“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

2023 Cohort Alumni

Mohamad Almouazzen

Mohamad Almouazzen

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Mohamad studied Political Science and History at Mt. San Antonio College (A.A-T) and the University of California, Riverside (B.A). Throughout his undergraduate tenure, he was heavily involved in student government, cultural organizations, political campaigns, and competitive collegiate Forensics. Currently studying to take the LSAT this summer, he plans to attend Law School in Fall 2024. With an immigrant Lebanese background, his focus is Foreign Policy, particularly Middle Eastern solvency and Muslim-American issues. He is originally from Upland, CA and enjoys coaching his former Forensics team, mountain drives, outings with friends, and spontaneous traveling.
Ola Albayati

Ola Albayati

Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07)

Ola first discovered her passion for government and politics while volunteering for local campaigns. Here, she took an interest in government policy and public service. Through these experiences, Ola felt a deeper connection to her community and developed a better understanding of her own identity. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Law at Wayne State University. She hopes to attend law school after completing her undergraduate degree and hopes to advocate for underrepresented communities in the future. When Ola is not studying, she likes to go swimming and discover new coffee shops.
Hajra Hamad

Hajra Hamad

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC) | S2: Sen. Schumer (D-NY)

Hajra is a rising Junior majoring at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and receiving a minor in South Asian Studies. On campus, she has worked with a multitude of community partners, and most of her work has focused on immigration reform and civil rights advocacy. She is currently part of Princeton University’s Civil Leadership Council through which she partners with organizations working towards decreasing educational and housing disparities. She is also part of Solidaridad, an off-campus organization and The Asylum Project, both of which provide refugees assistance when completing the I-589 form. She hopes to pursue law in the future and eventually work within the U.S. government, especially in foreign policymaking.

Saarah Baig

Saarah Baig

Sen. Merkley (D-OR)

Saarah is a rising senior at George Mason University (GMU) pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Politics with a concentration in Political Behavior and Identity Politics and a minor in Religious Studies. She holds a deep passion for people-centered policies and the ways in which religion has shaped America’s current political landscape. This semester, she serves as an undergraduate research assistant under a project measuring populist rhetoric in American politicians’ tweets using computational text analysis. Saarah also serves as the co-leader of GMU’s Society for the Study of Religion where they engage in dynamic discussion regarding the role of religion as it relates to the lived human experience.
Kaise Dualeh

Kaise Dualeh

S1: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) | S2: Sen. Schumer (D-NY)

Kaise is a junior in Yale College studying Global Affairs with a certificate in Human Rights from Yale Law School. He is primarily interested in understanding the future of American foreign policy strategy, human rights institutions, and the application of international law in the United States. On campus, Kaise serves as President of the Yale International Relations Association, the largest undergraduate organization on campus, where he oversees the organization’s educational and conference programming on four continents. Upon graduation, he plans on pursuing post-graduate education in either law or international relations and working at the intersection of law and foreign policy.
Soha Manzoor

Soha Manzoor

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-12)

Soha is a rising senior, double majoring in Astrophysics and Sociology at UC Berkeley. Passionate about public service, she currently serves as a Student Senator for the 2022-2023 term and has heavily advocated for menstrual equity on campus, as well as defending and uplifting Berkeley’s most marginalized communities. Outside of student government, she has worked as a writing tutor and is passionate about public education and criminal justice reform.
Noor Hasan

Noor Hasan

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Noor is a rising junior at UC Berkeley studying Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. Upon graduating from Cal, she plans on attending law school. On campus, Noor is involved with the Student Policy Institute Berkeley, the Associated Students of UC Berkeley’s Office of the President, and is a an undergraduate research apprentice in the Political Science Department. She also previously served on the Pakistani Students Association Board. Noor spent last summer shadowing at an immigration law form and in the past has interned at the Consulate General of Pakistan in New York, CAIR’s Government Affairs Department, and the office of Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Noor has a strong interest in human rights, global development, and foreign policy and is excited to gain perspective as an intern in Senator Menendez’s (D-NJ) office this summer.
Hamzah Daud

Hamzah Daud

Federal Reserve Board (Technology Lab)

