Major: Political Science
Degree: Ph.D School: University of Illinois at Chicago Sponsor: ISF
Khalid Madhi is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He left his native Morocco after completing undergraduate studies in Economics at the University of King Mohammed I, Oujda, UniversitéMoulay Ismail, Meknes and L’Institut Superieur International de Tanger. At Chicago, he received a Masters in political science at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago. Khalid has also taught Middle Eastern Studies, Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies courses at St. Xavier University, Loyola University, Dominican University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests include urban histories, urban politics in the global south, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East, the conceptions of power and the status of the “Other” in the contemporary determinations of politics.
Major: Political Science
Degree: Ph.D. School: University of Southern California Sponsor: ISF
Youssef Chouhoud is a doctoral student in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California, where he is a Provost Fellow. His current research interests include democratization, with an eye to the Middle East, and political tolerance, with a focus on Muslim minorities in the West. Youssef earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Lehigh University where he went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Political Science as a President’s Scholar.
Prior to enrolling at USC, Youssef spent two years in Egypt studying Arabic and dissecting the “Arab Spring” for readers of www.MuslimMatters.org, where he serves on the editorial board. A former president of the Lehigh Muslim Students Association, Youssef remains active in the Muslim community at USC and the greater Southern California area. He hopes to continue this service while progressing toward his goal of becoming a university professor.
Since receiving the ISF National Scholarship, I have crossed a number of milestones. Alhamdulilah I was able to complete and defend my qualifying exams and dissertation proposal. Moreover, for the 2015-2016 academic year, I will be among the inaugural cohort of Mentored Teaching Fellows at USC, designing and instructing my own course: “Democratization Theory and the Arab Uprisings.” With each step toward my goal of becoming a university professor, I always reflect on (and am grateful for) the early boost I was fortunate enough to receive from ISF.
Degree: M.A. School: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Sponsor: Sultana Zakir Naqvi Scholarship for Journalism and Writing
Message to Supporters: I am very grateful and honored to be selected for the ISF-Sultana Zakir Naqvi Scholarship for Journalism and Writing. This scholarship will help me to accomplish my goals and will enable me to gain more experience and acquire new tools and creative ways of storytelling while studying at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. With your support, I can focus on the issues that are important and affect all of us.
Bio: Muzhgan Rasul began studying journalism in Moscow, Russia. Later, she moved to the U.S. where she continued studying journalism and received a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Emerson College. She worked as a Production Assistant at NBC affiliate WHDH 7 News in Boston and was part of the production team on the documentary films “The List” and “What Tomorrow Brings” directed by Beth Murphy. As a freelance writer, producer and reporter she has worked for Voice of America. Muzhgan interned with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. She has recently received a master’s degree in journalism and documentary filmmaking from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Degree: B.A. School: University of Maryland Sponsor: MateenMobeen Foundation
Noor Tagouri is a 19-year-old senior at the University of Maryland studying broadcast journalism and international development conflict management. She is an associate journalist for CBS Radio in Washington D.C. She also is an intern for WUSA-9 TV, the CBS news affiliate in D.C and works for All We Want is Love, an organization to end sex slavery and human trafficking as well as for Muslimat Al-Nissa, a homeless shelter for Muslim woman and children. She is the vice president of the University of Maryland chapter of the Society of Journalists. Her career goal is to become a news anchor on a national American television station.
Degree:M.A. School: CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Sponsor: ISF
Reem Nasr is a graduate of New York University, where she majored in journalism and Middle Eastern studies. She is of Egyptian and Lebanese descent and is interested in affairs of the Muslim American communities. She was born in Detroit but has spent most of her time in New Jersey. Reem has worked at many different media outlets including The Princeton Packet, Al Jazeera, CBS and WNYC. Currently she is an executive producer of the radio show, Muslim State of Mind, which airs on 99.5 FM WBAI NY. The show deals with all matters relating to the Muslim American communities.
Fluent in English and Arabic, she hopes to continue her journalistic work in the United States and abroad. Reem travels to the Middle East often to visit her extended family. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism where she is studying broadcast journalism. Her dream goal is to work for National Public Radio.
