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Ahmed Rehab is CAIR-Chicago's Executive Director and CAIR's National Strategic Communications Director. Rehab is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Public Radio. He has been interviewed over 200 times by newspapers, radio, and TV venues, both national and international. Rehab lectures at various University campuses in Chicago and around the nation. Prior to joining CAIR in August of 2004, Rehab was a freelance speaker, writer, and activist in the fields of interfaith collaboration, education, and community outreach. Between 1999 and 2002, Rehab served as a consultant for Arthur Andersen LLP - a global consulting firm. Rehab serves as a board member of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He is a board member and secretary of the Egyptian American Society, a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' (CCGA) Muslim task force, an Eisenhower fellow of the American Assembly, and alumnus of the FBI Citizen's Academy. A software engineer by trade, Ahmed is also co-founder & president of Ibex Computers based in Des Plaines, IL. Ahmed can be reached at         FULL BIO.

Christina Abraham is the Civil Rights Director at CAIR-Chicago. Christina has spoken and written on issues related to Arab and Muslim civil rights, and actively works to pursue successful resolutions to incidents of discrimination through legal and non-legal channels. Christina is a member of the Advisory Board for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and a member of the Advisory Board of the BRussels International Tribunal. Christina holds a Masters in the Arts of Social Sciences (M.A.) from the University of Chicago where her focus was on Politics in the Middle East, and a Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law, where she received membership in the Order of the Barristers. Christina can be reached at

In her new capacity as Development Coordinator, Dina works with the Executive Director and other staff to optimize and standardize existing and new initiatives that serve CAIR-Chicago's mission. Dina also works to help expand the financial and human resource capacity within CAIR-Chicago as well as assist in the fomenting of strategic relationships that provide development and expansion opportunities for the organization. She is a University of Illinois at Chicago graduate with a double major in Political Science and Italian, and is currently pursuing a Master in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Dina has served as an Americorps Intern via the Arab Resource Corps at the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago. She has also served as the Educational/Cultural Outreach Coordinator of AAAN. Dina has extensive experience in reaching out to diverse communities. She can be reached at

Azam Abdul Azeem is CAIR-Chicago’s Operations Coordinator. Azam works closely with all CAIR departments in order to support an office environment which is fully functional and productive. His primary responsibilities with CAIR include documenting financial records, providing IT support and solutions, and administrating personnel issues. Azam is also studying accounting in order to sit for his CPA license. In his free time he enjoys learning Arabic at Darul Qasim in Glen Ellyn, IL. Azam was the recipient of the 2007 CAIR-Chicago Community Service Award for his exceptional volunteerism in the community. Azam can be reached at

Veronica Zapata is CAIR-Chicago's Cultural Sensitivity Speaker. She is a strong advocate for intercultural exchange and seeks to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect. In addition to her work at CAIR-Chicago, she is a co-host of AZAN on WLUW 88.7, which puts a human face on the faith of Islam, combats Islamophobia, and seeks to generate discourse on various issues within the Islamic community of Chicago. At the Inner City of Muslim Action Network (IMAN), she works as a full-time Career Development Coordinator and serves as the representative of IMAN on the International Human Relations Council. She is active member of the Teacher Advisory Panel at the Art Institute of Chicago. Veronica is pursing a second M.A. degree in Cultural and Educational Leadership Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago. In 2004, Veronica completed an intensive summer program entitled "Islamic Civilizations: Government and Politics" at Northeastern Illinois University through the Institute of Islamic Studies. In 2005, Veronica presented a paper on multiculture education at Oxford University and in 2007 she returned to present her thesis, which examines the educational goals of minority indigenous peoples in Mexico. Veronica can be reached at

Gerald Blake Hankerson is CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator. Gerald administers CAIR-Chicago’s internship, volunteer activist and youth programs, interfaith engagement, public awareness events and community outreach. He also serves as the Head Coach and Coordinator of the policy debate program at Prosser Career Academy on Chicago’s northwest side. A native of the Oakland and Hyde Park neighborhoods, he is a graduating President's Scholar of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and is currently completing a Bachelor's degree in Communications with a minor in Theater. At UIC, Gerald served two terms in the Muslim Students’ Association as Coordinator and Liaison to the Undergraduate Student Government. Gerald is a freelance journalist, author, writer, actor, debater, instructor, and performer. Gerald is an alumnus of the Chicago Debate League and has been a debater, judge and practitioner in the urban debate movement for over 12 years. Gerald also served as an UIC Ambassador through the African American Action Network (AAAN), a member of the Black Student Union, and was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). Gerald is committed to bringing his experiences with mentoring youth, volunteerism, research and social critiques to bridging gaps between interfaith and diverse communities. Gerald can be reached at

