AYFA Member of the Month: Juliana Khamo (ASALA)
Updated: Aug 5
Juliana Khamo (J), Vice President of the Assyrian Student Association of Los Angeles (ASALA), one of AYFA's Member Organizations, was interviewed by AYFA's Western Regional Director Ramsin Youkana (R) about her experience with the organization and her personal interests. Read the full interview below!
R: Tell us a little bit about yourself
J: I am a huge soccer fan and look forward to the World Cup being held in Qatar next year! Learning to speak, read, and write languages, understanding medicine, and educating myself on the Middle East are significant interests of mine. Not to mention my love for all Assyrian music!
R: How long have you been a member of ASALA?
J: I have been a member of ASA of LA for nearly one year!
R: What is your specific role in ASALA?
J: I joined the team in 2020 and was and still am esteemed to occupy the position of Vice President.
R: What sparked the interest to reestablish ASALA?
J: It is crucial that we must have strong local communities for Assyrian youth to come and create connections while also preserving our culture and maintaining our existence.
R: Who’s currently involved in reestablishing ASALA?
J: It is important for me to mention AYFA's former Western Regional Director, David Hanna, AYFA President Gabriel Babella, and ASALA President Ashtar Ashurseen as a considerable part of why ASALA is still here today! Our community also has the pleasure of thanking our Treasurer Ninor Jibrail and Executive Secretary Nickoulet Babaei for dedicating many hours to maintaining ASALA's mission and goal. ASALA is thriving today because of these notable individuals.
R: How do you think we can get more young Assyrians to get involved with organizations like yours?
J: Creating connections and strong relationships is essential to building a tight-knit community amongst youth and any individual. With the pandemic - along with many other things - maintaining connections and relationships has been a challenge. However, suppose we find a way to appeal to a younger crowd, such as showing them how they can really make a difference for our people by becoming active in our communities and willing to make a change effectively. In that case, I believe that will continue to inspire young Assyrians.
R: What advice do you have for AYFA members that would like to develop into a director role in their local organization?
J: Learning from others is necessary and will teach you to become a better community leader and team player. Also, enjoy and cherish the opportunities that come your way. I wish you the absolute best and encourage you to lean on our community for any bit of advice or help!
R: Do you have any plans for activities in the near future?
J: We are constantly brainstorming at ASALA and will continue to bring these ideas to life when time permits. However, we are working on a project that is quite promising for AYFA members, and we cannot wait to announce it!
R: Lastly, what is your favorite Assyrian food?
J: Not even a question - Riza o Shorwa!
Blog Post prepared by Ramsin Youkana and Anthony Narsi