Hamzah is concurrently pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Computer Science and a Master’s in International Policy at Stanford University. He is interested in working at the intersection of national security, technology, and finance. This summer, he will be working at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors developing the central bank digital currency.
Noor Kazi

Noor Kazi

Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07)

Noor is a Pakistani-American student at UNC- Chapel Hill majoring in Economics with minors in Public Policy and Data Science. Noor serves as Economic sector head for UNC’s Roosevelt policy chapter and works on Economic development research with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a North Carolina CDFI. She is passionate about economic development, criminal justice, and affordable housing reform and spent last summer interning with her local government’s Affordable Housing department. Noor hopes to work in policy development after graduation and eventually attend law school to become a Civil Rights Attorney.
Maryam Alghafir

Maryam Alghafir

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14)

Maryam majored in Business Management at the University of Houston and will be continuing her studies at Georgetown Law School where she is a Global Law Scholar. Previously, she served as an intern for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to that, she worked as a Youth Development Coordinator at An-Nisa Hope Center and a Civic Engagement Intern for the Council on American Islamic Relations. She was a leader on campus, where she served as Vice President of the Student Government Association, President of the Mock Trial Association, Voter Registration Director for NextGen America, and member of the Debate team.
Duaa Faquih

Duaa Faquih

Rep. Al Green (D-TX-09)

A rising senior at Vanderbilt University, Duaa is studying Political Science and Psychology. On campus, Duaa is the president of the Muslim Students Association, an editor for the student newspaper, and an undergraduate researcher in a policy lab. Off campus, Duaa works with the non-profit Asians Against Domestic Abuse to pursue her goals of empowering minority women’s voices. Living between the Middle East and Texas for most of her life, Duaa hopes to bring her diverse perspective to local and national politics and advocate for her communities.
Sameer Riaz

Sameer Riaz

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Sameer is a rising senior at Princeton University studying Mechanical Engineering and Urban Studies with a concentration on climate policy. His focus is on the intersection between remediating climate change, improving social equity, and developing community through changes in urban infrastructure policies. Riaz hopes to work directly with Muslim communities to empower them to act on issues relevant to them and their faith. At Princeton, he does research for the Urban Nexus Lab where he analyzes trends between neighborhood income and transportation access. Sameer also serves as Co-President of the Muslim Students Association. This summer, he will be interning at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an Energy Markets Intern, where he will conduct research on the Eastern Interconnection to help inform regulatory filings brought to the commission.
Pashmina Khan

Pashmina Khan

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Pashmina is a rising junior at New York University double majoring in Journalism and Psychology and minoring in Documentary Studies. Pashmina worked as a Video Editing and Producing Intern for the Ernest and Young Design Studio in New York City and as a Policy and Communications Intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. At NYU she holds positions with NYU’s independent student-run newspaper and Muslim Students’ Association. As a Journalism and Documentary Studies student she has produced a multitude of videos and photos, centered around capturing the narrative and stories of underrepresented groups; these include a Black Lives Matter Protest Montage, the beauty of Jammu-Kashmir, and an International Women’s Day segment. In the future, Pashmina plans to work as a Global Investigative Journalist specializing in humanitarian crises and conflict zones.

Muskan Effendi

Muskan Effendi

House Democratic Caucus

Muskan is a rising senior at Princeton University studying public policy and International Affairs. She is passionate about improving Public Health and mitigating homelessness.  She has worked with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program as a street medicine intern where she discovered the importance of creating change systemically to positively impact underserved populations. Additionally, she has worked as a risk mitigation officer for an Ecuadorian hospital to overcome barriers like language inaccessibility and infections in the operating room. She hopes to continue on a career path that allows her to lead a life of service to the communities she is a part of. Muskan takes great pride in being a Pakistani-American and serves as the Vice President of the Pakistani Students Association on campus to celebrate her culture and traditions. In her free time, she loves learning different forms of dance and playing basketball. She will be serving as the operations intern for the House of Democrats Caucus.

