Our Honorable Judges
Alhamdulillah, we have a very qualified pool of experts as judges for 2014 LETS READ Competition. Here are the short Bios of some of the judges.
Najat Ali Alamouri, is originally from Palestine and speaks Arabic language fluently. She is a Hafiza of Quran and currently works as a Tajweed and Arabic teacher. Her specialty is makharij and siffat, and she is on the way to get Ijaza inshallah.
Sameer Ali is the Director of IRHSCA Weekend Academy. He is a graduate of Dar-us-Salaam and has been a part of that community for the past 14 years. He is a student of UMUC working on his bachelors degree in Cyber Security.
Naeem Baig is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland pursuing a double degree in Finance and Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and is enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP) in the Honors College. Naeem Baig is also an ambitious spoken word artist aspiring to reach people of all ages with his eye-opening and heart stopping poetry. He aims for his poetry to serve as a means by which both the young and old alike are incited to action, bettering our world in one way or another. He has won various spoken word competitions at both a regional and national level, and has performed at over 75 venues since 2011 comprising fundraisers for humanitarian relief organizations, community initiatives, charities, youth groups, student organizations at various universities, high schools, conferences, and poetry clubs. He’s found spoken word to be a potent medium by which he can disseminate a message to people of various backgrounds and mindsets with hopes to engage in healthy discourse. He hopes at the very least, that he won’t bore you to death.
Dr. Shahida Chowdhury is a Physician working in Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC. She is a Senior Member of Muslim Ummah in North America (MUNA).
Amaarah DeCuir is principal of Al Fatih Academy and a former elementary school teacher. Amaarah is dedicated to the pursuit of Islamic education in her role as a school leader. She supports programs that encourage and motivate students to study new information, demonstrate creativity, reflect upon the seerah, and memorize the words of Allah swt. Amaarah is eager to support the Let’s Read program as it fosters the love of learning in the hearts and minds of young people.
Amaarah is a lifelong learner herself. She earned a BA degree in History from U.C. Berkeley, a Masters of Education degree from Howard University, and she recently completed her Ed.D. degree from The George Washington University. Her doctoral research is centered in school leadership within American Islamic schools. She is the mother of five students between grades 3 – 11, and she is happily married to a teacher, Imam Mohamed Magid.
Imtiaz Hafiz is currently a curator of art at the US Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program and holds a degree in Art History.
Minhaj Hasan is a member of the Muslim Link newspaper staff. He has been involved in Islamic work in the DMV region for over 20 years.
Musfika Hossain finished her hifzh of the Qur’an in 2011. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Education. She has been teaching Qur’an at Dar-us-Salaam for the past 10 years to students ranging from ages 4 to 54. She has also been an active volunteer in the DUS community, helping with the youth group, fundraisers, and events. This will be her third time judging for the Let’s Read competition.
Mustabin Hossain is a student at the University of Maryland and a teacher at DarUsSalaam’s Qur’an Institute. She is considered a self taught Artist and have had many experiences creating and critiquing forms of artwork on both amatuer and professional levels.
Arif Kabir graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Operations Management & Information Systems in 2013. He completed his Qur’anic memorization in 2009. He is a founding member of Muslim Youth Musings, the DC Hidayah Conference, and the DMV Youth Council. He has also served as Ameer of AlMaghrib Institute DC and as a board member for ILIA and MIST.
Yusuf Khan has lived in the DC-Metro area for the past 8 years. He works as an information technology consultant by trade and frequently lectures at Prince George’s Muslim Association on Islamic matters. He also serves as regional coordinator for the nationwide outreach organization WhyIslam.
Omar Khawaja is a Muslim American born in Saudi Arabia with family roots in Pakistan. He grew up in New York and now lives in the Washington D.C area with his wife and three young children. Omar is the founder of Little Big Kids and creator of the Ilyas & Duck cartoon characters. ‘Ilyas & Duck Search for Allah’ is his first children’s book. http://www.littlebigkids.com/our-story/
Abu Sayed Mahfuz, is an IT professional, holding a Masters in Islamic Sharia from International Islamic University, Malaysia and another Masters in Information Technology from University of Detroit Mercy, MI. He is also the Editor & Publisher of Monthly BanglaAmar, Interfaith board member Michigan, and Founding Chairman of Michigan Democratic Party Bangladeshi Caucus.
Iqbal Unus [Ph.D, Emory University 1977] is associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, and is a former secretary general and current Board member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). During his over four decades of community service, he has served as the President of the MSA of the U.S. and Canada in 1975 and has been actively involved with several committees and projects at local and national levels. He has published several articles in Islamic Horizons, a book chapter in The Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square, and two children’s books, as well as abridged Apostasy in Islam: An Historical and Scriptural Analysis, and edited Muslim American Life: Reflections and Perspectives. He has served on the Research Committee for The US Mosque Survey 2011. He was awarded lifetime service awards by CAIR in 2011 and by ISNA in 2012.