Alif Institute - Atlanta Georgia

Dr. Rami Arfoosh
Rami Arfoosh, MD. FAACP. FAASM Dr. Rami Arfoosh was born in Homs, Syria and graduated from Damascus University/School of Medicine in 2000. Shortly after he immigrated to the United States. He completed his Internal Medicine and Pulmonary post-graduate training at Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, IL. He also completed Critical Care and Sleep Medicine post-graduate training at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He is ABIM Board certified in all four specialties. Dr. Arfoosh worked as a faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He lectured medical students, residents and fellows. He published several abstracts and papers in pulmonary and sleep medicine. Dr. Arfoosh has been in practice in Georgia since July 2010 and is currently an assistant clinical professor and instructor for medical students at the Georgia Campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and the GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership with the College of Georgia and UGA Health Sciences department. He currently practice in private practice and has privileges at multiple hospitals in Northeast Georgia. Dr. Arfoosh is a recipient of “The Professionalism Award” from Chicago Medical School in 2005 and several other awards in recognition of his personal manners and outstanding patient care. He is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Arfoosh is married to Dr. Rasha Al Samara. He has two boys Zain and Jude. On his free time Dr. Arfoosh enjoys soccer, photography and reading. Dr. Arfoosh joined the board of Alif Institute in 2014 and currently serves as president.
Dr. Mustafa Saadi
Vice President
Mustafa Saadi received his Bachelor in Civil Engineering in 1996, and Master in Engineering Management in 1998 from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He held consulting and contract management positions in Lebanon at Dar Al Handasah Consultants, the Council for Development and Reconstruction, and the Ayman Sanyoura Architecture and Management firm. He moved to the U.S. in 2006 with his wife Sarah Kabbani, M.D, where they both pursued graduate studies and training. At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mustafa earned a Masters in Construction Management, a Graduate Certificate in Spatial Analysis and Geographic Information Systems, and a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, and after moving to Atlanta in 2011, is now employed at Geosyntec Consultants, a specialized consulting firm that works on complex problems involving the environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure. Mustafa was an active member in several student organizations during his time at the American University of Beirut and the University of Michigan, and reached the position of Deputy General Commissioner of the Lebanese Scout Association. He currently serves as a committee member of the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB (WAAAUB) local Atlanta Chapter. Since moving to Atlanta and enrolling his sons in the Arabic classes, he has been an active community member, volunteer and supporter of the Alif Institute, and is dedicated to its mission statement.  
Dr. Nashwa Jarkas
Dr. Nashwa Jarkas was born and raised in Lebanon. Because of the civil war, Nashwa had to leave to pursue her graduate study in France. Nashwa received her bachelor’s degree in general chemistry, her master’s degree in molecular chemistry with high honors, and her PhD in organic synthetic chemistry (majoring in medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry) with high honors. Seeking post-graduate experience in research, Nashwa left to Atlanta, GA and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University where she moved up the ladder to hold a lead research position in radiopharmaceutical chemistry and molecular imaging. She served as a scientific member of Emory Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and a member of the Editorial Task Force of Molecular Imaging Gateway Newsletter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI). She was the winner of the SNMMI Young Investigator Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Council Award and of an NIH-K01 Career Development Grant Award. Dr. Jarkas joined the board of Alif Institute in 2016.
Mr. Issa Ackall
Treasurer / Chair of Finance Committee
Mr. Ackall was born in Ramallah Palestine. He attended the Friends Boys School in the seventies, then went to Birzeit University (a two year college at the time). He completed his undergraduate at the American University of Beirut. In 1975 Mr. Ackall immigrated to the United States and settled in Kentucky while he pursued a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Kentucky. Upon graduation Mr. Ackall returned to Palestine and was a lecturer in the School of Business Administration at Birzeit University. Mr. Ackall then had the opportunity to work in Gulf Area as a Business Development Manager. Finally he settled in the US in the mid eighties with his family where he was a Federal employee since 1986. Mr Ackall worked at the Immigration Services, Census Bureau and more recently at the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Ackall retired from Federal service in 2011; he has been traveling extensively through out the Middle East . Mr. Ackall joined the board of Alif Institute in 2014.
Mr. Kasim Abuaisheh
Board Member / Chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee
Kasim was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta almost all of his life. He has a passion for motorsports and spending lots of time outdoors. Kasim graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently owns his own business with his brother in the fuel tank cleaning and fueling station maintenance business. He has experience in construction, engineering design, and managing over 30 people in an educational family entertainment center. Kasim was involved with the Arab community starting with the Arab American Women’s Society of GA. He started volunteering with Alif around 2004 and is honored to be a member of the board.
Mrs. Susan Anderson
Ms. Susan Anderson is Founder of The ArtReach Foundation®, an international non-profit since 1999, dedicated to children and adults in their recovery from the traumatic effects from war, violence, or natural disaster, ArtReach offers training programs to teachers, social workers and healthcare providers. Though she was educated originally and employed for many years as an organic chemist, her humanitarian passion led her to the world of nonprofits. Ms. Anderson’s work has been recognized worldwide for ArtReach’s mission that has served victims in Bosnia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Haiti and the U.S. She was selected as a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures/Encore Careers for her work as a social innovator. Currently, she serves on the Boards of The Grandmother Project and the Alif Institute. Susan, married for 35 years to James Anderson, is the proud mother of two grown sons, and two granddaughters. She resides in Historic Brookhaven.
