A man known as a bridge-builder, benefactor, and a giant whose reputation preceded him; MLFA remembers Arab Muslim leader, Dr. Ahmed Jaber, and his tremendous contributions to society.
A brief history of Dr. Ahmed Jaber
Dr. Jaber was the founder of the following; Al-Noor Islamic School, Beit Al-Maqdis Islamic Center, the Brooklyn Heights Interfaith Clergy Association, the National Arab-American Medical Association, and the Arab American Association of NY. He was an OBGYN and personally delivered over 5,000 babies. He helped establish the prayer room at Lutheran Medical Center.
Dr. Ahmed Jaber was born in a small village in Palestine called Yamoun on June 5th, 1947. When he was three years old, his father died. Dr. Jaber was the fourth child in his family, with two older brothers, one older sister, and one younger sister. They were raised by their dedicated mother who was often teased about raising her kids on her own.
In 1966, he took the high school exam and ranked number three. He was awarded a scholarship and would study medicine in Iraq. In 1972, he graduated from Mosul University and went to Jordan to do an internship at a hospital in Amman. He was soon employed as a general practitioner and then decided to pursue his post-graduate studies. He wanted to join his best friend who he had studied medicine with, in the United States. He took the US exam, passed, and on June 24, 1974, came to America.
He worked at the Flushing Hospital Medical Center on a rotating internship. It was where he met his first wife Jovita from the Philippines, who was the chief resident in pediatrics. They were married a few years later. He eventually did his residency in OBGYN in Brooklyn. In 1977, a Greek OBGYN that Dr. Jaber knew told him he wasn’t interested in having a private practice anymore. He told him to buy it and begin his own.
Back then, he remembered two masjids in NYC. One of them was State Street next to Atlantic Avenue where the Arab community was located — Masjid Dawoud is what it is called now. At the time, that was the masjid where he’d go for Friday prayer. Eventually, he became well known in that masjid through his contributions. He’d translate the Arabic khutbah (sermons) into English and would offer free services to the congregants, like if somebody needed medical assistance or advice.
Being a leader was something Dr. Jaber acknowledged, “Since I was a kid, I was a leading figure, or — although I don’t seek leadership. But you find yourself in a place where when leadership is needed, you are picked up. Whether because of your influence, because of your language, because of your intelligence. Whatever reason, somehow I landed up, wherever I go, being in that role as — as a leader.” He said.
The Muslim Legal Fund of America Team prays that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala grants him Jannah and blesses him for the work and the lasting impact he left on the community.