Our Interns

Staff | Board | Intern

Yusra Khan

Communications Intern – Winter/Summer 2018

Yusra Khan is standing senior at DePaul University, months away from graduating in June with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications along with a minor in Public Relations and Advertising. A few of her professional goals are to become a passionate communicator and a respectable leader.She joined CAIR-Chicago because she realized that she was not fully aware or informed on current events targeting the Muslim community. CAIR-Chicago gives her the opportunity to be alert when such events target the Muslim community both on a global and national level.
Her favorite hobbies are to spend time with her friends and families by either watching a good movie or a CW show, such as the Flash, Riverdale, or the Arrow.

Matthew Boey

Government Affairs Intern – Winter 2018

Matt Boey is a senior at Loyola University Chicago, majoring in international studies and participating in Loyola’s B.A./M.A. program for political science. As a student, Matt served as a retreat leader and Resident Assistant, hoping to foster tolerance and political engagement through student development. He joined CAIR-Chicago to learn to be a better advocate for intersectional social justice and translate that knowledge into concrete policy changes for marginalized groups. Outside of work and school, Matt can be founding watching/debating movies, learning random bits of history, busting a move in Zumba classes, or playing piano and guitar (both air and real).

 

Saadia Pervaiz

Communications Extern – Fall 2017

Saadia Pervaiz recently graduated from the University of Chicago Masters of Arts Program in the Social Sciences with a concentration in South Asian history. She joined CAIR-chicago because she believes it provides a great platform for promoting education, love, understanding, consciousness, and solidarity among the Muslim community. She hopes to use this experience to help her in her goals of becoming a history professor. She’s interested in fencing, basketball, illustration, reading, video games, photography, and hiking. She has a cat named Arcadia. She makes her own tea blends. She’s also a huge foodie.

Sabrina Wilson

Outreach Intern – Fall 2017

Sabrina Wilson is a fall Government Affairs and Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a 2017 high school graduate and has been a member of various non-profits such as Memphis Voices for Palestine, Memphis Against Sexual Harassment and Assault, and the Muslims in Memphis Project. As a Muslim brought up in America and coming from an immigrant background, she has always had a strong interest in minority issues and hopes to continue her work in combatting injustices throughout her career. Outside of the US, she has lived in Singapore and Dubai, and has traveled across the Middle Eastern/Asian region, which cultivated her interest in different cultures. Some of her other interests include art, literature, music, and outdoor activities.

Tamara Hijazi

Communications Extern – Fall 2017

Tamara Hijazi is a recent graduate from Bucknell University, where she studied Biology & Women and Gender Studies. While a student, Tamara helped manage the Middle Eastern Student Association, conducted research on chocolate farms while studying abroad in Panama, and was a part of BAD, an activist organization that involved both students and faculty. She joined CAIR to become more involved with the local Muslim community, hoping to help deconstruct the pan-ethnic and pan-cultural identity that it has been given by the general media. While working with CAIR, she wants to use visual media to center the lives and experiences of the Muslim community members around her, particularly those of young Muslim women. In the future, she hopes to become a professor, focusing on gender, history, and social politics in the Middle East. Tamara also enjoys learning about photography, marine biology, and sustainable agriculture.

Emily Miller

Government Affairs Intern – Fall 2017

Emily Miller is a senior at Wheaton College, majoring in International Relations with a minor in Psychology. Following a year studying Arabic in Jordan and Lebanon, she decided to pursue a career in refugee advocacy and human rights law, which is what led her to CAIR. Emily is passionate about CAIR-Chicago’s work in the ways they promote civic engagement and empower Muslim Americans in the public sphere, as well as fight for the rights of those affected by unfair and discriminatory legislation. She is also interested in creating public events that can connect and gather people from different social environments and faith backgrounds. After graduating, Emily hopes to return to Jordan to study Arabic, and then pursue a law degree or a Masters in Public Policy. Outside her work and education, Emily enjoys eating good food, salsa dancing with her friends, and attempting acoustic covers of famous pop songs.

Dania Noghnogh

Government Affairs Intern – Fall 2017

Dania Noghnogh is a fall Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago, Dania is a senior at University of Illinois in Chicago, studying biology and political science, with a focus in urban politics. She hopes to further her education by attending law school to study international law. As a first-generation Syrian-American Muslim, Dania feels a close connection to her roots and hopes to use her experiences to further help her local community become more politically aware. In her free time, she enjoys competing in slam poetry competitions on the local, national, and international level as well as reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Nabiha Asim

Communications Intern – Fall 2017

Nabiha Asim is fall 2017 communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at Benedictine University majoring in Communications. She was the Editor-in-chief of Odyssey at Benedictine/Lisle and a staff writer for a student publication. She studied abroad in China for five weeks. She will be teaching at Islamic Center of Naperville (ICN) Al-Falah Academy for the third year where she also works as an outreach director. She also spends her time volunteering for the ICN Youth Council.
Nabiha is addicted to the double chocolatey chip frappuccino, is passionate about telling the truth, and is a wannabe polyglot. She strongly believes her wanderlust and thrill seeking ambitions will let her explore new places and new ideas one day.

Peter Albright

Communications Extern – Fall 2017

Peter Albright is a fall Communications intern. He graduated from DePaul University in 2015 and went on to teach in the Chicago Public School system for a year. After his first year, Peter went on to become a personal trainer while developing his passion for video editing. Peter joined CAIR Chicago to make a positive impact working to promote tolerance and civil rights, learn from the diverse perspectives of the people who work at CAIR, and to be challenged while developing new skills. On his spare time, Peter films and edits videos, dabbles in guitar, and exercises frequently.

Elizabeth Champney

Government Affairs Extern – Summer 2017

Elizabeth Champney is a summer 2017 Government Affairs & Outreach Extern at CAIR-Chicago and a graduate student at Prescott College in Arizona pursuing her Masters in Social Justice and Community Organizing. She currently serves as the volunteer and event coordinator at the Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center; Prescott College’s organizing and community center. Her experiential education has allowed her to learn alongside community organizers in Los Angeles and along the border wall in Mexico and Arizona. Getting her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from BYU-Hawai’i and becoming a certified cultural mediator started Elizabeth on her journey of activism and better allyship.
Elizabeth has chosen to intern at CAIR-Chicago due to their radical, grassroots activism. CAIR-Chicago’s on the ground experience partnered with their renounced successes attracted her further developing her community organizing and abolition skill set. Elizabeth can be found anywhere from political actions to yet again binge watching “Lost” and “Breaking Bad”. She is an avid fan of anything space, Queen Elizabeth 1, and rap battle related and has never refused an invitation for sushi.

Richelle Weaver-Watson

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Richelle is a Civil Rights Intern for the session of Summer 2017. As a recent WMU- Cooley Law School Graduate, Richelle chose her position as a Civil Rights Law Clerk to continue her passion for providing equal justice for under-represented groups. During her undergraduate course work at Indiana University, she minored in Arabic and Near Eastern Cultures and has maintained an interest in issues plaguing the Muslim-American Community ever since. While at Cooley Law School she volunteered at the Community Legal Services of West Michigan and the Veteran’s Legal Assistance Program to further her service to the community at need. She has an interest in employment and labor issues and will sit for the Indiana Bar in July of 2017.

Mustafa Aijazuddin

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Mustafa graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in History with a concentration in 20th century Geopolitics and Genocides and minors in Applied Mathematics. He currently attends The John Marshall Law School and is a rising second year law student. He hopes to graduate with a certification in international human rights. Before joining CAIR-Chicago, Mustafa worked in the corporate sector gaining valuable skills in negotiation and efficient analysis. Mustafa joined CAIR-Chicago to help bring awareness to domestic concerns that the Muslim and minority communities face and to help protect the fundamental rights which are guaranteed to us all by the Constitution and the Supreme Court. Mustafa wants to ultimately work as a Human Rights attorney. He wants to serve communities that face institutionalized discrimination simply because of the religion they follow, the color of their skin, or their sexuality. When not working, Mustafa enjoys traveling to new places and finding new brunch eateries. He also loves being in the kitchen and exploring his city.

Serena J. Suh

Government Relations Intern – Summer 2017

Serena J. Suh is a summer Government Relations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at Wheaton College (IL), studying International Relations and Philosophy. Although she is still exploring potential career paths, she has shown particular interest in academia, art, and politics. She hopes to pursue graduate work in the future in Postcolonial studies, Political Economy, and/or Theology. Outside of her educational pursuits, she enjoys cooking, watching films, playing the piano and guitar, hosting, and meeting new people. She has also spent much of her life abroad in parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and is an adamant supporter of building international community to broaden one’s perspective. Her personal experiences as a daughter of immigrants, as well as her belief in the importance of inter-faith support has brought her to intern at CAIR-Chicago this summer.

Jasmine A. Pedraza

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead.
Jasmine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Elmhurst College and received a minor in Spanish. Currently, she is a rising third-year law student at Northern Illinois University College of Law. In her free time, she Ioves to spend time with her husband, play with their family dog, Kiko, travel, and catch up with family.

CAIR was founded on the same principles that Jasmine strives to dedicate herself to as a professional: Principles aiming to address legal issues affecting human rights and social justice. Growing up in three households with very different cultures was unique and rewarding. She takes pride in her diverse background of the American, Iranian, Dutch, and Mexican cultures. As such, for Jasmine, CAIR feels like home. Her ambition become an immigration attorney stems from her passion to assist the immigrant community by doing everything in her power to guarantee them equal opportunities at achieving the American Dream. As an attorney, she hopes to inspire all ethnicities, races, and genders, and demonstrate that with hard work and perseverance, the possibilities are endless, even when their community faces oppression and maltreatment.

Nimah Quadri

Communications Intern – Summer 2017

Nimah is a junior studying Journalism and Marketing at Loyola University Chicago. She decided to join CAIR because being Journalism major, she believes that it’s really important to have your voice heard in any way possible and through any medium. By joining CAIR, she wanted to be that voice for the people, especially Muslims who may not have the privilege to speak up. She enjoys all aspects of Journalism and through being the Communications Intern at CAIR, she hopes to expand her knowledge on what is going on around the world and how it’s being portrayed in and through the media. When not working, she loves playing sports, taking pictures of anything and everything and cuddling with her cat Charlie, even though she doesn’t like her that much.

Malianleh Yuusif

Operations Intern – Summer 2017

Malianleh Yuusif was born in northwest Somalia in1969. His education began in a traditional Islamic school, speaking Arabic, and then continued in a French school, so he became familiar with different cultures early on in life. In 1991, Malianleh escaped the Somali civil war by moving to Yemen, where he learned yet another culture. Living as a refugee, he was fortunate to gain a scholarship from Sana’a University, which allowed him to pursue his education. While there, he became the head of Somali association of students in Yemen and involved himself in helping other refugees to continue their education in Yemenite universities.
After Malianleh graduated with his Bachelors in French Literature and Translation, he won the visa lottery to be able to come to the United States and moved there at the end of December 2004. In 2006, he ended up in Chicago where he began to work as a professional driver and to volunteer with the Somali community. While helping his community, he also went to school to learn English and then to pursue a graduate degree. He recently graduated with his Masters in Human Resource Management from North Park University. Most importantly, Malianleh is married and has two daughters.

Huma Rana

Communications Intern – Summer 2017

Huma Rana is a Communications intern for the session of Summer 2017. Huma studied Political Science and Mass Communication at Forman Christian College in Pakistan, and is currently working on a Master Thesis. She is interested in politics, human rights; gender focused activism, and serving Muslim communities. Huma joined CAIR to fight misrepresentation of minorities and Muslims, and create new narratives for Muslims and Muslim women in the media. She was drawn to the organization from the civil rights work and advocacy that CAIR provides to people of all faiths and races. She hopes to pursue a career in political journalism. Huma’s other interests include reading political philosophy, cooking, and trying new restaurants.

Henry Hill-Gorman

Outreach Intern – Summer 2017

Henry Hill-Gorman is an Outreach Intern with CAIR-Chicago for the summer session of 2017. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Henry still lives there because of that whole “high school thing.” As an incoming homeschool senior, Henry is very interested in pursuing a career in politics and social justice, as well as comedy and satire; and when he isn’t working on social justice efforts, you can find him taking the bus down to Chicago every Saturday where he takes improv classes. Currently, he is one of the lead organizers on immigrant rights and the New Sanctuary Movement at his home congregation of First Unitarian Society of Madison, where he also teaches religious education classes, sits on the board, and will soon be the Youth and Young Adult Chaplain.

Henry decided to join CAIR because they’re fierce advocates, fighting discrimination and bigotry, and ensuring the constitutional rights of all people. Now more than ever, it is imperative to advocate for the rights of all marginalized communities and to promote interfaith based alliances. He hopes to achieve strong partnerships within our different faith communities, and knows that CAIR will further his understanding of how to be an effective advocate and ally.

Most of all, Henry finds it awkward to talk about himself in the third person.

Anthony Hersee

Outreach Intern – Summer 2017

Anthony Hersee is a summer Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a senior Anthropology major at Syracuse University where he serves as the Chapter President of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national men’s fraternity in music, the Vice President of the Residence Hall Association, and the Society Events Chair for the Syracuse Chapter of the National Society for Leadership and Success. He chose CAIR because he is interested in Corporate HR and he sees CAIR as an opportunity to grow in his ability to connect with diverse communities and individuals. He is passionate about event planning, entertainment, and bringing people together for special events where they are united in purpose.

 

Amina Amdeen

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Amina is a student at the University of Texas at Austin studying
international relations with a focus on international political economy.
She’s a first generation college student who was born in Baghdad, Iraq
and immigrated to the United States in 2007.
Among her areas of interest at CAIR are Muslim prisoners’ rights, asylum
and refugee cases, and increasing civic engagement among older Muslim
community members and new US citizens. She is also often engaged in
political activism on the street level and through articles she writes
for her college’s publication, the Liberator.
When she is blessed with free time she likes to read about economic
development strategies in the third world, paint, and watch sitcoms.

 

Sidrah Ahmed

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2017

Sidrah is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is majoring in Chemistry and double minoring in Arabic Studies and Sustainability. Her diverse curriculum has allowed her to explore different areas of interest, while unlocking her passion for social justice. On campus, Sidrah has been involved in activism and volunteer work through student organizations that focus on racial and gender equality. Sidrah decided to join CAIR-Chicago so she could gain more experience working in social justice avenues and understand what happens behind the scenes in order to further the organization’s mission. Sidrah aspires to attend law school following graduation, and she is interested in both public interest and environmental law. Sidrah enjoys traveling, and hanging out with her “Friends”: Phoebe, Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, and Joey.

 

Amal Mir

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Amal is a Civil Rights Intern for the session of Summer 2017. She is a Junior at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Informatics. She is the president of United Muslims and Minority Advocates (UMMA) and is involved in several other on campus registered student organizations including Model United Nations, Congressional Debate, and Students for Justice in Palestine. She is a community organizer and radical activist, and hopes to pursue a career related to the realm of social justice and advocacy. Outside of academics, she loves kickboxing, writing, and cats. Her personal experiences and struggles being a Muslim in America is what brought her to CAIR-Chicago. She loves all the work they have done and continue doing to dismantle institutionalized Islamophobia and the legal services they provide to combat blatant racism and discrimination against Muslims.

