“After going through CLDP, our alumni have gone on to run for public office (and win!), start their own nonprofits, work on Capitol Hill, and much more.”

Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President & Co-Founder

Omar Al-Hendy, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

“You can study politics in a textbook, you can watch it on the news, but none of that will prepare you or even equate to the experience you will have while on the Hill.”

RJ Khalaf
Congressman Andre Carson (IN-7)

Aziz Ahmad, Congressman Hank Johnson

2019 Cohort Alumni

Dina Abdalla

House Committee on Homeland Security
Dina serves as GOTV strategist for the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, where she organizes and supports American-Muslim candidates who are running for public office. She is a former field organizer for the Lauren Underwood for Congress campaign, a position that led her to focus on promoting voter education amongst the Muslim community in the 14th district. A graduate of DePaul University with a B.A. in International Studies, Dina is passionate about issues surrounding national security and the nexus of immigration and conflict. She plans on attending law school next year.

Ali Abdullah

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL)
Ali is majoring in Political Science and is interested in studying immigration and refugee flows. He is currently conducting an independent research project on authoritarian resurgence in Sub-Saharan Africa. On campus, he is a member of an organization that consults for local nonprofits, public relations chair for the Muslim Students Association, and diversity and inclusion chair for the South Asian Student Alliance. Ali hopes to attend law school after graduation.

Dhuha Baig

Sen. Tim Kaine (VA)
Dhuha is majoring in Government & International Politics and minoring in Data Analysis and Legal Studies. Her passion for government and policy started at CAIR National Research and Advocacy office. At GMU, Dhuha is a research assistant under a project mapping unauthorized influences of domestic and international actors and their control over policy-making. She serves as the Community Outreach Director of her school’s MSA and continues to play an active role in the Northern Virginia Muslim community as a Sunday School teacher, youth mentor, and a high school MSA advisor. Her areas of interest include foreign influence, criminal justice, and immigration.

Kawther Berhanu

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)
Kawther is a Government major and Arabic and Justice and Peace Studies double minor. When the Gates Millennium and Coca Cola Scholar is not gushing about Atlanta or her time abroad in Amman, Kawther can be found working to bring communities together. She does this through her role as President of the Muslim Student Association, her positions in the Georgetown Scholars Program, and Student of Color Alliance. Last summer, she was a policy and advocacy intern at MPAC and this summer she looks forward to gaining hands-on experience on the Hill particularly in a moment with many women of color in office.

Luqmaan Bokhary

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Luqmaan is majoring in Political Science and South Asian Studies. He’s on the Executive Board of the Brown MSA and is a Minority Peer Counselor, a social justice-focused residential assistant for first-year students of color. He advocates for the Muslim community, by directly speaking to the heads departments on campus, presenting campus-wide workshops on the exclusion of Muslims in the Asian-American community. Luqmaan wants to attend law school after graduation and work in public service law and/or legal academia. Outside of school, Luqmaan enjoys learning languages, writing poetry, photography, and drinking tea with friends.

Amira Daugherty

Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4)
President of the Student Government Association, served as Chairwoman of the Constitutional Review Committee, and is a student representative for the Judicial Review Committee. She loves music, and is lead alto in Nocturne A Capella group, the Agnes Scott Collegiate Chorale, and the World Jazz Ensemble. Amira does contract work with the CDC-F. She volunteers with local mock trial teams, and with the DeKalb 4-H Club to teach children and adolescents about healthy living, drug and alcohol awareness, and money management. In the next decade, she intends to run to represent the 4th District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in 2040, she will run for President of the United States.

Yasamine Durali

Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5)
Yasamine is majoring in Political Economy and minoring in Human Rights and Public Policy. As the Chapter Director for UC Berkeley’s branch of Generation Citizen, she oversees Democracy Coaches and leads grassroots advocacy workshops for students working on local community projects. Last summer, she interned at MPAC working on projects involving the family separation crisis and Trump’s Muslim Ban. Yasamine enjoys integrating her quantitative and technological experience with her passions for law, policy, education, and government and hopes to attend law school after graduating college. Yasamine envisions a future for herself advocating for underprivileged minority groups and women of color as a lawyer.

Maimuna Gassama

Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5)
Maimuna was born in The Gambia, but grew up in Atlanta, GA. She majors in Government and Politics, with minors in Arabic and Social Justice. She enjoys interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the world and has dedicated her undergraduate research and senior thesis to the intersections of identity and security. She has served as a Diversity Peer Educator at St. John’s University, and was also a 2018 Rangel Scholar. She is fluent in Mandinka and Wolof, with proficiency in Arabic. She hopes to attend Georgetown University in the Fall, for her M.A. and study in the Walsh School’s Security Studies Program.

Rabia Osman

Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9)
Rabia Osman graduated with her Master of Science in Legal Studies with a Concentration in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Law at Albay Law School. Prior to that she received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Information Security. Rabia served as a Senate Intern for the NYC Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Legislative Intern for the New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and an Intelligence Analyst Intern for the Office of the Bronx District Attorney. Rabia tutored thirteen math, science, and programming courses in undergrad and hopes to work in cyberlaw. As the first internationally adopted child from Pakistan to New York, Rabia aspires to reach back to the Edhi Foundation orphanage she was born in to help more children be adopted. Rabia is also a certified archery teacher and loves working with children.