Major: Religious Studies
Degree: Ph.D. School: Columbia University Sponsor: ISF
Update: I graduated with my PhD in May of 2016, and am now an Assistant Professor of Religion (specializing in Islam) at Trinity University in San Antonio. I am currently working on turning my dissertation into a book, and am excited to learn more about the Islamic landscape in Texas.
Bio: Sajida Jalalzai was a Ph.D. candidate in the North American Religions subfield in Columbia University’s Department of Religion, focusing on Islam and Muslims in North America. Her dissertation focused on Muslim leadership education in North America, and is based on ethnographic research conducted at several Protestant-affiliated theological schools in the United States and Canada that offer various types of Muslim leadership training programs: Hartford Seminary (Hartford, CT), Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON), and Claremont-Lincoln University (Claremont, CA). She analyzed the formation of North American Islamic authority in intellectual and educational milieus characterized by a dominant Protestant Christian culture.
She looks forward to contributing to the Muslim presence in the Western academy, and to mentoring Muslim students who wish to pursue studies in the humanities and social sciences.
Major: Islamic Law and Theology
Degree: Ph.D. School: Brandeis University Sponsor: ISF
Celene Ayat Lizzio is pursuing a PhD in Arab and Islamic Civilizations at Brandies University. She has written over twenty articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries exploring Muslim family law, Muslim feminist theology and women’s religious leadership, among other topics. She is also interested in ritual, sacred healing, and wellness practices in Shadhiliyya Sufi communities. Ms. Lizzio is a Faculty Associate at the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, and she also lecturers on Islam, gender, and interreligious studies at Episcopal Divinity School. In 2012, she co-founded the Muslim Community Fellows program at the Center for Interreligious and Community Leadership Education (CIRCLE) at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. Ms. Lizzio holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a bachelor’s from Princeton University with highest honors in Near Eastern Studies.
Major: Public Interest Law
Degree: J.D. School: UC Davis School of Law Sponsor: Muslim Community Center of the East Bay (MCC)
Masih Ali Fouladi is a third year law student at UC Davis School of Law. He earned a double major in Economics and Cognitive Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and has worked as an associate at the law firm of Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, and the Los Angeles CAIR chapter. He is an Islamic Scholarship Fund recipient, the President of the UC Davis Muslim Law Student Association, a diversity fellow of the Sacramento County Bar Association, and a board member on two Campus wide committees dedicated to promoting diversity and affordable education at UC Davis. He is currently pursuing opportunities in Civil Rights, Local Government and Employment law.
Update: Masih works for CAIR-LA as an Advocacy Manager.
Major: Public Interest Law
Degree: J.D. School: Yale Law School Sponsor Safari/Heidari-Bateni Fund
Tasnim Motala is a rising first year at Yale Law School. Hailing from the DC suburbs of Maryland, Tasnim graduated from Yale College in 2012 after majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race and Migration. Tasnim spent the 2012-2013 academic year pursuing a research-based masters at the University of Cape Town. Her dissertation focused on the residential segregation of the Muslim community in Cape Town.
A South African by descent with strong familial ties to the anti-apartheid movement, Tasnim has an interest in international human rights. She hopes to pursue this passion as a career one day, either in the form of defending those who were denied habeas corpus rights, or working in the field of foreign policy advising.
Major: Public Interest Law
Degree: J.D. School: Yale Law School Sponsor: Ghobarah-Naqvi Scholarship in Law
Nafees Syed is entering her final year at Yale Law School and plans to enter a career in law and politics. In 2010, she graduated from Harvard University with honors, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Before Law School, Nafees worked as an aide to a ranking member of Congress, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. Previously, she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and has interned for the British Parliament and the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Nafees has written for popular outlets, including CNN.com and The Huffington Post. In addition, her research has been published in the International Journal of the History of Sport. As an editorial editor at The Harvard Crimson, she contributed to its popular admissions publication, “50 Successful Harvard Application Essays,” and she is an author for the book “I Speak for Myself.” At law school, Nafees has been active as a student council representative, clinical director and notes editor of a student journal. She was a Finalist at the Yale Law Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals and is now Co-Chair of the competition.
Update: Nafees is an Associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Freelance Writer at CNN, Foreign Policy, HuffPost