 

Kylee Golzar

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Kylee Golzar is a senior at DePaul University studying International Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research focuses on women’s resistance to conflict in the Middle East. Prior to working at CAIR-Chicago, Kylee worked as an education intern at Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence agency in Oak Park, IL, and as a Fellow at the 47th Ward Democratic Organization. Most recently, Kylee completed an internship with GirlForward, an organization that works to support high school aged refugee girls through individualized mentorship programs. Kylee joined CAIR-Chicago because she is passionate about serving and advocating for marginalized communities. She hopes to learn more about the ways in which CAIR-Chicago combats institutionalized discrimination on behalf of the Muslim community.

 

Mohammed Elshareif

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2017

Mohammed Elshareif is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is majoring in English with a concentration of Professional Writing. His career aspirations fall between journalism and law. He loves to work on research and with energetic groups. He joined CAIR to have a firsthand experience of what it is like to work in the legal field. In his leisure time, he likes to draw, write, and keep up with watching his TV shows, like Suits, This Is Us and Stranger Things. He loves to watch fantasy/sci-fi movies, such as all of the Harry Potter movies, because they engage viewers in unimaginable worlds. During his free time, he always loves to hang out with family and friends and explore new places, foods and play board games. He is simultaneously interning for Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) as a writer.

 

 

Jena Armouti

Outreach Intern – Spring 2017

Jena decided to join CAIR-Chicago because it is an organization that deals with civil rights. She is very interested and very eager to work in this field, and CAIR-Chicago will help her gain
amazing experience working with people who need help. The good work that she has heard about and all the accomplishments that this organization has done for the Muslim community is what drew her to the organization. Jena loves to run, read, and try out different foods!
She is interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources because it is a field that works in the interest of employees, the people that make a company successful.

Peyton Jacobsen

Communications Intern – Spring 2017

Peyton Jacobsen is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago for the Winter/Spring session of 2017. Originally from Seattle, Peyton is a senior studying Political Science, International Studies and Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She is passionate about civil rights and has worked closely with refugee communities in both Seattle and Chicago. Peyton hopes to work in journalism and promote unbiased depictions of all people. Currently, Peyton works as a writer and editor for The Borgen Project and mentors a Syrian refugee family in her free time.  She is learning Arabic and one day hopes to travel to the Middle East as a reporter and journalist. Peyton was drawn to CAIR-Chicago because of the unique outlook they take on promoting human rights. In her free time, Peyton loves to travel and be outdoors.

 Shanzeh Daudi

Civil Rights Intern – Spring 2017

Shanzeh Daudi is a Civil rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a junior at Loyola University Chicago, double majoring in International Studies and Human Services with a concentration in Psychology. She is moving toward law school in the near future. Shanzeh is interested in civil rights and immigration law and is pursuing a career as an attorney to bring justice to marginalized communities exploited by the criminal justice system. Shanzeh has been made a fierce advocate for intersectional social justice throughout her university experience; while working at CAIR-Chicago, she has been able to apply this passion to empower Chicago’s diverse Muslim community. In her free time, Shanzeh explores the city with her friends and looks for fun, local places with good food.

Nicole Ozark

Government Affairs Intern – Spring 2017

Nicole graduated from southern Illinois University with a major in Political Science and minors in Spanish and International Studies with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. Previously she worked as an English teaching fellow with the Colombia Bilingue program ad has interned with IDOT, the Office of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon, and the U.S Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations. Nicole joined CAIR-Chicago in order to expand her awareness on domestic concerns of the Muslim community and the help defend the fundamental rights of marginalized groups. Nicole wants to ultimately work as a diplomat, however feels inspired to work in the non-profit sector to serve her community directly. Outside of the office, Nicole loves to travel and meet new people. In addition, she loves photographing and scrapbooking her adventures.

 

Emina Hadzic

Government Affairs Intern – Spring 2017

Emina Hadzic is a Government Affairs Intern for the session of Winter/Spring 2017. Emina is originally from Chicago, IL. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago completing her Bachelor’s degree with a major in International Studies with a concentration on the Middle East and minor in Arabic Language and Culture and Graphic Design. Her focus and interest in the Middle East was sparked by her visit to Qatar during her sophomore year of high school in the International Baccalaureate program. Later on in college she decided to study abroad in Morocco for four months residing in the capital, Rabat. Her time in Morocco was spent honing in on her Arabic and learning more about the Amazigh community that is dispersed throughout the country. Emina’s studies have always focused on International Law and Policies. Her decision to join CAIR-Chicago was to learn more about domestic issues surrounding the Muslim Community and to help defend their human rights. She is excited to join CAIR and looks forward to this Winter/Spring session.

Sanjana Lakshmi

Paralegal

Sanjana Lakshmi is a Paralegal at CAIR-Chicago. She recently graduated from Northwestern University, where she studied Political Science and Legal Studies. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the prosecution of national security whistleblowers under the Espionage Act, and hopes to attend law school in a few years to work in either immigration or civil rights law. Sanjana was involved in race and gender justice-focused activism throughout college, and she was drawn to work with CAIR-Chicago due to her interest in legal advocacy and non-profit work to advance the rights of marginalized communities. In her free time, Sanjana enjoys binge-watching Netflix, sleeping, writing, exploring the city, and (when she’s not in Chicago’s winter) hiking outdoors.

Amal Ahmed

Communications Intern – Spring 2017

Amal Ahmed is a junior at Northwestern University, where she is majoring in journalism with minors in Environmental Policy and Middle East Studies. Amal has worked as a reporter and editor for various student publications at Northwestern. Her interest in promoting diversity in media and news narratives led her to intern at CAIR-Chicago. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental policy reporting. Amal enjoys reading books by women of color and eating Tex-Mex. Although she doesn’t really watch football, she is rooting for the Cowboys to win this year’s Super Bowl.

Saif Khan

Government Affairs Extern – Spring 2017

Saif is a government affairs extern at CAIR- Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Policy, International Trade and Development and hopes to pursue a career in law and politics. In his free time, he enjoys reading and listening to podcasts. In a complex world full of nearly infinite perspectives, Saif wishes to understand why and how some ideas gain relevance over others.

Andrea Lorch

Government Affairs Intern – Spring 2017

Andrea is a Government Affairs Intern for the Winter/Spring session of 2017. She is a senior at Lake Forest College completing her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in International Relations and Religion with minor in Islamic World Studies. She is interested in pursuing a career that would allow her to work closely with the Middle East in some respect. She recently studied Arabic for two months in Tangier, Morocco, which solidified her desire to continue her studies in Arabic and the Middle East. Her interest in the Middle East began with her Jewish faith, and has expanded to include her love for experiencing cultures outside of her own. However, her studies have been mostly focused on international issues, and with the rising domestic issues that have come to light, she wanted to help the Muslim Community that has always welcomed her in some way. Eventually, this desire to help led her to CAIR-Chicago, and she is very excited to see what the Winter/Spring session has in store!

Oscar Martinez

Civil Rights Intern – Fall 2016

Oscar Martinez is a Fall 2016 Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Oscar is going into his junior year at University of Illinois-Chicago where he is majoring in English and minoring in International Studies. His plan is to attend law school in the hopes to eventually land a career where he is able to aid those that society has turned their back on. He was drawn to CAIR-Chicago for a similar reason in that he wants to be able to help put to rest the misconceptions that too often plagues Muslims and help educate society on Muslim communities. When not working Oscar loves to play soccer and read books.

Maryem Abdulla

Civil Rights Intern – Fall 2016

Maryem Abdulla is a fall Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago-Honors College in 2015 where she studied Political Science and Communications. She is a rising 2L at DePaul University College of Law. In the future, she hopes to work as an immigration or human rights attorney, one day owning her own firm. As an Arab-American she is interested in giving back to her community and was especially drawn to CAIR’s mission of empowering the American Muslim community while defending civil rights and the promotion of tolerance. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, visiting 7 countries since January.

Connor Dimmick

Civil Rights Intern – Fall 2016

Connor Dimmick is a Fall 2016 Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is an incoming senior at Loyola University-Chicago studying Political Science and International Studies. His future goals include attending law school and eventually pursuing a career working with Human Rights based NGOs to protect the rights of people regardless of their identity. He was drawn to CAIR-Chicago because of his interest in Civil Rights and Social Justice as well as CAIR-Chicago’s mission of educating the public about Muslim communities in America through engagement and interfaith dialogue. In his free time, he enjoys learning about perspectives different than his own as well as writing music.

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Maryam Sultan

Communications Intern – Summer 2016

Maryam Sultan is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying English and Secondary Education. Maryam aspires to become a high school teacher and diversify curriculum in public schools in the hopes of creating a more culturally aware and tolerant generation of students. Joining CAIR-Chicago is a step towards achieving her goal of facilitating change within the Chicago and Muslim communities. In her free time, she enjoys binge watching Korean dramas and getting emotionally invested in fictional characters.

Mandie Czech

Communications Intern – Summer 2016

Mandie Czech is recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a majoring in Psychology and minor in Sociology. She is part of Psi Chi (Psychology) honor society. She first heard of CAIR-Chicago while doing research for college classes. She was drawn to CAIR by its cause and intellectual atmosphere. Her goal is to work as a researcher in the University system examining the role of religion, primarily Islam on people’s lives and choices. A second goal is to write successful screenplays documenting the human condition.

Arabella Breck

Communications Intern – Summer 2016

Arabella Breck is going into her third year studying journalism at Columbia College Chicago where in addition to pursuing her degree she is a managing editor for Columbia’s student-run newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle. Her future career goal is to become an international correspondent. Involvement in localized organizations that have interest in the global community is something that she values and is why she decided to intern with CAIR-Chicago this summer. Dogs and vegan food are also high on the list of things she values.

Christian Sanchez

Operations Intern – Summer 2016

Christian Sanchez is a summer 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. Christian has the desire to attend law school and from there perhaps become an attorney, a judge, or enter the ever exciting world of politics. He joined CAIR-Chicago because he believes that the people of the world are one people, and that the chaos and anger being stirred up by Islamophobia hurts us all. In his free time Christian enjoys to learn about things ranging from history to how objects in our daily lives work, and being immersed in ethnic cultures. He also has a soft spot for delicious vegan cuisine.

Siham Naser

Operations Intern – Summer 2016

Siham Naser will be a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, finishing her degree in Finance. Her passion for helping others and spreading unity and awareness is what made her choose CAIR-Chicago. She is also invested in promoting equal civil rights, which is part of CAIR-Chicago’s mission. Her dedication to hard work is a value she strongly believes in. Siham’s interests include baking, reading, horseback riding and traveling.

Zarina Wong

Outreach Intern – Summer 2016

Zarina Wong is a summer 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 in interfaith and civic engagement after her involvement with campus ministry in her high school lead to her work with CAIR. 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.

Esraa Aburaas

Outreach Intern – Summer 2016

Esraa Aburass is a rising junior at Saint Xavier University, double majoring in Business Administration and Finance along with a double Minor in Sociology and Middles Eastern Studies. Esraa is a summer 2016 Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. During her time at CAIR, she hopes to expand and increase her knowledge of the Muslim community here in Chicago along with the diversity of other communities that surrounds CAIR-Chicago. As a Muslim, she joined CAIR-Chicago because she understands the increasing bigotry and stereotype that each individual her faith community faces. Esraa hopes to promote tolerance and make change in Chicago and the world. She believes that every little change is a piece of puzzle in which it will definitely create a picture and, hopefully, that picture is “PEACE”. In her free time, Esraa loves to play soccer, travel, and listen to Arabian music, specifically tarab.

Eliska Schnabel

Research Intern – Summer 2016

Eliska Schnabel is a Research Extern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently works on her dissertation proposal concerning protests against mosques in Chicago and Berlin. She believes that externship at CAIR-Chicago will be invaluable in her effort to complete her dissertation. Eliska holds two Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations, Political Science, and European Studies from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, and also a Master’s degree in International Relations from the same university. She comes from Benesov, Czech Republic, which is a small town close to Prague. She currently lives in Wheaton, Il with her husband Jay and sons Samuel (3) and Daniel (1). Eliska exercises almost every day, as it is the best way to relieve stress from her busy life. She competes in triathlons and running races and qualified for 2016 National Championship in olympic distance triathlon.

Lana Shatat-Kashkeesh

Civil Rights Volunteer Attorney – Summer 2016

Lana Shatat-Kashkeesh is a John Marshall Law School graduate and a licensed attorney.  Lana joined the CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Department in order to gain invaluable experience assisting individuals with immigration and discrimination-related legal matters. She is a major soccer enthusiast, a gym buff and an avid reader. In the future, Lana plans to fulfill her passion for human rights through the practice of immigration law.

Shivani Chokshi

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2016

Shivani Chokshi will be graduating from Marquette University this December with a Peace Studies major and Arabic and Biological Sciences minors. She hopes to work in New York during her semester off before attending law school next fall. A former Government Affairs intern, Shivani returned to CAIR-Chicago as a Civil Rights intern this summer because she is passionate about learning about that specific area of law. Shivani aims to be an immigration, civil rights and family lawyer. Shivani is an avid world traveler, enjoys learning new languages and aspires to be a recreational photographer in her free time.

Emma Herman

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2016

Emma Herman is going into her fourth year at the University of Chicago, where she studies history and philosophy, with a minor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Within the field of civil rights, she is particularly interested in cases of police misconduct, police brutality, and racial profiling. An avid traveler, she plans to continue her Arabic studies in Lebanon and perhaps pursue a career in American civil rights or international human rights law.

Hadisa Wali

Civil Rights Intern – Summer 2016

Hadisa Wali is going to be senior this fall at Millikin University in Decatur IL, where she majors political science and was a part of student Senate for the third year. She represented international student and as a senior she did run for the position of student representative to the board of trustees at Millikin, and now she serves as the Millikin Student Rep to the Board. She is a part of the Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) HONOR SOCIETY and she plans to join law school after she graduates. As she used to volunteer for afghan women’s Network and other civil rights organization, and is interested to help people through her work. she joined Cair-Chicago to work with civil rights department and reach to her goals.

Bradley Crandall

Law Clerk – Summer 2016

Bradley Crandall is mid-way through his third year at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  At John Marshall, Bradley has represented inmates and detained individuals in Prisoner’s Rights Cases through the school’s Pro Bono Clinic as well as served as Treasurer for the school’s chapter of The Federalist Society.  He is currently focused on earning the International Human Rights Certificate, which he’ll utilize in defending citizen’s civil and economic rights.  Prior to attending law school, Bradley simultaneously worked at G.A. Crandall & Co., Inc. managing commercial insurance accounts as well as majoring in Political Science at DePaul University in Chicago, from which he graduated in 2012.  He joined CAIR-Chicago to both ensure that Muslim Americans are afforded the same civil rights protections as other Americans as well as better educate the public about those rights.  In his leisure, Bradley enjoys collecting (and reading) books, as well as riding his Harley-Davidson around the country.

