Category: 2009 Recipents

Jason Van Boom-2009 Recipient

Jason Van Boom 150x150 (1)Jason Van Boom

Major: History
Degree: Ph.D.
School: Graduate Theological Union (GTU)
Sponsor: Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

Jason Van Boom received his BA in liberal arts in 1994 from Thomas Aquinas College, a “Great Books” school focused on Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. He then taught English in Lithuania and South Korea. From 1998-1999 he studied Eastern Orthodox Christian history and theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and gave a lecture series at an Orthodox cathedral on St. John Chrysostom’s commentary on the Gospel according to John. He received an MA in philosophy at Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, where he studied Thomism and Neoplatonism, in 2002. From 2000 to 2002 he taught Introduction to the Old Testament at St. Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Theological Seminary. He is currently in the PhD program in the history of Christianity at Graduate Theological Seminary, and plans to defend his dissertation in May 2010. Jason is a specialist in late medieval and early modern Christian intellectual history, with a focus on gender and witch trial literature. In the course of his studies on Christian intellectual history,  He currently teaches a public outreach introductory course on Islam at Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, where he has joined the staff as director of development and marketing. He plans to do comparative studies of Islamic and Christian theologies of the human person, and write a history of Christianity from an Islamic perspective.

Jason’s Message to Supporters:
I am very grateful for Islamic Scholarship Fund’s generous assistance at this critical time in my studies. The material benefit is substantial, but what is even more helpful is this vote of confidence. It is a great encouragement to see that my academic work is not just for myself, but can benefit others.

Jason moved to Estonia and co-founded a few initiative including Orutekniks.

Zafir Shaiq-2009 Recipient

Zafir Shaiq 150x150 (1)Zafir Shaiq

Major: Economics
Degree: B.A.
School: University of California Los Angeles
Sponsor: ISF

Zafir Shaiq was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently attends UCLA, where he is studying economics. He serves as the President of the Muslim Student Association at UCLA, and is a former director of the Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project. Zafir plans on attending law school and pursuing a career in prison reform.

Zafir’s Message to Supporters:
ISF is an important organization that recognizes the need to promote involvement in the greater society from the future leaders of the Muslim American community. The scholarship I received will allow me to put more time and energy into my academics and community work, and less on earning an income. The founding of ISF is an important step forward for our community.

Zafir studied law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and works currently at the Alameda County Public Defender as an Associate Deputy Public Defender.

Mohammad Ali-2009 Recipient

Mohammad Mehdi Ali 150x150 (1)Mohammad Ali

Major: International Relations (Specialization Islamic History); Sociology
Year: Bachelor of Arts and Masters
School: Stanford
Sponsor: ISF


Ali received his law degree from Stanford and is currently working for a law firm in the Bay Area.

Ali’s Message to Supporters:
I am very thankful for this scholarship opportunity–it is a wonderful initiative, and will help young Muslims aspire to do great things.

Bio: Mohammad Ali is currently a senior majoring in International Relations at Stanford University. At Stanford, he is currently acting as president of MSAN [Muslim Students Awareness Network] and has been elected to serve as a senator by the Stanford student body. He loves to read & write fiction, study classical Arabic, and play basketball. In the future, he hopes to work as a civil-rights lawyer to help empower the Muslim community.

Areas of Interest: Theology



Dalia Fikry Fahmy-2009 Recipient

931258_10101877643449279_499597089_n (2)Dalia Fikry Fahmy

Major: Political Science
Degree: Ph.D.
School: Rutgers University
Sponsor: ISF


Dr. Fahmy is an assistant professor of political science at LIU Brooklyn. Dr. Fahmy’s current research examines the intellectual and political development of modern Islamist movements. Dr. Fahmy has served ISF’s Board of Directors.

Message to Supporters:

The scholarship from ISF will allow me to complete my dissertation and receive a PhD in Political Science, Insha’Allah.  Receiving a grant from ISF, a fund founded by Muslims, for Muslims, signifies a collective shift in the American Muslim community–that we are now able to support our own students and projects.  The impact of having my research project supported by ISF means that the knowledge that will be produced will not just have a place in the Political Science discourse, but that it also has utility for our community. It is one thing to have the support of my academic program, it is another to have the support of the Muslim community.  I cannot thank the directors of ISF enough, I can only share with you my commitment to be a supporter of this fund in the near future.  May Allah reward your efforts, Insha’Allah.

Dalia Fikry Fahmy  received her B.A. from New York University in politics and Middle Eastern studies, with a minor in peace and global policy studies. Dr. Fahmy then completed an M.A. from New York University in international relations. While pursuing her Ph.D. in political science at Rutgers University, she earned a second M.A. in comparative politics. She received her PhD in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Areas of Interest:



Iman Kamal Zawahry-2009 Recipient

Iman Zawahry

Major: Film
Degree: Masters (MFA)
School: Florida State University
Sponsor: ISF


Iman is currently teaching Film at University of Florida. She is also the Film Grant Director at ISF.

Message to Supporters:
Our culture encourages studies in the sciences and many times discourages careers in other areas, especially in the artistic fields. ISF encourages Muslims to venture into other fields and provides hope and opportunities for those whose talents exist outside the sciences. Furthermore, ISF helps to create jobs where American-Muslims are needed in our society, thus strengthening Muslims in America.

Bio: Iman Zawahry was born in Panama City, Florida in 1980. To get through the mundane and interesting societal norms of Panama City, Iman and her friends used movies and their young imagination to pass the time. They created spoof productions of the Arsenio Hall show and 90210, complete with full commercial breaks in between. In 1998, she moved to Gainesville, FL to attend the University of Florida where she received a BA in Religion and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Upon graduation Iman worked with Bridges TV, the first American Muslim Television network, as a free-lance journalist. In 2006 Iman attended Florida State University Film School and directed three short films, of which “Tough Crowd” was awarded an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Student Emmy Award and the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival Award of Merit. “Tough Crowd” has also been accepted to over 15 film festivals around the country.  In 2008 Iman was awarded the Princess Grace Award and is in currently finishing her fourth film in the fall.

Areas of Interest:

Film, Film Industry