Raya Abdelaal

I am a story teller, the professional kind, well at least I'd like to think so. According to the university, I graduated from I would be considered a journalist, but who knows which title is more accurate at this point. I am a Palestinian-American, who was born in Russia but grew up in Syria and Jordan but then moved to Michigan and then made my way to Pennsylvania at some point. If you ask me where I am from?- I couldn't give you a definite answer, and you'd probably think I came from Serbia.The love of my life is the art of story telling, I crave to hear people stories, and I get choked up hearing people telling me about their beautifully and sometimes tragic lives.
Throughout college, I dedicated myself to learning more about every multimedia platform there is. This has to lead to me to discover there is no better time than now, to be a journalist. There are so many untold stories out in the world and so many different ways to tell them. My journey for the rest of my life will be to tell these stories, every way I possibly can. I plan on pursuing a job in broadcasting, and I am currently seeking new opportunities.
Besides my weird obsession with listening to people talk, I enjoy crying into my pillow after watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy, trolling Trump supporters on social media, eating as much ice cream as I possibly can, and cuddling with my favorite book at night after a long hard day at work.



Iman Abid is a Palestinian Muslim American currently
residing in New York. She currently works for the New
York Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of NY (NYCLU), working on a number of issues ranging from criminal justice reform to immigration reform. Before the NYCLU, she worked on a number of campaigns as a Campaign Manager and Deputy Field Director. She currently serves as a writer for the international website Muslim Girl.

Amani Ahmed

A second-year student from Princeton, New Jersey, Amani Ahmed is currently attending Duke University. She is a Visual Media Studies Major, pursuing a certificate in Information Science and a minor in Arabic.  On campus, she works with refugees and survivors of sexual assault. She has served as an Editorial Fellow for The Tempest, and continues to write for the site. She has interned with the US State Department Virtual Student Foreign Service and is a Princeton University Muslim Life Program Mizaan Project Fellow. Amani seeks to always be working toward developing and providing platforms and opportunities to people who have traditionally been ignored and disrespected.



Mariam Ahmed

Mariam Ahmed is from Spring, Texas and has worked in public policy and communications roles for a variety of non-profit and government organizations, including The City of Austin, The World Justice Project, and the State Department. She is passionate about social justice and civic engagement, and recently completed a fellowship at the Center for Technology and Civic Life where she worked on research to help make election information more accessible to American voters. Mariam holds a Master of Public of Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Rice University.

Mariam Ahmed Headshot.PNG

Sarah Ahmed

Sarah Ahmed is a proud member of the Texas A&M Class of 2018. She is from Houston, Texas and a first generation Aggie. She is majoring in political science with a minor in history. At Texas A&M, she has been a part of the Muslim Student’s Association and had the opportunity to serve on their officer board. The position allowed her to engage in dialogue and interaction to help educate and respond to misconceptions and issues relating to Islamophobia. She is also involved with Amnesty International USA (AISUA) in the capacity of Legislative Coordinator for the State. The position has allowed her to be well acquainted with various different policies pertaining to human rights issues. Sarah’s work, especially in educating and spreading awareness about the Global Refugee Crisis, has fostered her interest in foreign policy. Her past experiences have made her passionate about the importance of advocacy. She is currently interning at Capitol Hill for the House Democratic Caucus. After graduation she hopes to pursue law school.

Nashwah Akhtar

Nashwah Akhtar is a native of the Bay Area, California, and an alumna of the University of Southern California, where she graduated with a B.A. in Communication and Master of Public Diplomacy. Nashwah currently works in immigration law, and has previously worked with CAIR-SFBA in a media communication and outreach capacity, and with the Institute on Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) on the "Reimagining Muslim Spaces" research study. She is passionate about studying Islam and postcolonialism and addressing the refugee crisis. In her free time, Nashwah like to practice Arabic calligraphy and re-read Harry Potter.  

Nooran Alhamdan

I am the daughter of Palestinian refugees and a first generation American. I am an economics student at the University of New Hampshire , with a passion for international affairs, history, and music. I dream of going to law school when I graduate and specializing in international law. When I was younger, I was motivated to have these aspirations because I wanted to advocate for my ancestral people, who have remained refugees for decades, however in these painful times I find myself even more determined to accomplish my dreams so I can work for all refugees and oppressed people across the world. Since high school I have organized winter clothing drives for Syrian refugees and volunteered in refugee camps in Jordan. I want to work to make the world a better place, so that no child ever has to be born in a refugee camp.


