Arab American Action Network




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $647,188
Expenses: $551,880
Assets: $728,905



Executive Director:

Hatem Abudayyeh

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The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) is a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides social and other services to the local Arab-American community. 1 The organization claims that Arab-Americans and other minorities have sustained continuous discriminatory attacks since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 2 AAAN executive director Hatem Abudayyeh claimed that Arab-Americans have endured “20 years essentially of scapegoating and criminalization and surveillance and attacks against our communities.” 3


Arab American Action Network’s predecessor organization, the Arab Community Center, was founded in 1972 to provide social services to Arab immigrants in Chicago. It soon became a fixture of the Arab-American community, attracting activists and eventually gaining financial support from the city to run after-school and employment programs. Following the Gulf War in the early 1990s, the Arab Community Center joined local leaders of the international Union of Palestinian Women’s Association (UPWA) to found AAAN. AAAN started as a collection of “after school programs, domestic violence services and ESL courses,” and gradually expanded its services, eventually creating the Arab Arts Council in 1999 to “support local artists.” 4

AAAN became more widely known as it worked to oppose alleged discrimination against Arab-Americans following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Its community center was set on fire by an arsonist in December 2001 and was not fully rebuilt until 2004. Since then, AAAN has continued to provide social services and promote activism among Chicago’s Arab-American community. 5

Community Activism

Arab American Action Network is involved in community service and left-of-center activism. Its programs include after-school programs and summer camps for children, and a youth activism program focused on ending alleged racial profiling. It also offers classes for citizenship, literacy, and ESL, and provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. 6

AAAN promotes political activism in support of Arab communities worldwide. It opposed the U.S. government’s prosecution and deportation of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was jailed in Israel for her involvement in a deadly bombing which killed two students at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969. 7 8 Odeh, who was a political activist associated with AAAN before she was removed from the U.S. for failing to disclose her conviction by Israel, claims that she admitted to the bombing under torture from Israeli authorities. She also said that her failure to acknowledge her conviction on immigration paperwork was because she believed she only had to admit to crimes in the U.S. 9 10

The organization has hosted rallies in support of what it claims are Arab-American interests, including one in 2022 which called for the arrest of officers who beat an Arab-American teen attempting to evade arrest. The teen reportedly ran from the officers during a traffic stop and was later charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. 11

AAAN opposes counterterrorism efforts such as suspicious activity reports, which it claims are used for the purposes of racial profiling and surveillance rather than public safety. 12 In 2022, AAAN obtained suspicious activity reports from the Illinois Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Center (STIC) through a lawsuit. After an examination of the reports, AAAN claimed that they were being used to racially profile members of the Arab-American community. Illinois state police said they could not respond to the allegations and stated that STIC was a response to 9/11 which operated within “federal and state laws regarding privacy and civil liberties.” 13


Hatem Abudayyeh has been AAAN’s executive director since 1999. He served from 2006 to 2014 as the board vice president and later interim board president for the Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois. Abudayyeh currently serves on the National Coordinating Committee for the U.S. Palestinian Community Network and as an advisory board member of the National Network for Arab American Communities since 2006. 14

Souzan Naser has been on AAAN’s board as president since 2012. She previously worked at Southwest Women Working Together as a domestic violence counselor from 2006 to 2012. Naser also serves at Moraine Valley Community College in its Counseling and Career Development Center. 15


In 2020, AAAN had revenues of just over $647,000, with expenses at close to $552,000 and assets of nearly $729,000. 16 It has received grants from major left-wing foundations, including a donation of $75,000 from the MacArthur Foundation between 2017 and 2018, as well as $15,000 in 2022 from the Sparkplug Foundation. 17 18


  1. Arab American Action Network. “About.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  2. Arab American Action Network. “AAAN in the News: 9/11 Anniversary.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  3. Elvia Malagón. “Around Chicago, Muslims, Arab Americans say they still face post-9/11 discrimination.” The Chicago Sun Times. September 10, 2021. Accessed October 10, 2022.
  4. Arab American Action Network. “History.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  5. Arab American Action Network. “History.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  6. Arab American Action Network. “Programs.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  7. Arab American Action Network. “AAAN in the News: 9/11 Anniversary.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  8. The Associated Press. “Trial Set for U.S.-Palestinian Immigrant Convicted in Israel Deaths.” Haaretz. October 3, 2014. Accessed October 2, 2022.
  9. Asraa Mustafa, “Rasmea Odeh, deported but not defeated.” Chicago Reporter. October 1, 2018. Accessed October 3, 2022.
  10. Steven Lubet, “Meet the Palestinian terrorist who lied her way into America.” Book Excerpt. The Daily Beast. January 10, 2022. Accessed October 3, 2022.
  11. FOX 32 News. “Rally held for Oak Lawn teen beaten by police during violent arrest.” FOX 32 Chicago. September 21, 2022. Accessed October 2, 2022.
  12. Stephen Starr. “Revealed: the decades-long surveillance of Chicago’s Arab and Muslim Americans.” The National. July 29, 2022. Accessed October 10, 2022.
  13. Elvia Malagón. “Chicago community groups say ‘suspicious activity reports’ lead to racial profiling by police.” The Chicago Sun Times. July 1, 2022. Accessed October 10, 2022.
  14. LinkedIn. Hatem Abudayyeh. Accessed October 10, 2022.
  15. Arab American Action Network. “Board and Staff.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  16. Arab American Action Network. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2020 Form 990. Accessed October 2, 2022.
  17. [1]MacArthur Foundation. “Arab American Action Network.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
  18. Sparkplug Foundation. “Past & Current Grantees.” Accessed October 2, 2022.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1995

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $647,188 $551,880 $728,905 $135,982 N $645,688 $1,500 $0 $85,717
    2019 Dec Form 990 $476,214 $394,195 $483,313 $17,500 N $463,214 $0 $0 $76,318 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $668,336 $433,921 $401,644 $17,850 N $666,336 $0 $0 $76,107 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $532,478 $467,388 $244,383 $95,004 N $531,125 $1,353 $0 $63,912
    2016 Dec Form 990 $353,248 $373,491 $118,907 $34,618 N $349,742 $3,506 $0 $61,377 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $362,347 $369,761 $117,598 $13,066 N $362,118 $229 $0 $60,484 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $404,903 $409,636 $146,630 $19,008 N $403,206 $1,697 $0 $59,963 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $405,972 $405,876 $162,137 $29,782 N $404,066 $1,906 $0 $57,789 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $476,684 $455,374 $157,563 $25,304 N $474,499 $2,185 $0 $56,708 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $368,101 $350,774 $183,765 $72,816 N $366,322 $1,779 $0 $57,815 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Arab American Action Network

    3148 W 63RD ST
    CHICAGO, IL 60629-2750