Shaheen Bharde has been a member of the Islamic Speakers Bureau since 2012. Shaheen has also been involved with volunteering at the Roswell Community Masjid for over 10 years. She currently chairs the Public Relations Committee and works with many local businesses and interfaith organizations to build bridges with the larger community. Shaheen also serves on the Governing Board at North Fulton Community Charities heading their advocacy. She serves on the faith advisory board for Fulton County Schools, as well as on the Pastoral Advisory Committee at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Shaheen has been featured in ISB’s Women’s History month in 2014 and recognized in 40 under 40 Georgia Muslims in 2016.
Al-Hajj Reche′ Tariq Abdul-Haqq is an American Muslim who promotes interfaith and intercultural understanding. He is a leadership consultant with extensive business experience in the pharmaceuticals industry. Tariq graduated from Duke University with a BA degree in History. He joined Islamic Speakers Bureau in 2015 and was honored with the ISB Speaker of the Year Award in 2017. He is a devoted father and husband in a loving family and he volunteers with several charitable causes. Favorite quote: “It is better to aim high and fail than to succeed at a lower level” – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Daily mantra: “Don’t count the days; make the days count!” – Muhammad Ali.
Amin Tomeh is a long-time speaker, trainer, and board member of ISB Atlanta. In 2009, he was named Speaker of the Year and in 2014 was named one of the 100 Influential Georgia Muslims. He is a founding member and trainer of the Interfaith Speakers Network (ISN). In 2016, Amin was recognized as a Daily Point of Light for his ISB Work. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a certified Project Management Professional, and was granted the Diplomate in Geotechnical Engineering (D. GE) Certification by the Academy of Geo-Professionals in 2015.
Basma is married to Emad Hamid, and they are blessed with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She was born in Moscow and raised in her native Egypt.
Basma earned a B.S. degree with honors in Allied Health Psychology from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. She worked as an Arabic teacher for 10 years until she resigned in order to host and care for her late mother who had special needs. She is a volunteer ISB Speaker and enjoys interior design, reading and writing.
Benjamin Kweskin is proudly the only Jewish member of the Islamic Speakers Bureau in Atlanta. Kweskin works towards bringing together Jewish and Muslim communities and has been researching, writing, traveling, and presenting his work throughout the world for two decades. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa and lived in Israel/Palestine and the Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq. With Ph.D coursework in Political Science/Middle East Studies, Kweskin and was a professor at GA State Univ. He remains dedicated to impressing Metro Atlanta community the necessity for Jewish-Muslim relations and seeks to show that Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are two different sides of the same coin. He speaks Hebrew, Arabic, and Kurdish at various levels.
Emad is married to Basma Elashker, and they are blessed with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. He was born and raised in Boston, then lived in his native Egypt from fourth grade through high school.
Emad earned a B.S. in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Technology Management from Mercer University. He works as an IT Manager at Mar-Jac Poultry in Gainesville, GA and enjoys volunteering with youth groups and in ISB speaking engagements.
Faraz Iqbal is a certified speaker of the Islamic Speakers Bureau and currently serves on the Board. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Pace University and an MBA from Fairfield University. Faraz currently serves as the COO of Naranga, a technology solution provider in the Franchise space. He has been involved with various non-profit initiatives at the local and national levels with a focus on youth work for over 25 years. Faraz was involved with the chartering of Young Muslims and has served as its Board Chairman. He has been teaching at the Roswell Community Masjid for 10 years and is a former Board Member. He is married with 4 kids, a cat and lives in Tucker, Georgia.
Nabile Safdar has been active in interfaith work since attending a Catholic High School next to a Jewish Community Center, bringing together teens from these faith traditions for dialogue. This work continued for years in Maryland as one of the speakers and presidents of the Baltimore Interfaith Outreach Council, based at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. He joined ISB Atlanta in 2014 as a speaker, board member, and content author. With a special interest in the intersection of healthcare with his Master’s thesis being an “Exploratory Assessment of the Beliefs of Maryland’s Muslims Regarding their Health Needs and Barriers to Access.” He is currently the Vice President of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, the oldest and largest organization of Muslim physicians in the United States.