Yasmeen Azam

Yasmeen Azam is a third year at California State University, Long Beach majoring in International Studies and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies as well as Economics. She is part of a quadruplet, has younger twin siblings, and is very family oriented. She serves on her school Senate, MSA, #WeAreCSULB coalition, and is involved with her local Muslim American Society chapter. She hopes to lead  a life of God-consciousness and servitude.


Shahrin Azim

Shahrin Azim is a second year college student at Macaulay Honors College at Queens College pursuing a BA, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Environmental Studies. Aside from the sciences, she is studying Arabic and hopes to learn more languages. Being a Bangladeshi immigrant and living in New York, one of the most diverse places in the world, has allowed her to be more appreciative and curious towards other cultures. She loves experiencing the cuisines of different countries, gallery hopping, and watching classic Bollywood movies. Shahrin has also developed an interest in activism for human rights. She has been involved with the Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment for almost 2 years and has been empowering young Muslim women through programming done by WISE. Currently, she is the NY Regional Director for WISE. In the future, she plans to become a doctor and travel the world, working with Doctor Without Borders.

Zainab Babikir

I am a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering student at NYU.

Fatmata Bah

Hi, my name is Fatmata Bah and I was born in Sierra Leone. I attended the Annie Walsh Memorial School, the first girl's school in West Africa. I was then awarded a scholarship to study at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong for two years. I am the first person in my entire extended family to have received such a scholarship and the first one to have attended college in the United States.
At the end of my two years in Hong Kong, I was awarded the certificate of improvement through effort and secured a full scholarship to attend Middlebury College. At Middlebury, I hope to major in Neuroscience and minor in Global Health. Outside of the classroom, I am a member of numerous social organizations such as Middlebury’s Muslim Students Association and UMOJA, Middlebury’s African group. I enjoy playing soccer and spend my free time reading books.


Lina Barkawi

Lina is Palestinian Panamanian American, born and raised in both Northern Virginia and the Gulf. She currently resides in Virginia, working as a management consultant with Accenture. Lina strongly believes in the importance of leveraging individual strengths specifically targeted at positively disrupting lives, whether that be by large corporations striving to give back or at the local level through volunteerism, community organizing, and civic engagement. While a university student, she founded a Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine chapter and participated in the Know Thy Heritage program, continuing to serve as a perpetual link to promote peace, justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination for Palestinians. At Accenture, Lina played an integral role in providing guidance to the private sector to make sustainable commitments aimed at resolving the refugee crisis via the Accenture-led Partnership for Refugees initiative. She holds a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.


Mona Bennani

Mona Bennani grew up in a multi-generational Moroccan household in Southern California. She pursued nursing at CSUF School of Nursing with the conviction that she was going to serve in the places no one wanted to go. Alongside her studies she pursued her other heart calling- sustainability and ecological regeneration as a farmer in training at Sarvodaya Farm. An internship at the IRC’s Policy and Advocacy office in DC changed her direction from nursing to humanitarian policy. After her first semester as a Master’s student at NYU, she discovered the nexus of her passions could be found in the discipline of peacebuilding. She is currently interning at the UN to complete a study on Youth, Peace and Security as part of SCR 2250. She is a graduate consultant to Eco Peace Middle East and will be traveling to Duhok, Iraq in the summer to implement a Good Water Neighbours Project.


Zamara Choudhary

Zamara Choudhary is a first year student in the M.A. Arts Administration program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She graduated summa magna cum laude from CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in 2016, where she majored in History with minors in English and Arabic Studies. A native Brooklynite, Zamara enjoys exploring the diaspora of cultural organizations in New York City, and dreamed of working in a museum as a child. Zamara has interned at Studio in a School, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Brooklyn Museum. She hopes to use her unique multicultural background and passion for social justice to facilitate cross-cultural understanding and exchange through the arts.

Zamara Choudhary.jpg

Sayeeda Chowdhury

My name is Sayeeda Chowdhury. I am a first year medical student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who is pursuing a dual degree, MD/MPH. I help to lead the medical school’s chapters of the Muslim Students Association, the American Medical Women’s Association, and the Human Rights and Social Justice Program. On weekends, I am a Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Advocate (SAVI) as a part of the Mount Sinai Hospital’s SAVI program. Before medical school, I received a B.A. in Political Science and Human Rights Certificate from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. I aspire to integrate my passion for human rights activism into my medical career. Also, I am a New York native and hope to serve the various immigrant communities that I grew up in as well as cherish.

