Asad Dandia – 2017 Recipient

Major: Near Eastern Studies
Degree: M.A.
School: New York University
Batool Javidan Memorial Fund



Asad is Program Manager at Cordoba Hose and is also doing his Masters in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at NYU.

Bio: Asad will enter as a Master’s Candidate at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University in Fall 2017. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree from NYU in Social Work with a focus on community organizing, and comes from an extensive non-profit background.

As an undergraduate, Asad worked with the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, where he communicated with religious peacemakers from all over the world via Skype to document and promote their work. Concomitantly, he was a youth community organizer at ‘Make the Road New York’ (MRNY), a non-profit membership-led grassroots organization that seeks to strengthen the voice of low-income and working-class immigrant communities through community organizing, leadership development, adult education, youth development, legal services, and policy advocacy. In his work with MRNY, he designed workshops for students at the Bushwick School for Social Justice (BSSJ),

He also worked in the Palestinian Territories for two months, specifically in Hebron, leveraging his cultural competency, social work training, and community organizing skills to teach English and conflict resolution to Palestinian youth of all ages. He also studied Levantine Arabic while there.

Currently, he works as a Program Manager at Cordoba House, a faith-based non-profit founded by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, which aims to serve as a “beacon of transformative spirituality for the American Muslim community in NY and beyond.” Through Cordoba House, Asad has had the privilege of learning from Imam Feisal, while having the opportunity to partner with celebrated faith leaders and public intellectuals working to shift the discourse on Islam in America.

Asad is heavily involved in New York’s Muslim community on multiple levels and is routinely invited to deliver sermons at universities and speak on panels on a wide range of issues. As an aspiring scholar, he hopes to synthesize his formal training in community and grassroots advocacy work with graduate school research to serve his community further. He hopes to produce critical scholarly work exploring themes related to Islam, the Middle East, and Muslim societies (classic and contemporary) to advance the public, academic, and political discourse around these themes.

Areas of Interest: 
Community Organizing, Social Justice, Middle East Politics, Islamic Studies, Religion, Foreign Policy, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Law

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