Aisha Shafi

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10)
Aisha is majoring in Government and International Politics and minors in Conflict Analysis and Data Analysis. She interned at several non-profits and government agencies, most recently as a Program and Management Analyst at the Government Accountability Office. Aisha is actively involved with student organizations, including the Mason Muslim Affairs Council, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for issues that affect our local and national communities. Aisha’s interests lie in education policy, urban policy, and identity conflict. A strong believer in effecting change from within, she hopes to pursue a doctorate conducting research on conflict and social policy issues.

Aneeb Sheikh

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14)
Aneeb Sheikh is majoring in Political Science and Marketing. Last summer he was a policy and advocacy intern at the Muslim Public Affairs Council. On campus, he is a senator in the Undergraduate Government of Boston College, a member of the Muslim Student Association, and a mentor to first year students of color. Upon graduating from Boston College, he hopes to work in Congress for a few years before completing law school. In his spare time, Aneeb enjoys reading and playing basketball.

Mariam Siddiqui

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)

Mariam is majoring in Political Science and International Studies and minoring in Arabic and Journalism. She served as an organizer for Rep. Nicole Clowney and Rep. Denise Garner successful campaign for Arkansas District 86 and District 84. She is Director of Municipal Relations in student government and previously served as a Senator. She volunteers at Canopy Northwest Arkansas (NWA), a nonprofit refugee resettlement organization, where she tutors and mentors children recently resettled in Northwest Arkansas. Mariam is fluent in Urdu and is learning Arabic. She was a Communications Intern at the El-Hibri Foundation in D.C. and strives to foster diverse dialogues through these leadership positions.

2018 Cohort Alumni

Zoya Sattar

Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
Zoya Sattar is a junior at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, majoring in International Studies with a focus in Conflict Resolution. Recent internships at the Pakistani-American Political Action Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Oklahoma) awakened her drive to work in DC to have the greatest impact on policy affecting Muslims and other minority groups. A youth leader in her hometown of Oklahoma, Zoya helped set up the Oklahoma Muslim Gamechangers (OMG) Program, with the hope of teaching Muslim high schoolers how to become more vocal and civically engaged. Zoya aspires to become a diplomat and work to resolve the increasing global tensions.

Sabri Siraj

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Sabri Siraj will be a first-year law student this fall at Harvard Law School. Prior to starting law school, Sabri graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science. Sabri spent time tutoring local refugee students in different school subjects, and working as a communications intern for the nonprofit organization People for the American Way in Washington, D.C. Sabri is passionate about human and civil rights issues both domestically and abroad, and looks to pursue a career dedicated to bringing change and being a voice for those less fortunate.

Wafa Jawad

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Wafa Jawad is a junior at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts majoring in Government, minoring in Middle East Studies. Wafa is the transfer senator with the Smith College Student Government Association, publicity chair for Al-Iman. Wafa is a volunteer with Amnesty International, serving as a Student Activist Coordinator and was also the president of her past college’s Amnesty International group, where she worked with her local elected officials to organize a town hall discussion about President Trump’s “Muslim Ban”. In the future, Wafa hopes to expand on her research and pursue a future in foreign policy and international relations, perhaps even running for public office.

Arwa Dubad

Senator Patty Murray (WA)
Arwa Dubad is a student at the University of Washington, Tacoma majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, with a minor in Human Rights and Religious Studies. Arwa serves as the student body president at her campus, she oversees a team of directors, senators, and hired staff at the Associated Students of University of Washington Tacoma (ASUWT). Arwa plans to attend Law School after taking a gap year to study and prepare for the LSAT.

Zohair Alam

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Zohair Alam is a senior majoring in Marketing at the University of Houston. He is currently interning at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. This internship has been able to rejuvenate his passion for criminal justice and help the victims in the community. Zohair is an active volunteer in his community, assisting in a number of non-profit organizations from helping immigrants with legal issues, to connecting children with books. Zohair has received the Dean’s Award at the University of Houston for the past two consecutive semesters and hopes to pursue a J.D. after graduation.

Azhar Gulaid

Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
Azhar Gulaid is a senior at Smith College where she is studying government with a minor in economics. She is particularly interested in international relations and public policy, and believes that social justice can be incorporated into all areas of work and study. She previously interned for the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a civil rights organization where she worked on communications and outreach. Azhar is interested in pursuing a career in law and international relations.

2017 Cohort Alumni

Hadeel Abdallah

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Hadeel is a student at the University of Kentucky, pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Arabic and Islamic Studies. She is President of her college’s Muslim Student Association. She is the Director of Inclusion and Outreach for her student government. She is also the National Outreach Director for the Muslim Youth of North America. She loves spending time with family and friends, baking, and traveling.