Ashni Gandhi

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Ashni Gandhi is a rising sophomore at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in English. She was drawn to CAIR-Chicago because of her desire to learn about and help the Muslim community. During the months leading up to this election season, she believes in educating the community on the viewpoints of elected officials on the local and federal level and promoting civic engagement. In her free time she likes to finding new places to eat, traveling and staying active.

Fatma Walli

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Fatma Walli 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.

Anna Ellison

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Anna Ellison is a summer Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a student at the University of Richmond, where she studies Arabic and International Studies with a concentration in global diplomacy and politics. Anna hopes to pursue a career that addresses civil and human rights on both a local and global scale. Anna became interested in CAIR for the notable work the organization has done advocating for the rights of Muslims, as well as educating and engaging the public in their mission. Anna is an active member of several organizations on her campus, including the Muslim Students Association, a pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, and her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Anna enjoys reading any and all books, spending time with her cat, and eating copious amounts of Thai food.

Ghufran Salih

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Ghufran Salih is a summer Outreach Volunteer Activist at CAIR Chicago. She is an incoming freshman at Syracuse University studying Information Management and Technology as well as Technical Theatre. Ghufran hopes to She feels humbled to be working with CAIR for the second year in a row. Ghufran’s desire to promote tolerance and fight bigotry aligns with CAIR Chicago’s mission statement and they all lived happily ever after. In her spare time, Ghufran enjoys social media activism, coding, and eating tacos.

Alexandra Kirchner

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Alexandra Kirchner will be a junior this fall at Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college in Chicago’s western suburbs, where she studies International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies. She joined CAIR-Chicago for the summer session because of her passion for human rights advocacy and interest in studying the connection between international events and the treatment of Muslim communities in the United States. She hopes to continue on to further education and a position in the Foreign Service where she can put her French language skills, passion for cross-cultural learning and interest in international politics to use. Until then, she is content with constantly reading about other people’s adventures, usually way past her bedtime.

Alexander Miceli

Government Affairs Intern – Summer 2016

Alexander Miceli is a summer 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. Alexander became interested in CAIR as a high school student on the West Side of Chicago when he saw first-hand the vital services CAIR was providing to the Muslim community, especially in a post 9/11 America.

 

Previous Interns

2015

 

Solomon Collins

Communications Intern – Spring 2016

Solomon Collins is a sophomore at Loyola University of Chicago who cherishes optimism, cross-cultural tolerance and a global perspective. He bonded with CAIR’s goals and was excited to dive into the mission. He triple majors in Economics, International Relations and Journalism and likes writing his analysis of global conflicts. Solomon aims to write for and create engaging multi-media content for firms within his areas of study. If not studying game-changers in his industry, Solomon is most likely translating Spanish literature or scouring the Internet for new music. Provide your language of choice and he is happy to give suggestions!

Mandie Czech

Communications Intern – Spring 2016

Mandie Czech is a senior at Southern New Hampshire University majoring in Psychology. Her minor is Sociology. She is part of Psi Chi (Psychology) honor society. She first heard of CAIR while doing research for college classes. Her strong interest in Middle Eastern history and Islam grew during her sophomore year of college. She was drawn to CAIR by its cause and intellectual atmosphere. Her goal is to work as a researcher in the University system examining the role of religion, primarily Islam on people’s lives and choices. A second goal is to write successful screenplays documenting the human condition.

Aleksandra Dyszkant

Civil Rights Intern- Spring 2016

Aleksandra Dyszkant is in her final year of studying Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She will be attending law school the fall of 2017 in the hopes of perusing International Law.  She has always been an activist for equality that is why she feel blessed to be a part of the CAIR-Chicago team. Ultimately she would like to represent our nation as a diplomat ranked as an ambassador to sign off treaties and laws to protect individuals from discrimination.

Megan Zacher

Outreach Intern – Winter/Spring ’16

Megan Zacher is a Winter 2016 Outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago where she is double majoring in International Studies and French. Megan was drawn to CAIR-Chicago by the welcoming, inspiring atmosphere of the organization as well as the opportunity to learn about and make a difference in the Chicago Muslim community. In the current state of international affairs, Megan believes CAIR’s mission to fight bigotry and promote tolerance is indispensable and is thrilled to be a part of it. She hopes to someday work for a human rights non-for-profit organization as a program director. When she is not studying or interning, Megan enjoys travelling, baking, and jogging along the lake.

 

Liqa Affaneh

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’15, Winter/Spring ’16

Liqa Affaneh is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She is a newly intern at CAIR CHICAGO for the Fall 2015 semester 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. The reason she chose CAIR is because she truly believes that she can be given the tools and expertise that adhere to her career goals in order to grow professionally. A few of her professional interests include local and state politics as well as civic engagement.

Tsedenya Bizani

Government Affairs Extern – Fall ’15, Winter/Spring 16

Tsedenya Bizani is a Fall 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. She chose to be involved with CAIR due to its multilayered purpose to bring awareness, represent, and defend victims of intolerance and believes it is one of the most effective non-profits serving the Muslim population today. CAIR fits her personal and professional goals as it emphasizes a community oriented culture that pushes its members to utilize and advance their talents to bring about tangible change. Tsedenya enjoys binge watching Bollywood films, traveling, and learning about different cultures.

 

Ameer Al-Khudari

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’16

Ameer 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. He is a strong proponent of using humor and satire to cope with bigotry, persecution and broadly difficult times. Ameer is drawn to CAIR-Chicago during a particularly dismal national atmosphere for Muslims, Syrians, and other communities dealing with injustice and discrimination in its many forms.

Humaa Siddiqi

Civil Rights Intern – Fall ’15

Humaa is a senior studying political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She lives in Roselle, Illinois and aspires to attend law school in the near future. She is also president/founder of the UIC chapter of Amnesty International, a student organization which focuses on human rights issues taking place both internationally and in the U.S. Humaa is proud to be interning at CAIR-Chicago for all its accomplishments and efforts to help those facing social injustice.

Robert Cotter

Civil Rights Intern – Fall ’15

Robert is a Spring 2015 graduate of Illinois State University where he majored in Secondary English Education and graduated with a license to teach English/Language Arts in grades 6-12. At ISU, he was a member of Sigma Tau Delta, English Honors Society, and was a recipient of the Greenebaum Memorial Fund Scholarship for academic excellence in English education. Currently, Robert is a substitute teacher at Evanston Township High School, an English and ACT Prep tutor at Sylvan Learning Center, and in the process of applying to law schools for the Fall of 2016. Robert is greatly honored by the opportunity to intern at CAIR-Chicago, and is proud to play a role in the work of this great organization.

Mahdi Muhammad

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’15

Mahdi Muhammad is a native of Chicago. He is a senior Political Science major at Purdue University Calumet, Mahdi has taken an interest in education and politics. Islamic Studies have become of particular importance to Mahdi. Mahdi has spent the past 4 year as a youth mentor with Bridging the Gap a Non- for Profit organization on Chicago’s Southside. Bridging the Gap focuses on the development of educating, civic-minded young people preparing them for tomorrow. In his free time, he enjoys being with family, friends. He also enjoys traveling Mahdi is excited to be working with CAIR this fall as a Governmental Relations intern.

Vanessa Valadez

Communications Intern – Fall ’15

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. Vanessa first became interested in cartooning and illustration when an unhealthy obsession for The Simpsons blossomed in the early 90s. An extreme interest in humor based comics (Garfield, Foxtrot, Calvin and Hobbes, etc.) would follow shortly after. When she’s not drawing, Vanessa enjoys guitar playing, photography, and taunting her roommates from across their apartment. She has developed a routine of doodling while watching dogs sniff each other at the park and is frequently saddened by her roommate’s dog allergy. Vanessa makes a conscious effort to travel as much as possible before the weight of adult responsibility inevitably sucks the fervor from her fragile, lifeless body. She also enjoys smoothies.

Ryeshia Farmer

Communications Intern – Fall ’15

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. Ryeshia hopes that her time at CAIR Chicago will improve her writing style and engage her in cultural and political research. Aside from writing, Ryeshia enjoys community service and spending time with loved ones. 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.

Najlah Iqbal

Outreach Intern – Fall ’15

Najlah Iqbal is a fall 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 chose to work for CAIR-Chicago because of the opportunity to help others, also because of her growing interest in social justice issues. She is a poet whose work has been published in SEEDS, her university literary magazine. She likes to go for runs, read books, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Mary Byrne

Communications Intern – Fall ’15

Mary 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. Her semester abroad inspired her interest in CAIR-Chicago, where she hopes to improve her cross-cultural communication skills. In the future, Mary hopes to work at a nonprofit where she can use her journalism education and her understanding of cross-cultural communication to improve the representation of various groups of people as they are portrayed in the media. Mary is an Irish dancer, an adventurous eater and a social media fanatic.

Dania Mukahhal

Communications Intern – Summer/Fall ’15

Dania is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design. Dania hopes to utilize her skills in visual communication towards social justice through raising awareness about bigotry and discrimination. Dania has a passion for organizing and aspires to travel.

Joseph Kerins

Civil Rights Intern– Summer ’15

Joseph is a rising 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 and is excited to be exposed to legal work in the Civil Rights 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.

James Mroz

Government Affairs Intern– Summer ’15

James Mroz is a 2015 Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a second year African and Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic double major at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A native of the northwest suburbs of Chicago, James first learned of CAIR while researching the local Muslim community for a high school project. Due to his strong interest in the Middle East, Islam, and policy, James feels that CAIR-Chicago will offer valuable experience in all of his professional and academic interests and allow him to gain a unique insight into the Muslim community of Chicago and the surrounding areas. Outside of his internship and his studies, James enjoys debating topics related to international relations in Model United Nations and exploring different cities on bike while searching for unique and delicious food.

John Jefferson

PILI Graduate Fellow– Summer ’15

John Jefferson is a PILI Graduate fellow at CAIR-Chicago. He attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California for his undergraduate studies, and Chicago-Kent College of Law for law school. Following his undergraduate studies, John taught middle school English and Language Arts in Tulsa, Oklahoma. John joined CAIR-Chicago to help individuals who are victims of racial and religious discrimination.

John Vanderkloot

Government Affairs Intern– Summer ’15

John Vanderkloot 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.

Michal Kranz

Communications Intern– Summer ’15

Michal Kranz is a Communications Intern at CAIR for Summer ’15. 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. Michal joined CAIR in order to gain a richer understanding of issues facing Muslim-Americans and Muslims around the world and to be able to use his writing and communication skills for a positive cause. He hopes to use the experiences gained at CAIR to inform his future study of Middle Eastern and Muslim politics. In his spare time, Michal enjoys playing guitar in a heavy metal band, writing short stories, and playing historical strategy games.

Molly Radley

Communications Intern– Summer ’15

Molly Radley is a Chicago-bred, St. Louis-based graphic designer and illustrator who loves to work with her hands. The majority of Molly’s work involves illustration, packaging, and branding and she aspires to one day be a part of a design team that does just that. Molly was not only attracted to the Editorial Cartooning and Graphic Design internship positions at CAIR through her interest and training in illustration and design, but their motto of “standing up for civil rights, fighting bigotry, and promoting tolerance” resonated with her personal beliefs.

Najd Almuhaythif

Civil Rights Law Clerk– Summer ’15

Najd Almuhaythif has 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.

Patrick Halpin

Government Affairs Intern– Summer ’15

Patrick Halpin is a native of Hanover Park, Illinois. He is a senior at Boston College, majoring in Political Science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies. Patrick proudly transferred from William Rainey Harper College to Boston College. While at Harper College, Patrick competed in speech and debate where he found state and national recognition. Upon graduation, Patrick hopes to work for the State Department and further his educational track by going to Law School. Patrick joined CAIR-Chicago after taking an interest in the dynamics and geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa region. Shortly after the Arab Springs, Patrick saw notions of liberty, democracy, and hope reach an all-time high in countries like Egypt and Libya. Unfortunately, Islamophobia is too real a concept for Patrick, and his main reason for joining CAIR-Chicago is to try and demystify the perception and bigotry that too often plagues Muslims.

Sarah Husain

Civil Rights Law Clerk– Summer ’15

Sarah Husain was born and raised in downtown Chicago. She is a rising senior at Emory University in Atlanta, majoring in Political Science and French. Sarah hopes to attend law school after graduating and eventually work in international human rights law. She is also thrilled to be returning to CAIR-Chicago for another summer!

Tarik Tucovic

Civil Rights Law Clerk– Summer ’15

Tarik finished his first year at Loyola University Chicago School of law.
Prior to attending law school Tarik has worked for the Indiana Department of Child Services as an ongoing case manager. Moreover, he worked with the Federation of Balkan American Organisation (“FEBA”) as an ESL teacher in Turkey. Tarik received his bachelors degree from Indiana University in Public Policy and received an International Relations certificate. At Indiana University he assisted faculty on a project aimed at improving services non-English speaking populations in Fort Wayne, Indiana needed. At the end of the research, Tarik presented his findings in front of a panel of service providers in the city. Ultimately, Tarik would like to work either as a criminal attorney or work in a field dealing with international relations.

Yoomna Rahim

Outreach Department Intern– Summer ’15

Yoomna Rahim is currently an Outreach Intern for the Summer 2015 program. She hopes to graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with degrees in Political Science and Global Studies with a minor in Arabic. Upon graduating, she hopes to either attend law school or work with Think-tanks and various social justice organizations. Yoomna’s recent work under a Congressman allowed her passions for civic engagement to thrive, leading her to work for CAIR now. Yoomna joined CAIR-Chicago to gain the skills necessary for fostering awareness and essentially making change in the world of underrepresented groups and individuals. She’s also a hidden chocolatier with a fervor for a good Colbert Report episode and her hometown of Laramie, Wyoming.

Zahra Saylawala

Communications Intern– Summer ’15

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 a time in 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.

Amber Kiani

Outreach Extern and Volunteer Activist – Spring ’15

Amber Kiani is an Outreach Extern and Volunteer Activist. She holds a masters degree in social work- Social Welfare Administration and a post-master’s in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy. She has extensive work experience with the nonprofit sector in Pakistan and the U.S. She joined CAIR-Chicago because she believes in its mission and vision and wants to join in with CAIR’s effort to portray a positive image of Islam and advocate for the rights of the Muslim community. She is a big foodie and a gym junkie. She is also a cricket buff a hardcore Pakistan cricket fan, although heartbroken by her team’s performance in the ongoing world cup she is counting in the next game to bring with it a new bout of hope and fervor.

Manuel Mandujano

Civil Rights Law Clerk– Summer ’15

Manuel Mandujano graduated from DePaul University with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. He is entering his second year at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Manuel has volunteered for the Self Help Web Desk at the Daley Center in Chicago, where he assisted pro se litigants with their paperwork. Manuel is excited to develop his legal skills while advocating for equality at CAIR-Chicago and enjoys hiking, going to the movies, and playing basketball.

