Our Staff

 

Staff | Board | Interns ]

 
Ahmed Rehab   Executive Director

Ahmed Rehab

Executive Director

Ahmed Rehab

Executive Director

Ahmed Rehab is CAIR-Chicago's Executive Director. Rehab is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Public Radio. He has been interviewed hundreds of times by newspapers, radio, and TV venues, both national and international. Rehab lectures at various University campuses in Chicago and around the nation. Rehab is the founder of MyJihad Inc., a global PR and outreach campaign that seeks to take back Islam from Muslim and Anti-Muslims extremists alike. He is also the founder of theChicagoMonitor.com, The Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium, and the Co-founder of Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University. 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 served on the board of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He also served on IL. Governor Pat Quinn’s Muslim Advisory Council, and as vice-chairman of RegugeeONE, Illinois’ premiere refugee resettlement organization. He is a former 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. More


Sufyan Sohel   Deputy Director & Counsel

Sufyan Sohel

Deputy Director & Counsel

Sufyan Sohel

Deputy Director & Counsel

Sufyan Sohel is CAIR-Chicago’s Deputy Director & Counsel. Sufyan is a trained mediator and speaks frequently on social justice, civil rights and Islamophobia. Before CAIR-Chicago, he worked with DePaul University‘s International Human Rights Law Institute where he researched and collaborated extensively on women’s rights issues and rule of law projects in the Middle East and Asia. Sufyan also worked with the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights in Cairo, Egypt where his focus was to educate and empower women and work with policymakers on gender reform and inclusion. Sufyan earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and a Master of Science in Finance (M.S.) from DePaul University.  Sufyan is on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Legal Clinic, and proudly serves on  the Chicago City Clerk’s Civic Engagement Advisory Council, the Red Cross of Chicago & Northern IL’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, the DePaul Law Alumni Board, and is a volunteer magician with Open Heart Magic. Sufyan is a recipient of the Chicago Bar Association’s Vanguard Award, the DePaul College of Law Young Alumnus Award, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Community Leadership Award, and is a 2018 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.  He can be reached at ssohel@cair.com.


Phil Robertson   Litigation Director

Phil Robertson

Litigation Director

Phil Robertson

Litigation Director

Phil Robertson is CAIR-Chicago's Litigation Director. Phil received his Bachelor's degree in journalism from Marquette University and his law degree from Northern Illinois University. After passing the bar, Phil opened his own law practice in DeKalb, Illinois, focusing on personal injury, criminal and family law cases. In 1993, he took an appointment as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in the General Law Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General's Office in Chicago. There, he focused on civil rights cases on behalf of several departments and agencies in the state. Since then, Phil has worked in a variety of areas - in both the private and public sector - including real estate, land use and zoning, municipal, government and administrative law, labor and employment security, charitable trust law, whistleblower cases, health care and pharmaceutical law, elder law, estate planning, tax law and debt collection. In 2002, he became the Director of the Rockford Regional Office for the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Prior to joining CAIR-Chicago, Phil opened his own law firm in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where he served businesses in and around McHenry, Lake, Kane, Boone and DeKalb counties. He can be reached at probertson@cair.com.


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Najah Binbek

Operations Coordinator

Najah Binbek is CAIR Chicago’s Operations Coordinator. She recently graduated in May of 2019 from Eastern Illinois University. Najah gradated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in business administration. What sparked her interest in CAIR was how big of an impact the work done here has on the community as well as the family like culture in the organization. Najah plans on getting her master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She is proud to be a part of an organization that is meaningful and works hard to defend human rights. In her free time, Najah enjoys cooking, shopping, meditating, and volunteering. She can be reached at nbinbek@cair.com


Saadia Pervaiz   Communications Coordinator

Saadia Pervaiz

Communications Coordinator

Saadia Pervaiz 

Communications Coordinator

Saadia Pervaiz is one of CAIR-Chicago's Communications Coordinators. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Chicago in 2017. Since 2014, Saadia has been working with various organizations in documenting oral histories of first generation Partition survivors in the United States. In addition to her historical work, Saadia has been tapped by numerous institutions for graphic design and illustrative commissions, including premier sports start-up ClutchPoints. She has helped curate exhibits focusing on the South Asian diaspora in collaboration with the Field Museum and Indian American Heritage Museum. Her artwork has been published in-print and online on multiple media platforms. Saadia can be reached by email at spervaiz@cair.com


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Hannah Faris

Communications Coordinator

Hannah Faris is a multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker hired as in a Communications Coordinator in the summer of 2019. Her ultimate profession goal was to become a communications coordinator for nonprofit and activist organizations, able to shed light on global social issues and connect with international audiences. In addition to her passion for activist and nonprofit work, she values CAIR-Chicago’s mission of fighting bigotry and promoting tolerance. Hannah wanted to help keep the Chicago community aware and engaged with the mission and to provide a strong voice in speaking out against discrimination. She loves 35mm photography, filmmaking and traveling. Documentary photography and filmmaking are her favorite art forms, as she believes documentary to be a powerful medium in creating connection across cultures and borders. She can be reached at hfaris@cair.com.


