Every time I pick up my bright orange Main Street Connect tote bag, I am reminded of all that bag represents – for our family and especially for our Montgomery County community. My daughter, Nadia, has been my partner in advocacy all her life. She has testified before the Montgomery County Council, presented at Parent Academies and conferences and been an ever-ready source of information at our annual Transitioning Youth Resource Fairs sponsored by the Transition Work Group. Most recently, she urged the Rockville Planning Commission to support Main Street’s development plans on Monroe Place and “help make Montgomery County an inclusive community”.

Now, Main Street is not just a dream but an actual building rising higher each day. And Nadia is living independently in Rockville – working, volunteering, on and offstage with ArtStream and Silver Spring Stage, playing tennis and juggling a busy social life. But she is still eager to walk in the door and share in all the activities planned for Main Street.

 In addition to our disability advocacy, Nadia and I usher at Olney Theatre and attend as many live performances as we can, especially plays by William Shakespeare and August Wilson. We love visiting her older brother, Adam, his wife, Tina, and their toddler son in New York City. We also travel with Nadia’s Egyptian dad, Tharwat, to Egypt, of course, but to as many new places as we possibly can. We love to sample the food on our travels. It’s been inspiration to Nadia who has become a very good cook!