The Committee for Ethnic Affairs advises the Montgomery County, MD County Executive and County Council on public policy that relates to ethnic affairs; promotes maximum involvement of all ethnic groups in the County in government, business and community affairs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Faces from WOMF2011: Artist Nabil Makar "Building the Bridges and Love the Others"

Profile by
Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

Artist, Nabil Makar in his own words: "I was very happy to participate in the World of Montgomery Festival and to see people from across the globe, from Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe. They came together to celebrate the rich culture of our Counties.
My friends and I were making sketches of the people and they were all smiling and happy to be there. For myself, since I moved to Montgomery County, I volunteer my time for seniors and other causes. I am very busy in my own activities of writing and drawing. I am proud of my achievements since I arrived to this land from Egypt.
One of the things I did was that I was the first voice call for Wheaton to become an Arts and Entertainment District. I always say, “actions speaks louder than words.”

Nabil Makar Profile

Nabil Makar, an Egyptian artist who has lived in the US for nearly 40 years, has long been a proponent of cross-cultural dialogue. "Everybody must do his part in the world. Artists cannot carry guns or be doctors, but they can express themselves with their brushes and pencils. There must be mutual understanding.

"Although he grew up in Egypt, Makar has spent most of his life in the US and only recently started to return to his home country every year.
Makar’s whole career has centered on the idea of Egyptian-American cultural exchange.

 Nabil Makar is Art instructor, writer and critic. He uses art as a tool for demonstrating
spiritual and cultural achievement of modern world

He publicized world-wide including Egypt, Lebanon,  Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and the United States.

For more information about his work and, please visit the link below:  

Friday, October 21, 2011

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-3)

Created by Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-3)

Photos Credit to Anna Yevropina

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-2)

Created by Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-2)

Photos Credit to Enas Elhanafi

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-1)

Created by Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

CEA Panorama: World of Montgomery Festival 2011 (Part-1)

Photos Credit to Enas Elhanafi

Join the Party!! Family Fun for FREE

Anyone who has put in 25 volunteer hours or more will get a cool “Where do you serve” reusable bag, a certificate from County Executive, and an Honest Tea.

Message by Bruce Adams, Director, Office of Community Partnerships

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Faces from WOMF2011: Nabil Makar, Artist

Profile by
Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

Nabil Makar


Nabil Makar, an Egyptian artist who has lived in the US for nearly 40 years, has long been a proponent of cross-cultural dialogue. "Everybody must do his part in the world. Artists cannot carry guns or be doctors, but they can express themselves with their brushes and pencils. There must be mutual understanding."

Although he grew up in Egypt, Makar has spent most of his life in the US and only recently started to return to his home country every year. Makar’s whole career has centered on the idea of Egyptian-American cultural exchange.

Nabil Makar is Art instructor, writer and critic. He uses art as a tool for demonstrating spiritual and cultural achievement of modern world.

He publicized world-wide including Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and the United States.

For more information about his work and, please visit the link below:

Faces from WOMF2011- Bing-jib Huang, Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting


Profile by
Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair

Bing-jib Huang
Chinese Calligraphy & Brush Painting

I am currently a board member of Rockville Sister Cities Corp. (RSCC) and acting as a contact person to Jiaxing, China. 

I came to World of Montgomery County Festival yesterday because I volunteer to do Chinese calligraphy to translate English names into Chinese. Somehow they like this idea and gave me a booth. I was honored to do this service. I guess folks who came to festival yesterday may feel happy to see their names being painted with complicated Chinese characters....

I was born in Taiwan, came to US over 30 years. I was educated as an engineer but I like Chinese calligraphy. I am currently working for US Government, after work I teach Chinese calligraphy at local Chinese school. I am also associated with a few local art clubs. I was the President of International Artists Support Group (IASG) 2002 - 2003. Have coordinated art shows in Foreign countries. Currently I have 10 pieces of artworks in display at Bohrer's Park Activity Center in Gaithersburg.

CEA plays an important role in promoting cultural diversity in Montgomery County. I would support your [CEA committee's] efforts but I may not have time to get involved. Best wish for your service.

