Team Member Feature: Maher Darwiche, Director of Development
Team Member Profile: Maher, Director of Development
Maher’s entrepreneurial spirit can be traced back to his childhood days in Lebanon. As a kid, he learned a love of business from his father, who ran his own furniture shop in Beirut. He and his twin brother were even expected to take over the family business, but Maher had other ambitions brewing in his adolescent brain.
He began to seriously pursue these ambitions while pursuing a degree in economics at the Lebanese American University, eventually co-founding his own business, American Food Trading Company. It was also during this time that Maher began to cultivate deeper self-knowledge and personal acceptance.
Upon embracing his gay identity, Maher decided to come out to his family. Considering Lebanon’s conservative legal system and antigay policies, this was no easy decision. But Maher’s navigation of traditional familial and societal expectations in his home country wouldn’t be the last time that the Lebanese native would look uncertainty square in the face.
In 2015, he and his brother relocated to Boston. Though he had already come out to family and close friends in Lebanon, Maher still wasn’t accustomed to being publically open about his sexuality. In his new home, therefore, Maher set out to find an accepting community. In time, he was able to do just that, and for the first time in his life, feels free to express his true identity.
It was his own search for personal and communal acceptance that brought Maher to AsylumConnect. His passion for upholding the rights of LGBTQ+ populations in combination with a strong business acumen serve him well as the organization’s current Director of Development. He says that one of the most rewarding aspects of the position is helping equip fellow LGBTQ+ immigrants with the resources necessary for integration into their new homes.
Maher is grateful to AsylumConnect for the opportunity to pursue work he is passionate about and for fostering a community in which he can be fully himself.