Sara is dual enrolled in the Aqsa School and Joliet Junior College and will be graduating after her third year of high school in the spring of 2014. She hopes to attend college to study economics.
Esraa Aburass is a junior at St. Xavier College. She is an Administration intern at CAIR-Chicago. She majors in Business Administration and Finance and has minors in Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies.
Sabah is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at DePaul University. After completing her degree, she plans to attend medical school and do volunteer work in her field.
Liqa Affaneh is an intern at CAIR-Chicago for the Government Affairs department. She is an aspiring law student finishing off her last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in political science.
Talha is currently taking a gap year from his graduate studies at the University of Virginia where he is studying Architectural History & Theory. He hopes to gain journalistic experience through Chicago Monitor.
Hiba is currently at Knox College majoring in International Relations and minoring in Religious Studies. She hopes to pursue a career in policy and government affairs.
Tauseef Akbar is a Chicago-based writer and activist and has worked with a number of national civil rights organizations. He holds a BA in English with a concentration on Creative Writing and is pursuing his graduate degree in Islamic studies.
Scott C. Alexander
A Harvard graduate, Scott has earned a M.A. and Ph. D. in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies. He has taught courses on Islam at Columbia, Fordham, and Princeton University. He is a currently an Associate Professor of Islam at CTU in Chicago.
Ameer is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a Syrian-American native of Chicago’s west suburbs, and a senior at Northwestern University in Evanston. He is currently majoring in History and Middle East and North African Studies, and spent a summer studying Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. Ameer is also a research assistant in the Political Science Department at Northwestern, where he translates and transcribes interviews with Syrian activists now living in exile.
Nasir is a student at the Southern Illinois University and is majoring in Political Science and History. He hopes to get a PhD in Political Science or Historical Studies. He also wants to teach and to conduct research in his field.
Najd is Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated this May from Northwestern university School of Law with an LLM degree in International Human Rights. She had her law degree from Princess Norah University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Prior to coming to Chicago, Najd has been an active volunteer in couple of NGOs in Riyadh that specializes in human rights and women empowerment in particular. She is passionate about advancing women’s rights in the Middle East. In her free time, Najd enjoys doing yoga, Mixed Martial Arts and listening to live music.
Emily is a communications intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at the University of Chicago where she studies Middle Eastern politics, history, and Arabic and Farsi. She hopes to use these skills in the Foreign Service or working on foreign policy in the Middle East. She joined CAIR to learn more about Islam in America. She hails from Cleveland, Ohio and in her free time is part of her university rowing team. She doesn’t think much of Johnny Manziel, but supports Cleveland sports teams all the way.
Dima attends the University of Illinois at Chicago and will graduate with a Bachelors in English and a concentration in Media, Rhetorical, and Cultural Studies in December 2011. Dima completed and presented her Senior Thesis about the interrelationship of verbal, written, and body language between a tutor and a writer at UIC’s Writing Center.
Maryam graduated from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies with a Master’s in Post/Colonial Studies. She is also a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she studied History modified with African and African American Studies with a minor in Gender Studies.
Nadia is currently a student at Valparaiso University in Indiana, majoring in English and minoring in International Relations. Nadia hopes to attend law school and work in civil rights in the future.
Matthew is attending Knot College, majoring in international relations. He received “Best Column” at the 2012 ICPA College Journalism Competition. Matthew hopes to gain more experience through professional research with a focus on government policy.
Claudia V. Bertacchi
Claudia graduated from DePaul University in 2011 and is currently in her second year at Chicago-Kent College of Law where she is focusing on criminal law. Claudia hopes to become a successful criminal defense attorney and work with international criminal law in a foreign embassy.
Tsedenya Bizani is an Outreach Extern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a recent graduate from the University of Kansas and acquired degrees in Political Science and International Studies supplemented with a Middle East Studies minor.
Yasmina is a board member of MyJihad, Inc., where she is the official Writer and Correspondent.