Sanjidah Chowdhury

is a student at NYU: Steinhardt majoring in Applied Psychology. She aspires to become a mental health counselor to better serve the needs of women, Muslims, and the south Asian community. She is excited to start helping those community through her work at WISE by bringing more awareness to the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence. Most of the time you can find Sanjidah with her nose in a book and music blasting through her headphones.  

Sayeeda C.jpg
Sanjidah Choudery.jpg

Meili Criezis

I am currently a senior majoring in History and French at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. My parents adopted me from China when I was 11 months old and I grew up in Houston. My mom's family has roots from the Czech Republic and my dad's family is from Greece, Turkey and Albania. Coming from a multi-ethnic/multi-racial family has made me think a lot about how various identities intersect and it has also fueled my interests in History, revolutions and languages. This past summer, I went to Paris on a grant with a professor from my university as a research assistant where we conducted archival research on the Algerian Revolution for Independence. I’m currently working on an ethnographic research project documenting anti-Muslim bias in Texas. These experiences solidified my desire to pursue a career oriented in the human rights/international relations/research field where I hope I can make a positive difference.


Fajr DeLane

Fajr Malika DeLane is a Bill & Melinda Gates Scholar that attends Howard University as a Freshman. She started her own clinic for empowering young girls to achieve their ultimate best by having fun, being fit and fabulous aka F to the third power. She is very active in her community and is a driving force for positive change.


Maryam Elarbi

Maryam Elarbi is an activist, writer, and photographer based in Philadelphia, PA. Her professional background is in the non-profit sector, specializing in media, and marketing & communications. Organizations she has worked for include Invisible Children, WHYY, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Off-the-clock, she can be found explaining why almost everything is problematic, and urging anyone who will listen to dismantle the capitalist white-supremacist cis-hetero patriarchy - the root of all social ill. Maryam graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2015, with a major in International Studies and a minor in History. She is an ENFP.

Maryam - preferred.jpg

Kristin Garrity Sekerci

Kristin Garrity Şekerci is a Research Fellow at Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, a multiyear research project that connects the academic study of Islamophobia with the public square. Garrity Şekerci’s research focus includes questions of identity and racialization of and within U.S. Muslim communities. He has been published in London School of Economics Blog, Feminist Studies in Religion Blog and Huffington Post, and has been featured in Reuters, AJ+ and Baltimore’s WYPR. She received her M.A. in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs from American University.


Kanwal Haq

Kanwal is dedicated to serving underrepresented and marginalized populations; during university she focused in Human Development and Family Studies, Psychology, Leadership and Public Service, and Multicultural Studies, and spent time abroad studying community wellbeing in Kigali, Rwanda. After completing her undergraduate studies, Kanwal served as an educator through the Americorp Urban Education Fellowship in Newark, NJ and as an intern Advisor to the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations before moving to Boston to start her graduate studies on well-being within the Muslim American community. Kanwal is currently working on a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropology from Boston University School of Medicine and works as the Director of Development and Community Engagement for Jetpac Inc, a nonprofit that trains Muslim Americans and allies to run for office.

Kaitlyn Halloran

Hello! My name is Kaitlyn and I am Mechanical Engineer born and raised in Jersey. I got my Bachelors of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and started my masters at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for Molecular Bioscience. Shortly after starting my masters I switched my major to Wastewater Engineering and moved back to the east coast for work. I now work for New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Wastewater Treatment as a Mechanical Engineer in Queens NY. My lifelong career goal is to develop wastewater infrastructure and STEM education in developing countries. I am also an avid baker and chef, Bayern Munchen fan, and marine life enthusiast.


Aliah Hasan

Aliah Hasan is a Domestic Violence Advocate at the International Institute of Buffalo, where she provides resources and rights-based education to immigrant and refugee survivors. She also serves on several area coalitions to offer immigrant-specific support for the development of policies aimed at improving immigrant access to and experience of the criminal justice system. Aliah studied Political Science and International Relations at The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate student, she co-founded “Faith and Chai,” an interfaith dialogue series, recognized in 2015 as an “Outstanding Program” by the OSU Multicultural Center. Previous to her current role, Aliah interned for the U.S. Senate, and worked on voter engagement at the League of Women Voters of Ohio. When she is not doing community work, Aliah enjoys performing music, being a die-hard Cavaliers and Buckeyes fan, and learning to make a mean biryani. She plans to pursue law school in the near future.


