2014 Honorees

BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP

Mr. Mohammad Azam is Vice President of Corporate Internal Compliance and Ethics at UPS. His career has spanned several large organizations such as KMG, Ford Motor, Mellon Bank and Dole Foods. He wasn’t satisfied with his success as a business executive, and so he has given back to his community by co-founding, an organization here in Georgia, called Glitter of Hope, committed to addressing the needs of orphaned refugees from Africa and Asia. 

 

Zaheer Faruqi is the founder and president of Aventure Aviation, a world-class aviation supply and logistics company headquartered in Atlanta. The company supplies all ranges of products and supplies for the aviation industry as well as fleet management for its customers around the globe, ranging from privately-owned operators to commercial airlines to allied military forces. Zaheer and Aventure have won several accolades over the recent years, including being honored as the Small Business Administration Exporter of the Year Award for Georgia and the Southeast, being named by Inc. as one of America's fastest growing private companies in the past three years. Zaheer believes in stepping forward to be a positive example of high integrity in order to educate, inspire and support others, and he is a wonderful example of the best of entrepreneurs and businessmen.

 

Ms. Duriya M. Farooqui is currently a principal with Bain & Company, a management consulting firm. She has had several very high profile and influential positions with organizations like the World Bank to the Mayor of Atlanta’s office where she was most recently Mayor Kasim Reed’s Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta - the youngest person and first Asian American to serve as city COO. In this last role she managed a budget of nearly $2Billion and led several initiatives for the benefit of the city residents and communities.

 

Ms. Henna Inam has had a 20-year career of successful positions in corporate America that includes being a regional divisional president of a Fortune 500 company. Henna believed she had more to give and greater impact to make, so she started a business designed to empower others to become leaders, called Transformational Leadership, Inc. Through this company she founded, she focuses on helping organizations grow their pipeline of female talent by coaching women, conducting workshops, and speaking to professionals in Atlanta and globally. She recently began TEDxCentennialParkWomen, the first TEDxWomen event in Atlanta to inspire and empower women.

 

ACADEMIA

 

Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law School. He is the editor or author of numerous books and articles including "Islam and the Secular State" and "Muslims and Global Justice." 

 

Dr. Vincent Cornell is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies & chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies (MESAS)at Emory University. Since 2002 he has been a key participant in the annual Building Bridges seminars of Christian and Muslim scholars conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

Dr. Alan Godlas is an associate professor of religion at The University of Georgia and the publisher of what is now the most visited comprehensive, non-sectarian and academic website about Islam. He provides resources about Islam not only for education, but to encourage the Muslim community to come together to denounce extremism and support American pluralistic and democratic ideals.

 

Mr. Ehab Jaleel is the founder and executive director of Amana Academy, an award-winning charter school in Fulton County with a focus on teaching the Arabic language.  Mr. Jaleel also serves on the board of the Georgia Charter Schools Association and the education committee for the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

 

Dr. Jamillah Karim is a former professor of religion at Spelman College, now working as an independent scholar. She is the author of numerous books, most recently "American Muslim Women: Negotiating Race, Class and Gender in the Ummah."

 

ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY

 

Dr. Mostafa Ammar currently serves as Regents’ Professor with the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Ammar's research interests are in network architectures, protocols and services, and he has made numerous contributions in the areas of multicast communication and services, multimedia streaming, content distribution networks, network simulation and, most recently, in disruption-tolerant networks and overlay network design.

 

Mr. Hussein Fareed is Executive Director of Performance and Engineering at AT&T. As a distinguished engineer for AT&T, a leader in IT development, and an advisor in technology for many large corporations, Mr. Fareed has, like all of us, witnessed how technology is dramatically changing our world.

 

Mr. Moe Mustafa is Vice President of Network Operations at AT&T. Originally from Kuwait, he lived in seven different states to grow his professional success, building a stronger bond with both family and community with each move.

 

Dr. Jeff Shamma is the Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems & Control in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, teaching and researching innovative practices within the field.

 

Mr. Amin Tomeh, a geotechnical engineer, is the co-founder of the Matrix Engineering group. He has contributed to numerous publications in the field of using non-invasive geophysical techniques to enhance the geotechnical characterization of sites. 

 

POLITICS, LAW & LAW ENFORCEMENT  

 

Judge Fatima El-Amin currently serves as Full Judge of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court.  After earning her law degree from Emory University in 2000, Judge El-Amin worked as an associate in a private law practice and as an assistant district attorney in DeKalb County, before being appointed to the judgeship in 2014.

 

Mr. Farooq Mughal serves as Managing Partner at Mughal S.G. Partners, LLC - Global Government Affairs Advisory. A graduate of Mercer University, Mr. Mughal was co-chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders' Southeast Summit, held in Atlanta in 2012. He works closely with the Georgia legislature, supporting justice and Muslim rights on a local level.

 

Mr. AJ Sabree served for 38 years in the criminal justice system where he worked to reform juvenile justice systems and agency policies within the State of Georgia. Mr. Sabree is now a leader for the Persons Impacted by Incarceration Collaborative program, creating paths for those recently incarcerated, and focuses on their desire for success rather than the problems of their past.