Gerald Hankerson   Outreach Coordinator

Gerald Hankerson

Outreach Coordinator

Gerald Hankerson

Outreach Coordinator

Gerald Hankerson is CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator, leading community outreach, youth development, and civic engagement efforts. He directs the internship program, presents workshops, coordinates events and international engagement, and advocates policy and voting issues. He serves as a member of the African American Leadership Advisory Council at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which aims to maintain and increase recruitment and retention efforts for students of African and African American descent.  He also served three terms on the Board of Directors for Arise Chicago, an interfaith labor rights group. Gerald attended Lindblom Technical High School, graduating an Illinois State Scholar with high honors.  A President’s Scholar and Pipeline to Justice Fellow in the Social Justice Initiative at UIC, he graduated with a B.A. in Communications. Gerald served two terms in the Muslim Students’ Association as its Program Coordinator, was an UIC Ambassador through the African American Action Network, a member of the Black Student Union, and was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. More.


Muhammad Tauseef Akbar   Research Director

Muhammad Tauseef Akbar

Research Director

Muhammad Tauseef Akbar

Research Coordinator

Tauseef Akbar is CAIR-Chicago’s Research Coordinator. Tauseef Akbar studied Arabic and foundational Islamic disciplines in Cairo, Egypt at the Al-Fajr Institute, affiliated with Al-Azhar University. He received a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Chemistry at North Park University. He is slated to receive his MA in Islamic Studies from American Islamic College in Spring 2017. His research work has primarily focused on Islamophobia and demographic trends within the Muslim American community. As a researcher he has worked with leading Muslim American organizations and was also a past consultant to Georgetown Univesity’s Bridge Initiative for the study of Islamophobia. He has written and been published on the topic of Islamophobia, the War on Terror and the genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in various news media outlets. He can be reached at makbar@cair.com.


Auxiliary Staff Members

 
Brian Huff   Paralegal

Brian Huff

Paralegal

Brian Huff

Paralegal

Brian Huff is recent graduate of Loyola School of Law. Brian previously worked in CAIR-Chicago’s civil rights division as a Law Clerk and then Fellow, and now returns as a paralegal. Prior to joining CAIR, Brian studied criminal appellate advocacy while clerking at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, and the Office of the State Appellate Defender. Brian originally intended on practicing criminal law, but recent trends in U.S. politics have shifted his interests to immigration and civil rights. Brian has taken great pride in his time at CAIR, and has enjoyed responding to the legal needs of the Chicago Muslim community. In his free time, Brian enjoys sketching, caring for his cat Molly, and forcing people listen to him talk about comic books and politics.


Marwa Jumma   Civil Rights Fellow

Marwa Jumma

Civil Rights Fellow

Marwa Jumma

Civil Rights Fellow

Marwa is a Civil Rights Division Fellow at Cair-Chicago. She recently earned her JD Degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2017, Marwa earned a Master degree in U.S International and Transactional Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Marwa is from Damascus, Syria, she came to the United States under 100 Syrian women, 10,000 Syrian lives, Jussor Award in 2016. Marwa is interested in civil rights, plaintiff side employment litigation, immigration law, and international human rights law. Marwa earned her Bachelor in Law from Damascus University of law in 2012, and worked as a lawyer for two years alongside her father’s office in Damascus. Marwa intends to practice law in Illinois and devote her legal profession working for CAIR-Chicago in the future. Marwa believes as a Muslim woman that her religion commands her to stand up against injustice, and that no one should be left marginalized because of race, religion, or gender. As a Syrian woman, Marwa wants to use her legal profession to help Syrian refugees in U.S, and other minority groups who are underrepresented and for whom legal representation is otherwise unavailable. In her free time, Marwa enjoys working out, traveling, and exploring new places.

Fellows

 

Maaria Mozaffar   Legislative Attorney

Maaria Mozaffar

Legislative Attorney

Maaria Mozaffar

Legislative Attorney

Maaria Mozaffar is CAIR-Chicago's Legislative Attorney. Mozaffar is a civil rights attorney, policy drafter and legislative consultant. She has spearheaded civil rights coalition building, advocacy programs and consulted political citywide campaigns. She has drafted statewide legislation on criminal justice reform, food justice and academic diversity. Mozaffar is the principal attorney of The Law Office of Maaria Mozaffar where she focuses on policy development, advocacy and mediation. Mozaffar received her JD from University of Illinois at Urbana and is licensed to practice in the state of Illinois. Mozaffar is the Senior Policy Advisor at IMAN and a member of the Human Rights Watch Committee of Chicago.


Iman Boundaoui   TAP Coordinator

Iman Boundaoui

TAP Coordinator

Iman Boundaoui

TAP Coordinator

Iman Boundaoui is CAIR-Chicago's TAP Coordinator. Boundaoui is an associate at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where she litigates commercial class actions and represents clients in other civil litigation. As a litigator, she also works on pro bono asylum and immigration cases with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). While in law school, Boundaoui was a judicial extern to the Honorable Ann Claire Williams for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, Illinois. She also served as president of the Muslim Law Students Association and president of the Moot Court Honor Society. Boundaoui received her Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.