Alif Institute - Atlanta Georgia

Mrs. Angela Khoury
Executive Director
Angela Khoury was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. Despite civil war and its imposing burden, Angela pursued engineering, graduating from l’Ecole Superieure des Ingenieurs de Beyrouth in 1990. She worked for 20 years in the private sector, while also involved in several non-profit organizations. Angela’s professional career started in France, June of 1991. At the time, the small software company Murex constituted of less than 20 employees; presently it has 1800 employees worldwide. In September of 1992, Angela and her husband relocated to the US, where she continued working remotely with Paris. As the company grew over the years Angela moved past software development and customer service, and took charge in leading new initiatives and teams. She created and managed the integration team (1995-2000), designed and managed the training department, which expanded from Paris to Dublin, New-York and Singapore (2000-2007), and built a centralized data repository with a complete workflow and process that allowed communication between the company’s different data types across its various departments (2007-2010). In parallel to her professional life, Angela was always involved in various volunteer positions with varied organizations, primarily the Alif Institute. In 2009, Angela was invited to become Chair of the Strategic Planning committee of  the Alif Institute. Angela then took the responsibility of co-chairing two years in a row a major festival organized by the Institute: the Atlanta Arab Festival, which took place in April of 2010 and in April of 2011. In September 2010, after almost 20 years of working in the private sector, Angela retired and decided to dedicate more time to the non-profit sector, particularly to the Alif Institute. In January of 2011 Angela joined the Board of Directors of the Alif Institute. She is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of Alif Institute.
Mrs. Ghada Muhanna
Director of Arabic Language Program (Volunteer)
Ghada Muhanna is a community volunteer who, for over 25 years, has dedicated her talents and professional skills to enhance appreciation of the Arab culture and heritage. She graduated from Damascus University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and later received a Master’s Degree in Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following her graduation from college, she served as a volunteer chair of the Cultural Committee at Tartous Oil Terminal, Syria. She also supervised the Vocational Training Center for Women in Tartous. Since immigrating to the U.S. and out of her strong belief in a common vision for the future of her community, Mrs. Muhanna helped found in 1985, the Arab American Women’s Society of Georgia (AAWSG), an educational and charitable organization.  She served as its president in 1991-1993, 1996, and 2005.  When Atlanta hosted the Olympic Games in 1996, she volunteered as an Envoy with the Atlanta Committee for the Centennial Olympic Games. In 1999, Mrs. Muhanna joined the board of the Arab American Fund of Georgia and was one of the founders of Alif Institute in 2004, serving as its president from 2008-2010.  She is currently serving as the Vice-President and as the Director of the Arabic Language program. At the national level, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Arab American National Museum since 2004. 
Mrs. Alta Schwartz
Director of Outreach & Development
Alta Schwartz graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies and studied Public Administration/Nonprofit Management at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She has a long history of professional and volunteer service in nonprofit and higher education dealing with the Middle East and social justice issues. Alta sees education and outreach as the necessary foundation for creating strong, vibrant communities.
Mrs. Zainab Alqasiri
Program Assistant
Zainab Al Qasiri joined the Alif team in 2013, shortly after she immigrated to United States from Iraq. After graduating from Baghdad University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, she taught primary and high school students for six years. After teaching, she worked for five years for the US Agency for International Development as a monitor and evaluator for programs that helped people rebuild homes and schools that were destroyed as a result of the war. Zainab enjoys working at Alif because she loves to help people and build up her community. 
Mrs. Victoria Wilf
Program Assistant
 
Mr. Jake Aron
Arabic Language Outreach & Development Coordinator
I am very excited to be on Alif's staff to help expand its Arabic language program! I studied Arabic at Columbia University, having spent a semester in Jordan as well as time in Lebanon and Egypt. I began volunteering at Alif after moving down to Atlanta in 2013, and am now on board to reach out to other community organizations—schools, other cultural non-profits, private companies— as well as diversify our course offerings for young adult and adult students. If I'm not here chatting in Arabic, I'm making music around Atlanta.