Rabeea Janjua balances her professional passion as an ophthalmologist, commitment to raising children with a strong American Muslim identity, and dedication to strengthening Muslim organizations through volunteerism. She has been a speaker with ISB Atlanta since moving to the Atlanta area in 2014, with a strong interest in developing cultural competency for health care workers through ISB presentations. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing and riding her bike.
Reem Faruqi is the Communications Director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She schedules presentations for the ISB and creates content for monthly newsletters. Reem was an ISB Member of the Year for 2015. She is also a certified speaker and enjoys presenting the ISB Children’s Program. Reem holds a masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University and worked as a teacher for Fulton County Schools. Currently, Reem is a children’s book author of Lailah’s Lunchbox and family photographer. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Atlanta.
Salma Stoman has been a certified speaker with the ISB since 2008 and earned the ISB Speaker of the Year Award in 2011. She tailors each presentation to her audiences and has presents often in educational and religious institutions. She believes strongly in the power of knowledge, truth, and in giving back to the community. She is active with youth organizations and serves on several academic and religious committees. She holds a Pharm.D from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and works as a pharmacist.
Sophia Jetpuri-Naviwala, an educator for 14 years, now joins the Islamic Speakers Bureau, with aims to build bridges and cultivate understanding. Sophia brings two years of international experience working with interfaith programs, in which he has customized, developed and curated outreach and awareness programs. Sophia currently works to mentor principals and teachers, providing strategies for school improvement and student success. She holds double masters in Education and Leadership, along Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Dallas. She resides in Atlanta with her four children, with whom she hopes to raise civic awareness and foster positive global awareness.
Sara Khalid became a certified speaker for the ISB in 2017 and has been an active participant in ISB engagements since. Sara is a marketing and services professional. Her career spans working for the Fintech industry in the areas of product marketing, strategy and small business consulting. Sara has worked as Director Product Marketing at First Data. She received her Master’s in Business Administration from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
Sara currently focuses on consulting, volunteering, community work and fitness. She enjoys hiking and reading in her free time.
She lives with her husband Muzammil, son and 2 daughters in Marietta, GA.
When I joined the Islamic Speakers Bureau in 2016, I was looking for ways to answer questions about Islam and Muslims in America in an effective, impactful way. During my time with the ISB one of the most rewarding ways I have been able to do this is by taking part in our Coffee with a Muslim initiative. Monthly we hold an event at a coffee shop, café, etc. inviting anyone who
would like to meet a Muslim or anyone who may have questions about Islam and American Muslims to come and join us for coffee and to have a conversation in a relaxed setting. These events have proven to be great opportunities to make meaningful connections and have generated some wonderful conversations. I have worked as a paralegal for the last seventeen years in the Atlanta area. When I am not working I am spending time with family and friends, reading, and volunteering. I live in
Cumming with my husband, two daughters and one very loved Shih Tzu.
Hina Mahmood joined the Islamic Speakers Bureau to get trained on how to converse effectively at her children’s school, her work, and in general about Islam. Having been with the ISB since 2013, she has been able to bring education about Islam to the public sphere within our communities. With a wealth of information in different formats, she has enjoyed doing presentations at schools, colleges, churches, mosques and synagogues. She has enjoyed story times and puppet plays at libraries and children’s museums as well as relaxing conversations at Coffee with a Muslim at coffee shops. In this journey and process, Hina has been able to learn a great deal and make wonderful friends. For a living, she works as a Sr. Software Engineer in the Atlanta area. She lives with her husband, her youngest daughter and a cat in Alpharetta. Her 2 older kids have graduated, found jobs and moved out of the house. In her free time she loves to cook, knit or crochet and spend time with family and friends.