David C. Blount
David is a graduate from Loyola University of Chicago where he majored in Sociology and International Studies with a minor in Urban and Black World Studies. He has studied abroad in China and Tunisia.
Arabella Breck is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a junior at Columbia College majoring in journalism. She is also the Managing Editor of the Columbia Chronicle.
Peter is currently attending the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He hopes to practice labor and employment law and eventually run for public office.
Mary Byrne is a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in journalism with minors in Arabic and sociology. In the spring of her junior year, Mary spent several months in Rabat, Morocco enrolled in the School for International Training, where she reported a feature-length story on the human rights of migrants in Morocco. In the four months she spent in Rabat, Mary became interested in learning and understanding more about the Islamic culture, particularly in how it is represented in the media.
Braden earned a B.A. in German and English writing and is currently entering his second year at Hamline University School of Law. Braden hopes to ultimately work as a policy maker in health law or civil rights.
Bill is the Editor-in-Chief of The Chicago Monitor. He is a full-time activist with a long history of civil rights, anti-racism, anti-war, Irish Republican, and Palestine solidarity work. His current passions are taking courses in Islamic and inter-religious studies and organizing Palestine solidarity events.
Dartunorro recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Political Science and Communications, and in the fall will be attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Dartunorro is a McKelvie Scholar, the recipient of the CME Group Mayoral Award and is on the Dean’s List.
Mandie Czech is a senior at Southern New Hampshire University with a major in Psychology and minor in Sociology. She firmly believes that education and continued promotion of tolerance throughout schools and communities will aid in ending propaganda and misinformation.
Asmah is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a student at Roosevelt University and majors in Political Science with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is a planning committee member of a student activist organization called RISE, where she is an avid volunteer for local campaigns and organizes events and actions around Chicago. She loves tea, all kinds of flowers, and in her free time she likes to ride her bike. As a Palestinian and a feminist, she is thrilled to contribute her unique perspective on political issues and civic relations.
Heather is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She hopes to help eliminate discrimination towards Muslims and, more specifically, women who wear the hijab.
Andrea is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a 3L at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Andrea is a born and raised Hoosier who attended Penn State University and received degrees in African American Studies and Political Science. She plans to receive her J.D. in May of 2016 and intends to work as a civil rights lawyer.
Anna Ellison is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at the University of Richmond. She is an Arabic and International Studies major with a concentration in Global Diplomacy and Politics and has spent time in Jordan learning Arabic.
Ryeshia Farmer is a junior at Carthage College, double majoring in Great Ideas and English with a Creative Writing Concentration and minoring in political science. Her experiences in journalistic advocacy, studies in political science, and inspiration from Martha Nussbaum’s novel, Creating Capabilities, ignited her passion for using journalism as a form of advocacy. However, Ryeshia realised this passion through staff reporting for her college’s news publication and writing R&B music and spoken word poetry. She is a member of Kappa Phi Eta Social Service Sorority and held positions on the executive board of Carthage’s Black Student Union during her first two years at Carthage.
Ashni Gandhi is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a sophmore at the University of Illinois majoring in English. She is also a reporter for the Daily Illini.
Sarah is a student at the University of Michigan and plans to attend law school upon graduation. She is involved with the Amnesty International and STAND chapters at her school.
Ibrahim is an international student studying International Relations and Business at Augsburg College in Minnesota. Ibrahim served as a Nobel Peace Prize Forum Intern for Tawakkol Karman earlier this year, acting as her direct assistant and translator.
Aymen Abdel Halim
Aymen is currently a graduate student in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts program at San Francisco State University. He recently co-authored a book chapter on the impact of TV news on the self-conception of Arab and Muslim youth.
Patrick is Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a native of Hanover Park, Illinois. He is a senior at Boston College, majoring in Political Science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies. Patrick hopes to work for the State Department and further his educational track by going to Law School.
