Board of Advisors
Abdul-Malik Ahmad was born in Connecticut in 1975 but spent most of his life in the Washington, D.C. area where he currently resides with his wife and daughter. He was privately educated until his senior year, after which he attended Georgetown University. During that time, he was heavily involved in writing and producing the music for a series of albums that were produced under MYNA Raps. At the same time, Abdul-Malik was able to visit the Middle East and become fluent in the Arabic language and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arabic from Georgetown University.
He has let his bilingual tongue flow with his musical pen. Abdul Malik’s writing talent is such that one listens enthralled at the merging of the two worlds in which he lives, East and West, Muslim and non-Muslim, and which he brings together seamlessly in his music. He transports the listener from the past to the future and back to the present without effort, transcending even time and space. His songs and rhymes are evidence of his passion for a better society as he masterfully writes about many issues that affect non-Muslims and Muslims alike. His ability to capture an audience like a master story teller with his songs and to produce ear-catching rhythms and sounds in the studio with limited instrumentality has put him in the top tier of Muslim Artists. This talented songwriter, producer, and musician is also a devoted husband and father, who believes in building strong family and community ties.
Clinical Social Worker
Ms. Azmeh is a clinical social worker that recently moved from Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has worked in several fields of social work including humanitarian aid, medical social work, and counseling.
For the last 4.5 years, Aliah has worked with Muslim communities in the metro-Detroit area as a counselor and community educator focusing on the areas if counseling, mental health, marriage/family issues, and domestic violence. Aliah now lives in Dublin, Ohio, and has been primarily practicing as a therapist providing pre-marital, marital, individual, and family counseling.
A visionary, with a mission of changing a hopeless past into a hopeful future for families in crisis. Bibi has handled over 600 domestic violence intervention and case management in the past 5 years, and has helped clients with the structured support system needed to regain self-sufficiency and stability within society.
She is also an Advisory Board Member for Muslim Women Leadership Forum. She is a frequent speaker on community engagement, human rights and family crisis issues. She networks with organizations around the US to provide support for the families in crisis.
Her most recent initiatives includes, a full service food pantry, emergency helpline and Speak Up. The Speak Up Program focuses on bringing awareness, outreach and providing resources on issues such as homelessness, hunger, youth, and domestic violence.
She grew up in New York, and resides in Houston with her husband and three kids.
Dr. Cheryl El-Amin
League of Muslim Women, Inc. & ISSA - USA
Dr. El-Amin, PhD., LMSW, has been married 36 years to Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin and has three adult children. She recently retired from a 20 year position as a school social worker for Detroit Public Schools and has past experience as an inpatient psychiatric social worker. Dr. El-Amin received her undergraduate and social work degrees from the University of Michigan. Her doctorate degree was awarded by Walden University after the completion of her dissertation, “Personal and Professional Spirituality: Muslim Social Workers’ Perspectives.”
Dr. El-Amin is a licensed social worker and clinical practitioner. She has collaborated with Dr. Aneesah Nadir on two publications (book chapters) relative to Muslim perspectives in counseling and social work. She has assisted with several Islamic organizations’ (Muslim Americans of North America; Islamic Social Services Association; Institute of Muslim Mental Health) events, including national conferences and representation of ISSA at NASW and other seminar presentations. She continues to pursue special interests and consultation in the areas of marital counseling, pre-marital advisement, spirituality in social work practice, diversity, cultural attunement, mental health, and competence in African-centered and Islamic perspectives. She is a founding member of the League of Muslim Women, Inc. and a board member of the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA).
Dr. Hind El Jarrah
Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents, Dr. Jarrah has been engaged in the promotion of understanding and respect for multicultural diversity since 1982, when she co-founded the Arabic Heritage Society, a non-profit, educational organization.
Texas Muslim Women's Foundation is a non-profit, educational, philanthropic, outreach and social service organization dedicated to empowering Muslim women and their families. The organization was established to end misconceptions about Islam and Muslim women. On its launch in August 2005, 300 Muslim women attended from 29 different countries and 22 different careers.
After September 11, widespread misconceptions about Islam and Muslims resulted in Dr Hind Jarrah becoming a frequent guest speaker on topics, such as core principles of Islam, the peoples and cultures of the Muslim world, women in Islam, and Muslim non-Muslims relations. More recently, Dr. Jarrah was the only Muslim woman in Dallas to participate in the pioneering ISNA/URJ Muslim-Jewish Dialogue held in six cities nationwide. She has organized and participated in interfaith dialogue presentations and panel discussions in schools, colleges, churches, Rotary and Lions Clubs, and international societies. Dr. Jarrah served on the Faith and Feminism Committee at the Dallas Women’s Foundation and on the Board of Trustees from 2006–2009. Dr. Jarrah graduated from the American University of Beirut with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy (1974) and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas (1980). She received her Master’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognition from University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.
