In 1999 the city of Nazareth was experiencing socio-religious tension which affected daily life among all its residents. As the foundation of unity began to shake, several Nazarenes living in Los Angeles contacted each other to express their concern about the situation in their homeland. A phone call between Dr. Nabil Khoury and Dr. Nabil Azzam set the tone for a meeting that resulted in the establishment of the present day non-profit organization, Arab-American Friends of Nazareth (AAFN).
Once the organization was created, the board immediately began to write letters to the mayor of Nazareth calling for an end to the turmoil and a return to unity and harmony amongst its brothers and sisters. These demands were endorsed and supported by Nazarenes across the nation. Hailed by the residents of Nazareth, the letters were widely distributed. Locally, AAFN has set its goals to act as an organization that extends its help not only to Nazareth, the jewel of cites, but also to surrounding Palestinian cities and villages within the 1948 boarders. Specifically, funds were directed towards assisting healthcare programs and primary schools. AAFN believes that the well-being of the region begins with providing strong educational foundation for the youth.
Other fundraising activities include social events such on major holidays and special events showcasing the talents of Nazarenes in the United States. In addition, the organization holds a bi-annual reunion in Las Vegas in order to reunite old friends, build new relationships, and strengthen the Arab-American community. AAFN is working hard to hold a nostalgic reunion in Nazareth in the near future. Arab-American Friends of Nazareth will maintain its dedication to helping Nazareth’s hospitals and schools, and continue to foster a sound education for its youth and nurture the growth of artistic institutions. In order to ensure the vitality of the organizations goals, AAFN invites our youth to take part and share the responsibilities that lie ahead.