Hyatt Magazine

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(MMCC) Event


On Jan. 20 was the MMCC’s Event.

After months of planning by the steering committee, the inaugural meeting of the Mediterranean Mosaic Cultural Center (MMCC) was a great success. While expecting perhaps 50 attendees, over 100 actually came and 42 expressed interest in participating in future events.

The evening began with a buffet of excellent food and an opportunity for people to socialize. This was followed by a power point presentation by Haytham Othman which explained the different aspects of the organization. These points included an introduction of steering committee members, the organization’s mission and vision statements (see below), and a time-line of future events.

The Honorable William Haddad, (Ret.) introduced the main speaker, Dr. Ghada Hashem Talhami Professor Emerita at Lake Forest College who spoke about the importance of honoring the history of immigration in the United States. The speakers were followed by oud player, Samir Al-Omar.

The dream of bringing a cultural center to the northwest suburbs of Chicago has been in the making for years. One year ago, Ghaffar Kazkaz applied for and received non-profit corporation status from the State of Illinois and 501-C3 status from the IRS. In addition, he opened an account with ACCESS/CAAP (Arab Community Center for Empowerment and Social Services/ Center for Arab American Philanthropy) to allow for others to donate. Today, this account has close to $60,000. The Steering Committee (Ghaffar Kazkaz, Peggy Kazkaz, Casey Bezec, Ahmad Basrawi, Haytham Othman, Khaled Hasiba, Rageed Basrawi and Bilal Almasri (advisor) met several times to discuss the vision and mission statement, the purpose of the organization, the future direction and the possibility of purchasing a building that would serve as the Cultural Center.

The purpose of the MMCC is to encourage mutual understanding among the Middle East people.  However, we seek inclusivity of all regardless of religion, sect, language, race, or gender. Any friend who at heart has the improvement of relationships with others and wants to know and understand other cultures is welcome.

Mission Statement: To create a tolerant, diverse, non-sectarian Arab-American meeting place that fosters opportunities for members to interact both socially and culturally.

Vision: A space for Arab-Americans and their friends in the Chicagoland area to interact as a community and share their cultures.For further information contact Ghaffar Kazkaz at or Ahmad Basrawi at