The Washington Street Historical Society’s board includes historians of the neighborhood and long-time activists for its preservation. To learn more about the board and the procedures for membership and involvement in the organization, please message Bob Goodhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Goodhouse, presently Vice President, Middle East, of Rapiscan Systems, has over 22 years of long term international assignments in the Arab world. He is an alumnus of Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, and attended the University of Santa Clara’s MBA program in Agribusiness. A descendant of the early community of Little Syria, his research and writings focus on topics related to his own ancestors: early publisher Najib Diab, and poet, Ilya Abu Madi.
Acting Vice President
Inea Bushnaq is a Palestinian-American writer and translator born in Jerusalem, educated in England and now living in New York. She translated and edited the collection Arab Folktales, and the recent collection of Arabic folk tales, Pearls on A Branch. Inea has been an active supporter and promoter of Arab and Arab-American causes for decades. She sits on the board of several organizationsincluding; the Noor Theater, the Arab American National Museum, and the Washington Street Historical Society.
Bob Madey is a New York based media maker and educator with a background in film, anthropology, and cross-cultural education. His family first settled in the Syrian Colony in the late 1800s. His great grandfather, Najib Diab edited the trans-national Arabic language newspaper, Mirʼāt al-gharb (Mirror of the West), and was patron to many of the Mahjar writers of his time. Madey’s grandfather was renowned journalist and poet, Ilya Abu Madi.
Hani Bawardi is Associate Professor of History in the Department of Social Sciences, and principal member of the Center of Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is the author of The Making of Arab Americans: From Syrian Nationalism to U.S. Citizenship. Bawardi’s private papers have the most complete documentation of the activities of four major immigrant political organizations prior to WWII, as well as the personal papers and letters of seminal thinkers and writers including Mikhail Naimy, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, and their contemporaries in the US. Currently, Dr. Bawardi is researching his next book on Arab American advocacy and organizations from 1951 to the present, and editing two Arabic language volumes in preparation for translating them.
Jenna Zraick is a Nonprofit Development, Funding and Grant-writing Professional, with deep roots in the Arab-American community, going back to the earliest days of the Syrian Colony on Washington Street, NY. She is an active member and advocate for Arab American organizations and concerns.
Todd Fine is a founding member of the Washington Street Historical Society, and a scholar of the Arab-American writer, Ameen Rihani. Currently, he is a PhD student of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He holds a BA in government from Harvard University (2004) and an MA in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University (2007). and graduate student in American History at CUNY Graduate Center.
Carl Antoun is a founding member of the Washington Street Historical Society. His family claims roots in the first Arab American community in the United States, in New York’s enclave of “Little Syria”.
Mary Ann DiNapoli
Mary Ann DiNapoli is a local historian with a special interest in the Arab American community of New York. She is also a genealogist whose clients have included producers and biographers.
Joe Svehlak is an active New York City historian and tour guide whose Moravian ancestors immigrated in 1912 to the Washington Street neighborhood. He issued a manifesto for its preservation in 2003.
Esther Regelson has lived on lower Washington Street for several decades and is a community activist of the Friends of the Lower West Side and other groups.