Council On American-Islamic Relations - Chicago Chapter - Online Center   About Islam | About Us | Contact Us
Visit The Mobilizer Blog to read up on CAIR Chicago's Mobilizing and Organizing work Friday, March 27, 2015
Our News
Making The News
News Briefs
Action Alerts
Press Center
Media Monitor
The Scoop
Intern Center
Volunteer Center
Career Center
Resource Center
Report An Incident
Media Response
Request A Speaker
Make A Donation
Our Partners
Contact us


Meet Our Staff | Meet Our Board
CAIR Headquarters | CAIR Chapters


Ahmed Rehab is CAIR-Chicago's Executive Director. Prior to joining CAIR, Ahmed was a freelance speaker, writer, and activist in the fields of interfaith collaboration, education, and community outreach. Ahmed is a firm believer in the need to reach out and build bridges with "the other" as the most effective way to battle ignorance and suspicion. His dream for the future of the Muslim community is to harness and systemize the massive yet untapped colossus that is the young, talented, and skillful Muslim volunteer-base. 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 leads the Civil Rights Department, which works to resolve incidents that are reported to 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. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and a Research Assistant at the College of Law at DePaul University. She has completed a Masters in the Arts of Social Sciences (M.A.) at the University of Chicago where her focus was on Politics in the Middle East. Christina can be reached at

Dina Rehab is CAIR-Chicago's Senior Outreach Coordinator. Dina leads the Outreach Department, which works to empower the Muslim community in the Greater Chicagoland area. Her duties also include organizational development, public education and promoting youth leadership. 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

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

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. Reem can be reached at

Azam Abdul Azeem is CAIR-Chicago’s Operations Coordinator. He is a lifelong Chicagoland resident and a tireless supporter of various community causes. On the weekends he helps direct the CPSA Weekend Islamic School in Lombard, IL where he facilitates the Islamic and Qur'anic studies programs. Azam is studying to complete a CPA license at the College of Dupage and also studies classical 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. As Operations Coordinator, Azam works closely with all CAIR departments in order to support an environment which is fully functional and efficient. Azam can be reached at

Veronica Zapata is CAIR-Chicago’s Cultural Sensitivity Speaker. She is currently pursing a second M.A. degree in Cultural and Educational Leadership Policy Studies with a concentration in Comparative Education at Loyola University Chicago. Her first Masters degree is in English as a Second Language and Multicultural Education, which she earned at Saint Xavier University . Veronica completed an intensive summer program entitled “Islamic Civilizations: Government and Politics” at Northeastern Illinois University through the Institute of Islamic Studies . Upon completing a B.A. in Elementary Education at Loyola University Chicago, she taught English as a Second Language in China . Veronica has taught at various educational levels, from preschool to undergraduate students and adult learners in the United States . She is a strong advocate for intercultural exchange, and seeks to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect. In 2005, she presented a co-authored research paper on multiculture education at Oxford University. Her thesis examines the educational goals for minority indigenous peoples and rural poor populations in Mexico . Her plans for the future include pursuing a doctoral degree in Comparative Education, teaching at the college/university level, and becoming an education consultant for international NGOs working with marginalized populations.Veronica 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

Gerald Hankerson is CAIR-Chicago's Outreach Coordinator. Gerald recruits and coordinates CAIR-Chicago interns, externs, and volunteers. 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. Gerald is a freelance journalist, author, writer, actor, debater, instructor, and performer. He also serves as the New Program Development Coordinator for the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL), in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools. 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. Gerald is committed to bringing his experiences with mentoring youth, volunteerism, research and social critiques to bridging gaps between interfaith and diverse communities. Gerald Hankerson 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

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

[ Meet Our Staff | Meet Our Board | CAIR Headquarters | CAIR Chapters ]