 

Mr. Akil Secret is founder and senior attorney of The Secret Firm, P.C., a boutique law firm founded in the early 1980s. Mr. Secret is one of the few African-Americans and only Muslim in Atlanta to found his own law firm at that time. In addition to his practice, he is a member of Advocacy for action, an organization dedicated to increasing minority judges in the judicial system, and he mentors young Muslim lawyers through the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers.

 

Ms. Azadeh N. Shahshahani currently serves as National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director for the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU of Georgia. Ms. Shahshahani earned her law degree at the University of Michigan. She is the first woman of color and first Muslim to serve as the president of the National Lawyers Guild.

 

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & RELIGION 

 

Ms. Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim is the chief executive officer of Future Foundation, Inc., an organization aimed at combating poverty by helping underserved students graduate high school and continue on to higher education. Ms. Abdur-Rahim served for  eight years as an U.S. Air Force Reservist and received several meritorious service awards for her non-combat duties during the September 11 attacks. An Atlanta native, she is a graduate of Emory’s Goizueta Business School, and the University of California-Berkeley where she received a bachelor's degree in social work.

 

Plemon T. El-Amin is Imam Emeritus and continues to be deeply involved with the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam community.  Imam Plemon has been, for over 20 years, and continues to be very active in the interfaith community and organizations. He is the director of the World Pilgrims, an organization that brings together people of many faiths to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding.

 

Mr. Bassem Fahkoury , an executive and engineer with Syana Restaurant Equipment Services, has participated in a spectrum of interfaith efforts and has represented Muslims on panels, summits, and events. Mr. Fahkoury serves as Chair of Operations at the Roswell Community Masjid, and has helped to host interfaith community events between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

 

Mr. Mohammad Inamullah ,co-founded the nonprofit organization known as Glitter of Hope, which provides services to refugees in Clarkston, Georgia. The Foundation’s Orphan Child Sponsorship Program makes it possible to ensure that a needy child receives ongoing financial and emotional support and helps to provide basic meals, shelter, much-needed clothing, an education, and medical attention.

Mr. Kemal Korucu currently serves as Vice President for the Atlantic Institute, an independent, non-profit organization based in Atlanta whose goal is to facilitate dialogue and bridge cultures from both sides of the Atlantic, The organization works to achieve a more understanding and accepting coexistence of cultures by embracing diversity and building tolerance.

 

Ms. Hadayai Majeed has served her community through her organization, Baitul Salaam Network, Inc. which works to address concerns long considered taboo in the Islamic community, uniting both Muslims and non-Muslims to provide resources to help survivors of domestic abuse and their families. As a writer, publisher, businesswoman, and survivor of domestic violence, Ms. Majeed is determined to make a difference.

 

Furqan Muhammad is the Imam of Atlanta's Masjid Al-Muminun. A native Atlantan, Imam Muhammad maintains initiatives to feed the hungry, provide spiritual services in nursing homes and hospices, and serves as a chaplain at local, state, and federal prisons.

 

Dr. Khalil Siddiq, a practicing specialist in endocrinology, serves as director of outreach for the Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta. He feels he can not only have an impact on people's physical health, but provide them with support and trust during their most vulnerable times, serving the community and exemplifying the potential of Muslim-Americans.

 

Mr. Amjad Taufique works with many organizations in the community, involved in activities ranging from humanitarian causes to refugee rehabilitation, including serving on the board of the social service organization. SHARE. Another group Mr. Taufique commits his time to is Islamic Relief USA, which is dedicated to helping people in need both domestically and overseas.

 

PHILANTHROPY

 

Dr. Mohammad Yaseen Abubaker, a practicing rheumatologist with Marietta Neurological Associates, serves as a Board Member for UNICEF South East Region, among his other involvements.

 

Dr. Roohi Abubakar is a psychiatrist with the Atlanta View Medical Center, treating veterans with Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, schizophrenia, and other illnesses associated with military deployment. The couple jointly founded the Saad Abubaker Foundation, named in honor of their son, which provides charitable relief for low-income families of children with special needs. 

 

Aziz Dhanani, CEO of his own firm, Premier Petroleum, is an active member of the Atlanta Muslim community through his involvement with Masjid Omar bin Abdul Aziz, and Dar-ul-Uloom, as a philanthropist, he has donated to causes such as the interfaith peace garden on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University. started an orphanage in an Indian village, and is co-founder of the Fatima Charitable Foundation.

 

Dr. Hossam Eldin Fadel has worked as a Clinical Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is founder of Augusta's largest Muslim community.

 

Dr. Skina Fadel, also a medical doctor, was the first to establish the discipline of obstetric anesthesiology in the State of Georgia. And in 1992, the couple created the Fadel Educational Foundation with the goal of helping Muslim American students pursue their educational goals.

 

Dr. Ahmad Nadeem Gill, a practicing  oncologist with the Cancer Care Institute of Aiken, South Carolina, serves as the president of the Islamic Society of Augusta. Dr. Gill has worked diligently in his community to serve Muslims, leading the initiative for the construction of the new Islamic Community Center.