Co-Founder and Executive Director Arab American Family Services
Ms. Shalabi earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Jane Adams College of Social Work and officially received the title of Executive Director in mid-2005. In this role, Ms. Shalabi is responsible for all operational aspects of the organization, including overall supervision of the organization’s programmatic, management, and administrative functions. Ms. Shalabi is a recognized trainer locally, nationally and internationally on issues impacting women and children.
A firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel, Ms. Shalabi, looks for partnership and connectedness to already established programs and services for the Arab/Muslim community members throughout the State of Illinois. Ms. Shalabi took the office from a non-existent budget to a budget over $923,000 last year alone. Under her leadership and management, AAFS saw 8,453 families, impacting over 34,897 individuals.
Ms. Shalabi has been recognized for her leadership and dedication to the agency and community. Under Ms. Shalabi leadership, AAFS has received several awards for outstanding community service. Ms. Shalabi took AAFS from a 2 staff agency to 21 staff agency in past fourteen years. Ms. Shalabi sits on several boards and committees as part of a strategic effort to build bridges of communication and resources between Arab/Muslim and mainstream organizations, institutions and governmental agencies.
Riyad Shamma has over 25 years of active youth work experience at all levels of involvement. He is currently completing his doctorate in non-profit management. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Youth Development and Excellence, an organization that trains and develops mentors for communities.
In December 2004, Robina Niaz, MS, MSW, founded Turning Point for Women and Families, the first non-profit in New York City that addresses domestic violence in the Muslim community and has a Youth Program focusing on Muslim girls and young women. She has over 20 years of experience working both with grassroots and main stream non-profit organizations and has served on several boards. She currently serves on the Board of Hartley Film Foundation, Adelphi University Social Work School’s Field Education Advisory Board and the Social Work Advisory Council at Medgar Evers College.
A social worker, an activist and a fierce advocate of Muslim women's rights, Robina has spoken extensively against domestic violence, both locally and nationally, and has received numerous honors and awards. During fall of 2009 Robina was named a CNN Hero and was featured as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center/Georgetown University. In March 2011, Robina was one of the 31 women honored by the Mayor Bloomberg during Women’s History Month and in May 2011 she was named one of the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century by Womens eNews. From 2011 to 2014, Robina has received may other awards Born and raised in Pakistan, Robina has an M.S in Applied Psychology (Pakistan) and an MSW from Hunter College, NY. For more information please visit www.tpny.org
Founder & Director, Being There
Saad Haq is the Founder and Director of Being There, a Charlotte, NC based Interfaith, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on building relationships with people of different faiths through community service and educational programs. These programs have ranged from feeding the homeless to discussion groups to interfaith fast breaking meals and community vigils.Prior to this, he volunteered with Whyislam (an ICNA project) in Philadelphia, PA as the Outreach Coordinator, organizing outreach tables/booths, radio ads, and assisted in getting billboards on highways with the goal to help disseminate information about Islam to those looking for answers.Recently, he created and launched the Muslim StoryTellers (MuST) podcast initiative - with the purpose to take back control of the Muslim Narrative through podcasting real life stories narrated by Muslims who lived these stories.He is presently a member of the Comparative Religion Committee at Temple Beth El, focusing on community speakers series programs, giving perspective on unified themes using religion and ethics. Full time, his 13 year career has been and is spent in the Cable, Consumer, and Custom Electronics industry. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife and 3 children.
Shah Faisal Sayed
Sayed is a passionate local Muslim leader serving the Muslim community of Jacksonvlle, FL, for more than a decade. He volunteers his time at Muslim American Social Services, Jacksonville FL working closely with providers and support staff to ensure that their free medical clinic runs as smooth as possible.
He has participated and served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He has been working as IT professional for last 27 years and is employed with Rimini Street Inc. He is passionate about helping GOD’s creation.
Chaplain Shareda Hosein
Treasurer, The Association of Muslim Chaplains
Shareda Hosein is a retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army Reserves and is a volunteer Community Muslim Chaplain in the Boston area. Shareda served as the Muslim Chaplain at Tufts University from 2006-08. Post 9/11, Shareda was tossed into a speakers circuit to talk about all topics Islamic, and to organize and facilitate interfaith dialogues and workshops. She spoke about these topics in Boston on WRKO, a radio talk show called “Talking Religion.” Her motto is “service to others.”