Hussayn Abdul-Qawi

Hussayn Abdul-Qawi

Sen. Ossoff (D-GA)

Hussayn received his Bachelor’s from Whittier College and is currently enrolled at California State University of Fullerton. At Whittier, Hussayn double majored in History and Political science. Currently, at Fullerton, Hussayn is enrolled in a Master’s program for Political Science with a concentration in Nuclear Proliferation. Hussayn is also a former model United Nations member and collegiate football player. He is currently conducting research regarding innovative teaching techniques and how they affect undergraduate students’ political efficacy in a political science course. His research passions include homeland security and national security policy. Hussayn intends to pursue a Ph.D. in political science, work in education as a tenured professor, and land a career as a foreign policy advisor for counterproliferation measures.

Sheriff Almakki

Sheriff Almakki

US Department of State - Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration

Sheriff is a former biochemist turned international policy practitioner. As a Syrian-American, his advocacy efforts during the Syrian Refugee Crisis led him to pursue his Master’s in Public Policy from the Ford School at the University of Michigan, with concentrations in migration and human rights. He is involved with his school’s Climbing Club, Student Affairs Committee and Graduate MSA.

Isra Qadri

Isra Qadri

Tasneem Khan Fellowship - MPAC DC Policy Fellow

Isra is a Kashmiri-American studying Public Policy and History at the University of Maryland. She has experience managing gun violence prevention policy in Maryland with March For Our Lives, working on a number of congressional and legislative campaigns. She began working with MPAC as a Policy & Advocacy Intern in the winter of 2022. On campus, Isra is in the Honors Humanities Honors College, competes nationally with UMD’s Model United Nations team, and is in the Kappa Omega Alpha Public Policy Fraternity.
Ramis Banuri

Ramis Banuri

Tasneem Khan Fellowship - MPAC DC Policy Fellow

Ramis, a driven and compassionate rising senior at Emory University, hails from Salt Lake City and is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Anthropology & Religion. With a passion for human rights, economic justice, and immigration policy, Ramis has previously worked on anti-Islamophobia and equity initiatives at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and America Indivisible, as well as gaining grassroots experience from working on the Stacey Abrams campaign for Georgia Governor. He is currently a research assistant to a leading political scientist studying advertising and media trends in South Asia and has conducted his own research on International Relations theory and its misapplications to Pakistan.
Sahir Muhammad

Sahir Muhammad

MPAC DC Office

Sahir is a recent graduate from Temple University with a BA in Advertising and Communications. As a highly motivated and ambitious individual with plans to make differences in his community, Sahir has joined the CDLP program as a Policy and Communications fellow with hopes to learn and grow within the internship to reach his goals in humanitarian work.

Burhanulhaq Brula

Burhanulhaq Brula

Sen. McConnell (R-KY)

Burhanulhaq is a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Political Science and Business Economics. He has been involved in the Muslim Student Association at Penn, as well as various other Muslim organizations such as ICNA and CAIR. His interest in the legal field combined with his passion for being involved in the Muslim community led him to join MPAC. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing soccer, and hiking.

2022 Cohort Alumni

Abrar Omeish

Department of Education – General Council

Abrar Omeish is an alum with honors from Yale University, a current dual MPP/JD candidate, and a Blume fellow at Georgetown. She is the first Libyan ever elected in US history and the first Muslim and youngest ever to be elected in her role as School Board Member At-Large in Fairfax County, VA. She oversees a three billion dollar budget for 1.2 million constituents of the nation’s tenth largest school division outside Washington, DC. Abrar co-founded an organization providing thousands of underprivileged youth with free tutoring and mentorship in 20 locations over the past ten years. After serving in several appointed capacities locally and as a senior organizer at the DNC, Abrar served as a legal fellow at a human rights and immigration law firm in Northern Virginia and has been a spokeswoman for the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign. Abrar was most recently a Virginia Co-Chair for the Bernie Sanders campaign and a Virginia PLEO and Rules Committee member to the Democratic National Convention. 

Asma Mohammadi

USAID, Legal Intern

Asma Mohammadi majored in Political Science and has always had a deep interest in government, leading her to American University’s dual degree program pursuing a law degree and a master’s in International Affairs. As a Muslim Afghan woman, her perspective is valuable, and she wants to make a difference in people’s lives. 