Mustafa Alemi

Congressman Ruben Kihuen (NV-4)
Mustafa is a student at San Diego State University, pursuing a B.A. in Political Science. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Associated Students and President of Students for Justice in Palestine. Mustafa is also the founder of CommUNITY, a student led organization that equips minority students at SDSU with the tools to run for student government offices. He enjoys graphic design and does freelance work when he has time. Mustafa intends on attending law school after graduation.

Nadim Houssain

Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2)
Nadim Houssain is a law student at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Before attending law school, Nadim graduated from the UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Global Studies. After graduation, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso where he specialized in community economic development. Following his Peace Corps service, Nadim worked briefly for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as a Field Organizer.

Sadaf Mehdi

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6)
Sadaf is an alum of the City University of New York Hunter College, where she earned a B.A. in Economics and held a Focus Study in Urban Studies. She served as a Project Leader of the Hunger Prevention and Homeless Outreach Campaign for the New York Public Interest Research Group. She also interned for the South Asian Council for Social Services. She believes she can make a positive impact in the country she calls home.

Maryam Sarhan

Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
Maryam graduated from Stockton University with a B.A. in Political Science. As President of the Student Senate, she worked with campus administration to protect the rights of immigrants. She also served as the Student Trustee of the Stockton University Board of Trustees, representing over 9,000 students. She represented Stockton University both nationally and internationally as a member of the Model United Nations Team. She plans to pursue a career in international relations.

Nabil Shaikh

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27)
Nabil is a public policy scholar and Master in Public Affairs candidate at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School through the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative. Through spending his college summers exploring the various actors that shape global health care, Nabil has developed an interest in public health, ethics, and public service. He wrote his senior thesis on global access to end-of-life care and on theories of health justice. He is also passionate about interfaith work, civic engagement, youth consulting, altruism, and advocacy.

2016 Cohort Alumni

Aziz Ahmad

Congressman Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-4)
Aziz is a student at Baldwin Wallace University studying International Affairs and Political Science with concentrations in Middle Eastern/North African Studies and Legal Studies. Aziz is the co-founder and President of the Middle Eastern Culture Club on campus, a member of the Muslim Student Association, a Resident Assistant, and Campus Ambassador for the Peace Corps.

Omar Al-Hendy

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Omar attends the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Economics. Last summer, Omar studied abroad in London and interned at a research firm, working on a project to discover how to turn around recent low voter turnout. After graduating, Omar plans to return to the Hill to work as a legislative aid or staffer. Omar is primarily interested in health and economic policy.

Bunyad Bhatti

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Bunyad attends the College of New Jersey, majoring in PoliSci with minors in Arabic, and Women and Gender Studies. She interned for the Regional Director at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in New York City, where she assisted in the department’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Prior to this, she served as the Press Secretary for New Jersey’s 15th District Assemblyman campaign.

Jenan Abu-Hakmeh

Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
Jenan is an honors student attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology, pursuing a B.S. in Business with concentrations in Finance and International Business, along with a minor in Legal Studies. She founded her campus chapter of Girl Up, a U.N. Foundation organization devoted to advocating for policy changes and raising awareness to empower females around the world.

RJ Khalaf

Congressman Andre Carson (IN-7)
RJ is passionate about social and political rights, and attends New York University majoring in Global Liberal Studies. RJ studied abroad at NYU London, serving as liaison for the TEDx NYU London team. With his counterparts in New York, he organized two successful TEDx events in his first semester. RJ has also spent summers volunteering in Palestinian refugee camps. He is now developing an organization that creates hands-on, leadership-based workshops for Palestinian youth in refugee camps.

Basmah Nada

House Democratic Caucus
Basmah is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with a degree in International Studies and Political Science. Basmah served as a counselor and board member of Camp Kesem, and following graduation, she dedicated her time to the non-profit Act4Accountability, promoting social change using knowledge of the African diaspora. Her passion for political activism, community engagement also led her to become a Government & Policy intern at MPAC.

2015 Cohort Alumni

Amirah Ahmad

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14)
Amirah Ahmad is a student the University of Virginia. She is interested in human rights, social justice, international relations, and global development. Previously, she has interned at the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press in Beijing and Wicell Technologies in Jakarta. She is a Global Greeter, peer advisor, publicity chair for UN Women, member of the Muslim Student Association, and a volunteer for Challah for Hunger.

Obaida Albaroudi

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-5)
Obaida is a Business Economics and International Relations double-major at the University of California, Irvine. He loves basketball and considers himself a foodie. He hopes to affect positive change for all communities and people.

Sommer Iqbal

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Sommer Iqbal is an International Political Economy major at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is interested in social justice and activism, environmental policy, and South Asian and Middle Eastern affairs. Her ultimate goal is to help the Muslim community through her work as much as possible. One of her dreams is to work for the White House as a liaison for the Muslim community.

Aisha Yaqoob

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Aisha Yaqoob is a graduate student at the University of Georgia, pursuing her Masters of Public Administration & Policy. She is interested in public policy on the local and state level. During her undergrad years at at the University of Georgia, she was involved in various student organizations and served as president of her local MSA. She serves an advisory capacity on her local government’s planning projects.