Faces from WOMF 2011: Volunteers

Profile by
Enas Elhanafi, CEA Chair



At the WOMF Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of volunteers. I was so delighted to have the chance to talk with them about their volunteer experience at the festival

       Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (MVMA)


Hien Tran
Originally from Vietnam, moved to Montgomery County 5 years ago. Hold MBA from Italy.  Works at Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (MVMA), a non-profit that supports Vietnamese community.
At the festival , Hein demonstrated to visitors how to make paper lanterns.

Montgomery County Volunteer Center

Volunteers at the Community Service Projects Tent:
Kristine Belotindos, Levertt Tsang, Nivea Voltran and Priscylla Lor.


       And more.....

 Montgomery College Students

Xiaoping Wang  (Left)Originally from ChinaShe is majoring in Life Science at Montgomery College. About Xiaoping's  volunteer experience at the WOMF festival, she said: "I was so happy to be a volunteer at the festival. I enjoy the activity very much". 
Jing Gao (Right)Originally from China.  She has been studying at Montgomery College for two years.She is majoring in Communications.

About Jing's volunteer experience at the WOMF festival, she said:
Volunteering at Montgomery County Festival is good chance for me to contribute to this society, and it also provides me a wonderful chance to experience the profound culture of Montgomery County”.

Gilchrist Center For Cultral Diversity

Marwa Suliman From Sudan. Her first Language is Arabic.  She volunteers at the Gilchrest Center.

Yui Itokawa  
From Japan. Teaching is her profession in Japan and her favorite hobby is hand crafting.

From Benin.Education background: Economics and Chinese. Experiences: Chinese/French interpreter and Chinese teacher.


At the festival, Marwa, Ismail and Yui volunteered on the  “ Write Your Name in Another Language” table.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greetings from Montgomery College!

Montgomery College Partnerships for Interfaith and Community Service Initiative collaborates with efforts to promote College-wide Community Service Week Activities (October 16-22, 2011)

A Message by Dr. Clemmie Solomon 
Dean of Students, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

Montgomery College is actively participating in Montgomery County’s Community Service Week. Community Service Week is being held in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Community Service Day, an annual day of service throughout Montgomery County. The goal of Community Service Week is to increase the culture of serving and giving in the county and to engage new people in service and recognize those who are already serving while meeting needs in our community.

Montgomery College’s Partnership for Interfaith and Community Service Initiative is promoting the week of service as well. The Partnership for Interfaith and Community Service Initiative is a college-wide initiative designed to bring religious and non religious groups together to collectively promote community service and address community needs.  

The week kick off was at the World of Montgomery Festival in Wheaton (Sunday, October 16) and conclude with a large celebration of service in Downtown Silver Spring (October 22). During the week (October 16-22) there will be service projects and volunteer fairs to engage volunteers throughout Montgomery County. Over sixty (60) Montgomery College students volunteered to assist with the weeks activities.

Montgomery College is sponsoring a number of activities in conjunction with the County-wide Community Service Week. The college- wide activities are listed below. For more information on how to get involved with the County-wide activities please go to

For more information about campus based activities please contact the individuals:
Germantown Campus    Debi Higbie-Holmes  240-567-7841

  • 10/17/11 -11:00-1:00 – Women’s Issues
o   Women’s Studies club is planning multiple activities
  • 10/18/11 - 1:00- 2:00  - Hunger Concerns
o   Smart Sacks packing with Hunger quiz
  • 10/19/11 - 11:00-1:00 – Diversity and Tolerance
  •   10/20/11 -11:00-1:00 – Homelessness Awareness
o   UMAN mini walk
  • Student Senate will build a tent city and provide information about homelessness in Montgomery County
  • Homeless Resource Day -10/19/11
  • Bohrer Park Activities Center in Gaithersburg – students will volunteer
o   10/21/11 - 11:00-1:00 – Environmental Concerns
  •  Student clubs in the planning process

