Our colony at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor was initiated on September 2, 2018. Read below to learn more about each sister and their goals within Epsilon Alpha Sigma!
The lack of knowledge regarding Arab culture in Greek Life and on campus has inspired me to be a part of EAΣ’s founding line at the University of Michigan. Our chapter should serve as a platform that gives young Arab (and Arab interest) women the confidence to grow, express themselves, and use the tools they have acquired to empower themselves and others. Bringing EAΣ to U of M does exactly that while simultaneously creating bonds that last a lifetime. I look forward to being part of a community that constantly supports and challenges one another both at U of M and throughout our Chapters nationwide. Additionally, the creation of EAΣ at U of M marks another historical moment for the Arab community on campus.
I hold an Arab identity that is often times politicized, misunderstood, and overlooked. After my first year at the University of Michigan, I realized I wanted to close the gaps in our campus, and create a community for Arab women so that they would not have to ever feel alone. I am looking forward to meeting new girls, and getting to know some girls even better. Although we are all Arab, the different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences we all hold make us unique and diverse in our own ways and I cannot wait to be part of it.
When I was told about the potential of EAΣ at U of M, I immediately knew I not only wanted to but needed to be a part of its founding. Throughout my life, service and volunteering have played integral roles in shaping me into the person I am today, and through EAΣ I can further this passion and hopefully make a positive impact on someone's life. Surrounded by strong Arab women, empowering each other and making our presence known on campus was something that I desired to accomplish. Far too often Arab women are marginalized, pushed aside and overlooked but through EAΣ, we will overcome this. I am so excited to grow with my future sisters and aim to make our campus more amenable for other girls just like us.
Throughout the last couple of years, I have engaged in outreach work to increase retention numbers and aid the transition of students of color at the University of Michigan. Through this work, I came to recognize the need to create a space that will provide Arab women with the navigational capital, mentorship, and support in our postsecondary education and for the rest of our lives. The exciting part about becoming a sister of Epsilon Alpha Sigma Sorority, Inc. is being a part of a larger collective of Arab women, from all across the nation, that are united under the same passion for education and philanthropy.
Coming into my Freshman year at the University of Michigan, being Arab had already been a major part of my identity. Being aware of the stigma that surrounds the culture, I wanted to offer an avenue to young Arab women through which they would be comfortable expressing their respective identities, as well as grow personally and professionally. As a sister of Epsilon Alpha Sigma, I look forward to watching this sisterhood grow into friendships that will endure the tests of time, all while combating negative connotations through education and service on campus.
My decision to partake in founding EAΣ at U of M stemmed from my personal experience as an Arab on campus. The bonds that I have created with others through shared interest in Arab culture has taught me values that will stay with me as I navigate through college and beyond. Through EAΣ, I hope to give my sisters a similar sense of community that not only allows them to embrace themselves and the Arab culture, but encourages and empowers them to do so. In addition to providing these sisters with personal growth, I am looking forward to join my EAΣ sisters across the country in making a change beyond our incorporation. Our sorority’s philanthropic focus to aid and support Syrian refugees hits close to home, and I am passionate and excited to raise awareness and funds for the humanitarian needs overseas.
As an international student, it was initially very challenging adapting to the new college environment. Although there was a diverse community of students that attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, I still felt the lack of the Arab presence and impact in the student body. Bringing Epsilon Alpha Sigma to U of M Greek life will change this and allow Middle Eastern women to celebrate and show their culture, while helping the Arab community globally. One of the most exciting things about becoming a founding sister is being able to build this beautiful organization and create lifelong connections with my sisters all over the U.S. I look forward to the exciting adventure of starting Epsilon Alpha Sigma on campus and creating a home away from home.