Faridat Ilupeju

My name is Faridat (Fa-ree-da) Ilupeju. I am a Nigerian-American Muslim. I am a junior attending Boston University. I major in Health Science (Pre-Dental) and minor in African Studies. I believe that the best and most gratifying experiences in life are the ones where you spend time helping others and I plan to help others in the healthcare sector and through social empowerment. As a Nigerian-American, black, Muslim, female, born and raised in the U.S., my role in social empowerment is to be visible, insightful and to be heard. We live in an interactive world with many different minds and beliefs that are not always familiar to us. Engaging with others fuels the connections we make which ultimately makes better living conditions for all people as a whole.

Ayesha Islam_Photograph.jpg

Ayesha Islam

Ayesha Islam is a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania majoring in Political Science and double-minoring in Arabic and Creative Writing. This past summer, she interned with Center for American Progress in Washington DC. The summers before that, Ayesha interned with New York Supreme Court, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign office and transition team. She has worked with Amnesty International for four years, and currently serves as the President of her college’s Amnesty chapter. She also serves as the Secretary for her college’s Muslim Students’ Association, and a Coordinator for the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament’s Philadelphia branch. She is a current Young People For (YP4) Fellow and an alum of Harvard's Public Policy Leadership Conference. In the future, Ayesha hopes to fight against police brutality, post-9/11 discrimination against Muslim-Americans, and violence against women -- including human trafficking and girls’ education in developing countries

Aisha Iqbal

Aisha Iqbal is a recent graduate of the George Washington University where she majored in Economics and International Affairs and held minors in Statistics and Sustainability. Currently, she is working as an Advanced Analytics Consultant for IBM assisting mainly federal clients such as the US Postal Service and the US Agency for International Development. Her interest lies in the intersection of data within public policy and public service and through the WISE fellowship, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how to leverage her quantitative background through active community engagement.

Anum Iqbal

Anum Iqbal is a medical student in Southern California. She is passionate about providing holistic care to her future patients in underserved communities and advocating for their rights. She's currently working on her first book about her experience as a Pakistani Muslim American woman through medical training. In her free time she enjoys reading texts by women of color, traveling, taking photos, blogging and generally nurturing her creative side.


Zareen Kamal

Zareen Kamal is an Early Childhood Educator and graduate student at Dominican University (MSEd in Early Childhood Education). She currently works at a community-based organization, serving 19 preschool children from low-income, minority families. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a focus on education policy, from Loyola University Chicago in 2015, and then worked as a Youth Development Specialist at a nonprofit after-school program before joining Teach For America. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Sociology of Education with research projects focused on social inequality and urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools. Born and raised in the Logan Square community of Chicago, Zareen enjoys exploring the city, spending time with family and friends, reading, and good food.


Yusra Khafagi

I graduated from UC Irvine with a major in International Studies in June 2016. While in undergrad I quickly became involved in campus organizing through the Cross Cultural Center home to all the original minority clubs (BSU, MEChA, AISA, APSA, and eventually MSU). I served as the At-Large Representative for the Cross Cultural Center on the Legislative Council and used my experience to help pass BDS at UC campuses. Recognizing my passion, I applied and was accepted as the Youth Development Intern at CAIR in the summer of 2014. I was asked to continue as the Bridging Communities Intern for the 2014-2015 academic year. In my last year in college I was nominated to serve on board as the Secretary of SJP and the treasurer of MSU. In the fall of 2016, I joined CAIR-LA's team as the Leadership Development Coordinator. In this position, I have been charged with the responsibility of playing a central role in promoting civic engagement in the SoCal Muslim community by developing educational programs to develop leadership.


Anqa Khan

I am a Kashmiri-American from Jersey City, NJ studying Film Studies and Biology at Mount Holyoke College. As a future physician and community activist, I believe health care is a human right and hope to practice urban medicine in underserved communities like my own. I'm excited to connect with other Muslim women to dialogue on how to organize effectively and in an intersectional way, particularly for working-class communities.