Rockville Campus  James Stascavage  240-567-5092
  •  Sunday Oct. 16- World of Montgomery festival – Downtown Wheaton (Students will be volunteering 3 hours of their time to serve Montgomery County Residents; students will register in advance.)
  •  Monday Oct 17- Food Drives Begin (Drives include: Can Food and Sundries)
  •    Tuesday Oct. 18- Guest Speaker from Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
  • Wednesday Oct. 19- Manna Food: Smart Sacks
  •  Thursday Oct. 20- Volunteer Fair (Organizations from throughout the county will come to Montgomery College - Rockville to recruit MC student and provide them with volunteer opportunities and information.)
  •   Friday Oct. 21- (Pep Rally) Hoops for the Homeless program connected with planned pep rally.
  •    Saturday Oct. 22- Community Service Day- Downtown Silver Spring (Students will be volunteering 3 hours of their time to serve Montgomery County Residents; students will register in advance.)

Takoma Park/ Silver Spring Campus   Lucy Vitaliti – 240-567-1527
  •   Sunday, Oct 16 World of Montgomery, Wheaton Triangle, Recruiting MC students for shifts - We already have 20+ students signed up.
  •   Monday, Oct 17 Personal Care Items for A Wider Circle (focus on topic of homelessness, to getting out of poverty)
  •  Tuesday, Oct 18 Canned Food Drive for Shepherd's Table (focus on hunger)
  •  Wednesday, Oct 19, Bagging Smart Sacks in Atrium (poverty and hunger
  •  Thursday, Oct 20, Expired Coupons for Soldiers for our military troops and their families
  • Friday, Oct 21, Cold Weather Outer wears Collection for the Refugee Center
  •  Saturday, Oct 22, Day of Service, Silver Spring Civic Bldg., City Place (service projects, celebrating service. We have 20+ students who have volunteered for this.)

Note - A few organizations related to these themes may also be in the Atrium ST building – TP/SS recruiting volunteers throughout the week. The collection drives are planned to run 2 to 4 weeks, the exception being Coupons for Soldiers which runs for the academic year (a Student Senate initiative).  The issues of focus directly relate to and will be identified as part of the Interfaith Initiative.    

Council News - Press Releases & Statements

  • Release ID: 11-194
  • Release Date: 9/27/2011
  • Contact: Peggy Fitzgerald- Bare 240-777-7924
  • From: Council Office
  ROCKVILLE, Md., September 27, 2011—The Montgomery County Council is seeking applicants for positions on its Fiscal Year 2013 Grants Advisory Group. The Council will appoint the volunteer community panel to review grant applications and advise it on proposals received from the non-profit community. Letters of interest from applicants must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14.

The Council believes that a strong partnership with non-profit organizations is critical in meeting the County’s needs. The Council has established a grants process in which the Council accepts applications from non-profit organizations seeking funds, forwards proposals to the Grants Advisory Group for advice and comments and then makes funding decisions during its spring budget deliberations.

It is anticipated that the Grants Advisory Group will be appointed in December and will be asked to report to the Council by the end of April 2012. Panel members will need to attend training sessions and review relevant materials during late January and February. The applications review will take place between March 1 and April 15.

The Grants Advisory Group will be asked to provide the Council with written comments on each of the grant proposals. The workload will vary based on the number of applications received and panel members appointed; however, it is expected that each member would review approximately 20 applications. Panel members should anticipate approximately six-to-eight meetings between the beginning of February and mid-April, with the potential for weekly meetings in March.

Volunteers for the Grants Advisory Group can come from panels reviewing Community Development Block Grants or Community Service Grants, as well as from other advisory boards or community groups. Applicants for the Advisory Group cannot be employees of, or member of a board of, a nonprofit group applying for grant funding. The Council will designate the chair of the Advisory Group. ?