Aisha Irshad 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – (D-NY)

Aisha Irshad is a dual degree student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Business Economics and Public Policy. She’s held leadership positions with the Muslim Student Association, Student Government, and the First-Gen community at Penn. 


Ammar Hussain

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

A rising Junior at @georgetownuniversity’s School of Foreign Service and School of Business, CLDP Fellow, Ammar Hussain is pursuing a B.S. in Business and Global Affairs with a minor in Government. Previously having served as an intern for Congressman Sean Casten’s re-election campaign and as a Government Affairs intern for CAIR-Chicago. Ammar built on this experience during his summer internship in the U.S. Senate.

Deena Ali

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)

A rising junior at the University of California Berkeley, Deena Ali is studying Political Science and Media Studies. She has worked closely on campus with community members and administration, as a MEMSSA-Endorsed Senator part of the Associated Students of UC Berkeley. A seasoned MPAC intern, Deena has worked alongside our policy team since summer 2021 while earning Honors during the last four semesters of her academic career. 

Ibrahim Ahmad

Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50)

A rising Senior at Wayne State University in Detroit, Ibrahim (Abe) Ahmad is majoring in Public Affairs and Minoring in Peace and Conflict Studies. Abe is a leader on his campus, where he serves as an Executive Board member in the role of Director of Government Affairs of the Wayne State Student Senate and Chair of Professional Development for the Lebanese Student Association at his University. He also serves as a student advisor to the Michigan Department of State, representing his university on the Michigan Secretary of State’s Collegiate Task Force in creating and promoting initiatives to increase voter participation/engagement on his university’s campus. This summer, Ibrahim is interning in the office of Rep. Darrell Issa.

Janna Ramadan 

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7)

Janna Ramadan, a rising senior at Harvard College studying Government and Modern Middle Eastern Studies is passionate about issues of decolonization, human rights, civil rights, and discrimination. At Harvard, she serves as the President of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School and was a former member of the International Relations Council Board of Directors. Holding a firm belief that politics and government are most impactful when reflective of community and lived experiences, whether regarding domestic issues or global affairs, she brought her passion for public service and her perspective as a first generation Palestinian and Muslim American to her internship on the Hill.

Ju Leigh Serpa

Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-6)

Meet Ju Leigh Serpa, originally from Ohio who has an M.A. in Law, Justice, and Culture from Ohio University. Following her studies she taught English as a Second Language. 

Kawkab El-Moussaoui

Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs – Gary Peters

A rising third-year law student at Wayne State University Law School, Kawkab graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Biopsychology Cognition Neuroscience and a B.A. in Political Science. Kawkab served as an AmeriCorps Vista member before accepting a position as an Outreach Director at CAIR-NY. She brought her passion about immigration and civil rights into her internship on Capitol Hill.

Khadeeja Qureshi

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-CA-7)

Khadeeja Qureshi is a student at Bates College, double majoring in English literature and Politics with a concentration in Political Economy. Highly active on her campus, she is involved with the Muslim Student Association, her college newspaper, and Bates Votes, a project promoting voter mobilization and education. In addition, she is passionate about socio-legal research and hopes to pursue international or union-side labor law in the future.

Mariam Khayata

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-9)

CLDP fellow Mariam Khayata is a graduate of Rhodes College with a B.A. in international studies and political science and a minor in Middle East and Islamic studies. An active member of the Rhodes Student Government, she served as the first chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Senate Committee for two years. Mariam has also served as the secretary and communications director of the nonprofit organization 901 Ummah, which fosters a productive Muslim community in Memphis, TN. Having lived in Aleppo, Syria, for seven years, Mariam is passionate about empowering the Arab world and Arab people through mutually beneficial U.S. foreign policy. After her CLDP internship, she hopes to continue to work as a Congressional staffer in the future crafting U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Mennah Abdelwahab

Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA)

Mennah Abdelwahab is a recent graduate at the University of Georgia with a major in international affairs and journalism. Passionate about human rights education and advocacy, Mennah is a member of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, through which she has collaborated with individuals passionate about human rights from around the world. She has had the opportunity to work on policy issues at the local, state, and federal level through her work with Georgia State Representative Spencer Frye and the late Congressman John Lewis, who were particularly illuminating into the needs of her fellow Georgians. After her summer internship in the office of Senator John Ossoff, she is excited to launch her career in policy.

