Our Mission is to promote all aspects of Arab culture and the Arabic language to the community at large, and to organize, enhance, and strengthen, the Arab-American community through advocacy of civil rights and access to referral community services.
The Arab American Cultural Center (AACC-SV) of Silicon Valley was founded in 1989 to serve the needs of the expanding Arab-American community in the South Bay Area. An estimated 30,000 Arab-Americans currently reside in the greater San Jose area. These include generations of native-born Arab-Americans and recent immigrants who arrive almost daily in the South Bay to study, live, work and join their families. The center became a non-profit organization in 1996 under the umbrella of Arab-American Congress Organization. The AACC-SV became an independent entity in June 2004, retaining its 501 3c non-profit status.
Position: Chair of AACC-SV
Vic Zikoor is a civil engineer from San Jose. Born in Baghdad, he received his BS degree in civil engineering in Iraq and his MS from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. He has made California is home since the late 1970s. Zikoor is past President of the Society of Marketing Professional Services. He has been active with AACC-SV since 2002 when he began hosting Arab-American Television, a weekly program on CreaTV Community Channel 15 in San Jose. Over the years he has produced some 200 programs featuring community leaders, city government officials and artists. Zikoor was elected Vice Chair of AACC-SV in 2008 and as Chair in 2013.
Position: Vice Chair of AACC-SV
Waseem Ballou was born and raised in San Jose, California in an Arab family. He is a graduate in Business Administration from San Jose State University. Waseem is the co-founder of Teez Agency which specializies in online marketing. He also works with college students in guiding them to turn their venture ideas into realities. Aside from work and university studies, Waseem strives to bring together Arab-American youth to build networks among them. He has founded or helped to found several Arab clubs through a variety of non-profit organizations and college campuses. Waseem serves as the Vice Chair of the AACC-SV.
Position: Secretary of AACC-SV
Anis Cherif, born in Algiers, Algeria, received his Doctorate of Medicine from Algiers University in 1996. He worked as Medical Program Director at the Institute of Business and Technology, the IBCi College and Atlas College in Algeria. Since migrating to the US, he worked at Mervyn’s as a Retail Manager for more than 10 years and is currently an Operations and Merchandising Manager for Kohl’s. Cherif serves as the Secretary of the AACC-SV.
Position: Treasurer of AACC-SV
David Saah, Ph.D., is an environmental scientist and expert in geospatial analysis. In addition to broad domestic and international experience as a consulting scientist, he serves as a research professor at the University of San Francisco and has published numerous academic articles. Saah currently leads an environment science think-tank group based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a native of San Jose and is of Palestinian descent. Saah serves as the Treasurer of the AACC-SV.
Position: Chair of the Social and Outreach Committee
Sami Ibrahim, born Alexandria, Egypt, is an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at San Jose City College. He earned his BSc degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, an MSc degree in soil ecology from the University of Alberta in Canada and an MSc degree in analytical chemistry from San Jose State University. He has lived in California since 1961 and has taught chemistry at San Jose State University, Evergreen Valley College and San Jose City College since 1968. Ibrahim is the recipient of numerous educational grants, including one from the National Science Foundation to enhance undergraduate science and engineering education. Since 2001, he has chaired the Annual Middle Eastern Heritage Celebration Planning Group at San Jose City College and in 2010 he coordinated a 16-day educational trip to Egypt with 48 students and faculty from three South Bay colleges. Ibrahim is a member of the steering committee of Los Altos for Peace and serves as the Chair of the Social and Outreach Committee of the AACC-SV.
Position: Chair of the Media and Communication Committee
Zaid Faransso, M.D., born in Baghdad, Iraq is a graduate of the Al-Mustansirya University school of medicine. He practiced medicine in Iraq and Jordan and came to the US in 2008 under the resettlement program managed by the United Nations High Commission of Refugees. Faransso currently teaches medical assisting techniques at Bryman College in Hayward, CA and is working toward his medical credentials. He is also involved in helping Iraqi refugees in the Bay Area through Citizens Reach-Out, a humanitarian organization that offers logistic and financial aid to war victims around the world. Faransso is the host of Arab-American Television, a weekly 30-minute program aired on Community Channel 15 (CreaTV) in San Jose and serves as the Chair of the Media and Communication Committee of the AACC-SV.
Position: Chair of the Facility Committee
Salem Ajluni earned his doctoral degree in economics and taught college economics for more than a decade. In the mid-1990s he was recruited by the UN to work as an economist in Palestine where he lived and worked for more than seven years. Since 2001, he has worked as an economic consultant for the UN, the Palestinian Ministry of Planning and the World Bank, mainly in Palestine and Jordan. He is a native of Michigan and of Palestinian descent. Ajluni currently serves as the Chair of the Facility Committee of the AACC-SV.
Position: Board member and Chair of the Membership Committee
Jeff Ajlouny is a business representative for the International Union of Operating Engineers-Local 39, specializing in union contract negotiations and labor laws. After completing the Trade Union Program from Harvard University Law School, he has continued to serve on the board of the International Union of Operating Engineers. Jeff Ajlouny is the President of the Ramallah Club of San Jose, a position he has held for the past 10 years. He is also a current candidate for Deputy President of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, one of the largest Arab-American organizations in the U.S. Ajlouny, a native of San Jose, currently serves as a Board member and Chair of the Membership Committee of the AACC-SV.