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Who We Are


The Syrian American Women's Charitable Association, SAWA, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to helping Syrians in need.

Our Goal

SAWA's goal is to address the humanitarian needs of the disadvantaged, the elderly, and the sick, without regard for political, racial, or denominational considerations. SAWA promotes public awareness of these needs, solicits public support and contributions, and sponsors fund-raising events. SAWA channels this assistance directly to registered, non-governmental welfare organizations. SAWA is an independent, non-partisan and non-sectarian organization, committed to assist the poor, and the disadvantaged. It is equally committed to promote humanitarian cooperation between the people of Syria and the United States of America. SAWA's recent mission has been focused on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and providing humanitarian and educational support for those impacted.

Our Team

All officers and all members of SAWA are volunteers, who receive no monetary compensation for their time or effort.









Board of Directors:  Rasha Nahas (President), Melika Al-Kawas (Past President), Simone Obeid (Treasurer), Lavinia Sidawy (Secretary), Shirley Shammas (Member-at-Large), Ruby Al-Nabki (Member-at-large), Maha Hakki (Member-at-large), and Natalie Khoury (Member-at-large)

Our History


Tax Status: SAWA, was incorporated in the District of Columbia on January 25, 1993. It is exempt from federal income tax under section 501 [c] [3] of the Internal Revenue Service. All contributions to SAWA are tax deductible as allowed by law

Since its founding in 1993 by a group of dedicated Syrian American women in the greater Washington area, SAWA has succeeded in attracting widespread support. 

Founders: Mrs. Sawsan Al-Moualem, Mrs. Samia Aidi, Mrs. Julia Atallah, Mrs. Salma Chakaki, Mrs. Maha Hakki, Mrs. Reem Kudsi, Mrs. Nada Muwakki,  Mrs. Hiyam Nahas, Mrs. Hala Soufi, Mrs. Majda Sibay, and Mrs. Najla Younis. 


To accomplish our goals,  SAWA assists nongovernmental organizations by providing medical supplies, job skills training, developmental support, educational support, and basic humanitarian needs.

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