Interested applicants living or working in the County should submit their letter of interest with a resume to: Council President Valerie Ervin, Montgomery County Council Office, Stella B. Werner Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850 or via email to

Letters of interest must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14. Questions regarding the Grants Advisory Group should be directed to Peggy Fitzgerald-Bare, Council Grants Manager at 240-777-7924 or

                                                                                 # # # #

Invitation to an Interactive Multi-Cultural Dialogue with Muslim Women On Nov 13th

The Transition Network-Washignton-DC (Metro Area) Chapter

An Interactive Multi-Cultural Dialogue  with Muslim Women

Sunday,  November13, 2011,


an esteemed Shari’ah scholar, author, professor, and advocate
of  women empowerment, will present“The Rights of Muslim
Women under Islamic and Civil Law”
A Multi-Cultural Facilitated Dialogue to foster greater understanding

A Potluck Mealbring a dish to share (please, no pork or alcohol in the dish)

SUZY SHOUKRY, Wife of the Egyptian Ambassador
CATHERINE LEGGETT, First Lady of Montgomery County
and V.P., Human Resources, International City Management Association

Location:Civic Center (Spring Room)
One Veteran’s Plaza
Silver Spring, MD
Across from public parking & ½ mile from Silver Spring Metro
The Transition Network,
(TTN) ( is hosting this event in partnership with: The International Cultural Center (ICC) (; Karamah:Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights (;/

The Montgomery County Muslim Council (MCMC)

Need a ride? Questions?

contact Isabelle Schoenfeld, TTN:, or Rabia Zaman, ICC:,
or Mimi Hassanein, MCMC:


Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Message from the Office of Community Partnerships

 Where will you serve on October 22? 

By Bruce Adams
Director, Office of Community Partnerships

Twenty-five years ago, Montgomery County held our first Community Service Day. Now, that day is celebrated nationwide as Make a Difference Day.

This year, in celebration of our 25th anniversary, we have set an ambitious goal of 25,000 volunteers. We are going to kickoff a week of community service at our World of Montgomery Festival on Sunday, October 16th, from noon to 5 p.m., in the heart of Wheaton. And we will conclude with a Silver Anniversary Celebration of Community Service Day on the Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring on Saturday evening October 22nd from 5 to 7 p.m. 

I hope you will roll up your sleeves that week and be one of our 25,000 volunteers. We are going to do a census of volunteering during the week. This snapshot of service will document the extraordinary impact that volunteers have in helping our neighbors in need and making Montgomery County such a special community. Please make sure that your community nonprofit, PTA, business, civic association, union, or faith congregation participates in our survey. I believe the report we will compile will help our nonprofit and other partners demonstrate to grantmakers the impressive manner in which their dollars are leveraged by volunteers in Montgomery County. 

To share your experiences as a volunteer in our survey, go to

Or, contact Molly Callaway at the VolunteerCenter to ensure your participation in this important survey:      
I look forward to seeing you at the World of Montgomery Festival on October 16th and at our Silver Anniversary Celebration in Silver Spring on October 22nd.

2011 World of Montgomery Festival

Date: Sun, October 16th 2011
Additional Time Info: Noon to 5:00pm
External Link: Event Website

Wheaton Triangle
2424 Reedie Drive (Grandview Avenue & Reedie Drive, 1 block from the Wheaton Metro station)
Wheaton, MD 20902

The World of Montgomery Festival celebrates, explores and shares the diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities. It will feature music and dance performances by County-based artists, food and craft vendors and a hands-on cultural education area, and health fair.   Local non-profit organizations and County agencies will also be represented.

The festival will also serve as the kick-off event for Montgomery County Community service Week with volunteer opportunities available on event day and throughout the week. 

A health fair will also be featured at this year's event with free and confidential heatlh screenings being offered throughout the day.


To download the event flyer in English & Spanish click here
For more information on Community Service Week and service projects, click
here. To download a health fair flyer, click here.

