Alice M. Nashashibi |
Civic Leader and Community Organizer dies at 84
Alice M. Nashashibi, a leader of the Arab-American community in San Francisco and champion of Arab culture and Palestinian rights, passed away peacefully on February 20 in her home in San Francisco from congestive heart failure and complications from leukemia.
Alice, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was born on April 25, 1928 and grew up in Middletown, New York. She attended New York University where she received a B.S. and M.A. in Education and Spanish. She taught in New York, Puerto Rico and Venezuela where she met her husband of 40 years, Ahmed Zafer Nashashibi. After Venezuela, they lived in Costa Rica and Brazil where Alice was always active in community organizations and volunteer charitable endeavors including the Presidency of the International Women's Club of Costa Rica. She was determined to share the positive and rich Arab culture with others and was a strong advocate of Palestinian rights and peace. After moving to the Bay Area in 1980, Alice continued her active involvement as a volunteer and board member in local and national organizations including the American Anti-Discriminations Committee and the former National Association of Arab Americans, promoting human rights for Arabs and Muslims, U.S. Omen and the Arab Film Festival where she was a founding Board Member. She also founded and was President of the Diablo International Resource Center providing access to international resources and bringing a series of speakers and panels on foreign policy issues to the local community. As President and active board member of the Arab Cultural and Community Center she dedicated her time and energy to promoting Arab culture and education by organizing lectures, cultural evenings and events. She organized the Arab Cultural Festival, held annually in Golden Gate Park and the Annual Scholarship Banquet. While often disheartened by the unrest in the Middle East, she remained hopeful that in her lifetime, peace would prevail in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She often met with delegates, elected officials and wrote editorials to express her concern over human rights violations. Her great hope would be that others continue her mission.
In recognition of her leadership and contributions to civil society, Alice received numerous distinctions including "Special Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community" from the U. S Congress and the City and County of San Francisco, awards from the Organization of Arab American University Graduates, U. S Omen, the Arab Film Festival, the Arab Cultural Center, the Algerian- American Association, the Evelyn Menconi Award Al-Rawi Arab American Writers and others for her contributions to a better understanding of the Arab World.
Alice is survived by her daughters, Muna Nashashibi and Lola Nashashibi Grace and her son-in-law, John Grace; grandchildren, Lorraine, Victoria, John, Alice and Isabelle; sister, Victoria Owen of New York, brothers Donald Owen of Florida and the Honorable Judge Joseph Owen of New York and numerous nieces and nephews and relatives in Brazil.
Alice joins her beloved husband, Ahmed Zafer Nashashibi who passed away in 1997.
Viewing will be held at Duggan's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Avenue in Daly City on Sunday, March 3 from 3 to 9pm. Prayers will be held at 6:30pm and an open forum to share thoughts and memories at 7pm.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Monday March 4 at Noon at St. Thomas More Church at 1300 Junipero Serra Blvd, San Francisco with Father Labib officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in honor of Alice Nashashibi to The Middle East Children's Institute, w.mecinstitute.org Address: 119 West 72nd Street, No. 279, New York, N.Y. 10023 or to the Arab Cultural Center in San Francisco: 2 Plaza St. San Francisco, CA. 94116
Condolences for the family may be offered online at http://alice-marie-nashashibi.forevermissed.com/
Every day of Alice's distinguished life was guided by her desire to help others and during its course she inspired and led many people all over the world. Her dedication, positive attitude, courage, strength and determination will continue to be a great example to all of us.