Taylor Amari Little

A freshman at Eastern Michigan University studying Criminology. She is unapologetically Black, queer, femme, Muslim, and practices the traditional West African spiritual tradition Ifa as well. She is a poet, activist, student, educator, and was also privileged to become a TEDx speaker at the age of 17. Her activism comes in many forms, but she always centers marginalized peoples first because no one is free until the communities who are least thought of and underprivileged are, too.


Sana Mahmood

Sana Mahmood is a senior at George Mason University pursuing a double bachelors degree in Information Systems and Operations Management and Marketing, with the hopes of attaining her J.D. after undergrad. She is the Founder and CEO of Veiled Beaut; a company she started in April of 2016 with the goal of catering to the modest fashion market as well as educating and empowering young Muslims through her platform as she engages in partnerships with non-profits, local activists, and aspiring young Muslim leaders. She currently serves as a Neighbornet Coordinator for Young Muslims, a national organization dedicated towards molding our Muslim youth into leaders and equipping them with the necessary skills needed to become societal change makers. Sana also serves as a Volunteer Coordinator for Helping Hand, a non-profit organization dedicated towards serving those in need, as she organizes events and gives presentations based on her experience working with refugees abroad.

Hibba Meraay

Hibba Meraay is currently a Policy Fellow at The Greenlining Institute, a racial and economic justice organization in Oakland, California. She works to empower communities of color and low income communities through advocacy, research and coalition building. She graduated from Boston University in 2016, where she double majored in Economics and International Relations. As an undergraduate, she pursued her passion for public policy outside of the classroom through internships with the Massachusetts State Legislature and the U.S. Department of State. Outside of work, she is active in the Bay Area organizing scene and enjoys cooking for friends.


Mahnoor Mirza

Mahnoor is a junior, majoring in psychology and minoring in business and counseling at Queens College at the City University of New York. Mahnoor has a wide range of experiences from her extra-curricular in tech, law, journalism, and editing. She is passionate about all these areas and more and making a unique difference in them. Mahnoor is also the founder of Nisa at Queens College. Nisa is a student organization that focuses on the empowerment of women, specifically Muslim women, through programs that focus on social growth, physical and mental health, and spirituality. This past February, Nisa also cosponsored an event with Ibtihaj Muhammad as the keynote speaker.

Hina Muneeruddin

Hinasahar Muneeruddin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Northwestern University in Psychology and Middle East Studies in 2014. Hina is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Islamic Studies at Columbia University, alongside a Graduate Certificate in Feminist Scholarship.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of Islam, gender (feminism), race, and subjectivity.

Hinasahar-9 2.jpg

Syeda Nasim

My first exposure to the Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment was the summer I joined the Mentee Muslimah program. Since then I’ve become a co-coordinator of the NY Leadership-Fellowship Program with Shahrin Azim, who is also currently the regional director of WISE NY. As far as my academic background, I am a Mathematics and Physics major at Hunter College of the City University of New York, as well as a research fellow at AstroCom NYC, an affiliation between the City University of New York, the American Museum of Natural History, and Columbia University.


Sherin Nassar

My name is Sherin Nassar, a senior at the George Washington University majoring in International Affairs and Economics. I have previously interned with the U.S. Department of State and Amazon's Emerging Markets team. I have also taught English in China, studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey and speak fluent Arabic. I'm so excited to join a group of passionate young women looking to pave a way forward for our community.


Sherin Nassar Headshot.jpg

Iman Omer

My name is Iman Omer, I'm a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying in the College of Arts and Sciences. I came to the US from the United Arab Emirates, but the I'm ethnically Sudanese. My hobbies include playing soccer, arts and crafts, photography, and reading. My other interests include the languages and cultures of other countries and how they merge and interacts. I am also a foodie and reality television addict.

Hedyeh Rezaei

My name is Hedyeh, which means gift in Farsi, and identify with the gender pronoun she, her, hers. Some of the identities that I hold such as an Indian/ Iranian, queer, womyn, artist, spiritual being, and an activist for equity has built an unbreakable resilience within me to fight for justice. As a refugee, I was adopted in to a Middle Eastern family where I was raised in a Muslim and Baha’i house hold. After coming out as queer, I found it difficult to be accepted in either communities and cultural groups in which I belong to. Through this struggle, I have gained strength, purpose and meaning for my existence, which allowed me to regain my confidence and faith in my higher powerMy faith has led me to see the true gift of being of service to others. It has been an honor and my mission to continue to advocate for Muslim LGBTQ+ individuals within my community. My passion and work is deeply rooted in mental health and neuropsychology. I believe that our mental health is one of the most important aspects to feeling joy and experiencing the gifts of our self as a whole withinKnowledge brings power, as I finish my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology I plan on pursuing a higher education within the field of Social Work and Clinical Psychology. I hope that through my work and vulnerability of fully embracing all of myself, I empower and inspire Muslim LGBTQ+ individuals to know that they matter, and that they are worth every fight for justice.


