A Community Board 11 committee chairman is hoping to bring a shy community into the fold.
Since 2016, Morris Park native Yahay Obeid has served as the board’s Public Safety Committee chairman after being appointed by Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
According to Jeremy Warneke, CB 11 district manager, Obeid is the first board member from the district’s burgeoning Muslim community appointed to the board in recent memory.
As the Public Safety Committee chairman, Obeid communicates with the 49th Precinct on all matters regarding crime and crime prevention, the FDNY and the criminal justice system.
“He’s been a positive influence in our community. If there’s ever any local issues, he always gets involved and works to have them properly addressed,” stated Anthony Vitaliano, the board’s chairman.
Vitaliano added that Obeid also acts as a liaison to the Bronx Muslim Center which helps better connect CB 11 with its many Muslim residents.
Obeid graduated from the NYPD Citizens Police Academy on Wednesday, December 27 which was the first graduation ceremony he has ever attended.
“We have a safe community already, but the goal is to make it safer,” he said. “Taking the Citizens Police Academy class has made me understand what the NYPD goes through on a daily basis and will allow me to better address some misconceptions our communities may have with the police.”
Obeid is also a member of the Morris Park Community Association and the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance and the Bronx Muslim Center’s director of outreach.
Located at 702 Rhinelander Avenue, the Bronx Muslim Center serves approximately 500 worshippers every Friday and nearly 5,000 during holy days such as Eid.
As director of outreach, Obeid’s goal is to integrate the Muslim community into the larger community.
“Our Muslim community doesn’t tend to get involved in the surrounding community and usually isolates itself due to its own comfort,” he explained. “There is a gradual change to have the Muslim community open up more with our neighbors.”
Obeid has taught beginner English once a week to adults at the Bronx Muslim Center’s program ‘Revolution for Culture and Education: Journey to Knowledge’ which is free and open to the public.
He has expressed interest in continuing the class following his Citizens Police Academy graduation.
Obeid’s family emigrated from their native Yemen to the United States in 1991 when he was 8-years-old.
A flyboy at heart, he pursued his passion for aviation by earning his private pilot license in 2003.
In 2005, Obeid earned his Bachelor of Science degree in airline management from Vaughn College of Aeronautics.
His Federal Aviation Administration career took off in 2008 when he started as an air traffic controller at JFK Airport.
As the FAA’s New York Terminal assistant district manager, his office supports air traffic operations for 7,000 to 8,000 flights daily.
From 2009 to 2012, Obeid was an adjunct professor teaching Aviation Weather and Air Traffic classes at his alma mater.
He was previously employed with Transportation Security Administration at LaGuardia Airport and Orlando International Airport from 2005 to 2008 and for Swissport International Ltd. at JFK from 2004 to 2006.