Amina Sharif is a Communications Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science along with a minor in Sociology. Amina was one of the founding members of CAIR-UIUC, the first student-led CAIR chapter in the country. Over the years she served as a Communications Director, Executive Director, and Advisory Board member. In these capacities she worked to forge relationships with other civil rights oriented student groups and university departments and to foster accurate representations of Muslims on campus and in local media. This past year she also chaired the UIUC MSA’s annual three-day conference, Spring Camp, which featured several prominent Islamic scholars and attracted 300 attendees. Amina can be reached at

Kevin Vodak is a Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. Kevin has a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from North Central College. Prior to joining CAIR-Chicago, Kevin dedicated his legal career to protecting individuals’ civil rights by working in small law firms for 8 years. He has extensive experience in litigating employment discrimination matters. Outside of his work in private law firms, Kevin has been committed to working with the National Lawyers Guild, the only bar association which values human rights over property interests. Kevin can be reached at

Reema Ahmad is the Government Affairs Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago. She majored in Economics and International Affairs at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At Marquette, Reema held executive board positions in multiple student groups and was a member of the Diversity Commission, an advisory board for Student Government. Under her leadership, the Arab Student Association received the Spirit of Marquette Award, the highest honor a student group can achieve for meaningful programming and activism. Reema worked with numerous activist groups in the Milwaukee area including Peace Action Wisconsin, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Muslim American Society. She interned with a rising leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Gwen Moore. As a McNair Research Scholar, Reema was invited to present her work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research for two consecutive years. Reema can be reached at

Hiba Hammadi is CAIR-Chicago's Operations Coordinator. Her responsibilities include fulfilling the operational and administrative needs of CAIR Chicago in order to contribute to its smooth functioning and continued professional success. Her duties also include office organizational development, processing financial records and promoting a safe and efficient work environment for the CAIR-Chicago staff. She recently graduated with honors from University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in Psychology. She has served as an intern at Arab American Family Services, the Zakat Foundation and Life for Relief and Development. Hiba appreciates the opportunity to partake in CAIR’s great mission to better American-Muslim relations and western society as a whole. She can be reached at

M. Yaser Tabbara, an attorney by profession, served as the executive director of CAIR-Chicago until 2006. During his tenure, he helped to establish CAIR-Chicago as a vibrant institution that continues to foster cutting-edge professional activism today. Yaser has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Juris Doctor degree from the DePaul University College of Law. Prior to joining CAIR-Chicago, Yaser initiated the Post 9/11 Immigrant Legal Rights Project, which provided legal representation, outreach and education on immigration law and civil liberties to the Chicagoland Muslim and Arab communities. Later, he taught at the college of International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Kalamoon in Damascus, Syria. He has received awards for his academic excellence and community service including a State Proclamation presented by Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter. Tabbara is currently the Director of Chapter Development at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and serves as a board member at CAIR-Chicago, the Arab-American Bar Association, and the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America. Yaser can be reached at

Maaria is CAIR Chicago's Legal Advisor. Maaria founded and currently chairs the Civil Liberties Coalition of Illinois (CLCI), a coalition of 13 legal/advocacy organizations whose focus is to lobby Illinois elected representatives on the US Patriot Act and other civil liberties issues. Maaria also serves as legislative consultant for the Developing Justice Coalition (DJC), an interfaith community based coalition, on sentencing reform. In addition, Maaria serves as legislative consultant and member of Project Restore, the legislation/lobby arm of the Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).Maaria also works on advocacy issues relating to the Muslim refugee commmunity in Illinois via combining coalition building and the medium of film. Prior to her joining CAIR Chicago, Maaria clerked for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, working on low income housing and welfare issues. Maaria graduated with a JD from the University of Illinois at College of Law in 2003, and received her Bachelors degrees in English and Political Science from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1999.

Sultan Muhammad is CAIR–Chicago’s Communications Coordinator. His professional background and life experience have been highly concentrated in the field of audio-visual communications and the development of Islamic media as educational tools. Sultan produced ‘Muslim Daily Prayers - A learner’s Guide,' is a multi-media producer by trade, having trained in broadcast editing and production at NBC/Universal and is the co-founder of MPD studios based in Chicago. At an early age Sultan studied Arabic and Islamic studies, on scholarship, at the Minaret al-Riyadh International school in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. His experiences abroad and a seventy-five year family tradition of prominent Islamic activism in America have contributed largely to his life-long focus on building understanding through education, cultural dialog, and accurate representation of Muslims and minorities in America. Sultan is the son of the late Imam Sultan Muhammad, nephew of Imam W.D. Muhammad, and the grandson of Elijah Muhammad. He is married to a Mexican-American Muslim convert and currently resides on Chicago’s South side.