Hesham A. Hassaballa
Hesham is a Chicago doctor and writer. He is a Beliefnet columnist, and he has a blog on Chicago Now. His latest book is Noble Brother: The Story of the Last Prophet in Poetry, which is now in its second edition. He currently serves on the CAIR-Chicago board. Read his writings at www.drhassaballa.com
Hadeel is a student at DePaul University studying biological sciences. In her future career she wishes to go into speech pathology and freelance journalism.
Jacqueline graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. She is currently entering her second year at DePaul University College of Law. Jacqueline aspires to become a criminal defense attorney, but is also interested in civil rights, family law, and immigration and asylum law.
Najlah Iqbal is an outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently in her third year at Northeastern Illinois University in hopes of receiving a bachelors in English and Secondary Education. She is a poet whose work has been published in SEEDS, her university literary magazine.
Anzur is currently entering her final year of law school at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She hopes to ultimately work in the public interest sector to help the Muslim community and immigrants.
Saleha is pursuing a M.A. in Theology at the Catholic Theological Union with a focus on inter-religious dialogue. She spent a semester as a Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Intern with the Muslim American Society in Chicago.
Lin Jiang is an Outreach Volunteer Activist from China. He was an Outreach Extern in the Winter-Spring 2015 Hoosier Externship Program. Lin is currently double majoring in statistics and mathematics at Indiana University at Bloomington. Lin is very interested in using data to contribute to people’s lives. He is also eager to learn about Muslim issues in the Xinjiang province of China. In his spare time, Lin enjoys watching anime and movies, and playing ping pong.
Agnieszka is a former Senior Communications Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Geography and spent one year studying at the New School University in New York.
Sony is currently a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. She has previously written for the Chicago Tribune’s high school paper, The Mash.
Aaron is a student at Loyola University majoring in Political Science and Journalism. He hopes to fight human rights violations across the world.
Joseph is Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a senior at DePaul University majoring in Economics and Geography. Joseph has worked for the past 2 years in DePaul’s Financial Services Office, providing personal finance education and resources to students. His studies have focused primarily on public and community banking, as well as the U.S. and international financial system. Joseph recently received an award on research he presented at the DePaul-UIC student conference on New Zealand’s postal banking system. Joseph is also a former volunteer of CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Department. Joseph is interested in consumer law/advocacy and civil rights. He hopes to be able to play a supportive role in U.S. financial reform.
Tarek has attended the John Marshall Law School and is currently a Law Clerk in Cook county.
Rabya Khan is a former Staff Attorney at CAIR-Chicago. Rabya received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and her Juris Doctorate from DePaul College of Law.
Alexandra Kirchner is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a junior at Wheaton College majoring in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies with an interest in African politics.
Sami serves on the executive committee of American Muslims for Palestine in Chicago. Sami visited Gaza City and used his blog, “Sixteen Minutes to Palestine”, to report extensively about everyday living in the occupied territories.
Michal Kranz is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is an incoming third year History and Sociology major at the University of Chicago, with a personal focus on modern Middle Eastern history and geopolitics. Michal is passionate about working with marginalized groups like Muslim-Americans to fight for their social and civil rights through writing and activism, and writes for several papers in Hyde Park, Chicago like the South Side Weekly in hopes of pursuing journalism professionally after college. In his spare time, Michal enjoys playing guitar in a heavy metal band, writing short stories, and playing historical strategy games.
Rhys recently graduated from York Community High School and in the fall will begin pursuing a bachelor’s in international studies at American University in Washington, D.C. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, and has lived in Kazan, Russia.
Hind is an interfaith educator who develops and delivers training on civic integration and community empowerment. An internationally recognized speaker, she has been invited to deliver speeches and workshops on interfaith cooperation, civic integration and developing Muslim women’s leadership throughout North America and Western Europe.
Milos recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Journalism at DePaul University. He is a contributing writer and photographer for the music blog Brooklyn Vegan Chicago.
Alishba is currently a student at Northeastern University for Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology. She hopes to attend law school in the future.
Jarron is an Outreach Intern for CAIR-Chicago. He is a senior at Princeton University, where he is majoring in History and minoring in Near Eastern Studies. He hopes to learn more about American Muslim communities and their relationship with the American legal system.
