Peoria, the home town of Caterpillar, is located in the mid-south part of Illinois. It is a small town but rich with professionals and good size of distinguished engineers from Arabic heritage. Peoria Arab engineers from allover the Arab world, are highly motivated and professional individuals, who work for caterpillar, Department of transportation, Bradley University or/and engineering firms. The Arab started migrating to Peoria, early 1800’s from Lebanon and Palestine to establish a strong well-connected Arab community. The different generations have built a strong reputation for the Arab culture and ethnicity.
In the fall of 1996, a group of individuals gathered to discuss the need for an organization to serve the interests of Arab American Engineers and Architects in the Chicagoland area. After a year of planning, they convened more than fifty (50) engineers and architects to elect the first board of directors for the newly founded Arab-American Association of Engineers and Architects (AAAEA). Shortly after, the organization was registered with the State of Illinois as a non-profit professional organization.
Today, the organization has over two hundred members. Among the members are Educators, Practicing Engineers, Architects, Computer Scientists, Engineering Company Owners, Partners, and Students.
In 2005 time frame, Chicago mother chapter had contacted key personnel in Peoria area to establish and kick off “Peoria Chapter”, the kick off meeting was held in Dec of 2005 at Terra Engineering Office in downtown Peoria, several individuals from Chicago (Bilal Masri, Moe, ..) and from Peoria (George Ghareeb, Mustafa Alsaleh, Hussien Albakhit, Imad Bushara, Ali Bitar, George Nasr, Riyadh Hindi, etc) have attended the meeting. A steering committee was established and chapter was registered and kicked off.
Peoria chapter has been distringuishly holding and organizing professional and social events, on average 6 events a year. Many connections and relationships had been established and several individuals had benefited from this organization. We look forward to sereve our fellow Arab engineers and bring this orgization up to the highest level.