Haady Taslim is the community organizer for CAIR-Chicago and runs a voter registration drive and get-out-the-vote campaign in Chicago's southwest suburbs. His main reason for becoming an organizer was to give Muslim and Arabs throughout Chicago a greater voice in our political landscape. Haady holds a Master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the George Washington University in political science and French language and literature. Haady's prior organizing experience includes a breif stint with UNICEF working in Tamil Nadu, India. Before coming to Chicago, he also taught early elementary school for two years in inner-city New Orleans with Teach for America. If you are interested in volunteering to further CAIR's voter registration campaign, you may email Haady at

Amal Khan is CAIR-Chicago’s Operations Coordinator. She is a graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, with a degree in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian History. A native of California, she feels that giving back to the community is vital in creating an environment conducive to self-preservation; for this reason Amal has been considerably involved in the Muslim community, volunteering with organizations such as Muslim-American Society (MAS), Islamic-Networks Group (ING), and Human Development Foundation (HDF.) As Operations Coordinator, Amal works closely with all inter-office departments in order to cultivate an environment which galvanizes energies to ensure a fully functional and efficient chapter. Amal brings her charismatic charm, animated personality and admiration for the cause to CAIR-Chicago.

Heena Musabji is CAIR-Chicago’s Staff Attorney. She is a graduate of the DePaul University College of Law. Previously, Heena initiated the Women and Human Rights Law Initiative at DePaul, and served as director of the Sex Trafficking Opposition and Prevention Project with the International Human Rights Law Institute. Heena has also worked with the Midwest Immigrant Human Rights Center where she provided legal assistance and outreach to asylum seekers and immigrant survivors of violence, and is still involved with the organization as a pro bono attorney. She is dedicated to serving the community and advocating for those who are denied equal access to justice. Heena can be reached at

Rima Kapitan is a Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. She is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and Indiana University and a partner with Amal Law Group, LLC, a general practice law firm. Her main areas of interest and specialization are plaintiff-side employment discrimination, civil rights law, workers’ compensation and estate planning. She is active in the National Lawyers Guild Middle East Committee. Previously, Rima worked as an extern at the ACLU Racial Justice Project and at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Rima can be reached at

Tawfiq Ali is CAIR-Chicago's Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellow. Tawfiq is a graduate of Harvard University with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in June 2007. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where he provided pro bono legal assistance, representation, and advocacy for indigent clients suffering sexual harassment, domestic violence, termination of benefits, and potential eviction from their homes. He now resides in Chicago, where following his fellowship, he will work as an associate with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Tawfiq can be reached at

Bitta Mostofi is a Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. She is a graduate of the DePaul University College of Law with a certificate in International and Comparative Law. Bitta has worked with the DePaul University Immigration and Asylum Clinic, providing assistance to asylum seekers and immigrant survivors of violence. Additionally, she has worked with the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago where she provided legal representation for women seeking assistance with family law cases. Bitta is on the Electronic Iraq editorial board and has written and spoken extensively on United States foreign policy. Bitta can be reached at

Shahzeen Karim is CAIR-Chicago’s Interim Government Affairs Coordinator. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) with a degree in Criminal Justice and Philosophy and minors in Law and Society and Political Science. At UIC, she has served on the executive board of the Muslim Student Association, the Alpha Phi Sigma, and the Honors College Leadership Council. This is Shahzeen’s third and final year as the co-captain of UIC’s nationally ranked Mock Trial team. Shahzeen has served as the Chair and Editor-in-Chief for the Islamic Society of North America’s newsletter for the past five years and plans to attend law school in Fall 2008. Shahzeen can be reached at

Amir Siddiqui is CAIR-Chicago's Youth Coordinator. He is currently working on developing the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium Program and is excited at its potential to motivate and facilitate civic engagement. He is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and majored in Biological Science. He served as President of the Northwestern University Muslim Cultural Students Association and helped lead the organization to the 2007 Northwestern Outstanding Group of the Year Award. His future plans include medical school and a continued commitment to the non-profit world. Amir Siddiqui can be reached at