 

ARTS, MEDIA, SPORTS

 

Dr. Kulsoom Abdullah made history in 2011, the first woman to compete in sanctioned U.S. Olympic-weightlifting competitions wearing traditional Muslim dress. Also active in women's issues, Dr. Abdullah is a computer networks and security professional at Georgia Tech.

 

Mr. Shareef Abdur-Rahim retired from the NBA in 2008 after playing for the Atlanta Hawks and several other teams. Today, he serves as director of player personnel for the Sacramento Kings, and manager of the minor league Reno Bighorns. He is also founder of the Future Foundation, which helps combat the effects of childhood poverty. 

 

Ms. Maria Ebrahimjiis co-founder of I Speak for Myself, a book publishing platform delivering narratives on faith and culture. A journalist, strategist, and speaker, she earned degrees at Brenau University in Gainesville as well as Georgia State, and worked as a journalist and producer at CNN for 15 years.

 

Mr. Malek Jandali, a world-renowned composer and pianist, uses music to preserve and celebrate his Muslim identity. Since debuting in 1988, he has performed in concert halls worldwide. His compositions are drawn from his Syrian heritage, interweaving traditional Arabic and Western melodies, even sampling notes from the oldest-known forms of music discovered in ancient Syria.

 

Ms. Tayyibah Taylor was an advocate for women’s rights across the world. She was the founder, in 2002, of the award-winning magazine Azizah, the first magazine run by and for American Muslim women.

 

UNDER 30

 

Mr. Abubakar Abid worked with the Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta to launch the MasjidTime "app" which helps to connect congregations to various mosques.

 

Mr. Hashim Ahmadani currently serves his community as Deputy Sheriff of Bartow County. A native of Pakistan, he received the 2013 Office of the Year Award from the Chattahoochee Technological College of Public Safety/Police Department.

 

Mr. Saud Inam has been involved in the establishment of many organizations, including Muslim Heroes; Stones to Bridges, an online mental health resources for Muslim youth, and the Muslim Wellness Foundation - Atlanta which promotes mental health and well-being. 

 

Ms. Aliya Naim worked for The Carter Center's Democracy Program, focusing on international election observation activities in the Middle East and West Africa. She is the founder of the Yemen Peace Project, a non-profit organization providing information about Yemen to politicians, activists, and scholars.

 

Mr. Ahmed Salim, a Georgia native, is noted for his work with Muslim youth, beginning at age 17 when he helped to bring the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST) to the Atlanta Region. He is currently the national program director for the organization.

 

SCIENCE & MEDICINE

 

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shroof serves as Chief of Staff at the Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins, Georgia. Whether leading this staff of over 180 physicians, or on the board of the Houston County Volunteer Clinic; or as the CEO of the Medical Group of Central Georgia, or as a past president of the Islamic Medical Association of North America, Dr. Al-Shroof exemplifies the spirit of leadership. Dr. Al-Shroof is the recipient of numerous awards from the American College of Physicians.

 

Dr. Mostafa El-SayedRegents Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is a leader in the applications of nanotechnology in medicine. Through his work, he endeavors to understand diseases and, specifically, to apply technology, which has become his own niche to destroy cancer cells, a very personal mission following the death of his beloved wife from that disease. He has contributed to hundreds of publications including the topic of nanomedicine, and is the recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Science.   Dr. El Sayed is on an overseas business trip and Professor Paul Houston of Georgia Tech will be receiving the award on his behalf.

 

Dr. Rana Hajjeh, is the director of the Division of Bacterial Diseases at the Center for Disease Control. There was a time when millions of children succumbed to the ravages of Hemophilus Influenza B, a bacteria which causes pneumonia and meningitis. The most vulnerable were unimmunized children in the poorest of countries. Thanks to the Hib initiative lead by Dr. Hajjeh’s it is estimated that by the year 2020, as many as 7 million lives will be saved. For this work, Dr. Hajjeh will also receive the prestigious Samuel Heyman Service to America Medal.

 

Dr. Gulshan Harjee, is a practicing physician, and the CEO of First Medical Care, Inc., which provides primary care to citizens of DeKalb County. Her’s is a compelling story: coming from a country with little access to even basic healthcare, she pursued her dream of becoming a physician across countries and continents. But for Dr. Harjee, it was not enough to become a doctor; she is one of a dying breed of physicians who continue to live the creed, which took them to the doors of medical education. She is the co-founder of The Clarkston Community Health Center whose mission is to provide care to the underserved, unemployed, homeless, and refugee communities of Clarkston; and she actively, financially supports impoverished students pursuing an education in healthcare.

 

Dr. Iqbal Khan was involved in the creation of the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia. He is currently a professor and assistant dean at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy/Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy in Albany. 

 

Dr. Amyn Rojiani currently serves as Chairman of Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia. Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Rojiani and his wife lived in several cities across North America before coming to Georgia. In his current position, he focuses on clinical service, teaching, and research. He is a passionate mentor and guide for the many students and teachers he has met.