Isamar graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Psychology and English. Her professional goals are to go to graduate school and work in different countries.
Karim graduated with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is currently entering his second year at Valparaiso University Law School. He is an active member of Valparaiso’s Trial Advocacy Team.
Alexander Miceli is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a graduate of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he majored in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Security. Alexander is proficient in Modern Standard Arabic and will be attending the University of Chicago in the Fall in pursuit of a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. After graduation, he hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer.
Hanan is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is originally from Gurnee, Illinois and attends school in Los Angeles. She is a sophomore at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs. She enjoys studying languages and speaks Spanish. She is also currently studying Arabic and plans to concentrate her studies on the Middle East. Upon graduation from Occidental, Hanan plans to attend graduate school, studying either International Relations or Law. She hopes to be involved in non-partisan development, social justice, or human rights work in the future.
Brittany is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Marketing at Lewis University. She previously served as an Executive Management Assistant, Area Manager, and University Staff.
Shaiesha is currently a student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., majoring in Middle East Regional Studies with a concentration in Democracy, and minoring in Christian-Muslim understanding. In the fall, Shai will be studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan, and in preparation hopes to learn more about Islam.
Uzma graduated among the top of her class from East-West University in March 2011, double majoring in marketing and accounting. She is interested in world affairs, politics, religious studies, humanitarian causes and strongly supports education and activism.
Siham Naser is an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She will be a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, finishing her degree in Finance. Her passions are helping others, spreading unity and awareness, and promoting equal civil rights.
Haney is attending the University of Illinois at Chicago for history. He has previously worked for Halal Farms USA and the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Alexis O’Connor is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a junior at Northwestern University and is double majoring in journalism and Middle East & North Africa studies. She is a shameless shutterbug and loves to photograph anything and everything. In the future, Alexis hopes to continue her work educating the public and creating platforms for discriminated communities to be heard. She is especially concerned with media representation of Muslims and their beliefs and is confident that CAIR will give her the professional tools to combat these injustices.
Susy is a recent graduate of Loyola University in Political science. She hopes to apply her interest in political science and communications in the real-world.
Ammad currently attends University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He wants to look at the types of discrimination facing Muslims and help with immigration and citizenship issues.
Ahmed Rehab is the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago. 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.
Joshua is currently a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, majoring in political science and international studies. He was previously a coach and event coordinator for the Chicago debate league, and is also a national champion of college parliamentary debate.
Mohammad is a graduate student at the University of Chicago for Middle Eastern studies. He has written for a number of publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, and Chief of Lights.
Alaa attends DePaul University in Chicago for Urban Planning. She hopes to promote a better image of Muslims everywhere.
Ghufran Salih is an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at L.V. Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas and plans on majoring in Computer Science and Engineering in university. Ghufran loves getting involved in her school, she is the president of Key Club and the vice president of the National Honor Society at her school. She has a passion for civil rights, equality, community service, golf, football, books, and her vintage record collection.
Noor graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 with a degree in English literature. Noor is interested in learning more about grant writing and hopes to write grant proposals this summer to various foundations and organizations that offer them.
Christian Sanchez is an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a student at Saint Xavier University, where he is majoring in History and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Communications, and Political Science.
Walid is studying Philosophy and Business Management at Loyola University of Chicago. He hopes to gain further awareness about the crisis in Syria and aid the Chicago Muslim community.
Laith is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies program at DePaul University. He is completing his doctorate at the University of Chicago in Contemporary Islamic Thought. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture and a regular contributor to NPR. He is a Senior Consultant in Pubic/Government Relations for the Syrian Forum in Istanbul.
Zahra is a volunteer activist. She currently pursuing a dual degree in Criminology, Law, and Justice and Mathematics & Computer Science at The University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to Urdu, she is also fluent in Gujarati, Hindi, and Arabic. She has spent time abroad including Yemen where she worked at a hospital and taught English at a local school. In addition to being a volunteer at CAIR-Chicago, Zahra also works at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at UIC and is the Chicago City Lead for Pakathon. Her interests include traveling, cooking, and playing sports.