Mary Koptik

Communications Intern– Summer ’15

Mary Koptik is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She recently finished up her sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame where she majors in Psychology with a minor in Poverty Studies. While interning with CAIR Mary hopes to gain better insights into both the company and herself. It was CAIR’s tenants of inclusion and respect that drew her into the organization, and she hopes to learn more about the Muslim-American community in her time there. Additionally, she is striving to gain experience with a strong non-profit organization. In the future, she plans to continue working in the non-profit sector, continuing to fight for dignity for all.

Mehmet Hilmi Yazar

Operations Intern– Summer ’15

Mehmet Hilmi Yazar is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago and majoring in Computer Engineering. Mehmet is devoted to working for a good cause and helping CAIR achieve its goals in any way he can. He stays committed to his values yet also likes listening to others and learning new outlooks. Aside from studying and interning, Mehmet likes to read, listen to music, and hang out with friends. He has an intense obsession with history, archaeology, and Ottoman Classical Music. Even though he is a Computer Engineering major, Mehmet’s dream is to participate in an archaeological dig at least once in his life.

Jarron McAllister

Government Affairs Intern– Summer ’15

Jarron McAllister is a Summer 2015 Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He attends Princeton University, where he is a rising senior majoring in History and minoring in Near Eastern Studies. As Jarron’s schoolwork largely focuses on gender, identity, religion, and Islamic and Arab Studies on an international level, he hopes his experience at CAIR will give him a better understanding of these issues on a more domestic level. His increasing interest in civil and human rights is what led him to join the CAIR team. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, playing Pokemon games, and watching cartoons and anime. Having spent most of his life on the other side of Lake Michigan, in Flint, Michigan, Jarron is excited to spend this summer learning and exploring the Chicagoland area.

Alexis O’Connor

Communications Intern – Summer ’15

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. Alexis joined CAIR in order to encourage and facilitate inclusion, tolerance and dialogue. 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.

Amena Tayyab

Communications Intern – Summer ’15

Amena Tayyab is currently a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago, and an Accounting major at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is passionate in combating prejudices, overcoming stereotypes, and facilitating conversations which addresses these concerns. Amena has written for Springfield’s The State Journal-Register, and spends her free time volunteering at local political events and at the local mosque. In the future, she hopes to take her experiences at CAIR-Chicago and use them to enrich other Muslim communities by engaging in community outreach, as well as creating a prominent and positive Muslim presence.

Andrea DeVinney

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’15

Andrea DeVinney is a rising 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. Andrea is interning at CAIR Chicago because she believes in fighting for civil rights of all people, and believes in the mission of CAIR Chicago. She plans to receive her J.D. In May of 2016 and intends to work as a civil rights lawyer.

Asmah Daoud

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’15

Asmah Daoud is a summer 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. Asmah is a big fan of CAIR’s work and is honored to be a part of the team.

Brooke Sartin

Civil Rights Law Clerk– Summer ’15

Brooke Sartin graduated from Baylor University in Texas in 2013 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Chemistry. She is entering her second year at DePaul University College of Law, where she is interested in international women’s human rights. Brooke has volunteered with the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse, where she assisted pro se litigants with forms and affidavits in seeking emergency orders of protection. Brooke is also an associate editor for the International Human Rights Law journal at DePaul. Brooke joined CAIR-Chicago in order to learn more about the Islamic community and to advocate for the respect of international human rights and the protection of fundamental rights of all persons. Additionally, she hopes to improve her legal skills while at CAIR-Chicago. Brooke’s hobbies include watching movies, reading, learning Spanish, and international travel.

Fatma Walli

Operations Intern – Summer ’15

Fatma Walli 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.

Ghufran Salih

Operations Intern – Summer ’15

Ghufran Salih is currently an Operations Intern at CAIR. 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. She joined CAIR this summer in order to become apart of an organization that makes a difference in the community; she wants to make her summer meaningful.

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Hanan Mohamed

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’15

Hanan Mohamed is a Summer 2015 Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is originally from Gurnee, Illinois and attends school in Los Angeles. She is a rising 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.

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Jazila Hussain

Operations Intern– Summer ’15

Jazila Hussain is a junior accountancy major at Northern Illinois University. She has a love for numbers and analyzing problems. She joins the CAIR-Chicago team as an Operations Intern because she is in unison with the values that the organization stands for. She will use this internship to grasp on to the inner workings of a non-profit organization in hopes of managing her own one day. Jazila enjoys volunteering for youth orientated groups so that she may give back to the future of tomorrow. In her free time she likes to read, paint, and bake.

Dyzio Guzierowicz

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Spring ’15

Dyz is currently a rising 3L at the DePaul University College of Law. His focus is in immigration and human rights. Dyz’s professional goals are to represent immigration and Asylum Clients in New York. He also wants to advocate for the respect of international human rights and protection of fundamental rights of every human being. Wanting to further his professional experience in immigration and civil rights law, Dyz decided to join CAIR-Chicago because he wanted to work with and serve a population that he had previously had limited experience with. He also wants to increase his knowledge and awareness of discrimination of the Islamic community and to help the fight against social discrimination. Some interesting facts about Dyz is that he is fluent in Polish and holds dual citizenship in US and Poland, he is a first generation American, and he founded and captained the rugby team of Duquesne University. His hobbies include watching and playing rugby and soccer,
hiking, skiing, international relations, problems of the European Union and non-fiction novels.

Hassen Bashir

Government Affairs Intern – Spring ’15

Hassen Bashir is a senior at DePaul University majoring in International Studies. He joined CAIR-Chicago because of his passion for community outreach, political affairs, and overall enjoyment for connecting with people. In the future he plans on working in Sub-Saharan Africa mainly focusing on human rights and refugee policy. In his free time he enjoys reading and writing fiction and poetry, traveling, and engaging in political activism.

Bayan Takrouri

Outreach Intern – Spring ’15

Bayan Takrouri is an Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She attends the University of Illinois at Chicago with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. In the future, she plans to work internationally to protect and preserve Human Rights. She decided to join CAIR because of its effectiveness in serving the American Muslim community and because of its high level of credibility. Bayan is currently the Outreach Coordinator for Amnesty International UIC and an active volunteer for Islamic Relief USA. On the weekends she is an Arabic and Quran teacher at the Turkish American Society of Chicago Weekend School. Her interests include reading, politics, and volunteering.

Emily Anagnostos

Communications Intern – Spring ’15

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.

Danish Murtaza

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’14 / Spring ’15

Danish Murtaza is a Government Affairs intern for CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a Senior at Loyola University Chicago and is studying political science. He has a passion for keeping up to date with current events, politics, and government. Danish is interested in pursuing a career in public policy. He joined CAIR-Chicago because of his interests in political affairs and in the American Muslim community. In his free time, Danish likes to read political non-fiction books, watch movies, and catch up with family and friends.

2014

Remal Hindi

Communications Intern – Fall ’14

Remal Hindi is a Communications intern for CAIR-Chicago pursuing a degree in English at UIC. As an intern she writes articles for the Chicago Monitor as well as assists in the daily responsibility of the CAIR-Chicago Communications Department.

Bill Chambers

Communications Volunteer Activist – Winter/Spring/Summer ’14

Bill Chambers is a volunteer for CAIR-Chicago. Bill 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; writing poetry; organizing Palestine solidarity events; and visiting his new grand-daughter.

Aya Nimer

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Aya is a Communications intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is a rising senior at University of Chicago Lab School. Aya, wanting to increase her participation in the civil community, joined CAIR-Chicago because of its dedication to social justice. Aya hopes to study economics in college. Her passions include poetry, fitness, and running.

Brittany Delk

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Brittany is a communications intern. Brittany is a graduate journalism student at Columbia College Chicago. After she graduates, she plans on moving to Houston or New York to get a job in multimedia, radio and or broadcast. She joined CAIR-Chicago in order to learn more about Islamic culture and covering public affair issues. When she’s not reporting and producing video, Delk enjoys traveling, swimming at the beach and going to the gym. She’s also heavily addicted to online shopping.

Cynthia Martinez

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Cynthia is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in English and minoring in Law and Society. Cynthia hopes to one day pursue a career in communications and continue on to graduate school in order to obtain a Master’s degree in English. She joined CAIR-Chicago in order to learn more about the Islamic culture and help protect the civil rights of all people. She is also interested in learning more about the communications field and wants to further her own knowledge and share it with others. Cynthia is a self-identified romantic literature buff as well as a huge fan of the Chicago Bears.

Dania Mukahhal

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Dania is a Communications intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is a rising senior at Columbia College Chicago with a major in Graphic Design. Dania hopes to utilize her skills in graphic design towards social justice and raise awareness of bigotry and discrimination. Dania enjoys reading, sketching and would love to travel to teach children English or art-related activities.

Hatim Alhathloul

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Hatim is a Sophomore Marketing Major at DePaul University. He works as an Arabic tutor at the Department of Modern Languages in addition to being a Communication Intern at CAIR-CHICAGO. In his spare time, he enjoys photography and spending time with his family. He hopes to pursue a career in non-profit Marketing and Advertising.

Kiersten Hellegers

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Bio coming soon!

Saher Khan

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Saher is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An aspiring journalist, Saher’s professional goals include reporting on current events and international affairs for major publications like the New Yorker. Foreign correspondence and social justice issues are the specific fields she is most interested in. Saher has always had a passion for civil service and has followed the work of CAIR-Chicago for a while. She wanted to contribute to an organization dedicated to civil rights and social justice in the community and decided that working with CAIR-Chicago would be the best opportunity to do so. Saher is a self-proclaimed literati and enjoys traveling, watching movies and photography. She is also a huge soccer and tennis fan. Some interesting facts about Saher are that she has a horse, has traveled to almost every major city in the United States and is an avid follower of Shark Week.

Sara Abdeljalil

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Sara is a communications intern for CAIR-Chicago. Sara interned at CAIR-Chicago’s Operations department in 2013. Sara is passionate about economics and foreign policy, and will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as a rising freshmen this fall, double majoring in economics and communications.

Sarah Husain

Communications Intern – Summer ’14

Sarah is a Communications intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is an undergraduate student at Emory University in Atlanta with a double major in French and Political Science. Along with French, she is fluent in Romanian and Urdu. Sarah loves traveling and will be spending this coming fall semester studying at the Institute of Political Science in Paris, France.

Emma Heidorn

Outreach and Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’14

Emma is an Outreach/Government Affairs intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is a recent graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia where she majored in English with a minor in Political Science. She hopes to obtain a Master’s in Arabic language and/or literature. Emma lived in Morocco during the summer of 2012 and has hiked half-way across Spain as well.

Allen Kenneth Schaidle

Outreach Intern – Summer ’14

Allen is an Outreach extern for CAIR-Chicago. He is currently completing his Master’s degree at Columbia University in International and Transcultural Relations with a minor in Education Development. Allen received his undergraduate degree from University of Kansas. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in International Education with the goal of making the education system more culturally compatible. Allen enjoys traveling and even taught in Italy for a summer.

Fatima Shareef

Outreach Intern – Summer ’14

Fatima is an Outreach intern for CAIR-Chicago. She is an undergraduate student at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign with a major in Political Science. She is also currently on the board of the CAIR UIUC chapter. Fatima enjoys cooking, baking and watching Food Network.

Shivani Chokshi

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’14

Shivani is a majoring in Biological sciences and criminology and law studies and minoring in Arabic at Marquette University. Shivani decided to join CAIR-Chicago because she is learning about the Arab culture in school while learning the language and decided that gaining experience out of the classroom would help a lot in connecting with the people. Her hobbies include photography, writing, and dance. Some interesting facts about Shivani are that she knows five languages and she also taught children English during her stay in India. She wants to continue to do social work in developing countries around the world.

Victoria Barbino

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’14

Tori is pursuing her masters at the University of Richmond. She is majoring in Politics, Philosophy, economics and law and minoring in Arabic studies. Her professional goals are to work in government, non-profits or NGO’s where she can enhance the rights of all people. Tori decided to join CAIR-Chicago because she learned a lot about CAIR while looking for organizations that promote and enhance the rights of the Muslim community. Tori’s hobbies include reading, spending time with her family, watching CSPAN, engaging in social gatherings and philanthropic events through her sorority, Pi Beta Phi. She also likes watching football and golf, and enjoys eating. She loves sushi, has two nieces and a nephew and her best friend on Snapchat is her father.

Lateef Ajimotokan

Operations Intern – Summer ’14

Lateef is an Operations intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is completing his bachelor’s degree at Depaul University in Business Management and a minor in marketing. Lateef hopes to become the operations/finance manager for a non-profit institution. He enjoys adventure obstacle racing around the Chicagoland area and is fluent in sign language.

Changho Kim

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Changho Kim is a law clerk in the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a rising 3L at the University of Chicago Law School. He is a graduate of University of Tokyo in Japan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in law. Before coming to the U.S., he practiced in a Japanese law firm in Tokyo. His parents are both South Korean citizens, and he holds South Korean citizenship. He has been committed to pro bono activities, especially in the field of rights of foreign residents in Japan. Currently he is involved in policy advocacy to prevent hate crimes and hate speech in Japan as a member of various NGOs. He wants to gain experience in the area of hate crimes and discrimination against Islamic communities. He is a member of Japan and New York Bar. He also serves as a regional governor of Japan for the International Association of Korean Lawyers.

Hanna Wen

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Hanna is a law clerk in the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago. She is a student University of Illinois College of Law and hopes to gain experience with legal writing and advocacy. She is a graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Hanna is half South Korean and half Taiwanese and has dabbled with learning many languages including Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Russian and German.

Jason Keller

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Jason is a law clerk in the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Jason is currently completing his J.D. at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He enjoys basketball, snowboarding and used to write copy for T.V. and radio commercials.

Layla Taha

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Bio coming soon!

Louis Joseph Welebob

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Louis is a law clerk in the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a double major in History and Political Science and a minor in Islamic World Studies. Louis is currently a law student at DePaul College of Law. He enjoys baking, old movies and has lived in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam.

Navid Zarrinnal

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Navid graduated the University of Iowa law school. He has a J.D. law and an M.A. in Islamic Studies. Navid’s professional goals include being a civil rights litigator and advocate and having a career related to constitutional and international law fields. He also wants to do investigative reporting and journalism and dedicate time to academia and teaching. Navid decided to join CAIR-Chicago because he has a passion for civil rights theory and practice, and constitutional law. He has an experiential and identitarian connection to Islam and the Muslim community and his philosophical and professional commitments relate to CAIR-Chicago’s work. Navid is an Iranian-American and his favorite poet is Hafez. His hobbies include connecting with Iranian diaspora, traveling and Persian and Arabic literature and language. He also does reporting for an international press, some of which deals with issues of American Muslim communities.