World of Montgomery performers include:

Caribbean Dance Traditions (Jamaican dance)
Anna Mwalangho (West African singer/storyteller)
Wrhatnala USA (Indonesian dancers)
Tambores de San Juan (Venezuelan drummers)
La Escuela de Danzas Ritmos de Peru (Peruvian dance)
The Bog Band (Irish Music)
Jin-Ling Dance Academy (Chinese dance)
Capoeira DC (Brazilian martial arts/dance)
Lilo Gonzales (Salvadoran music)
Creative Fitness Zumba (Latin dance fitness)

International food will be offered from the following restaurants:

The Limerick Pub (Irish)
Los Cobanos (Salvadoran/Mexican)
Saigonese Restaurant (Vietnamese)
Hollywood East Cafe
Island Hut (Jamaican)
Global Cafe African Grill (African)
Ghar-E-Kabob (Indian)
Blessed Coffee (Ethiopian)
Pollo Sabroso (Latin American)
Bete Ethiopian Cuisine & Cafe (Ethiopian)
Corned Beef King
Skew Works

International Arts and Crafts from the following vendors:
Bazar Victoria
The Africa Memory Game
Veronika Amaya Designs
Design by Irina Yudkina
Kenyan Arts & Crafts
Association for Educational Development in El Salvado
Today's Accessories
Jewels By Joan II
South African Bazaar
International Beads Fashion
YL Fashions
Tagua Vegetable Ivory

We are no longer accepting nonprofit/county or craft booth applications.

For general questions regarding the event, click here or please contact Sidney Cooper at 240-777-8106.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Greetings from the Montgomery County Recreation Communications & Public Outreach Team

We promote Recreation activities, facilities and programs through strategic marketing and media outreach in an effort to actively engage our publics, including our diverse populations.

We produce The RECord newsletter, enhance our social media, produce Department special events, and work directly with Department staff to keep our community informed about everything that Montgomery County Recreation has to offer. 

Please feel free to contact us with any ideas, questions or help you may need:

Susan Hoffmann – 240-777-6962
Judy Stiles – 240-777-6875
Elizabeth Ortega-Lohmeyer – 240-777-6973

Activities, Programs, Classes and more…

Sunday, October 16 – noon to 5pm
World of Montgomery Festival and Ama Tu Vida Health Fair
Find us at the Recreation’s booth #36; at the Wheaton Triangle

Rec Extra
Free Classes begin directly following the regular school day and
finish in time to make the after school activity bus.
Schools: Argyle, Benjamin Banneker, Briggs Chaney, E. Brook Lee
Easter, John Poole, Kingsview, Loiderman, Newport Mill, Parkland,
Roberto Clemente, Rosa Parks, Silver Spring International,
Takoma Park, White Oak, William H. Farquhar

After school FUN! with Club Rec, for ages 5-14, M-F 3-6pm, homework help, sports & games, arts & crafts, computer access, special event. This program does not meet on holidays, or school closing days. Payment is due by the 20th of the month. Checks should be payable to MCRD for $600/year or $60/month. Register online at or call 240-777-6930.

Friday, October 14 – 7 to 9 pm
Family Gym & Board
Long Branch Community Center

Thursday, October 27 - 7:30 to 9pm
Gabbin’ with GABE
Share your comments, concerns and questions with Gabriel Albornoz, Director of Montgomery County Recreation.
Praisner Community Center

Friday, October 28 – 7 to10pm
Halloween Festivities
Pumpkin Carving at 6pm
Long Branch Community Center

Friday, October 28 – 7 to 9pm
Haunted Forest
Damascus Community Center

Saturday, October 29 – 7-9pm
Haunted Forest
Damascus Community Center

Friday, November 4 – 7 to10 pm
Elementary Soccer Night
Long Branch Community Center

Fun, Fun, Fun, with Club Friday at the Germantown Community Center two Fridays a month! Third to 6th grade students are welcome to join the Fun, games, crafts, movies, snack bar, special events, theme nights, raffles, prizes, and more. Pre-registration is required in order to attend sign up under #317880 at or in person at the Germantown Community Center. Starts November 4th from 7 to 9pm. Membership $50.

Friday, November 18 – 7 to 10 pm
High School Youth Open Gym and Fall Crafts
Long Branch Community Center

Saturday, November 19 – 10 am
Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Silver Spring

Saturday, December 3 – 10 am to 4pm
Juried Craft Show
Bauer Drive Community Center