Joe Scarry is a Member of the Working Group on the Middle East (WGME) of the Metro Chicago Synod (MCS) – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Samia is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Samia is an aspiring journalist and hopes to one day help educate the masses.
Eman graduated with a Master’s degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She has been published in her city magazine, The Bakersfield Californian; was Features Editor at her campus newspaper; and was an intern with WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.
Dasia is a student at DePaul University and is currently an intern in the division of student affairs at her college.
Maryam Sultan is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a junior at University of Illinois at Chicago and is majoring in English and Secondary Education.
Nicole earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Florida International University and is currently entering her second year at Notre Dame Law School. With a passion for civil rights work, Nicole hopes for a career where the primary goal is protecting the rights of individuals.
Ankur has a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and History and is currently enrolled in law school at Cleveland Marshall. He hopes to become an advocate and voice for under-served communities.
Aseal is at the University of Chicago and is majoring in both public policy and political science and minoring in human rights. She has previously served as an extern for the Regional Transportation Authority and is an Illinois State Scholar.
Nathaniel Van Wienen
Nathaniel is currently a student at Carleton College in Minnesota, majoring in Religion with a French and Francophone Studies minor. He studied abroad in Belgium where he interned with an anti-racism agency where he defended rights in Belgium’s Muslim community.
Kevin Vodak is the former Litigation Director 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. Outside of his work in private law firms, Kevin has works with the National Lawyers Guild.
William von Schrader
William is currently attending DePaul University and majoring in political science. He previously interned for Karen Buck a member of parliament in the UK in 2011. He hopes to establish a career where he will do work that can truly better the world for everyone.
Naeem graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Journalism and double minor in International Studies and Islamic World Studies. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in International studies at DePaul.
Amena is currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield majoring in Accounting. She works as a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago, and has written articles for The State Journal-Register in Springfield, IL.
John is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a recent graduate of Boston University where he majored in History. His particular focus while in school included international relations and colonial/postcolonial studies. During his time at CAIR, John hopes to continue expanding upon his knowledge of the Muslim community and to promote tolerance and understanding. His interests consist of reading, travel, skiing, Chicago Blackhawks hockey and Chicago Bears football.
Vanessa Valadez is a Chicago-based cartoonist and illustrator. She received her BFA degree in Illustration from Columbia College in Chicago and currently resides in the Logan Square neighborhood. Her artwork is inspired by children’s books, video games, cartoons, comics, and real life. Her work has appeared in Southside Weekly, The Columbia Chronicle, and numerous alternative comic books.
Fatma is an Operations intern at CAIR-Chicago and studies International Relations and Economics at Roosevelt University. She is interested in Economic Development for underdeveloped countries. In her free time she enjoys reading non-fiction political books, exploring different neighborhoods and trying new Chicago eateries. She decided to join CAIR-Chicago in order to effectively represent the American Muslim community as well as diversify her experiences.
Zarina Wong is a volunteer activist at CAIR-Chicago. She will be a freshman at University of California Los Angeles in the Fall where she plans on studying Mathematics for Teaching with a minor in Music Industry. Zarina’s interests include interfaith and civic engagement after her involvement with campus ministry in her high school. She is passionate about forming understandings between people of different faiths and a positive image of Muslims in the media. In the past, Zarina has spent her time volunteering at the Sue Duncan Center tutoring children ages 5-13 and coaching music camps with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra. She wishes to pursue a career in teaching mathematics while fostering her passion of music and social activism.
Megan Zacher is an Outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago where she is double majoring in International Studies and French.
Amy recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in English and a minor in Communications. She is greatly looking forward to working against bigotry with CAIR-Chicago. Amy is half Lebanese and speaks conversational Arabic.
Khaled earned his B.B.A. from the Arab International University in Syria. He has also worked as a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago.