Asmaa Abou-Fouda is December 2022’s Public Servant of the Month
December 20, 2022
REVERE, MA – At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Revere knew there was more they could do when it came to translating and interpreting important public health communications for various Revere communities. Asmaa Abou-Fouda, currently Revere’s Language Access Specialist, stepped up to the plate the first week of the pandemic’s spread through our community – by filming and interpreting the Mayor’s COVID-19 messages into Arabic. As one of the largest Arabic-speaking communities in the Commonwealth, the need for reliable communication at this time was imperative. So much, in fact, that regional Arabic speakers turned to Asmaa’s videos at the height of the pandemic to hear important information about the spread, masking, and vaccination clinics when their own cities fell short. Through her work in bridging the gap between the Arabic-speaking community of Revere, Asmaa Abou-Fouda is a clear winner of the Public Servant of the Month title.
Q: What does Revere mean to you?
A: I came to Revere in 2008 from my home country Egypt. I have lived here since then and all my five children grew up in the Revere Public Schools. I have worked with the community for the past 15 years. During the pandemic, I was a Covid ambassador where I helped residents with food assistance, rental assistance, vaccines, and other resources. I also translated the Mayor’s weekly press releases and recorded daily Revere TV videos to inform the Arabic community about resources and updates. Revere is my home and I want to continue working and giving back to my community.
Q: What do you do for the City of Revere?
A: I’m the Language Access Specialist working to ensure all information released by the city is translated into all major languages, such as Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese. From flyers to videos, I work to ensure everyone has access to all resources and updates! I am also on the City Disability Commission to help families with kids with disabilities and get them the help they need, and I run the Revere Arabic Community Facebook page. It is important to translate materials to make sure all members of the community are involved in decisions affecting them as well as have an equal opportunity to resources.
Q: What is the Revere Arabic Community Facebook page and why did you create it?
A: I created the Revere Arabic community Facebook earlier this year to make an easily accessible page for the Arabic community. Available resources and opportunities are all sent out in Arabic. This page now serves as a bridge between me and the Arabic community and has reached almost 1k members in less than a year.
Q: What do you wish more people in the City knew about your work?
A: I wish for everyone in the city to know about and have access to all the translations and resources available to them, that way they feel included and aware of the tools available to them. I also want people to know that my role is also under the Talent and Culture department and I want to represent the different cultures in Revere. For example, I helped in the Flag Raisings of Latin Flags, helped the city host a watch party for the World Cup, and hosted the first Ramadan Iftar Dinner 2022. I want to continue representing more cultures.