Tricia Kemling is a staff attorney at CAIR-Chicago. She has a Juris Doctor degree from the DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Previously. Tricia worked as an intern at Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic where she provided legal assistance to low income clients on issues including family law and domestic violence and at the Center on Children, Families and the Law where she researched the outcomes of alternative dispute resolution. Tricia can be reached at

Elisa K. Jillson is a PILI Fellow at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where she received the Edwin F. Mandel Award for Exceptional Service at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic's Employment Discrimination Project. Elisa graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in English and French. Elisa is from New Castle, PA and will be practicing in the fall at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. Elisa can be reached at

Munsoor Hussain is CAIR-Chicago's Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellow. Munsoor is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's degree in Finance. He also received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2008. He is a former executive editor of the Georgetown Law Journal's Annual Review of Criminal Procedure where he researched and edited multiple areas of criminal law for publication. Munsoor has been actively involved with the Muslim Student's Association and the American Constitutional Society. He is from and currently resides in Chicago, though he has lived in Washington, D.C., Texas and Michigan. Following his fellowship at CAIR, he will work as an associate with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Munsoor can be reached at

Sadiya Ahmed is CAIR-Chicago’s governmental relations coordinator. She is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies. A lifelong activist and organizer, Sadiya co-founded the Muslim Student Action Network (MSAN), a student organization focused on social and political activism from an Islamic perspective. She also has a background in journalism, serving as Editor-in-Chief and contributor for both the Islamic Society of North America Conference Bulletin and the UIC Women's Studies Newsletter. Currently, Sadiya plans to continue bridging the gap between activism and academia through grassroots organizing and eventually by pursuing graduate studies in comparative Muslim women's social movements and contemporary social theory. Sadiya can be reached at

Daniah Elharezi is CAIR-Chicago's Operations Coordinator. Daniah works to maintain the daily functioning of the office. Her responsibilities include working to fulfill the operational and administrative needs of CAIR Chicago in order to contribute to its smooth functioning and continued professional success. Daniah is a Certified Nurse's Assistant (CNA) and is planning to pursue a degree in business administration. As a long time resident of Chicago and a member of the vibrant Muslim community on Chicago 's Southside, Daniah is excited to be a part of the CAIR-Chicago team and to contribute toward the advocacy of the Muslim community in Chicago. Daniah can be reached at

Reem Rahman is the Communications Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an interdisciplinary Bachelor's degree in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her scholarship and work is committed to the power of ideas and ideals to transform society. Reem was one of the founding members of CAIR at the University of Illinois, the first university based chapter in the nation. She served as the executive director, coordinating media and civil rights activism, community service, interfaith dialogue, and leadership development. Reem has been selected as a Young People for the American Way Fellow and a Drum Major Institute for Public Policy Scholar. She also chairs a committee at the Islamic Center of Naperville which encourages volunteerism. Reem will be attending a Master's in Management Research at the University of Oxford in 2009; she has a guiding interest in organizational development and social entrepreneurship.
bio updated: August 2009.

Mokaram Rauf is CAIR-Chicago's Youth Coordinator. He is involved in the development and growth of the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium program, through which he hopes to empower Muslim youth with the leadership skills and knowledge tools they need for success in American society. He is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies. Now, he is concurrently pursuing his Doctorate of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees at Northwestern. Mokaram has been a dedicated member of the Northwestern Muslim-cultural Students Association's Executive Board (McSA) and an intern with the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN). His research interests include the formation of an American Muslim identity, justice and equity in healthcare, and spiritually motivated civic engagement. He is a native of New York and enjoys running, basketball, reading, and movies. After completing his graduate studies, he hopes to be involved in non-profit medicine for underprivileged communities both in the United States and abroad. Mokaram Rauf can be reached at

Islaam Rahim is CAIR-Chicago’s Administrative Assistant. He attends Triton College where he is obtaining an Associate in Science degree and plans to complete a Bachelors degree in Business Administration after transferring in Spring 2008. Islaam plays forward for the Stugat team in the Soccercity league. He is deeply committed to community volunteerism and has interned at CAIR-Chicago since 2005. Islaam can be reached at

Nizamuddin Alavi is a Media Fellow at CAIR-Chicago. He recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Biology. Currently, Nizam is integrating a content management system with the network of websites used by CAIR-Chicago. This will allow users to update the website more easily and will reduce web page loading times. Nizam hopes to help the Muslim community at large and in the process develop skills that can be applied to his future. He is planning to attend business school in the future. In his free time, Nizam trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai and occasionally enjoys the latest video game.


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