Nour Ali

Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)

Nour Ali has a passion for her community and takes great pride in her upbringing in her hometown of Dearborn, Michigan. With a BA in Middle Eastern/North African Studies from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago, Nour hopes to utilize her love of languages and people to work on the Hill for a few years before attending law school.

Rawan Abhari

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rawan is a rising senior from Fort Myers, Florida originally born in Missouri, studying economics and Middle Eastern studies while minoring in political science at Florida State University. Having served as a legislative intern at the Florida Senate she is heavily involved in campus leadership across many different offices from being the student’s top lobbyist in the Student Government Association, to the VP of the Arab Student Union, to the administrative realm of the former President’s Anti-Racism Task Force.  Post undergrad, she hopes to enroll in law school pursuing a joint JD and MA in economics in order to utilize economic expertise with legal knowledge to engage in international climate crisis negotiations and deal-making. 

Rawan is a rising senior from Fort Myers, Florida originally born in Missouri, studying economics and Middle Eastern studies while minoring in political science at Florida State University. Having served as a legislative intern at the Florida Senate she is heavily involved in campus leadership across many different offices from being the student’s top lobbyist in the Student Government Association, to the VP of the Arab Student Union, to the administrative realm of the former President’s Anti-Racism Task Force. This summer, she is interning with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill. Post undergrad, she hopes to enroll in law school pursuing a joint JD and MA in economics in order to utilize economic expertise with legal knowledge to engage in international climate crisis negotiations and deal-making. We look forward to watching her refine her knowledge in the legislative process and she continues on her career path!

Romael Khan

Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA-41)

Former MPAC Intern and Indiana University rising senior, Romael Khan’s passion for service to his community speaks for itself through his involvement on campus including serving as the Speaker of the Student Body Congress, the Vice President of the Muslim Student Association, and as the founder of the Asian Student Union. He is studying Political Science at Indiana University with minors in Public Relations and Law & Public Policy and a certificate in Political and Civic Engagement.


Sahar Abedi

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)

A rising senior at UCLA majoring in Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, Sahar serves on the board of the Pre-Law Transfer Society and works at the UCLA Law School Office of the Dean. She completes research for the Center for Middle East Development at her school and previously worked with CAIR as a Government Affairs Intern. Sahar hopes to build on her knowledge of U.S. foreign policy with the Middle East in her pursuit of a career in law and international relations.

Shaheer Rahman

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)

Former MPAC intern and incoming senior at the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po, Shaheer spent the first two years of his education in Menton, France, studying Economics and Sociology with a concentration on the MENA region. He is finishing his last two years in New York, studying Economics and Political Science. Originally from Dallas and a child of Pakistani immigrants, Shaheer grew up in a diverse, multicultural, and interfaith community that instilled in him a desire to promote understanding and collaboration in his life and career. During his time in Europe, Shaheer expanded his cultural horizons and delved into his interests in interfaith collaboration and peacebuilding. 

Shahzeb Malik

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar – (D-MN-5)

An advocate, and media entrepreneur, Shahzeb Malik has worked to advance his public policy interests through activism, journalism, digital media, and research while a student at Baldwin Wallace University. Approaching opportunities with relentless tenacity, Shahzeb excelled as an intern at MPAC this spring and is building on this experience as an intern on Capitol Hill.


Umar Ahmed

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

A rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Umar Ahmed is double majoring in Political Science and Global Studies and pursuing a certification in International Development Studies. This summer, he is building off his background in statewide campaigns and running field operations as an intern for Senator Tammy Duckworth. In addition, Umar enjoys cooking or venturing out to new places when not focusing on his studies.

Misaal Irfan

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Misaal Irfan is a recent graduate of The George Washington University, where she studied International Affairs & Public Health with a concentration in Global Public Health. She will attend the London School of Economics in the fall to earn her MSc in Health and International Development. Through her research on COVID-19 mask adherence, while working as a legislative intern in Kyrsten Sinema’s office, to field organizing and completing a research fellowship at the American Pakistan Foundation, Misaal understood her passion for civic engagement and public policy. This summer, Misaal is returned to Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office as a Senior Intern with a focus on Health Policy while working with Petey Greene as an Academic Tutor for incarcerated scholars. 