Tamer El-Amour

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’14

Tamer is a law clerk in the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-Chicago. He is a third year law student at Valparaiso law with an interest in Constitutional law. He wants to help close the bridge both legally and culturally between Islam and other sects of American society. Tamer is from North Carolina and is a dual-citizen of Palestine and the United States.

Samia Shameem

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Samia is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the English department. Samia is on her way to becoming a journalist and wants to use her career to write and educate the masses on various issues and events. In her free time, she is a health nut and loves to make green smoothies.

Susy Palmer

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Susy is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Loyola University in Political science. Her professional goals include finding real-world application of her interest in political science and communications. Susy has always had a deep passion for all the arts including painting and writing. In her free time she grows avocados.

Alishba Malik

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Alishba is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a student at Northeastern University for Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology. In the future she hopes to attend law school. In her free time Alishba likes to go out with friends and to go rock climbing. She was born in Pakistan and has three siblings.

Hadeel Hejja

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Hadeel is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is also a student at DePaul University studying biological sciences. In her future career she wishes to go into speech pathology and freelance journalism. Hadeel enjoys arguments, and has read over 8,000 books in 5 years!

Sabah Adil

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Sabah is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Biology at DePaul University. After completing her degree she plans to attend medical school and do volunteer work in her field. In her free time Sabah likes to learn new things and help those around her.

Dounia Mshaiel

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Dounia is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently enrolled in a Bachelors program at DePaul University majoring in political science with a minor in Arabic. She eventually wants to work internationally with refugee camps and human rights development. In her free time she loves to travel and helping others to make a difference in a positive way.

Alexandra Beer

Government Affairs Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Alexandra is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently pursuing a degree in Politics and Environmental studies at Lake Forest College. Alexandra hopes to have a profession working towards social and environmental justice. In the past, Alexandra has participated in off campus study at the Mexican-American border and she is the President of the Lake Forest College Amnesty International.

Bilal Hussain

Government Affairs Extern – Winter/Spring ’14

Bilal is a Government Affairs Extern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a PhD. Candidate in Sociology at Loyola University. His professional goals include coordinating, researching and teaching as well as building a better understanding of the Muslim Community in Chicago. He was born in the month of Ramadan in 1988 and is the first person in his family to attend graduate school.

Nick Burandt

Outreach Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Nick is an Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently pursuing a degree in International and Arabic studies at DePaul University. In the future he would like to possibly attend law school and study abroad in the Middle East. He has a passion to protect human rights of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. In his free time he likes to play the guitar, travel and learn new languages.

Nekira Francis

Outreach Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Nekira is an Outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently pursuing an Associates Degree focusing in Journalism at Harold Washington College and hopes to transfer to University of Chicago or Depaul University for International Studies soon after. In her free time she enjoys dancing, reading, learning new languages and spending time with close family and friends. Nekira also has a working knowledge of Portuguese and spent time traveling, studying and dancing in Europe at age 18.

Michelle Mueller

Outreach Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Michelle is an Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is studying International Studies at DePaul University and minoring in Arabic and Communications. She is passionate about foreign policy and hopes to eventually enter the Foreign Service upon graduation. Michelle is an obsessive life planner with an extensive bucket list of 181 events!

Claudia Bertacchi

Law Clerk – Winter/Spring ’14

Claudia is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She has been with CAIR-Chicago for two years now, specifically working on “the Prison Project.” She graduated from DePaul University in 2011 with a double major in Italian and Political Science, and a minor in Spanish. In addition, she studied law while in Cuba; and economics, history, and politics while she was in Argentina and Chile. She is fluent in both Italian and Spanish; and is a dual citizen of Italy and the United States. Claudia is currently in her last semester at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she is focusing on criminal law. In addition to working at CAIR-Chicago, Claudia has been working for the Cook County Public Defender’s office as a law clerk for the past two years. She has conducted over five trials and won several motions in court. Claudia has also worked for the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she helped detained immigrants facing deportation, and at Family Rescue, where she helped advocate for victims of domestic violence. She describes herself as a fierce person, who fights for what is right and does not take “no” for an answer. Claudia hopes to become a successful criminal defense attorney, and vows to never charge people who truly cannot afford her services. She also hopes to become a judge in the future. Besides her legal experience, Claudia is a certified Catechist for the Catholic Church, and she currently teaches Catholicism (“Sunday School”) to high school students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Melrose Park. In addition, Claudia also coaches soccer during the summer and fall. She enjoys cooking, watching Law & Order SVU, spending time with her family, and being a Pro-Life activist.

Chloe Bremer

Law Clerk – Winter/Spring ’14

Chloe is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently in her second year of law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Kristen Callahan

Civil Rights Intern – Winter/Spring ’14

Kristen is a Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently pursuing a degree in English at University of Illinois at Chicago. Eventually she wants to attend law school and practice law in Chicago.

Majed Alzaben

Bio Coming Soon!

2013

Ammad Rafiqi

Law Clerk – Fall ’13

Ammad is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He currently attends University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. While working here, Ammad wants to look at the types of discrimination facing Muslims and help with immigration and citizenship issues. His interests include hiking and camping, photography, acting, sports, and he is a coffee shop connoisseur. Ammad describes himself as, “disturbingly efficient at antagonistic roles in plays.”

Ahmed Karrar

Law Clerk – Fall ’13

Ahmed is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He currently attends Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has aspirations to work in the sports and entertainment field. While working here, Ahmed wants to help aid individuals suffering from religious discrimination.

Alaa Saleh

Outreach Intern – Fall ’13

Alaa is an Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She attends DePaul University in Chicago majoring in Urban Planning. She hopes to assist CAIR-Chicago in raising funds and wants to promote a better image of Muslims everywhere. Alaa enjoys readings, working with non-profit organizations, and spending time with her friends and family.

Walid Sankari

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’13

Walid is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is studying Philosophy and Business Management at Loyola University of Chicago. He hopes to use his experience at CAIR-Chicago to further awareness about the crisis in Syria and aid the Chicago Muslim community. Walid enjoys studying philosophy & Islamic theology and enjoys watching films in his spare time.

Milos Markicevic

Communications Intern – Fall ’13

Milos is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. He recently completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Journalism at DePaul University. A dual citizen (Serbian-Australian), Milos moved to Chicago in 2009 as an international student. He previously lived in the Middle East for over a decade with his family. Outside of CAIR he is a contributing writer and photographer for the music blog Brooklyn Vegan Chicago. A shameless geek, in his free time he collects vinyl records, reads comic books, and tries to put a dent in his large Steam backlog of video games.

Talha Ahmad

Communications Intern – Fall ’13

Talha is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He 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 the CAIR-Chicago publication Chicago Monitor and take the experience with social justice he will gain in this internship back with him to Virginia. In his spare time, Talha enjoys reading, writing, and woodworking.

Claudia Bertacchi

Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Claudia is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from DePaul University in 2011with a double major in Italian and Political Science, and a minor in Spanish. Claudia is entering her final year at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she is focusing on criminal law. She is also interested in immigration law and family law, both of which she has experience in. In addition to working at CAIR-Chicago, Claudia has been working for the Public Defender’s office as a law clerk for the past two years now. She describes herself as a fierce person, who fights for what is right and does not take no for an answer. Claudia hopes to become a successful criminal defense attorney and vows to never charge people who truly cannot afford her services. She also hopes to become a judge in the future. Claudia is a devout Catholic who enjoys discussing religion and politics, coaching soccer, dancing and reading.

Robert Hill

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Robert is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. In 2011, he earned a bachelor’s in International Relations from Baylor University, and is currently enrolled in University of Illinois Law School. Robert hopes to work as a legal professional in a civil rights organization, and is excited about the opportunity to contribute work at CAIR-Chicago this summer. Robert was born in Germany, has lived on a ranch in Texas, and in his free time enjoys playing the piano.

Ibrahim M. Al-Hajiby

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Ibrahim is an Outreach and Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Ibrahim was born and raised in Yemen and is an international student studying at Augsburg College in Minnesota majoring in International Relations and Business. Ibrahim served as a Nobel Peace Prize Forum Intern for Tawakkol Karman earlier this year, acting as her direct assistant and translator. In the future, he hopes to focus on interfaith and international affairs in order to develop his skills to work effectively with various cultures. In his free time, Ibrahim enjoys playing soccer and table tennis.

Hiba Ahmed

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Hiba is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a rising junior at Knox College majoring in International Relations and minoring in Religious Studies. Hiba hopes to pursue a career in policy and government affairs, and is looking forward to helping CAIR-Chicago promote inclusion in the Chicago community. Hiba played the flute for ten years, she enjoys playing in wind ensembles, and she debated on the national level.

Nathaniel Van Wienen

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Nathaniel is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a rising senior at Carleton College in Minnesota, majoring in Religion with a French and Francophone Studies minor. Nathaniel is an advocate for social justice and wants to use his education to promote civil rights around the world. During fall 2012, Nathaniel studied abroad in Belgium where he interned with an anti-racism agency that combated racism in Belgium. At his internship, Nathaniel became a defender of rights in Belgium’s Muslim community. Nathaniel is excited to be working at CAIR-Chicago and with the Muslim community again. Nathaniel sings bass in an a cappella group at Carleton, he speaks French and Dutch and will learn Arabic when he returns to school in the fall.

David C. Blount

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

David is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He 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 hopes to address pressing issues in our communities through community organizing, activism and public policy and is excited to learn how to stand up for his community from CAIR-Chicago’s example. David has studied abroad in China and Tunisia, and on his free time, he loves to cook different dishes from around the world.

Abigail Frost

Outreach and Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Abi is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a rising junior at American University in Washington, D.C., majoring in International Studies with a focus in the Middle East and global security. Abi hopes to live and work abroad, especially in the Middle East, and is excited to become involved with the Muslim community of Chicago. Having grown up in Sao Paulo Brazil, she speaks Portuguese, and has studied Arabic at university. In the fall, Abi will be studying in Amman, Jordan. In her free time, Abi enjoys singing, traveling, and skydiving.

Joshua Rivera

Outreach and Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’13

Joshua is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a rising junior at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, majoring in political science and international studies. Joshua hopes to work as a research fellow in a foreign policy think tank and then work on economic development in Latin America. He was previously a coach and event coordinator for the Chicago debate league, and is also a national champion of college parliamentary debate. In his free time, Joshua plays multiple string instruments and especially enjoys folk and jazz.

Dartunorro Clark

Communications Extern – Summer ’13

Dartunorro is a Communications Extern at CAIR-Chicago. He 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 worked as Resident Assistant for UIC campus housing. He has previously interned for the Better Government Association, Congressman Danny K. Davis, Changing Worlds, and Friends of the Chicago River. Dartunorro is a McKelvie Scholar, the recipient of the CME Group Mayoral Award and is on the Dean’s List. He hopes to become a political journalist, travel nationally and internationally documenting injustices and human rights issues. Dartunorro is especially interested in working in countries without significant press presence. He hopes his experiences will lead him to one day work for the U.N. or the White House where he can impact policy and increase cultural competencies. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and reading.

Sonia A. Kassam

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Sony is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a rising junior 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. Sony hopes to one day write and film thought-provoking pieces about social issues and human rights. Sony is especially interested in doing philanthropic work in developing countries and reporting for a major news station to teach the next generation tolerance. In her free time, Sony enjoys reading, exploring the city, and teaching kids.

Austin Huette

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Austin is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a rising senior at Robert Morris University in Chicago, majoring in Graphic Design. Austin hopes to someday become an art director at a design firm. He is currently a member of AIGA, the professional association for design. In his free time, Austin enjoys playing golf, collecting records, and has watched every season of The Office at least seven times.

Shaiesha Moore

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Shy is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a rising junior at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., majoring in Middle East Regional Studies with a concentration in Democracy, and minoring in Christian-Muslim understanding. Shai hopes to work for the Foreign Service to help bridge the gap between Muslims and Christians. In the fall, Shai will be studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan, and in preparation hopes to learn more about Islam during her work at CAIR-Chicago. In her free time, Shai enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with family and friends.

Rhys Leahy

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Rhys is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. Rhys hopes to work as a foreign correspondent in the Caucasus and Central Asia. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, and has lived in Kazan, Russia. In her free time, Rhys enjoys playing guitar and studying Russian.

Amy Zaiter

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Amy is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. In her free time, she enjoys reading, and running. Amy will be running her second half-marathon in July.

Nadia Atassi

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Nadia is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a rising junior at Valparaiso University in Indiana, majoring in English and minoring in International Relations. Having attended CAIR-Chicago banquets and various events in Chicago, Nadia is familiar with the work CAIR-Chicago does and is excited to become a part of it. Nadia hopes to attend law school and work in civil rights. She loves novels about Victorian England and the human rights issues derived from the Industrial Revolution. In her free time, Nadia enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with family.

Julia Hedrick

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Julia is a recent graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She graduated with degrees in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies as well as in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse. Julia is so excited to be working with CAIR-Chicago this summer in working to promote a more tolerant understanding of Islam. In the fall Julia will be heading to India to work as in intern in the field of sustainable development and she hopes to pursue a master’s in international development in the future. In her free time Julia enjoys reading, trying out new restaurants, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.

Porshai Chandler

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Porshai will attend Hampton University this fall majoring in marketing. Her goals are to obtain her Masters in Business Administration so she can one day open her own image consulting firm. In her free time, she loves to play lacrosse.

Folarin Balogun

Communications Intern – Summer ’13

Folarin is currently a communications intern at CAIR-Chicago and joined our team to learn more about Islam. Folarin will be attending Northern Illinois this fall and wants to major in computer science and graphic design. His dream is to one day become a successful computer science engineer. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and playing basketball.

Paris Scott

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Paris is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently entering her final year of law school at the University of Wisconsin, pursuing a degree in International Law and Russian Area Studies. Paris hopes to work with an international organization like the United Nations or the International Court of Justice to further civil rights and equality for all persons. She has backpacked in 13 countries over the past five years. In her free time, Paris enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and volunteering at animal shelters.

Anzur Ismail

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Anzur is a Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently entering her final year of law school at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Hailing from a humungous family of over 100 cousins, Anzur hopes to ultimately work in the public interest sector to help the Muslim community and immigrants. In her free time, Anzur enjoys cooking and spending the day at the park or zoo with her son.

Marina Merjan

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Marina is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. In 2011 she was awarded a degree in International Studies and Political Science from DePaul University, and is currently enrolled in DePaul University School of Law. Marina hopes to serve disenfranchised, underrepresented, or insular groups through a public-interest oriented legal position. She was born in Syria and is of the belief that religious freedom and constitutional principles should be defended with vigor. In her free time, Marina enjoys boxing, reading, and cooking.

Daniel McGinnis

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Dan is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently entering his second year at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Dan hopes to eventually work in government on policy issues and legislation. Dan is a former Teach for America Corps member, and is excited about the opportunity to develop his legal skills while making a positive impact for equal protection this summer at CAIR-Chicago. In his free time, Dan enjoys traveling, music festivals, and playing softball.