Katarina Rodriguez

Katarina is a senior at Queens College majoring in English and Sociology with a minor in Arabic. She is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow and has participated in several internships through CUNY. Katarina is interested in learning more about how creative expression can be a tool through which minoritized populations can heal and empower themselves.







Samar Saif is a Freshman at UCSD currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology and a Minor in Human Rights. She is currently TEDI Creative Director through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Founder of the collective for women of color "Nobody's Betis", QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) Co-coordinator, and a spokesperson for the Shoptunnelvision Unity Campaign. She has been a panelist on a talk about “The Stigmas of Mental Health in Communities of Color” and facilitated her own talk through UCSD Chai Talks about “The Fetishization of Women of Color”. She commissioned a visual art project on “The Fetishization of Women of Color” that will be show cased in “Artwallah” an art show centered on the experience of the South Asian Diaspora. In the next few months she is working to create a workshop called “The Unapologetic Manifesto” to combat the internalization and invalidation of women’s’ emotions and was selected for NCORE, a delegation for higher education for marginalized groups, and BASS, an activist program for South Asians. She has interned with domestic abuse shelters in the past and is currently trying to combat domestic abuse in her Muslim community.

Adiba Salim

Adiba Salim is Genetics and Spanish double major as well as a member of the Rutgers University Honors College Class of 2019. As a Resident Assistant for over 500 students, Adiba aims to develop a healthy, supportive, and inclusive living and learning community committed to spreading cultural awareness and sensitivity as well as promoting diversity, social justice, and mental health advocacy. She also serves on the executive board for the Association of Undergraduate Geneticists, is a Research Assistant, and is the co-founder & CBDO of Exalight, a social innovation start-up company that serves to treat jaundice with the hopes of reducing infant mortality on a global scale. Born in Massachusetts and raised in New Jersey by Bangladeshi parents, Adiba finds her rich cultural identity and faith as a source of intrigue and self-discovery. She loves to bike, paint, and learn languages and aspires to be a OB-GYN.


YARAH shabana

Yarah is a Queens College student majoring in Media Studies with minors in journalism, psychology, and business. Her passion about cultures, faiths, and languages motivated her to apply to cultural dialogue programs including the Ibrahim Leadership Dialogue in the Middle East and the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious understanding at her college.
Yarah was born and raised in the US with a gap of 10 years which she spent in Egypt. She volunteered at AIESEC Egypt helping other students find internships abroad. This experience strengthened her communication skills and allowed her to interact with people of different nationalities. She then came back to the US continuing to give back to her community by interning at Planned Parenthood of NYC. Yarah loves to travel, read, write, and sing. She writes for her college paper, The Knight News and aspires towards a career in international news correspondence along with public service.


Inaara Shiraz

Inaara is a sophomore in Harvard College pursuing a Joint degree in History & Literature and Theater, Dance, Media. Inaara enjoys theater and is the Historian of the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club (HRDC). During her free time, Inaara also enjoys serving as an EMT with Crimson EMS. Inaara hopes to study the South Asian/ South Asian-American Diaspora and it’s intersection in art after college.



Sumbul Siddiqui

Sumbul Siddiqui is an attorney at Northeast Legal Aid (NLA), a nonprofit legal services organization serving low income communities in Essex and Northern Middlesex communities. A first-generation immigrant from Pakistan, Sumbul has a deep and long-standing commitment to the economic development of low-income and immigrant communities and works to ensure that the voices of those communities are heard. Sumbul  is a graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Prior to Northwestern, she obtained a bachelor's degree in Public Policy from Brown University. Between college and law school, Sumbul completed an AmeriCorps fellowship at New Profit, a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund that invests in social entrepreneurs. She is currently a board member of Cambridge School Volunteers, Inc., a commissioner on the Cambridge Human Services Commission, board member of the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, and a board member of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin Alumni Association.