2021 Cohort Alumni

Mosammet Asma

Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT)

Mosammet is a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo. She studied Political Science with a concentration in public law and Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. Mosammet is very passionate about gender-based violence work in diasporic communities and currently works part-time as a case manager at a domestic violence agency that serves Muslim, immigrant, and refugee communities in Western NY. During college, Mosammet interned for the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women where she published a policy brief on New York State’s 2018 Paid Family Leave bill. Mosammet was born in Bangladesh and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is the eldest daughter of five children. Mosammet is enthusiastic and grateful to be interning for the senior senator of the state of Connecticut.

Preston Nouri

Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17)

Preston Nouri is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. Throughout his professional experience, Preston has focused on public policy, legal work, and advocacy. In the future, he hopes to one day serve in public office and help our disenfranchised constituents.

Ruhan Syed

Congressman André D. Carson (IN-7)

Ruhan is a rising senior at Indiana University studying Political Science, Business Management, and Islamic History. At IU, Ruhan is highly involved on campus including holding positions with IU Student Government, IU Funding Board, as well as within campus cultural and religious life. Previously, Ruhan has worked for political campaigns and non-profits and credits these experiences as being key to developing his skillset and passion for policy work. In the future, Ruhan hopes to attend law school and to pursue a career furthering civil rights for minority citizens in the United States.

Serigne-Abdoulahad Kebe

Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16)

Hello, My name is Serigne-Abdoulahad Kebe. I am from New York City. I recently graduated from the College of Wooster with a bachelor’s in philosophy. This summer, I will be interning for Representative Jamaal Bowman as a part of the Congressional Leadership Development Program (CLDP). In the fall, I will be attending Geroge Washington University to pursue a master’s in philosophy and public policy.

Areeba Khan

The Office of the Middle East within the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Areeba Khan is a rising senior at the University of Delaware majoring in International Relations on the Diplomacy Track with a concentration in the Middle East. She has interned on Capitol Hill for both U.S Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper, respectively. Areeba serves as a policy and digital fellow for MPAC where she worked on the 2020 U.S election through informing and guiding Muslim Americans regarding their vote. She serves as the President of her Muslim Student’s Association and is passionate about community, social justice, and law. This summer she will be interning at the Department of Commerce (DOC) International Trade Administration in The Office of the Middle East.

Shaezmina Khan

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)

Originally from New Jersey, Shaezmina is a student at Yale University majoring in
Global Affairs with a certificate in Human Rights from Yale Law School. She’s the
President of Yale’s Muslim Students Association and the Executive Director of Yale’s
International Relations Association; on campus, she is also a Research Assistant at
Yale Law School and at the Yale Institute for Social and Policy Studies. She is
passionate about government, foreign policy, and international development & security.
Shaezmina plans to attend law school after graduation and intends to run for public
office one day. Outside of school, Shaezmina enjoys traveling, taking pictures, and
spending time with friends & family.

Maha Bokahri 

Congresswoman Marie Newman (IL-3)

Hello! My name is Maha and I am a fourth year political science major, philosophy minor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am graduating in the fall and am planning on going to law school to study international law. I am also an English tutor at my school’s writing center.

Noor Shehata

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7)

Noor is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice, Criminology double major, and Art Studies minor. She is an NC State Park Scholar of the Class of 2022. She is currently president of the NC State chapter of American Justice Corps, which works to end the school-to-prison pipeline through mentorship of suspended high school students. Off campus, she tutors with Homework Haven, an after-school program for underprivileged students. When not focusing on her studies, Noor enjoys art, reading, and writing.

Omar Akram

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

Omar Akram is a dual-degree Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health student at the UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine. He has interned for the Institute for Health Promotion Research, where he assisted in implementing NIH-funded public health policy interventions in the South Texas community, and has also served on his institution’s COVID Student Response Team, in which he helped publish evidence-based information sheets on the ongoing effects of federal and state health policies on high-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Omar intends to spend his career exploring the intersection of medicine, public health, and public policy with a focus on refugee and migrant health.