Ankur Thakkar

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Ankur is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. In 2010 he was awarded a bachelor’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences and History, and is currently enrolled in law school at Cleveland Marshall. He hopes to become an advocate and voice for underserved communities. In his free time, Ankur enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, and is a huge Ohio State fan.

Peter Brierton

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Peter is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently entering his second year at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Peter hopes to practice labor and employment law, and to eventually run for public office. Peter is enthusiastic about working on legal issues that involve discrimination and is excited about the opportunity to create a more open and honest dialogue about the Muslim community in America during his time at CAIR-Chicago. In his free time, Peter enjoys running and following Chicago sports.

Karim Merchant

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Karim is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He 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. An active member of Valparaiso’s Trial Advocacy Team, Karim hopes to become a practicing attorney in Chicago, concentrating on public interest issues like immigration. In his free time, Karim enjoys playing the guitar, running, and writing a script for a short film.

Basma Mahmood

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Basma is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and International Studies, and is currently entering her second year at the University of Illinois College of Law. Basma hopes to practice law pertaining to employment issues and civil rights. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Pakistan, and has spent time living in China. In her free time, Basma enjoys traveling, photography, and playing basketball and badminton.

Nicole Sophia Tewolde

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Nicole is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. She hails from an Eritrean and Jamaican background, is a classically trained vocalist. In her free time she enjoys playing board games and watching Broadway theatre.

Braden Carkhuff

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Braden is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He earned a bachelor’s degree 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. He is excited about working as a law clerk at CAIR-Chicago because it creates a tangible change in the community. Having hiked the West Highland Way in Scotland, Braden is training for his first endurance marathon and enjoys running and scuba diving.

Aditi Singh

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Aditi is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a current law student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law. She received her bachelor’s in World Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a minor in Global Studies and Human Rights. Aditi is interested in doing public interest law for a nonprofit organization and is also interested in civil rights and constitution law. In her free time, Aditi plays the guitar and enjoys reading post-colonial literature.

Jacqueline Horn

Civil Rights Law Clerk – Summer ’13

Jacqueline is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys electronic concerts, photography, traveling and reading.

Sara Abdeljalil

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Sara is an operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is dual enrolled in the Aqsa School and Joliet Junior College and will be graduating after only her third year of high school in the spring of 2014. Sara hopes to attend college to study economics. She is excited about her opportunity to give back to CAIR-Chicago this summer, as the organization has greatly impacted her own community. In her free time, Sara enjoys volleyball, swimming, and politics.

Shakeeb Ahmed

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Shakeeb is an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a junior and majoring in Accounting and Finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Shakeeb is excited for his opportunity at CAIR-Chicago and looks forward to making an impact within the Muslim community with the help of CAIR-Chicago. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Liliana Barrera

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Liliana will attend the University of Toledo this fall majoring in biology as a pre-med major. She is currently an operations intern at CAIR-Chicago and speaks Spanish fluently. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano.

Diana Cahue

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Diana will begin her undergraduate degree at Saint Xavier Univeristy this fall. She plans to major in nursing and hopes to become a pediatric nurse. Diana is an operations intern at CAIR-Chicago and loves to play volleyball.

Victor Cahue

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Victor will attend Saint Xavier University majoring in colonial justice this fall. His goals are to obtain a Masters in Business Administration. Victor is currently an operations coordinator at CAIR-Chicago and enjoys playing sports.

Kierra Walker

Operations Intern – Summer ’13

Kierra is currently an operations intern at CAIR-Chicago. She hopes to major in public health and wants to obtain a masters degree in health policy. She dreams to one-day travel around the world and loves to try different things.

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Haney Noureddin

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’12

Haney is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in history. Haney has previously worked for Halal Farms USA and the U.S. Soccer Federation. Haney is interested in learning more about government policy and hopes to become a law professor. He enjoys writing, soccer, and watching movies in his free time. Haney played soccer overseas for two years and one of his favorite non-fiction authors is Chris Hedges.

William von Schrader

Government Affairs Intern – Fall ’12

William is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently attending DePaul University and majoring in political science and on the Dean’s List. William 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. William enjoys history, philosophy, football, and cooking. He is also of recognized German nobility.

Molly Feldheim

Outreach Intern – Fall ’12

Molly is an Outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a junior at Loras College majoring in social work and psychology. She has previously worked with after school programs for elementary school students in Iowa. Molly hopes to get a Master’s degree in social work or social justice studies. She is interested in working with different agencies that advocate for minority groups. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Sarah Rourke

Outreach Intern – Fall ’12

Sarah is an Outreach intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a senior at DePaul University majoring in Islamic World Studies. Sarah hopes to earn a PhD in contemporary Islamic studies and to one day work behind policy-makers in Washington D.C. and educate them about Islam and Muslims. Sarah loves to learn, dance, and has an obsession for historic architecture.

Brittany Moore

Communications Extern – Fall ’12

Brittany is a Communications Extern at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. Brittany hopes to pursue a career in market research, business relations, and international marketing. She enjoys writing, reading, and traveling in her free time. Brittany also did gymnastics including swimming and track.

Dartunorro Clark

Communications Intern – Fall ’12

Dartunorro is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in political science and communication. Dartunorro works as Resident Assistant for UIC campus housing. He has previously interned for the Better Government Association, Congressman Danny K. Davis, Changing Worlds, and Friends of the Chicago River. Dartunorro is a McKelvie Scholar, the recipient of the CME Group Mayoral Awardon and is on the Dean’s List. He hopes to become a political journalist, travel nationally and internationally documenting injustices and human rights issues. Dartunorro is especially interested in working in countries without significant press presence. He hopes his experiences will lead him to one day work for the U.N. or the White House where he can impact policy and increase cultural competencies. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and reading.

Sania Merchant

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Sania is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from law school. She graduated cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law in May 2012. She also received her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated summa cum laude. Sania is interested in employment law and civil rights issues. She is excited about contributing to the civil rights department at CAIR-Chicago and to gain professional experiences.

Devon Lawrence

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Devon is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a student at the University of Chicago majoring in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Devon hopes to attend law school in the future and potentially pursue a career in public interest. In her free time, Devon enjoys knitting and playing instruments including the clarinet, trumpet, and bass guitar.

Rahman Akinlusi

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Rahman is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a student at the University of Chicago majoring in political science and sociology. Rahman has previously worked at Grassroots Campaign Inc., the University of Chicago Oriental Institute, and was an intern at Obama for America. He hopes to get a law degree and to always continue learning. His personal goals include creating positive change in his community and giving a voice to the voiceless. In his free time, Rahman enjoys soccer, cooking, and watching terrible movies.

Sophia Akbar

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Sophia is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 and received her Bachelor’s in public policy and Arabic at the University of Chicago. Sophia previously served as a law clerk at the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago. She is also the proud recipient of the Boren Fellowship Award for Foreign Language Study. Sophia is pursuing a career in public interest law and would eventually like to be a policy advocate for criminal justice and for economic justice issues. In her free time she enjoys modern and Bhangra dance, oil pastel drawing, and playing jazz flute.

Emanuel Francone

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Emanuel is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a sophomore at Loyola University majoring in religious and international studies. Emanuel previously served as a law clerk for McGlynn and McGlynn Associates PLC. He is in Loyola University’s Honors Program and is on the Dean’s List. Emanuel hopes to pass the bar exam in Illinois and work with criminal litigation. He hopes to learn more about criminal defense cases. Emanuel enjoys music, specifically piano and guitar, golf, and is an avid Bear’s fan.

Sarry Ibrhaim

Law Clerk – Fall ’12

Sarry is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a junior at DeVry University majoring in justice administration. Sarry hopes to learn more about civil rights and the law. He plans to go to law school and become an attorney in the civil rights field. Sarry is fluent in Arabic, is originally from Chicago and loves to read and go running.

Aseal Tineh

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’12

Aseal is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a freshman at the University of Chicago double majoring in public policy and political science and minoring in human rights. Aseal has previously served as an extern for the Regional Transportation Authority, is an Illinois State Scholar and on the Dean’s List at U of C. She hopes, in her time at CAIR-Chicago, to learn more about civil rights advocacy and government legislation. She hopes to one day represent the Muslim community by gaining political office. Aseal is also a board member of the University of Chicago’s Students for Justice in Palestine and the Outreach Coordinator for the Muslim Students Association. She enjoys playing basketball, reading contemporary fiction, and writing in her free time. Aseal is also tri-lingual; she can speak German, Arabic, and English.

Aaron Kearney

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’12

Aaron is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a current senior at Loyola University and is majoring in Political Science and Journalism. He wants to fight human rights violations across the world. He also likes to travel, play sports and produce his own documentaries.

Nasir Almasri

Policy Research Intern – Summer ’12

Nasir is a Policy Research Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a sophomore at the Southern Illinois University and is majoring in Political Science and History. He wants to work hard to get a PhD in Political Science or Historical Studies. He also wants to teach and to conduct research in his field. He wants to learn more about the Muslim community and improve his communication skills. In his spare time Nasir likes to play sports and read about religion.

James Shiple

Policy Research Intern – Summer ’12

James is a Policy Research Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a current student at Lake Forest College and is majoring in Politics. His professional goal is to become better acquainted with voter outreach. He also wants to have at least two letters to the editor published and to write for the Chicago Monitor. In his free time James likes to play golf and read books. His favorite book series is Harry Potter.

Matthew Barry

Policy Research Intern – Summer ’12

Matthew is a Policy Research intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a sophomore at Knot College, majoring in international relations. He is also the recipient of the “Best Column” at the 2012 ICPA College Journalism Competition. Matthew hopes to gain more experience with professional research with a focus on government policy. He will be studying in Berlin in the Fall and hopes to become an American ambassador. Matthew spends his free time reading, engaging in political discussions, listening to music and playing tennis.

Abdullah Ansari

Outreach Intern – Summer ’12

Abdullah is an Outreach/Youth Development Intern for CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a high school junior at Naperville Central High School. Abdullah wants to become either a doctor or a dentist and is also interested in studying political science in college. He likes playing football, basketball, wrestling, swimming, running and reading. Abdullah also has a strong interest in international food.

Yrys Jaanbaeva

Outreach/Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’12

Yrys is an Outreach/Government Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Kyrpyz International in Kurgistan in 2008 with a degree of International Communications. She has always wanted to become an ambassador to make positive changes in her community and culture. Her goal in life is to keep learning and becoming an important person others can look up to. In her free time Yrys likes to travel, explore new traditions, ride horses and cook.

Elizabeth King

Human Resources & Outreach Intern – Summer ’12

Elizabeth is a Human Resources and Outreach Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from Purdue University in December 2011 with a degree in Sociology. She wants a Masters Degree in Instructional Design in order to become a project manager for a successful company. Her personal goals are to learn more about Islam and to better express herself. Elizabeth’s hobby is to ride horses.

Kenya Abbott

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Kenya is a Communications Intern for CAIR-Chicago, focusing on video production. She currently attends the Illinois Center for Broadcasting (ICB) where she studies audio and video production and is expecting to graduate in the fall. She has taken many video and television production courses before attending ICB. After graduation she plans to pursue a degree in film. Kenya’s interest in raising awareness about social issues in America brought her to CAIR-Chicago. In her free time she reads, especially about ancient history, watches documentaries, produces her own short films and documentaries and maintains an entertainment blog. Kenya is also a big fan of Jhene Aiko’s music.

Imran Choudhry

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Imran is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is entering his junior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is majoring in mathematics. Imran is interested in attending law school after he receives his bachelor’s degree from UIC. His hobbies include basketball, reading and collecting sneakers.

Afia Baig

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Afia is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Afia is currently a Communications student at Elmhurst College. Her professional interests include working with law or marketing. Her current goal is to study Arabic for a year in Texas. In her spare time Afia likes to go bike riding, swimming and traveling.

Afra Siddiqui

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Afra is a Video Production Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a current Moving Image and Pre-Med student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Afra is planning on becoming either a doctor or a director. She also wants to become a better writer and work closely with video. Afra’s hobbies include reading books and watching videos. An interesting fact about her is that she can quote all the Batman movies.

Unique Love

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Unique is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a current student at Depaul University and is majoring is Public Relations and Advertising. She is also pursuing a minor in Accounting. She hopes to be able to start her own public relations firm and volunteer around the world. One of her personal goals is to visit Africa and help fight AIDS. Unique enjoys singing, scrapbooking, blogging and traveling. She is also a big sci-fi movie fan.

Sarah Goomar

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Sarah is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a sophomore at the University of Michigan. She is planning on going to law school after she graduates. She also wants to travel the world. In her free time Sarah likes to read and learn different languages. She is also involved with the Amnesty International and STAND chapters at her school.

Isamar Mendoza

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Isamar is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2012 with a degree in Psychology and English. Her professional goals are to go to graduate school and work in different countries. She also wants to write her own novel. In her free time Isamar likes to play video games, bake and do arts and crafts.

Mallory Widell

Communications Intern – Summer ’12

Mallory is currently a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is entering her junior year at Georgetown University, where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in journalism and education. She is interested in working at a media outlet after she graduates and hopes to incorporate social justice work, with a special focus on civil rights, into her career. Mallory’s personal interests include writing, music and French language and culture.

Francisco Correal

Operations Intern – Summer ’12

Francisco is currently an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a recent graduate of Duquesne University, where he double majored in international business and marketing. He spent one summer volunteering in Japan helping with tsunami relief. He is interested in working at a Fortune 500 company or a marketing firm. Francisco enjoys playing soccer, reading, kickboxing and biking.

Nehal Hindi

Operations Intern – Summer ’12

Nehal is currently an Operations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is in her third year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is majoring in psychology. She previously volunteered during the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium, which CAIR-Chicago sponsored. Nehal hopes to go to law school and would be interested in focusing on either international law or immigration law. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading novels and playing soccer.

Noor Salahuddin

Executive Intern – Summer ’12

Noor is currently an Executive Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 with a degree in English literature. She previously served as a communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. 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. Her interests include music, television and reading.

Samar Syed

Executive Intern – Summer ’12

Samar is currently an Executive Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from Allegheny College in May 2012, where she received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. She has served as an elementary, middle and high school teacher in Pakistan and also as the web director at MTV Pakistan. Samar hopes to become a civil rights advocate, especially for American-Muslims, in the non-profit sector of the economy. In her spare time, Samar enjoys cooking, singing and reading, specifically works by authors from the Indian subcontinent.

Brooke Anderson

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Brooke is a Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a current student at the University of Chicago and is attending the School of Law. In her free time she likes to participate in distance running.

Nick Lange

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Nick is a Law Clerk Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2011 with a degree in English. His professional goals include improving his legal research and writing skills. Nick enjoys reading, mountain climbing, playing the piano and photography.

Kyle Brennan

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Kyle is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a law student at DePaul University, where he is concentrating on art and museum law and health law. After he graduates, he hopes to work on archaeological preservation abroad, preferably in the Middle East. Kyle enjoys learning new languages; he already speaks English, Italian and French and hopes to learn Sanskrit, Urdu and Portuguese.