Dr. Laura Badwan
Mr. Khalil Basma
Mr. Sohel Elias
Ms. Joanna Eljazzar
Dr. Abeer Moanna
Dr. Abeer Moanna was born and raised in Lebanon. She attended the American University of Beirut where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Technology with high distinction and her MD with high distinction. She received the Penrose award and the Naji Sahyoun Memorial award upon graduation in 1999. Abeer then completed her residency in Internal Medicine and an Infectious Disease fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She was the winner of the best PGY-1 award and served as an Internal Medicine chief resident at Grady Memorial Hospital. Abeer currently is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at Emory University and the Atlanta VA Medical Center and is the Infectious Diseases Associate Clinical Chief of Service at the VA hospital. Abeer also serves as a councilor of the Southern section of the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR). Her main focus of research is herpes zoster in HIV negative and HIV positive individuals. Dr. Moanna joined the board of Alif Institute in 2014.
Mr. John Mulholland
Board Member / Chair of Marketing & Communications Committee
John Mulholland is originally from San Francisco. He has resided in six countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE for over twenty years. He has a Bachelor’s in Management from Golden Gate Un. in San Francisco and a Masters in Arabic Studies from Georgetown Un. In Washington, DC. For the past twenty years he has worked in Latin America. His languages are Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese. Mr. Mulholland sums up professional career as an expert in International Business Development. His major employers have been the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Arabian Management Services, Ameron International, and KHD Humboldt Wedag. He currently has his own consulting firm specializing in business development mostly in Latin America. Mr. Mulholland is married to Gabriella of Florence, Italy. They have four independent and successful children of whom they are very proud. He has resided 16 years in the Atlanta area. Beyond his professional career John Mulholland is a past President of the American Businessmen of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), a past Board Chairman of the National Council on US-Arab Relations (, a past Board Member of COMEX (, author of numerous articles on the Middle East and Italy, and a somewhat fanatic road cyclist.
Mr. Dimitri Shreckengost
Board Member
Dimitri is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (BS Business Administration, minor: Spanish) and of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MTS, minor: Byzantine History,Greek language studies). A native Alaskan, he grew up on a farm in south Florida, was a high-school, summer exchange student in Venezuela, and twice has lived in Kenyan villageswith Orthodox Christian NGO teams, building a church and a parochial school. Dimitri has worked in the banking, airline, telecom and beverage industries, including 24 years at The Coca-Cola Company, in the Chairman’s Office and in Worldwide Public Affairs & Communications, serving as Client Relations Manager for foreign-based clients and governmental trade delegations. Traveling extensively with executives from various cultures has given Dimitri a keen insight into the common human elements shared by people everywhere. His personal travels include visiting friends and chosen family in Jordan, Palestine and Dubai. He has also spent a great deal of time in villages from Galilee to Bethlehem, evaluating NGO aid programs, and experiencing hardships of occupation. He has met with PA parliamentary members, philanthropists, artists, doctors, anthropologists, clerics, writers, peace activists and citizens from all walks of life, to better understand their daily lives. He is a strong advocate for nonviolent solutions to effect sociopolitical change, and now works in the government/public sector. His interests include Middle Eastern politics & culture, pre-Revolutionary Russian history, 19th- century English literature, and foreign films. Dimitri is a long-standing member of Alif Institute where he moderates discussions on films from and about the Arabic-speaking world, and serves on the Alif Board of Directors. He currently serves on the Finance, Gala and Film Selection Committees. He was a co-founder of the Mystick Krewe des Acadiens, a cultural heritage society for French-Americans with Louisiana roots. He speaks Spanish and conversational Greek, and understands elementary French, Portuguese, Italian and German, and is slowly learning Arabic.
Mrs. Samar Sulieman
Board Member
Samar Sulieman is Palestinian. She was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Doha, Qatar. She relocated to the United State in 1990 and pursued a career in Healthcare Management. She was the manager of a private medical clinic, specializing in Nephrology and Internal Medicine, for twenty years. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her four children, volunteering and cooking. 
Dr. Mohammad Wehbi
Board Member
My name is Mohammad Wehbi. I am a practicing gastroenterologist in Atlanta. I pursued my undergraduate and medical education at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Then, I underwent a medical and chief residency at Atlanta Medical center, Georgia. This was followed by a fellowship and a chief fellowship in Gastroenterology at Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia. I joined the Emory medical faculty and served as a section chief at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and as an Associate Program Director for the Gastroenterology Fellowship. Locally, I have served as the vice president and the president of both the Atlanta American University of Beirut and the Atlanta North American Arab Medical Association chapters. Nationally, I am a member of the World Alumni of the American University of Beirut board of directors and the executive committee. I am also a member of the board of directors of the North American Arab Medical Association and a volunteer of the Palestinian children refugee fund. I am also a member of the American Gastroenterology Association’s Academy of Medical Educators. I continue to be involved in education and research at a local and national level. In addition, I am committed to the introduction of our culture as a positive influence in the American Society. After all this is our home and we are representatives of our culture and values.

Contact us

  • Telephone: 770-936-8770 
  • 3288 Marjan Drive, Atlanta, GA 30340

  • Operating Hours
    Tue: 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM* (when Arabic Classes in session)
    Tue - Fri: 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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