elsakka, Rabih Najib, Ziad Sabra, Mohamad Jamal, Eissa Haj-Hamad, and Walid Halboni.

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10:00 AM10:00

April Learn & Network

Dr. Rabih Najib and Mr. Sameh Jallad presented on "Email and Password Security - You are the last defender" during our April Learn & Network event. The first part of the presentation focused on password security and how to create a memorable strong password and how to keep your passwords safe. The second part of the presentation focused on email security explaining how to be an email detective where you can tell whether an email is safe or not and on the different methods to verify links in email messages before clicking on them.

After the presentation, Mamdouh Elsakka briefed everyone on where we stand on the different activities that are planned for this year including the 10-year anniversary celebration coming up on April 27 and the by-laws meeting scheduled for April 28. A very busy month of April.

Asma Soliman, the chair of the Social Activities Committee, also talked about our annual picnic for this year where it will be in September in Virginia.

Eissa Haj-Hamad, our Treasurer, provided an update on the financial of the organization.

Walid Halboni, our Public Relation Officer, talked about his communication with NAAP and the possibility of doing a joint event with them.

Thanks to all of our members for their continuing support and for attending our activities.

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10:00 AM10:00

March 2018 Learn & Network Meeting

Dr. Amal El Akkraoui, a research scientist in atmospheric data assimilation at NASA and AAAEA-capital area VP presented, presented on "The Power of Mentoring in Influencing Career Trajectories" during our March Learn & Network event. The presentation focused on historic mentors and mentees, different models and types of mentorship, and the role of mentors during success and failure.

Dr. Amal El Akkraoui did a wonderful job keeping the audience engaged and intrigued during her up-lifting presentation, which led to an exhilarating and lively discussion.

After the presentation, Mamdouh Elsakka presented the organization's goals and objectives for 2018 and shared a quick glance at the 2018 upcoming events.

Thanks to all of our members for their continuing support and for attending our activities.

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5:00 PM17:00

Bowling Night

AAAEA - Capital Area hosted its second annual bowling night on Sunday, February 25th at the Brunswick Zone Lanes in Ellicott City.

The event was a great success. It attracted our members along with their families and friends. Once again, the event was a fun-filled evening of bowling, excitement, and an opportunity to get out of the daily routines for a break from the outside cold weather. All the attendees joined for a bite with their buddies and had great fun showing their bowling talents.

For those who couldn't make it at this event, no worries, more to come and we are looking forward to seeing you at our next activity... stay tuned!

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10:00 AM10:00

February 2018 Learn & Network Meeting

Courtney Ferreira, a Baltimore-based registered dietitian nutritionist with a masters degree in Human Nutrition presented on "Eating for All Day Energy" during our monthly Learn & Network session. The presentation focused on the health benefits of different foods, dos and don'ts, and provided a unique insight on food consumption.

The presentation triggered many questions from the audience and generated a stimulating discussion on health, diet, and cultural cuisine.

Prior to the presentation, Mohamad Jamal gave a summary presentation on the different events, activities, and accomplishments of the organization in 2017. After the presentation, Mamdouh Elsakka presented the organization's goals for 2018 and gave a quick glance at the 2018 planned events.

Thanks to our members for their continued support and attending our activities.

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5:30 PM17:30

2018 Executive Board

The leadership of the Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects - Capital Area met on Saturday, December 9, 2017 and elected a new executive board to lead our organization in 2018.

The new board consists of the following leaders:

Executive Committee
President: Mamdouh Elsakka
Vice President: Amal El Akkraoui, PhD
Secretary: Mohammad Ayyoubi
Treasurer: Eissa Haj-Hamad, PE
Public Relation (VA): Abdallah Adas, PE
Public Relation (MD): Walid Halboni

Committee Chairs:
Membership: Jina Al Assadi
Activity: Asma Soliman
Education: Luai Huleihel, PhD
IT & Communication: Rabih Najib, PhD, PE

Congratulations to the new board leaders and thank you for your commitment and dedication!

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