Jeff Albasha

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Jeff is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a law student at John Marshall Law School. He hopes to become an attorney who advocates for people’s rights. He believes he will begin this process by working at CAIR-Chicago and similar organizations. Jeff is interested in economics and enjoys playing basketball and swimming.

Hanan Erikat

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Hanan is currently a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009 with a degree in English literature. She is currently in her second year at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Hanan wants to become either a civil rights or environmental lawyer because she is interested in advocating on behalf of people who most need it. In her free time, Hanan enjoys running, yoga, cooking, going to concerts and reading.

Claudia Bertacchi

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Claudia is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She 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 wants to work with international criminal law in a foreign embassy. She is also interested in possibly becoming a judge in the future. In her free time, Claudia enjoys discussing politics, playing soccer, dancing and reading.

Sohaib Ahmed

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Sohaib is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He currently attends law school at Valparaiso University School of Law, where he expects to graduate in 2014. He has previously served as both a law clerk at the Madison Law Associates and a legal intern at Paul Wharton and Associates. Sohaib wants to become a successful attorney and also hopes to teach at an institution of higher learning in the future. He loves basketball and has watched almost every Chicago Bulls game for the past 10 years.

Megan Morton

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Megan is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she double majored in journalism and advertising. She is currently a student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Megan wants to focus her legal career on both civil rights and constitutional law, with an emphasis on First Amendment rights. She would also like to practice immigration law and specialize in international human rights. Megan enjoys doing yoga, running, reading and attending sporting events in Chicago.

Caleb Brown

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Caleb is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently in his second year at DePaul Law School. He has served as a legal intern for Bloomington Legal Services. Caleb hopes to become a skilled litigator in the future while also making an impact by focusing on civil rights. Caleb enjoys playing bass guitar, fishing and watching Chicago sports teams compete.

Natalie Raver

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Natalie is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently in her second year of law school at the University of Notre Dame. She is interested in doing transactional law, but she is still deciding what to practice in. During her free time, Natalie loves going to Notre Dame football games. She also likes to cook, read and travel. Natalie has also received her scuba diving certification while studying in Athens, Greece.

Karim Azeb

Civil Rights Intern – Summer ’12

Karim Azeb is a Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Political Science and History. After graduation, he plans to apply to law school with a concentration in International Law. As an intern, he hopes to develop new skills that will positively impact his future in law, while simultaneously helping clients within the Chicago-Muslim community. In his spare time, he likes to read, watch the news and play soccer.

Laura Horner

Law Clerk – Summer ’12

Laura Horner is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently in her third year of law school at Depaul University College of Law. She would like to work for a non-profit organization specializing in immigration work. In her spare time Laura likes like to travel, read and attend sporting events like the Memphis Grizzlies basketball games. An interesting fact about her is that she was a page in the U.S. Senate when she was only sixteen.

Kaitlin Taylor

Government Affairs Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Kaitlin Taylor is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR Chicago. She is a graduate of DePaul University, where she studied Political Science and Arabic, focusing heavily on democratization and foreign policy. Upon graduating, Kaitlin traveled to Morocco as a State Department Critical Language Scholar. Her ongoing study of Arabic has also brought her to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. Her experiences living in the Middle East combined with her interest in politics are what led Kaitlin to seek and internship with CAIR. She looks forward to gaining a richer understanding of the dynamics of Muslim-American life and promoting a more tolerant understanding of Islam. Outside the office, Kaitlin enjoys live music, traveling, and reading political memoirs.

Shaleen Dada

Civil Rights Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Shaleen graduated from Loyola University Chicago in December 2011 with a degree in Political Science and Psychology. She just applied to law school and her professional interests include civil rights, human rights, international relations, and family law. Her goal in life is to use the opportunities and resources she was given to help others. In her spare time Shaleen likes to read, workout, and spend time with family and friends.

Alina Ali

Civil Rights Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Alina Ali is currently a Civil Rights intern at CAIR Chicago. She is a senior at DePaul University. She is majoring in International Studies and has a minor in Islamic World Studies. She plans on attending law school next year to further her interest in the field of international law. Alina is also active in fostering dialogue within the DePaul community by helping to create and facilitate dialogue-based workshops for students, which explore issues regarding diversity, culture, identity and social justice. She also participated in the Soliya Connect Program which allows individuals from Western societies and predominantly Muslim societies to engage in a cross-cultural dialogue regarding pressing global issues. Alina hopes to continue her work to bridge the gap between individuals that are separated on cultural and geographical grounds.

Kate Midden

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Kate is a Public Education intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is finishing her senior year at Loyola University Chicago, where she majors in communication & international studies and minors in Islamic world studies. Kate began studying Arabic language in her sophomore year, which led her to study abroad in Amman, Jordan. Her study abroad experience bolstered the very positive connection she felt with Islamic community both abroad and at home in Chicago. Her primary academic interests are fostering effective cross-cultural communication and the struggle to understand identity.

Nichole Xiong

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Nichole Xiong is a civil rights law clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a second year law student at DePaul University College of Law. Nichole graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. During the summer of 2010, Nichole was a legal intern at Kraft Foods Global, Inc.. Later that year, she served as a legal intern in the Domestic Violence Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Her professional interests include intellectual property, civil rights, immigration, family, and corporate law.

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Gabriel Gamez Jr.

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Gabriel is a Public Education intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is a student in Lake Forest College where he majors History and minors in Islamic World Studies. He has a history of being an active leader in organizations like Hillel (the on-campus Jewish organization) and MSA (the Muslim Student’s Association). After returning from studying abroad for a semester in Tunisia he decided to be actively involved with an organization that helps spread awareness of the diversity of Islam in his home town. Gabe decided to join CAIR-Chicago because he believes that educating the public is the only way to end the fear and misconception people have about the Muslim community. He enjoys watching international films and Spanish soaps in his free time.

Agnieszka Karoluk

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Agnieszka Karoluk is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She attends DePaul University and is expecting to graduate in June 2012. Agnieszka is majoring in Geography with a special interest in Urban Studies, Iranian Studies, and Islamic Studies. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Geography focusing on Polish migrants in Western Europe and the discrimination they face in the UK and France. Agnieszka has been aquainted with CAIR for the past two years from doing activism around Palestinian rights as well as working with the Islamic World Studies department at DePaul University. Being an outspoken and passionate advocate for human and civil rights, Agnieszka hopes that her time at CAIR-Chicago will help her develop more skills to promote a message of social justice not only for Muslims in America, but for all communities which endure bigotry and are misrepresented in the media and in the classroom.

Uzma Mushtaq

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Uzma is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated among the top of her class from East-West University in March 2011, double majoring in marketing and accounting. She joined CAIR-Chicago to further develop and apply her skills towards the communication and marketing of American-Muslims in the mainstream media. Uzma is interested in world affairs, politics, religious studies, humanitarian causes and strongly supports education and activism.

Kate Trusk

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Kate Trusk is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She earned her Master’s Degree in Communication with a specialization in Journalism and Social Media, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Journalism from Northern Illinois University. Kate came to CAIR-Chicago looking to help make a positive impact the world by spreading education through social networks. She previously worked as a writer and editor for NIU’s newspaper and continues to write on her personal blog, detailing the thrills of living a post-student life. Kate prides herself on keeping up with the latest social media fads and political gossip.

Susanne Falenczykowski

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Susanne is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism. Her interest in working for CAIR developed as a result of a presentation made in her international reporting class on media bias, and various courses taken in Middle Eastern history. Susanne’s goal for the future is to pursue international reporting, and hopes her experience with CAIR will provide an education in reporting in a sensitive and conscious manner.

Rana Khatib

Communications Intern – Winter/Spring ’12

Rana Khatib is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She attends the University of Illinois at Chicago and is expecting to graduate in the spring of 2013. Rana is majoring in English with a concentration in Media, Rhetorical, and Cultural Studies. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism while at the same time incorporating her own thoughts on the issues faced as a whole. Being well acquainted with CAIR-Chicago from a young age, Rana always loved their goals and aspirations. Being a communications intern gives her the chance to see first hand how civil rights or the lack thereof affect people of different races and ethnicities. Rana is a social and outspoken person and feels interning at CAIR-Chicago gives her the opportunity to use those skills for her future career.

Leen Jaber

Communications Extern– Winter/Spring ’12

Leen Jaber is a Communications Extern at CAIR-Chicago, assisting in editing and writing articles and assessments. Leen graduated in 2002 from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies. She currently is a Journalist and has published numerous articles in various publications throughout the country and in Cairo, Egypt. After working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), she was inspired to advocate for immigrant rights, which brought her to CAIR-Chicago. In addition to her professional writing experience, she is also a singer and song writer and plays guitar in her spare time.

Andrew Catalafamo

Research Fellow – Winter/Spring ’12

Andrew is a Research Fellow at CAIR-Chicago. He recently graduated with a Master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, and previously earned his Bachelor’s degree in Modern Germanic Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Andrew’s past research has focused on the 2009 Swiss Minaret ban and the effect of public and political discourse in Europe on the perception of Muslims, with particular emphasis on culturally biased interpretations of human rights, cultural practices, and gender roles. Andrew hopes to continue this type of research in the American context, focusing on how US media representations of Muslims influence the rhetoric surrounding Muslim-Americans.

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Dima Ansari

Communications Intern – Fall ’11

Dima is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. She 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. Writing is her passion, and she wants to continue her career in Communications. She strongly believes that writing is a complex and multi-dimensional art that requires the full involvement of the writer’s whole identity.

Aabeda Masra

Communications Intern – Fall ’11

Aabeda is a Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago and a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, by mainly focusing on writing love stories. While working towards her long-term goal of publishing short stories, Aabeda decided to join CAIR-Chicago as a Public Relations intern and help fight Islamophobia. After being bullied in eighth grade, Aabeda realized suffering silently never helps anyone. She loves to talk, therefore, chose Communication as her minor as well as Sociology.

Evan Gelles

Civil Rights Intern – Fall ’11

Evan Gelles is a Civil Rights Intern at CAIR-Chicago. He graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in psychology and a minor in political science. Evan has experience in non-profit organizations as well as research; he recently engaged in an independent research project in which he examined whether second generational racial problems exist in his largely Caucasian hometown. He is currently applying to law schools and interning as a law clerk at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He enjoys listening to Illmatic in his free time.

Ben Small

Communications Intern – Summer ’11

Ben is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. He has moved to Chicago for four months on a temporary work visa from his native England where he recently graduated with a 2:1 degree classification in History and Geography from the University of Leeds. His studies focused largely on social issues, political activism and modern European cities. He also wrote a historical thesis on racial segregation in Chicago during his final year, arguing that the city’s public institutions perpetuated a form of de jure segregation. His interest in social issues and their depiction in the media, as well as a passion for writing, led him to discover the intern opportunity in the communications department of CAIR-Chicago as he seeks to pursue a career in the non-profit or public sector. Whilst in the States, he is also writing for the weekly newspaper Newcity Chicago. In his spare time, Ben enjoys vegetarian food, live music and being an ardent follower of football (soccer).

Kinza Khan

Communications Intern – Summer ’11

Kinza is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2010 where she received a Bachelor’s degree in international studies. Her focus was on the Middle East and the Arabic language, and she studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt for one semester. She also had minors in political science and Islamic world studies. Her professional interests include international relations, human rights, social justice, and politics. Kinza looks forward to starting law school at DePaul University College of Law in August 2011, where she hopes to focus on international human rights law and immigration law.

Noor Salahuddin

Communications Intern – Summer ’11

Noor is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she received a Bachelor’s degree in English literature. Noor is interested in post-colonialism, colonial theory and South Asian and European history. Her professional interests include teaching these subjects as a professor after attending graduate school. Noor will be working with media relations and writing responses to news articles at CAIR-Chicago’s Communications Department.

Becky Fogel

Communications Intern – Summer ’11

Becky Fogel is a Communications intern at CAIR-Chicago. As an undergraduate at Scripps College in California, Becky majored in History with a focus on the Middle East. Her senior thesis examined colonial representations of Palestinian women in Mandate-period media and the ways in which these images were used to support foreign occupation. Looking at the connections between media representations, political policies, and access to power, led Becky to want to get involved with CAIR-Chicago. As both a religious minority and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Becky feels particularly strongly about challenging religious discrimination and misinformation about Islam. In addition to her internship at CAIR-Chicago, Becky works as a Resource Specialist for the Economic Empowerment Services program at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

Aymen Abdel Halim

Communications Extern – Summer ’11

Aymen Abdel Halim is a summer 2011 communications extern at CAIR-Chicago. Aymen is currently a graduate student in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts program at San Francisco State University. He is interested in media research, theory, and criticism, and more specifically, in the effects of media portrayals of Arabs and Muslims on Arab and Muslim communities in the U.S. He recently co-authored a book chapter on the impact of TV news on the self-conception of Arab and Muslim youth and is continuing independent research on the effects of Arab and Muslim media representation in the U.S. Aymen is also a radio and video producer and is currently working on a documentary film about Palestinian life in the West Bank and Gaza.

Jenn Schanz

Communications Intern – Summer ’11

Jenn is a Journalism/Communications Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Approaching her senior year at DePaul University, she is on the Dean’s list and the Opinions Editor of the university newspaper, “The DePaulia.” Before interning at CAIR, Jenn spent time at the Chicago Tribune and NBC5, where she worked as an intern for Political Editor Carol Marin. Jenn’s interest in the Muslim-community began after noticing how Islamophobia penetrated the mainstream media after September 11th, 2001, which she saw as a detriment to the Muslim and non-Muslim community alike. Since then, she has spent time studying in North Africa and continues to learn Arabic. Envisioning a career that combines politics, new media, and traveling, Jenn hopes to combine her passions of human rights advocacy and diligent reporting by working abroad in the Middle East. Jenn is on track to graduate Summa Cum Laud from DePaul with a Bachelors degree in Journalism in June 2012. When Jenn is writing, she is probably doing yoga.

Anum Qadir

Outreach Intern – Summer ’11

Anum Qadir is a Summer Youth Development intern at CAIR-Chicago. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she is currently studying Public Policy and Economics at the University of Chicago. She is also active on campus through the Muslim Students Association, the South Asian Students Association, and UChicago for Pakistan, a student organization spreading awareness and raising funds for the 2010 Pakistani floods. Anum chose CAIR to help cultivate youth leadership in the Muslim community and for her interest in promoting a positive image of Muslims in the U.S. Her interests include music, Pixar movies, hiking, and baking.

Clement Yu

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’11

Clement Yu is a rising senior at Boston College, double majoring in Theology and Philosophy, and double minoring in Faith Peace & Justice and Arabic Studies. His interest in Middle Eastern culture began with a mission trip to Mokattam in Cairo, Egypt, and his continuing study of Arabic thereafter has brought him to countries such as Kuwait, Egypt, and the UAE. Through the invaluable cultural and religious experiences that he experienced during his time abroad, Clement ultimately chose to come on board with CAIR-Chicago because of the organization’s vision to promote justice and mutual understanding of Islam while preserving civil rights. In his spare time, he enjoys having meaningful conversations, playing basketball, and rooting for the New York Mets.

