Dr. Haifa Fakhouri, the President and CEO of the Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC), has been a powerful force in promoting community economic self-sufficiency and actualizing human potential for newly arrived immigrants. Her experience as a sociologist, educator, and administrator has enabled her to lead several supporters to establish ACC, a human service agency established to meet the growing needs of the Arab community.
Over the past 35 years, ACC has grown from a single office in downtown Detroit to 40 outreach offices with a multi-million-dollar operating budget in the tri-county area of Michigan. Dr. Fakhouri’s development and implementation of employment and training programs have helped immigrants achieve economic self-sufficiency. In contrast, her $36 million development project has revitalized a dilapidated area into a thriving and vibrant neighborhood. ACC is currently embarking upon creating a unique Middle Eastern Arabic Village within the city of Detroit, which represents the rich heritage of the Arab culture. The project includes art galleries, artisan shops, Arabic restaurants, a spice market, and an old Souk model (the marketplace), resulting in a vibrant commercial district that benefits all who live in the metropolitan Detroit area. Neighborhood renewal through creating an authentic representation of Arabic trade and culture has helped bridge the gap between the Arabic community and the mainstream.