Sara Wada has been a part of the Atlanta community for the majority of her life. She currently serves as the National Donor and Volunteer Manager for Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief USA, where she is responsible for coordinating and marketing outreach services to Muslim communities across the nation.
Passionate about helping underprivileged communities, Sara has led disaster relief groups to the Hurricane Michael cleanup in Panama City, Florida in October 2018 and Alabama for tornado relief cleanup in March 2019. She has undertaken mission trips globally to Haiti, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, and Mexico.
Sara is passionate about helping refugees and to helping those in need. Sara has learned what it takes to work hard for those whose voices can not be heard, and to do whatever it takes to empower them.
Arshia Shah is a NY licensed attorney, published author, and Founder/CEO of a holistic health business. She also serves as a board member of Camp Butterfly International, a non-profit education and community outreach program for adolescent girls.
Arshia grew up in England, has lived in four different countries and eight different States. She hails from a mixed faith family, with half her family being Christian or Atheist, and the other half Muslim. She studied under former monks and nuns at a Catholic high school (a former castle built by Henry VIII!) and later spent several years here and in Africa and the Middle East studying Islamic theology, law, and spirituality. Consequently, Arshia has natural love and passion for interfaith dialogue, spreading understanding, and building bridges.
She currently lives in Lilburn with her two daughters and various animals.
Mansour Ansari, ISB Speaker of the Year in 2011, was born in 1949 in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the the grandson of Lebanese Christian Orthodox immigrants who arrived in USA in 1890. A graduate of Worcester Academy and Syracuse (NY) University, he received a Bachelors in Science in Magazine Journalism and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature. He converted to Islam in 1974. He has been in the business of Persian and Oriental rugs for the past 43 years. He is an active traveler and is passionate about Islamic journalism projects. He is married and has two daughters and five grandchildren
Jelena Naim has been a certified speaker with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta since its founding in 2001. She is a veteran educator, with experience teaching and working in administration both in the US and internationally, in universities and schools. Currently she is a principal at a faith-based PreK-HS private school in Gwinnett County. She is married, has 4 adult children, and enjoys camping in our beautiful national parks from Florida to Alaska in the summers.
Nazmus Sakib joined the Islamic Speakers Bureau in 2020. He was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He moved to Connecticut in his late teens and recently relocated to the Peach State in 2017 in search of warmer weather. He has worked at various leadership roles within non-profit space over the last 15 years. He currently volunteers at his local mosque (Masjid Omar) in Lilburn and a few other community based initiatives. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Certificate in MIS from University of Connecticut. He also completed Executive Education in Finance from Harvard University. Naz works at a fin-tech company which is the world’s largest hedge fund and private equity administrator. In his spare time, he loves travelling and spending time with his wife and two kids. So far he visited 10 countries and 20 US states and can communicate in 5 languages at various levels.
Maha Elsherif joined the Islamic Speaker Bureau in 2020. Maha is an active member of the Islamic Society of Augusta (ISA) since 2010. Maha served in the Executive Committee as a Women’s Representative in 2015-2016 and as a member of ISA Open House Committee. Maha is a member of the ISA Out Reach Committee since 2016, where the committee holds a monthly public event to provide complete and accurate information about Islam and Muslims to the general public. Also, Maha volunteered as an Islamic Studies teacher in the ISA Sunday School from 2015-2018.
Maha holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Augusta University. Maha works in the Augusta Science Academy (a full time Islamic School) as a Lead Teacher and as a Math and Islamic Studies teacher.