As a freshman at the University of Michigan, I initially felt lost and confused. I left my hometown of a culturally rich and diverse community of Arab Americans to a melting pot of different backgrounds. I was worried my identity would not be accepted and I would not be given opportunities to embrace my roots; however, I was shocked at the amount of support I received as an Arab female entering this campus. I was surrounded with individuals that celebrated, rather than judged, diverse backgrounds and I broadened my own cultural views. I developed a new Arab community through different organizations and events, and that fear of not being accepted slowly disappeared. I felt at home at this University. As a founding sister of EAΣ at UM, I plan to assist in the transition for women entering the University of Michigan and provide an inclusive and welcoming environment. I also joined the founding line because I want to use EAΣ as an outlet to increase retention numbers of Arab women at UM and help them overcome that fear of not fitting in or feeling comfortable enough to leave home. I look forward to the lifelong relationships and connections I am going to build with my sisters and creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.
A special congratulations are in order for one of our very own Doves, Diana Zeineddine, for being selected to represent the Vegas Golden Knights as a Golden Ace!
The Golden Aces are an NHL dance team for the Vegas Golden Knights, the first NHL team in Las Vegas. The Vegas Golden Knights, a professional ice hockey team that began play in the 2017–2018 NHL season, is a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The new-look promotional team for the Golden Knights have been selected for the 2018-2019 season following three days of intense tryouts in front of the team's entertainment production staff. The three-day audition process consisted of a series of panel interviews, talent portions, written exams, HIIT workouts and a choreographed dance routine. The new rosters can be found here.
During her undergraduate career, Zeineddine was the Captain of the UNLV Scarlet Dance Line, leading her team in performances at various university sports events. As president of the Gamma Chapter at that time, she continued to inspire fellow members with her ambition and determination to succeed. We wish her all the best in this next milestone!
On June 3, 2018 the Empowered Arab Sisterhood at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) was officially chartered as the Epsilon chapter of Epsilon Alpha Sigma at their first annual Remembering the Refugees banquet!
Their first banquet was a wonderful success, as they raised over $10,000 for Friends of Kayany, bringing our 2018 contributions to $37,000. The night was filled with various musical performances, including an oud performance from Peter Hanna and a Dabke number from their fellow student organization, the Lebanese Social Club.
In their first year, the Epsilon Chapter were quick to become acknowledged and involved on their campus across numerous events, including the Middle Eastern Student Center's (MESC) Middle East week.
At the 2018 MESC Annual Gala, they were recognized for the Collaborative Program of the Year alongside Glocally Connected & CNAS Ambassadors for AfghaniSTEM.
The Epsilon Chapter also received numerous awards from UCR's greek council and centers. The Collaborative Multicultural Council (CMC) awarded them for Chapter of the Year, and Founding Sisters Nadine Kadri and Raghad Tabaza were recognized for dedication towards the CMC and President of the Year, respectively.
Additionally, the Fraternity and Sorority Involvement Center at UCR awarded them for “Most Improved GPA” award, and Tabaza received a FSIC Hall of Fame award.
We are so proud of their quick strides and accomplishments throughout their first year and we are so happy to welcome the Epsilon Chapter into the Epsilon Alpha Sigma family. We cannot wait to see where they go next!
For more photos from their Remembering the Refugees, please visit this link.
Epsilon Alpha Sigma is turning six years old today, so to celebrate, we thought we would share six of our favorite moments throughout these past years.
1. Women's empowerment week
2. Middle East WEEK
3. Gamma chapter'S Commitment to their community
4. World In-Sight Fair
6. Remembering the refugees
Alpha Chapter Alum, Neil Deramchi, Featured on Medium.Com Discussing the Disruptive Ability of Blockchain in Real Estate!
Neil Deramchi is Co-Founder and COO of RNT X, an app aiming to connect renters and landlords in a transparent and decentralized world through building a transparent and decentralized real-estate rental ecosystem. She is a recent graduate of UCLA with a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, where she held various leadership positions including a Presidential role within our Alpha chapter. We are proud of Dermachi's accomplishments and forever grateful for the growth initiated of the first established chapter of Epsilon Alpha Sigma as a result of her leadership. Catch her insightful interview below!
Founding Sister and President of Gamma Chapter, Diana Zeineddine, Featured on UNLV TV Studio G discussing Remembering the Refugees!