Executive Committee Member
My name is Malek Anton Khawam and I am Lebanese American. I am studying law at Cleveland-Marshall and following the Bar exam, in July inshallah, I will practice in Cleveland, Ohio. I was born in Spokane, Washington where my mother completed her residency. I grew up in Cleveland’s westside suburbs and currently live in the West Bank of the Flats in Downtown Cleveland. My educational path began at Westlake High School and ended at Cleveland State University where I completed my BA in Urban Studies, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctorate. People I look up to in pursuit of my personal and professional aspirations are undoubtedly my mother and father, in pursuit of values, person goals, and how to live virtuously. Dave Chappelle and Dr. Ronnie Dunn were instrumental in nudging me towards a path of social justice. I have many legal mentors that impress upon me daily.
I currently work at Mansour Gavin, LPA a midsize law firm in Cleveland established in 1954. Mansour Gavin has the personality of a boutique law firm but offers large firm capabilities. Ernie Mansour, the founding partner of the firm and the son of two Lebanese immigrants, instituted the practice of treating clients as friends. Mansour Gavin treats the relationship between client and attorney, not merely transactional, but as a valued relationship built on trust and communication. Today Mansour Gavin boasts 20+ attorneys that are prepared to address just about every legal challenge.
I am incredibly proud of my Arab heritage. Arabs are a passionate people and are unwavering in their generosity. An Arab’s sense of humor is side-splitting and is an appendage to every conversation, whether intentionally or inadvertently. My heritage is deeply rooted in my family – a family which gives me purpose and unconditional love. My favorite quote is by Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet who wrote “And you became like the coffee, in the deliciousness, and the bitterness and the addiction.” My message to the Arab American community is that our Arab identify is unique, beautiful, and to be celebrated. Embrace it and uplift each other.