Omar Kurdi is Jordanian American and is from Cleveland, Ohio. He is the CEO of Friends for Life Rehabilitation Services, an agency that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities. He holds a master's degree in Public Administration and a bachelor's degree in International Relations.
Outside of work, he is a writer and a performing artist. He is a founding member of Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi, a theatre company within Cleveland Public Theatre that aims to connect with the Arabic-speaking communities in Cleveland. With Masrah, Omar has performed in sold out shows in Cleveland, Ohio and Dearborn, Michigan. He was also selected during the pandemic to be part of a diverse cast for a show that was performed live for The Kennedy Center via Zoom.
Omar believes that the arts are the best form of expression, and the best resort away from violence. In August 2020, he was selected as a Notable Immigrant Leader by Crain's Cleveland Business Magazine for his work in Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi. In October 2020, he was selected as one of 40 Under 40 Arab Americans by the Arab American Foundation for his work in Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi. In November 2021, Omar was selected as one of 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by Crain's Cleveland Business Magazine for his leadership and work with adults with disabilities. He was the only Arab American on the list.
Music and theatre played a major role in his upbringing, as he says, "the stage saved me."
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