Meet The Ministry Leader
Where did you grow up – and where do you consider home?
I am Bay Area born and raised! From the 650 to the 925! I grew up in both the Peninsula and the East Bay and spent most of my early winters in Vancouver and summers back home in the Middle East – bouncing between Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. I consider the Bay Area home, although I add Los Angeles, Amman, Vancouver, and London to the list thanks to work and family.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Coming from a Greco-Arab background, I only had three job prospects – doctor, lawyer, and engineer. I chose the fourth unspoken option – disappointment! Joking! (Although my parents my say otherwise) As a child, I always wanted to be an actor or entertainer in some way, and I am blessed that I’ve been able to make it a reality thanks to God’s will.
What brought you to Resurrection?
Change! My family and I were looking for a supportive, loving, and nourishing parish that truly understood what it means to be an Orthodox Christian and have ministries, events, activities, and educational material to supplement all that…and Resurrection checked all those boxes! Ever since moving here almost 7 years ago, we have been blessed with every minute we’ve been within the walls of this church community.
Who/what inspired you to get involved in parish ministry?
Inspired? I was forced! Joking! Our wonderful Youth Director, Anna, started to get me involved with some of the GOYA events – emceeing the '70s night, starting the Hollywood Meets Orthodoxy Movie Series, etc. before she asked and bestowed upon me the honor of being the Sr. GOYA ministry leader. It was the perfect timing for me because it allowed me to be closer with the church community and give back all the while growing closer to God.
What do you enjoy most about your ministry?
The chance to get to know our GOYAns of the parish and be there for them in case of any trials and tribulations, just as I once was their age and wished I had someone within the church to look up to for help or an extra friend that I could rely on. That and coming up with fun events for them related to the arts 'cause that’s my specialty, baby!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What spare time? You mean the hours between 2-4AM when I should be asleep but instead am binging the newest streaming series OR writing fervently some new screenplay or musical OR attending late night movie screenings at the local megaplex? Psshh. Spare time.
What would people be surprised to learn about you – any “hidden talents?”
Iam a polyglot of sorts. I speak English, Arabic (I can understand and speak 4 different dialects), French fluently, with great comprehension in Spanish, Italian, Swedish while learning conversational Greek. That and I do excellent impressions…waiting 'til Saturday Night Live casts their first Greco-Arab comic. And if “polydialectism” is a thing – the ability to speak in multiple accents – then that too!
What else would you like people to know about you/your family?
Let me just debunk y’all’s theories real quick – my father, President of the Parish Council, Rajai, is basically an Orthodox Pope if the Orthodox Church had one; my mother and First Lady, Suhair has never worn the same outfit twice and has a closet as large as a house; my brother Nicholas moved to North Carolina, not to pursue his Ph.D. like he says, but to learn how to make [pharmaceutical] drugs ala Walter White…okay sarcasm & jokes aside, we’re a hilarious and constantly joking family that is probably one of the most hospitable families you’ll ever meet. Just come over and see the buffet we will provide!