President: Murad Awawdeh
With over 15 years of organizing and coalition building experience, Murad Awawdeh is a strong advocate and political field expert. Murad is extremely knowledgeable on civic and electoral engagement which will help MDCNY continue to grow. His dedication to building a more politically empowered Muslim community led him to joining MDCNY the first year of its inception. Murad has led GOTV and voter registration drives with MDCNY. Murad is currently the Civic Engagement Coordinator at the New York Immigration Coalition. Murad coordinates statewide civic engagement initiatives, such as voter registration, public education, Get Out the Vote Campaigns, and voter protection.
Vice President: Faiza Ali
Faiza is a community organizer and activist. She currently works for NY City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and is the former Advocacy Coordinator at the Arab American Association of NY. Prior to AAANY, Faiza worked as an organizer with Brooklyn Congregations United, an organization empowering grassroots leaders to transform their communities. In 2012, her work was featured in a New York Times column. Faiza continues to explore ways to build community power. She currently sits on the steering committee of the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays.
Treasurer: Ali Najmi
Since 2007 Ali has lead a consistent effort to increase voter registration and voter turnout in new immigrant communities in Queens, with an emphasis on mobilizing the South Asian and Muslim community. Ali is a founding member of the Muslim Democratic Club of NY. As an attorney, Ali has successfully represented defendants facing criminal charges in all counties of New York City and Long Island. Ali has also represented political candidates and organizations in election law and compliance matters. Prior to starting his private practice, he served as Legislative Director to a member of the City Council.
Secretary: Mohammad Khan
Mohammad Khan is a policy analyst, organizer, and political advisor from Jamaica, Queens. He works as Political Director for Zephyr Teachout, who ran for Governor in the 2014 Democratic Primary. Due to his efforts, her campaign was the first ever state-wide campaign with a specific and substantial focus on Muslim outreach. Mohammad has strong ties to the local progressive community and also serves on the board of Citizen Action of NYC and the group’s Racial Justice Committee. He has an MPA in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University SIPA, where he helped found the school’s Diversity Task Force.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Aliya Latif is a community organizer and forever student of the civil rights movement. With over seven years experience in media relations and community organizing, Aliya will be able to help further MDCNY’s mission to increase civic engagement and capacity in Muslim communities. She was a field organizing fellow with the Bill de Blasio campaign during the most critical time of voter engagement. She currently sits on the board of the Islamic Center at NYU’s Professionals Group and steering committees of the Muslim American Civil Liberties Union and the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays.
Most of my working life has been spent working for non-profit and social service agencies in Brooklyn, including the American Red Cross, Help I, and East New York Urban Youth Corps, The New York State Division For Youth. I’ve been a lifetime and active member of the Democratic Party here in my district and have served as staff member to the late Councilman James E. Davis and Assembly member Karim Camara. I currently serve on the NYC Neighborhood Advisory Council in Community Board 16, Chairman of the Community Safety Council (Not for Profit) and Executive Member of the 73rd Precinct Council.
Mohammed is an active member and volunteer in MDCNY that deeply cares about its mission and objectives, and more than anything else, the people involved in making it a reality for the community. While he prefers to be a volunteer at the disposal of activists that he sees as role models, he realizes the dangers of sitting on the sideline watching people run for boards for the sake of recognition and self aggrandizement without commitment to the work. He believes 2015 is an institution and community building year, and hopes to be part of the change that needs to happen.
Linda is a successful non profit manager, has deep ties and connections to the political machine of NYC. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Linda shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is an excellent public speaker and tested community organizer. Her vision is to see a Muslim American community that is strategic and consistent in its civic engagement.
Merium Malik spends significant time career serving her community and doing outreach work. She realizes the importance of the Muslim community in the political system. Our voices need to be heard as Muslims, because there is not a significant amount of Muslims who vote or are in office for the politicians to care about our issues. Ms. Malik is an Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney. She devotes a lot her time in volunteering in the Immigration Court in New York and on Immigration task force for Public Advocate’s office. Ms. Malik gives free Immigration seminars throughout New York City.
Saubirah has been a member of the MDCNY since its official launch. She has worked on campaigns for Zead Ramadan, James Sanders and other candidates as a member of the RHDC. Saubirah has also been an active member of the Muslim community, serving as a youth leader for Turning Point for Women and Families as well as an intern at the Islamic Center of New York where she attended marketing and strategy meetings for Park51. As a member at large, Saubirah wants to work towards building a strong voting community within the NYC Muslim community through grassroots organizing efforts.
Tahanie Aboushi is a partner at the Aboushi Law Firm in Midtown Manhattan. She specializing in civil rights litigation, immigration and commercial litigation. Tahanie also provides Pro bono legal consultations on a weekly basis to the community at large. She believes in empowering Muslims of all ages to become civically engaged so that our community can speak for itself as opposed to being spoken for.