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Our Story

The Iraqi Community Center of Washington was established in 1998

as a nonprofit community-based organization. While providing various services to all age groups of the community. We are especially proud of our cultural and linguistically approach towards Iraqi refugees in Washington State, easing the transition process on refugee families. We provide numerous human and social services to a wide range of individuals and families in King County and Seattle area.  IRRCW takes pride in its origins 25 years ago, commencing with ESL classes. Presently, we take great pride in providing a diverse range of services and programs aimed at aiding clients in achieving self-sufficiency. Our commitment extends to delivering culturally and linguistically competent social services to Iraqi refugees in Washington. Employing a targeted approach, we surround entire families with essential support, ensuring that our programs are designed to address the needs of the family as a cohesive unit.

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Our History

1998 The Iraqi Community Center started

when the first wave of Iraqi refugees arrived from a refugee camp based in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War. During that time, There were no services in Arabic. Refugees struggles to find a job and a permanent residence. Many of them did not have the ability to get an ID, since the language barrier was a huge obstacle. Soon it was time for many Iraqis to apply for their citizenship, many did not know where to start. Yahya Algarib, IRCCW's founder and Executive Director, acknowledged the growing gap between Iraqis and the rest of the community. He immediately felt the urge to take action and inspire change. His first step was creating an ESL program. Families fell in love with the program and more programs were needed such as Early Learning and Women Support Groups to further educate the community and help them navigate the system. The community was based in White Center in Burien, we started getting more families who mainly needed case management and social services in general, which is when IRCCW started a partnership with City of Seattle and Seattle Central Community College to further support our programs

Our Future

Whats Next

Families in our communities used to accessing a deep familial community who care for their children. Grandmothers, aunties, sisters are all involved in raising children, a true collective, village effort. With COVID-19 our community is feeling more isolated and untethered from the community supports they once had, something our families experience tremendously and could have a long-term trauma impact. Our families are experiencing hostile health climate, isolation, and are disproportionately suffering from this crisis. This takes a dramatic toll on individual lives leading to chronic stress, potential further COVID-outbreak, instability and depression, conditions that can further isolate and deepened communities marginalized.

Our Values

Family oriented - Community Driven - Culturally responsive - Equity focused - Wellness centered - Trauma informed

press

The Iraqi Community Center's impactful efforts in promoting community empowerment, leadership development, self-reliance, and health promotion for newcomers have garnered well-deserved recognition in the press. Recognized for its unwavering dedication to fostering inclusivity and empowerment, the Iraqi Community Center stands as a testament to the transformative impact of community-driven initiatives in creating a more resilient and thriving society.

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