Board of Directors
Amir Al-Islam : Chairman
Dr. Amir Al-Islam is Assistant Professor of History and Politics at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is also the Secretary General of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, U.S.A. In this capacity, he sponsors interfaith dialogues, events and programs that promote religious, ethnic, and racial tolerance.
David Kelly: Secretary
David Kelly completed law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004. In 1996, he received his B.A in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, he works for Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP law firm in Chicago.
Aside from practicing law, David is also known as Capital D, an MC, producer and writer. He authored the book “Fresh Air” which author Bakari Kitwana referred to as “A stirring combination of music and language and an expression of hip hop culture at its finest”. The Chicago Tribune named him one of “15 Hidden Talents” in the Chicago arts community and the Chicago Sun-Times deemed him one of 30 people to watch under the age of 30.
Yasmine Abou El-Kheir
Yasmine has many years of experience with nonprofit organizations working with immigrant communities. She has developed and/or managed programs in the areas of employment training, family empowerment, women’s reproductive health, domestic violence and elderly care. She also worked for several years with the non-profit sector in Cairo, most notably on urban revitalization initiatives in Historic Cairo. Yasmine holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, and pursued graduate studies at the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is the mother of three children and is a resident of Chicago’s southwest side.
Umar Carter: Treasurer
Umar Carter has a Bachelor of Science in Finance. His experience with NGO’s began at the Muslim Community Center where he was the Secretary and Treasurer. Umar also worked with the Albany Park Neighborhood Council on immigrant rights, affordable housing as well as interfaith causes. Throughout his career he has worked with several multi-national corporations including Baxter Healthcare, ABN Amro and Vasco Data Security. Before settling in Chicago, Umar lived in Belgium for a year and a half. He loves to travel which explains how he ended up in over 30 countries ranging from South America to far east Asia.
Clyde K. El-Amin
Tariq B. Iftikhar, MD
Dr.Tariq Iftikhar graduated from King Edward Medical College,in Lahore,Pakistan. In 1972 he came to the US. He completed his specialty
training in Orthopedic Surgery, at Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk. He did his Subspecialisation in Hand Surgery at Cook County
Hospital and is a Board Certified Orthopedic surgeon.He has been in practice since 1978. In the 1990s he volunteered his services to treat the Balkan War victims in Serbia. He Has been a member of the Rotary International, and served as the president of Berwyn Rotary club in 1993-94, and was involved in the PolioPlus program to eradicate this disease worldwide. In 2005 Dr.Iftikhar received a recognition award from Mayor Daley’s Office for Community Services. In November 2005 and April 2006, he traveled to Pakistan on a medical mission to perform surgeries on the earth quake victims with Doctors without Borders. At present, Dr. Iftikhar is serving as Associate Chairman of Board of Directors at Islamic Foundation, Villa park, Illinois.
Maaria Mozaffar completed her law degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upon completion of her degree, Mozaffar moved to Chicago where she formed and led the Civil Liberties Coalition of Illinois. Maaria was also responsible for drafting a legislation piece entitled the SMART Act, short for Substance Abuse Management Addressing Recidivism through Treatment. The legislation, which will create alternatives to prison for low-level drug offenders, was passed in 2007. Mozaffar also serves as the Legal Advisor for CAIR Chicago. Aside from her legal expertise and social activism, she is also a professional documentarian and has completed a documentary chronicling the struggle of Somali refugee seeking asylums in the US. Mozaffar is currently working on a documentary capturing the devastation and hardship confronting survivors of last’s year devastating tsunami on the Indian sub-continent.
Laila Muhammad is a long time community activist, poet and daughter of the world-renowned Muslim American leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed. She is the founder and executive director of Ashamsiyyah Family Service. She is the published author of two books and has compiled a spoken word CD of original poetry. Laila is a third generation advocate for equal education, holds a degree in child development, and is a member of the Sister Clara Muhammad School.
Feroz began volunteering with IMAN in 2004, and joined IMAN’s board of directors in 2007. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University and an M.A. in E-Commerce Technologies from DePaul University. Feroz has done work with CIOGC, worked as a programmer, and he is currently a Technical Project Manager at HSBC in Chicago, IL.
Sister Nia Odeoti-Hassan, BA, MA, ABD, is employed by Illinois State Senate President, John J. Cullerton as a Policy Analyst for the Senate Public Health Committee and the Senate Environment Committee. She is serving her 29th year with the Senate and recently became the staffer with the most seniority on the Policy and Budget Staff. Prior to her tenure with the Illinois State Senate, Sister Nia Odeoti-Hassan served on the faculty at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Sister Nia Odeoti-Hassan serves Allah and the Islamic community through service to the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield, the Inner City Muslim Action Network , the Muslim Democrats, the Center for Islam and Democracy, MANA, and the Advisory Committee of the Shura of Islamic Family Counselors of America ( Board Member). In March, 2009, Sister Nia was one of the first recipients of the Muslim Women’s Alliance ‘s Inspiring Muslim Woman Award. In December, 2009, she was one of the recipients of COIGC’s Outstanding Community Service Award for her role in CIOGC’s first Muslim Action Day in Springfield.
Ameenah Muhammad is a Sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is earning a double major in Sociology and African American studies and a minor in Latino Studies. She made the decision to study sociology based on her immense interest in the status of health within urban communities. Ameenah has been involved with many social justice projects around the southwest side of Chicago and considers herself to be an activist. More recently, Ameenah has become involved with issues around food justice and food access within African American and Latino communities. She is currently working on a project with People for the American Way, to make fresh, nutritious and organically grown food available to members of the Inglewood community.
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Seemi Choudry moved to the Western suburbs of Chicago in 1997 with her family. Growing up in a trilingual and international environment, Seemi is always looking for ways to utilize her speaking skills and diversify her surroundings. This all made sense when she eventually decided to major in Political Science and Spanish in college. Her involvement with IMAN began in 2006 with the planning of Takin’ It to the Streets 2007. After that, she decided to apply as a youth intern and it was all history from there. After working with Blue Prints (youth-lead needs-assessment project) for the summer, she and other key youth members decided to begin the first ever IMAN Youth Council. Since then, Seemi has worked in the north side teaching English to immigrants at the Indo-American center, worked as a clerk with Chicago State Attorney General’s office, and performs with the Chicago’s very own female Muslim musical ensemble, SoundRight. Most recently, Seemi worked as an intern at Mayor Daley’s Office of Special Events.