(From left) Shanan Stratis, Michelle Savrann, Dr. Said Nafai and Dr. James Keane

QCC's Occupational Therapy Assistant program got a special visit last month from Dr. Said Nafai, who has been referred to by some as the "father of occupational therapy in Morocco."

Nafai was born and raised in Morocco and started at QCC in the ESL program. With the encouragement of his family, he enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, received his associate degree in 2005 and hasn't stopped since. An articulation agreement allowed Nafai to easily transfer to Salem State University where he received a bachelor's and master's degree, and eventually achieving a doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. 

"It all started for me at Quinsigamond Community College. The immeasurable support that I received, while first studying English as a second language, led me to study to become an occupational therapy assistant. QCC gave me the strong foundation to further my career and dreams. My family and I will be forever grateful for the way QCC got me started on my educational journey,"Nafai said.

While currently an Associate OT Professor at American International College in Springfield, Nafai continues to work as an occupational therapist in rehabilitation hospitals and skilled rehabilitation facilities. He founded and currently serves as the President of the Occupational Therapy Association of Morocco.

Nafai is extremely active in the OT community, currently serving as the Morocco delegate to World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and the President of the Arab Occupational Therapy Regional Group to WFOT. He is also the cofounder of the Arab American Occupational Therapy Group.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters and has presented worldwide about the distinct value of occupational therapy. Nafai is a firm believer in the role of advocacy in this profession. He is a member of the GATE Community, a group that is part of the World Health Organization, which aims to improve access to assistive technology worldwide.

Additionally, Nafai is a certified lymphedema therapist and certified aging in place specialist. He is a board member of the Lymphedema Advocacy Group that aims to improve access to proper care for people with lymphedema in the United States. 

During his visit, Nafai graciously presented an artisan gift from Morocco to Dr. James Keane as an expression of his gratitude to QCC.

Tagged As