Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr
fitness expert Zainab Ismail
Dr. Sarah Sayeed
Dr. Zain Abdullah
Melanie Elturk, Haute Hijab
Dr. Debbie Almontaser
Nicole Najmah Abraham
Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakrRashidah Ismaili-AbuBakr is a poet, playwright, essayist, and short story writer born in Benin and based in New York City. “New York is like my country.
Saffet Catovic Saffet Catovic has a very long and distinguished history of service and activism in the New York City and New Jersey Muslim communities. In recent years, his specific focus has been interfaith environmental justice.
fitness expert Zainab IsmailZainab Ismail runs “Fit for Allah”, which takes on prophetic traditions regarding health, medicine, and food, and melds them with fitness practices.
Dr. Sarah SayeedDr. Sarah Sayeed, a prominent example of a Muslim woman in democratic practice, is a senior advisor in the Community Affairs Unit of the New York City government.
Dr. Zain AbdullahDr. Zain Abdullah teaches religion and society and Islamic studies at Temple University, and he is the author of Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem. Abdullah is working with film crews for a three-part PBS special on Muslim Americans and a six-part series on Malcolm X for Netflix
Melanie Elturk, Haute HijabMelanie Elturk is CEO and founder of Haute Hijab, the leading hijab brand in the United States. She founded the company with her husband in 2010, and they both now work at the company full-time.
Ahsia BadiAhsia Badi works at The New York Academy of Medicine as a senior policy associate, focused on projects associated with creating healthier communities and improving aging policy. “I love the city, I love it, I love it,”
Abeda KhanamAbeda Khanam has been a biology teacher at Robert F. Wagner High School for 20 years. “Kids see me as someone who looks at science as a universal language,” she explains. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the school’s chapter of the National Honors Society. She further founded and serves as the faculty advisor of both the diversity and garden club.
Shazia ChoudriShazia Choudri is the founder of Beetbox, a turn-key STEM and nutrition education solution for schools. A monthly box contains lesson plans, fresh ingredients, and materials for teachers; they remove the barriers to teaching by sending everything a teacher needs to deliver the lesson.
Ali AbbasAli Abbas is an American Muslim writer, filmmaker, and New Yorker of Lebanese descent. He’s the creator and producer of The Ridge, a series about a group of Brooklyn Muslim youth with superpowers, and the current diversity fellow at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Aman AliAman Ali, a performer and film producer. About NYC he says “The diversity especially. The vibe. The energy. Everyone is doing dope things. Everyone is doing incredible and awesome things. In my friend circle, it’s not that we get competitive in a catty, want-to-one-up-each-other way.”
Azra KhalfanAzra Khalfan is the CEO of Plaques by Azra. The company was started by her father 43 years ago after her family immigrated to New York from Tanzania. The company specializes in engraving, digital printing, and laser cutting. Her clients range from government offices to schools, nonprofit organizations to corporations. Her products have been sent internationally to prime ministers and Nobel Prize winners.
Hisham TawfiqHisham Tawfiq is an actor born, raised, and based in Harlem. He has been featured in a number of TV shows including 30 Rock, Law and Order, Nurse Jackie, and currently, The Blacklist. His father was a student of Malcolm X. Tawfiq is also involved in other personal projects.
Dr. Debbie AlmontaserDr. Debbie Almontaser is a community activist, advocate, entrepreneur, and educator who works across sectors in New York City. Among her numerous roles, Almontaser is the founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, the CEO of the Building Cultures Group Inc, founding board member of the Muslim Community Network and the Yemeni American Merchants Association, and is on the board of Micah Institute.
Faiza AliFaiza Ali is the co-director for outreach at the New York City Council, working with the community engagement division. This division focuses on connecting disenfranchised communities to the government. Ali directs the Council’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) Initiative.
Mika’il DeVeauxCitizens Against Recidivism was founded in 1992 by Mika’il DeVeaux who is also the current executive director. He has over three decades of experience working on issues affecting the incarcerated.
Nur ZeinomarAn epidemiologist, Nur studies the determinants of and risk factors for disease and health factors. “I didn’t know [epidemiology] existed until I went to graduate school. However I was introduced indirectly to public health from an early age. As a young girl, I was really inspired by a man named Jonas Salk. Not only did he develop the vaccine for polio, he then championed to make it a mandate to vaccinate children.”
Moustafa BayoumiMoustafa Bayoumi is a writer in New York City known for his creative nonfiction, such as How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror, both winners of the Arab American Book Award for Nonfiction. An avid contributor to public life through his writing, Bayoumi regularly writes for The Guardian as well as other mainstream presses.
Nicole Najmah AbrahamNicole Najmah Abraham is a Brooklyn native, mother, spoken word artist, and fashion photographer. She is also project manager for Green Earth Poets Café; workshop facilitator for New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton’s The Campus, a technology and wellness hub in Brooklyn; project contractor for the Center for Community Alternatives, which promotes community-based alternatives to incarceration; and visual marketer, producer, and social media manager for Halalywood Entertainment, an international halal production company.
Priya ChandraPriya Chandra, MSW, has been a licensed clinical social worker for the past two years but has worked in the field of crisis counseling for almost 12 years. Following the sexual assault of a friend, she began looking for volunteer opportunities as a sexual assault counselor and domestic violence survivor advocate in New York City hospitals.
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