Nour Sulaiman

Nour is a law student at Northeastern University School of Law. She grew up in Kuwait. She attended the University of Virginia for her undergraduate degree, and majored in Foreign Affairs. She has interned for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (civil rights group), the International Rescue Committee (immigration department), and will be working for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office this summer. At Northeastern, she volunteers for the International Refugee Assistance Project. She is on the Committee Against Institutional Racism, is a member of the National Lawyers Guild, and helped found the Muslim Law Student Association.              

Salwa Tareen, Headshot.JPG

Salwa Tareeen

Salwa Tareen is a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School studying religion and politics in South Asia. She seeks to explore the intersections of language, identity, and power whether in the form of poetry, dialogue, or academic research. Her work has appeared in Brown Girl Magazine, Project As[I]Am, and The Aerogram. As a Pakistani-American woman born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Canada, in her spare time Salwa enjoys crafting clever quips to the question: "No, where are you really from?”



Rula Thabata

Rula Thabata political science and sociology student at Loyola University New Orleans. Interested in the relationship between religion and gender, much of her research focuses on faith and civic engagement. She is passionate about young people becoming engaged in their communities and creating platforms for mentor-ship for women in particular. When she is not running around, Rula is writing, running, or working to encourage women in her city to run for office and beyond. It is important to her to aid in having women assume leadership positions in diverse range of fields, she is one of the founding members Women in Politics organization at her university. More recently, she has sought to create and take part in interfaith leadership initiatives for young people for them to have a space that is not traditionally granted. Her future plans involve helping shape social and public policy to create positive change.

Aroona Toor

Aroona Toor is the Founder and Executive Director of the Muslim Women’s Professional Network, an organization that aims to engage, empower and connect Muslim women with a focus on professional development and service. She attended Saint Louis University for her undergraduate studies in Public Health, International Studies and Spanish and for her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. She serves on the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Advisory Council as the APIASF Liaison. She is also an advisor for the American Cancer Society’s Young Professionals and Millennials Roundtable. Her advocacy work consists of advocating for legislation supporting those affected by cancer as a volunteer state and national lobbyist for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and against Missouri bills marginalizing immigrants and refugees for the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates. In the near future, Aroona plans to attend law school with a focus on International and Public Interest Law.


Noor Traina

Noor Traina is a second year undergraduate student at Bunker Hill Community College from which she is earning her associate degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Noor strives to share the enlightening intellectual skills the discipline provides. She does this through her leadership as President of the college’s first Philosophy club and Writer’s Block club. Through these activities she encourages students to think deeply, logically, and creatively about existential questions. Noor plans on transferring to a four-year university in Fall of 2017 to earn her bachelor’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to create a non-profit organization that develops Muslim women’s analytical skills, logic, and reasoning to uncover philosophical questions around their role in society. Passionate, dedicated, and ambitious, Noor works towards this long-term goal through her academic involvement in several philosophical study groups, community service programs, and training in religious leadership.

noor traina.JPG

Myra Noor Waheed

Myra Noor Waheed is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Political Science and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She's particularly interested in issues of decentralization and social accountability, having worked at the World Bank and operating a nonprofit. She hopes to attend this conference in memory of Deah, Yusor and Razan and dedicate her life to promoting active engagement and lifelong public service to her respective communities.


Leila Warraich

Leila Warraich is a current graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University obtaining her Masters in Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the School of Education. Leila had a very unique childhood as she lived eight years in Texas, five years in Pakistan and six years in Qatar. Leila graduated with her Bachelors from Texas A&M University in May 2016. While there, she was heavily involved the Muslim Students’ Association, serving as a board member for three years. She also served for three years on the University’s after-hours crisis telephone line, HelpLine, providing peer support and referrals to students in need. Leila is passionate about mental health, especially in eliminating stigma surrounding Muslim communities. Upon her graduation, Leila plans (Insha'Allah) to be working as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor working with minority and low-income populations.


Sumaiya Zama

Sumaiya Zama is an Indian American feminist, poet, artist, youth worker, and activist. A recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Boston, she received a bachelor’s degree in political science with minors in human rights and Africana studies. Most recently, she was elected to the committee of human rights serving the town of Easton. She is passionate about how the elements of identity politics impact public policy in the domestic and international arenas. She aspires to dedicate her life to the causes of youth advocacy, environmental and social justice, and Black Lives Matter. In her leisure time, she blogs on contemporary issues and politics, travels for service, and performs her poetry at local venues.