Aasim Yahya

Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51)

Aasim is a rising fourth-year student studying political science and public policy at UC Berkeley. His passion for service is rooted in his love for his community and faith, both of which have impressed upon the importance of building a more equitable and accessible society. Over the course of the last four years, Aasim has interned in every level of government, spearheaded his own non-profit centered around higher education accessibility, and has even ran for office. He’s excited to continue his journey through public service, as an intern for Rep. Juan Vargas this summer.

Huzaifa Khan

Senator Chris Murphy (CT)

Salam! I’m Huzaifa Khan, a rising senior at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. I double major in Government and the College of Social Studies with a minor in international relations. Outside of the classroom, I’ve worked in the student government and the Muslim Student Association to help introduce essential university resources to marginalized groups on campus. I’m highly dedicated to pursuing a life of public service and to defending the most vulnerable people in our society.

Alaa F.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Alaa is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native and is currently residing in northwest Indiana. She studied Community Non-Profit Leadership and Sociology while also obtaining certificates in Criminal Justice and African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is currently working on her MPA from Adler University. Alaa has a passion in human rights and working towards a more equitable society. She believes this can be obtained through policy reform as well as community engagement.

Ammar Ansari

Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34)

Ammar Ansari is a rising senior from Sacramento, CA studying history and political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked with CAIR as a Civil Rights Legal Intern and has served as Editor-in-Chief in Berkeley’s human rights journal. He will study at the London School of Economics under an exchange program for his senior year.

Anisa Omar

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-5)

Anisa Omar is a graduate from Minnesota State University Mankato with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Anisa is committed to creating an equitable and just society for all individuals inclusive of race, religion, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. In her free time Anisa enjoys serving as a mentor for youth in her community and serving as a Governor-appointed Cabinet Member for the Young Women’s Initiative where she is provided the opportunity to assist in creating policy changes that centers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Ahmad Jandal

Congressman Ron Kind (WI-3)

Ahmad is majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, and minoring in Chinese and Computer Science. He is interested in the intersection of policy and technology, and technology’s impact on marginalized communities. On-campus, Ahmad is an active MSA member and mentor, social justice advocate, and acapella singer. In his spare time, you will find him playing soccer, running, or cooking.

Mohammad Mortada

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33)

Hello! I’m Mohammed Mortada, a proud Iraqi-American from the Golden State, California. I am a junior at UCLA majoring in Political Science with a focus on International Relations and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies. I am honored to join the office of Representative Ted Lieu as a legislative intern and serve my fellow Californians this summer.

Asmarah Yaqoob

Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)

Asmarah is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor arabic. She has experience working in local and state politics as a communications intern with the Georgia Muslim Voter Project and as a field organizer for the Asian American Advocacy Fund. She also worked as an advocate for immigrants at the Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition. She hopes to go to law school and run for state office as an advocate for marginalized communities.

Haneen Abbadi

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Haneen is a rising senior at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), majoring in finance and minoring in Data Science. She served as an active board member of the Sudanese Cultural Association in Sharjah, focusing on aid and awareness of Sudan’s political instability. Her yearly volunteer work with ‘Sadagaat Community Charity’ in Khartoum, Sudan, extended her passion for helping others. Further down her career, she hopes to one day become a diplomats and work towards aiding global tensions.

2020 Cohort Alumni

Sedef Berq

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)

Sedef is a Legislative Correspondent in the U.S. Senate working on judicial, education, disability, and economic policy. Prior to her CLDP fellowship, she interned on Capitol Hill with Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Anthony Brown. She also served as a Policy Advisor for the Mckayla Wilkes and Jill P. Carter congressional campaigns during the 2020 election season. While in graduate school, she conducted academic research at the Center for Education, Identity and Social Justice on Muslim American political identity and Muslim college students’ experiences in higher education. She received her B.A. in Government&Politics and B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her Master of Public Policy (MPP) with a specialization in health policy at the University of Southern California. She hopes to work on Capitol Hill for many years to come, including possibly as the Congresswoman for Maryland’s 6th Congressional district.

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. 

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.