Ian Peterson

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’11

Ian is a policy research intern for the Government Affairs Department at CAIR-Chicago for the summer of 2011. Originally from Lake Orion, Michigan, Ian is studying political science with a pre-law emphasis at Michigan State University. Ian plans to continue his studies in law school upon completion of his degree this year, and will look to focus on international law, public policy, and civil rights protection. Ian became interested in Muslim affairs after taking several classes at Michigan State that focused on politically disadvantaged groups, human rights, and political empowerment. This learning experience combined with his interest in politics and promoting equality for all groups of people led Ian to seek a summer internship with CAIR-Chicago. During his internship, Ian hopes to learn as much as he can about Muslim-American life and help promote tolerance and activism throughout the political system. During his free time, Ian enjoys being a sports fanatic, keeping up with the political world, and spending time on the golf course.

Eman Salah

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’11

Eman is a summer Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Eman is a junior at Northeastern Illinois University and majoring in Criminal Justice and strives to eventually go to law school. She moved to Chicago just recently to further pursue her education and career. Since then, she has volunteered in various Islamic affiliated works including being an active member in her local mosque, working for Islamic Conferences, as well as being a part of the Muslim Student Association in her university. Eman has interests in civil rights, social justice, religion, and politics. She chose to be involved in CAIR-Chicago to provide a voice for Muslims in Illinois and bridge the gap between Muslims and people of other faiths. She is looking forward to this journey!

Nabila Siddqi

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Nabila Siddqi is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a second year student at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Nabila graduated from Benedictine University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences. Her professional interests include immigration law, civil rights issues, and international law. Nabila’s other interests include photography, painting, traveling, and eating.

Eyad Tabahi

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Eyad Tabahi is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a rising second year student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Eyad graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Institutions. His professional interests include business law, litigation, immigration law, criminal law, and international law. Eyad’s interests beyond law school include politics, traveling, learning new languages, and marketing.

Mark McGinn

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Mark McGinn is a civil rights law clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a rising second year law student at The John Marshall Law School. Mark graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in History. While at Illinois, he worked as a First Year Campus Acquaintance Rape Educator, as a teaching assistant for the Fraternity Peer Rape Education Program, and was a member of Men Against Sexual Violence. He is pursuing a career in public interest and civil rights law. Mark plans to use his law degree to work for equal rights for men and women of all races. Mark plans to use his experience at CAIR-Chicago to learn more about Islam and spread awareness of discrimination against the Muslim community.

Amro Shamaileh

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Amro Shamaileh is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. Amro is currently pursuing a law degree at Indiana University – Bloomington. As a Law Clerk for CAIR-Chicago, Amro works with victims of discrimination in order to help them receive proper relief. His professional interests include business law and civil rights. He spends his free time playing sports or reading books about finance, psychology, history or religion. Amro graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Mathematics.

Praveen Ayyagari

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Praveen is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He just finished his first year at DePaul University College of Law where he interns at the International Human Rights Law Institute. Praveen also serves as a child advocate for the University of Chicago’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Project. Praveen’s professional interests include international law, human rights, and immigration law. Prior to law school Praveen received a BA in Communications (specializing in Radio-Television-Film) from the University of Texas where he specialized in documentary and experimental film. Praveen is also a professional musician and his songs have been featured on NPR and many popular blogs. In his personal life, Praveen enjoys writing music, taking pictures, reading, and traveling.

Michael Ibrahim

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Law Clerk Michael is a second year student at DePaul University College of Law. He is currently working at CAIR-Chicago as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, and received the 2011 Cudahy Fellowship. He is a member of the International Human Rights Law Institute. Prior to law school, Michael worked as an Immigrant Tutor at Heartland Alliance. He also worked at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation’s “Law & Health Project.” Michael is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied Political Science and International Studies, focusing heavily on human rights, genocide, and ethnic conflict. His current interests in law include Immigration, Human Rights, and International Law. His interests beyond law include soccer, rugby, and cars. Michael is a proud, life-long supporter of Arsenal Football Club.

Michael Nixon

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Michael Timothy Nixon is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a rising second-year law student at the John Marshall Law School. He is a member of the Student Bar Association Community Service & Financial Aid Committees. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity, and the Black Law Students Association Community Service Committee. Michael also serves as a BARBRI Student Representative for his section. Michael graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in Political Science from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. In August 2009 – August 2010, Michael served as Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) on the campus of the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His professional interests include civil rights, religious liberty, fair housing, and sports law. In his free time, Michael enjoys sports, religion, prayer, music, reading, and traveling. Michael is excited about the opportunity to work with CAIR and is committed to contributing in any and every way possible.

Patrick Cowlin

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Patrick Cowlin is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a rising 3L at DePaul University College of Law. Patrick graduated with Distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Finance. At DePaul Law, he has spent time working as an intern at the International Human Rights Law Institute and had the opportunity to spend a summer in China working with a human rights NGO in Beijing. Patrick enjoys travelling and learning about new cultures, distance running, playing and listening to music, and, most of all, eating good food.

Zeena Barazanji

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Zeena Barazanji is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is about to start her second year of law school at DePaul University. Zeena graduated with honors from the University of Iowa with a degree in International Studies, with focuses in Human Rights and International Relations and Politics. Before moving to Chicago, she interned at the Polk County Attorney General’s Office, the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, and Hispanic Outreach Legal Assistance. Her interests include immigration law, international human rights, and civil rights advocacy. She hopes to pursue a career in International Law concentrating on Human Rights.

Adam Ansari

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Adam Ansari is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a second-year law student at the John Marshall Law School. He is a member of the Middle Eastern Law Students Association and the Real Estate Law Student Chapter. Adam graduated from Boston University in 2008 with a BA in International Relations and Economics. During his undergraduate career, Adam interned at the Hudson Institute working at the Center for Democracy Promotion within the Middle East. He also worked as a contributory writer under Husain Haqqani, the current Pakistani Ambassador to the United States. Prior to Law School, Adam served as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) at the American Red Cross in Indianapolis. Adam hopes to eventually aid in the advancement of Muslims around the world and help change the misperceptions about Islam within the United States.

Kelli Bollin

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Kelli Bollin is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a student at Chicago-Kent College of Law and is working towards certificates in public interest and international law. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in French. Her professional interests include civil rights and human rights law. Kelli would like to use her legal career to bring positive change to people’s lives and hopes her internship with CAIR-Chicago will be the first step towards that goal.

Karim Azeb

Civil Rights Intern – Summer ’11

Karim Azeb is a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Political Science and History. After graduation, he plans to apply to law school with a concentration in International Law. As an intern, he hopes to develop new skills that will positively impact his future in law, while simultaneously helping clients within the Chicago-Muslim community. In his spare time, he likes to read, watch the news, play soccer and devotedly follows the best soccer team in Egypt, Al Ahly.

Paul Coogan

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Paul Coogan is a Civil Rights Law Clerk. He’s going into his second year at The John Marshall Law School. Paul graduated from Marquette University in 2009 with a degree in psychology. Prior to going to law school, he did a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in San Francisco. Paul worked at the Eviction Defense Collaborative, a legal clinic that helped low-income clients defend their eviction lawsuits and maintain their housing whenever possible. He hope to pursue a career in public interest and civil rights law. Paul is thrilled to have the opportunity to work at CAIR and hopes to help eliminate some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that so many in this country hold. It’s his goal to be able to use his law degree to truly help others and to make a difference.

Monica Uribe

Law Clerk – Summer ’11

Monica Uribe is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is a graduate of Baylor University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree is Music Performance, with a concentration in saxophone. Monica is currently a second-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a member of the United Nations Association (UNA-USA), the International Law Society, the Hispanic Latino Law Student Association, the Immigration Law Society, National Lawyers Guild, and Chicago-Kent Lambdas. Her professional interests include international human rights, immigration, and human trafficking. A native Texan, Monica enjoys good barbecue, iced tea, and watching football.

Alexander Demas

Government Affairs Intern – Summer ’11

Alexander Demas is a Government Affairs intern at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a senior at Northwestern University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree majoring in both Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Civilizations and International Studies. Alex has built his character off of three values that have been instilled in him from a young age; responsibility, loyalty, and consideration. Building off of this foundation, Alex has made it his responsibility to uphold equality amongst others. In promoting equality he has remained loyal and considerate to not only his friends and family but to those who are in great need of encouragement, strength, and understanding. These qualities Alex hopes to share with CAIR-Chicago and the people who CAIR-Chicago seeks to help. Alex previously interned at the Summit County Board of Elections where he worked on a number of political campaigns and gained an understanding of state legislature and electoral processes. Alex hopes to be a diplomat working in the global community in the future. In the meantime, he spends his time studying, staying active and in shape, and enjoying the company of others.

2010

Michael Williamson

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Michael Williamson is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is currently a second-year law student at the University of Chicago. Michael is a member of the Human Rights Law Society and the Black Law Students Association. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a project analyst for a financial services company, and as a legal assistant for a private-practice attorney. Michael graduated magna cum laude with honors from The Ohio State University with a BSBA degree in Marketing.

Naveen Shirazi

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Naveen is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Law, Letters and Society along with a minor in South Asian Languages & Civilizations. Naveen is currently pursuing a law degree from DePaul University College of Law. Her professional interests include immigration, civil/human rights, and international adoption. Having lived in the South Pacific for most of her life, she enjoys almost everything related to warm weather and traveling. Naveen will be researching and working on civil rights discrimination cases represented by CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Department.

Shamiq Hussain

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Shamiq is a law clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a student at the University of Washington School of Law and his primary interest is in United States foreign policy toward South Asia as well as the interdisciplinary study of law in Pakistan. Shamiq believes that legal advice should be seen as a social service that achieves its greatest impact when combined with other types of social services (personal and financial counseling, community development efforts etc). He has been active in Muslim organizations since high school and is excited to have the opportunity to work with CAIR-Chicago to help individuals and organizations in need. Shamiq’s personal interests include an eclectic taste in music and literature. He also has an inordinate amount of dislike for the Boston Celtics as well as a corresponding level of enthusiasm for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pakistan Cricket Team.

Momena Billah

Outreach Intern – Fall ’10

Momena is a Government Affairs Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Momena is a junior at DePaul, majoring in political science, and hopes to eventually attend law school. She has been an active member of her local mosque and volunteers there on a weekly basis. Throughout college, she has been on the Dean’s List and has participated in Muslim student organizations, and the debate team. She recently completed the Chicago LegalTrek program at Northwestern which has further cultivated her interest in law school. Momena strongly believes in defending marginalized groups within our society by protecting their human rights. CAIR’s activism in the areas of civil rights and engagement with Muslim and non-Muslim communities is what drew her to intern here. Her personal interests include Persian calligraphy, poetry, and music. Momena is fluent in Dari and Pashto, and works to maintain constant immersion in each language.

Maha Shams

Outreach Intern – Fall ’10

Maha is a Community Relations Intern at CAIR-Chicago. Maha is a political science graduate from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She moved to Chicago shortly after graduating and pursued a certificate program from Northwestern University in Business Administration. Since then, she volunteered in a couple of organizations to get acquainted with the cultural and political dynamics in Chicago. Maha was part of an international non governmental organization CISV where she served as the national junior representative for two years, there she got a lot of exposure to many cultures and mindsets. She is a strong believer in human rights and acceptance of all cultures, religions and races. During Maha’s internship in community relations she plans to gain knowledge about Chicago’s dynamics as well as share her experience and spread awareness about the importance of acceptance and peaceful co-existence. Maha has a passion for travelling and loves music.

Tamer Mansour

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Tamer is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He is a student at the John Marshall Law School; he serves on the Government Law Committee at the American Bar Association as Vice-Chair and on the Middle Eastern Law Society as a Liaison for the evening student section. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, and Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. Tamer graduated from DePaul University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Management. His professional interests include international affairs, civil rights, and prosecution. In his free time, he enjoys sports, religion, reading and traveling. He is devoted to shedding light on the legal issues that Muslims face in today’s society and is excited to be working with CAIR toward these goals this fall and in the future.

Asad Jaleel

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Asad is a Civil Rights Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to study education at Benedictine University. Asad taught science in both public and private schools including Curie Metro High and Islamic Foundation School. He is currently pursuing a law degree from DePaul University. Asad hopes to practice immigration law after he graduates. He is a member of Al Maghrib, the Chicago Bar Association, and MENSA. He lives in Naperville with his mother and father.

Ariana Kasa

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Ariana Kasa attended Law School at DePaul University and is currently a Law Clerk for CAIR-Chicago. She is a member of the Justinian Society, the Phi Alpha Delta fraternity, the International Law Society, the Latinos Law Student Association, and the International Human Rights Law Institute. She has performed research in the areas of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and specializes in Islamic Law. She has worked for the UNHCR in Geneva, research institutes in Italy and in Senegal, in addition to her work in the United States. She is fluent in Italian and French and is in the process of learning Arabic. She received her B.A. in Italian and Political Science with a minor in French from Arizona State University. As an Arizona native, she loves the cold weather Chicago has to offer and enjoys the city life. Her passions are traveling, languages, meeting new people, discovering new cultures, and learning about global affairs.

Erica Gelfand

Law Clerk – Fall ’10

Erica is a Law Clerk at CAIR-Chicago. She is currently a third year student at DePaul College of Law in Chicago, IL. At DePaul, she is a clinic extern at the Center for Justice in Capital Cases, the citations editor for the Journal for Social Justice, a volunteer for the International Human Rights Institute, and a member of the International Law Society. She has worked as a Coles Fellow at the Illinois Human Rights Commission assisting administrative law judges with cases involving human rights violations This past summer she was the policy intern at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she researched the U.S. immigrant detention system and provided recommendations for improvements. Erica graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Russian Studies. Erica enjoys traveling and experiencing other cultures and she hopes to pursue a career in Immigration Law or International Law.

Evan Fazio

Communications Intern – Fall ’10

Evan Fazio is a communications intern at CAIR-Chicago this fall. He has spent the last two years studying at Loyola University, Chicago where he majors in Advertising and Public Relations, Philosophy, and Music. Evan has come to take a holistic body, mind, and soul approach to his studies at Loyola. He hopes that Advertising and Public relations will put food on his table and a roof above his future family’s head. Evan hopes philosophy will be his path to intellectual discovery and a way to keep his critical thinking and reasons skills sharp. Music provides sustenance for his soul as something that he does purely for himself. Evan’s goal is to make his career matter by using his education, training, and experience to affect real, lasting, and positive change in society by the time he retires.

Cassandra Roos

Communications Intern – Summer ’10

Cassandra is currently working towards a M.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations at Loyola University Chicago. She is primarily interested in doing research on Middle Eastern affairs, especially Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cassandra graduated from Emerson College in 2006.