“Education changed my life and the life of my family,” says Zenobia Bomani. Zenobia entered a primarily white male dominated field as an African American Muslim woman and has spent nearly 20 years in the IT/Software industry. As a young teen mother, there was no such word as ‘quit’. After graduating high school, she continued her education, quickly advancing throughout her career. As a single mom and widow at 30, she went on to speak on diversity, working on diversity committees, and completed her BS in Network Telecommunications Systems cum laud, while working as a QA Engineer. She completed her MA in Adult Ed & Training, promoted to a QA Engineering Manager, and served as a career mentor and panelist on Women of VMWare. Hardships were met with triumphs fueling opportunities to share her experiences with others through mentorship and community engagement, raising awareness by speaking on mental health in the African American community. Today she’s a proud grandmother of three, serving on a racial equality group, and works as a Sr. QA Engineer. Zenobia says, “We can all lose our way on this journey called life. Once we find our way again, we must remember to be the light and show others the way.”
Dr. Azza El-Remessy, a native of Egypt, has been a member of the Islamic Speakers Bureau since 2018 as she is among the graduates of the inaugural class of the ISB Leadership Institute. Azza has also been involved with volunteering at the Islamic Society of Augusta for over 20 years. She served as a Women representative, active member of the Sunday School, as well as a member of the outreach and interfaith committee. She is a founding member of the Women Interfaith Network (WIN) at the Central Savannah River Area, where she enjoys building bridges with other women of a different faith. Azza holds a doctorate in Biochemistry and in Pharmacy and works as a Clinical Pharmacist in the Augusta area. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and outdoor activities with her family.
Huma Faruqi is a special needs teacher by profession and has been in the field of education for over 25 years. Born in Pakistan, Faruqi studied in the United Kingdom and worked in the education field in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Presently, Faruqi volunteers at one mosque in the Atlanta area teaching numerous classes including the interpretation of the Quran, Arabic and Tajweed (elocution).
Faruqi is the book keeper for her husband’s aviation company, and is a certified speaker for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She was recognized previously as Speaker of The Year. She is a mother of four and a grandmother of eight.
Fara Habib is a finance and accounting professional and currently works as an accountant. Fara also serves on the board of Helping the Community, Inc, a Georgia Non-Profit, focused on providing financial and other assistance to local refugees and families in need as well as supporting vocational and education projects focused on women and children in Pakistan.
She grew up in various cities of Pakistan in a military family and moved to the metro Atlanta area in the mid-1990s where she went to Georgia Institute of Technology for her undergraduate degree and Georgia State University for her Masters. Fara currently lives in the Lilburn/Tucker area with her husband, Faraz Iqbal and their four teenagers and 2 adorable cats!
Dr. Naim was born and brought up in India. He earned his undergraduate degree in history with honors from the Aligarh Muslim University in India, a Master’s degree in International Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. He also earned another Masters in International Relations from the Australian National University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Naim has taught and held research positions at the Centre for Islamic Studies at Oxford University in the UK, at the University of California Santa Cruz, and Union College in upstate New York. He is currently with the Department of Political Science at Georgia State University. His areas of specialization are International Relations, religion and politics, Middle East politics, international relations of the Middle East, South Asian politics and Nuclear Proliferation. He has published on and taught these subjects for over 25 years. Dr Naim has appeared as an invited guest on various national and international media outlets including CNN, CNN international, BBC, Voice of America, Indian satellite TV programs and National Public Radio to speak on topics related to his areas of interest. He is also a consultant on matters pertaining to Islam, the Middle East and South Asia.
Among other Activities Dr. Naim currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in the UK and on the board of the National Model United Nations.
Iman Mohamed has been a member of ISB since 2016. She is a healthcare office manager for a private pediatric practice in Peachtree Corners, GA that caters primarily to the underinsured and immigrant community. Outside of work, Iman volunteers regularly in many community efforts such as ICNA Relief and IMAN. She enjoys studying Islamic history, painting, cooking, hiking, and cycling with her husband while exploring Atlanta.
Participating in the ISBLI 2020 course has deepened and widened my understanding of myself and how to grow into the leader I aspire to become. I grew up with many privileges owing to my father’s job in the esteemed...
ISBLI intentionally brought together a diverse group of people from various cultural, ethnic, religious, socio-economic, occupational, ideological, and intellectual backgrounds. The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB) has cultivated space for Muslims to lend their voices to the work...