Instructors: Preventing & Responding to Anti-Muslim Bigotry

POST-Certified Cultural Diversity (IGP) Course # 1384-49200

Maha Elgenaidi, Founder & Innovation Director

Maha is the founder of ING and oversees the organization’s development and content.  She is the author of training handbooks on outreach for American Muslims as well as training seminars for public institutions on developing cultural competency with the American Muslim community. She received an M.A. in religious studies from Stanford University and B.A in political science and economics from the American University in Cairo. She has taught classes on Islam in the modern world in universities such as the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has been recognized with numerous awards, including the “Civil Rights Leadership Award” from the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, the “Citizen of the Year Award” from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and the “Dorothy Irene Height Community Award” from the NAACP-Silicon Valley. She’s currently an advisor for the CA Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training (POST), a member of the Council of Advisors for the Freedom Forum that helps shape American views on the First Amendment; the County of Santa Clara’s Hate Crimes Task Force; and, the Ethnic Studies Committee of ARUSD in San Jose, CA. Read Maha’s blog here.

Dr. Zachary Markwith, Education Director

Zachary is the Education Director at ING. He received his PhD in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He also earned an MA (cum laude) in Comparative Religious Studies at the George Washington University and a BA in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research and teaching focus on Islamic sacred texts, early Sufism, Sunni-Shi‘i relations, and the comparative study of religions. He has taught classes on Islam and world religions at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, and the Graduate Theological Union. He is the author of One God, Many Prophets: the Universal Wisdom of Islam (2013) and the forthcoming book And When I Love Then: the Hadith al-Nawafil and the Formation of Sufism (2023). Zachary has also worked with other non-profit and community-based organizations, including Hub Foundation, the International Peace Project, and Food Not Bombs. Read Zachary’s blog here.

Ameena Jandali, Founding Member, Content Contributor

Ameena is a founding member of ING. She co-designs and develops ING’s educational presentations and cultural competency seminars. Ameena has delivered hundreds of presentations in schools, colleges, universities, churches, and other venues on Islam and related subjects. She has also appeared on many news outlets speaking on issues relating to American Muslims. She currently team teaches classes on Islam as well as Women in the Middle East at City College of San Francisco. Ameena received her M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and B.A. in History from the University of Illinois. Read Ameena’s blog here.

Munir Shaikh, Cultural Competency Instructor

Munir holds an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has taught courses on Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history at several Southern California higher education institutions. He has nearly 30 years of experience as a nonprofit executive, and has contributed to the efforts of numerous Muslim American organizations. Munir currently serves as the Vice President of Operations and Academic Affairs at Bayan Islamic Graduate School, and is a sought after public educator, content author and reviewer, consultant, grant-writer and technical advisor for projects addressing Islam’s place in world history, interreligious and religious literacy issues, and Muslim American community developments.

Hedab Tarifi, Cultural Competency Instructor

Hedab holds an MBA in E-Business from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Computer Software Engineering from the University of Florida. She has been active in the Muslim and interfaith communities in Southern California since 1994, working to build bridges and bringing people together. She has served on the board of several Muslim and Interfaith nonprofit organizations, including the Shura Council of Southern California, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Islamic Center of Southern California, University Religious Conference at UCLA, and the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. In June 2018 Hedab was honored by the City of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti, and the Human Relations Commission for her leadership and community contributions to elevate interfaith relations.

Afaf Turjoman, Cultural Competency Instructor

Afaf holds an MA and BA in English Literature from the University of California Santa Barbara, and has served as a board member and trustee at the Islamic Center of Santa Barbara since 2008. She has been an active member of multiple interfaith groups, including the Sons and Daughters of Abraham, Torah and Quran study groups, and the Sisterhood of Salam-Shalom. Afaf has also served as a board member of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara, has sat on the steering committee at La Casa de Maria, and on the Walter Capps Advisory Council on Religious Pluralism at the University of California Santa Barbara. Afaf is dedicated to enriching the lives of others and celebrating the beauty of diversity through her teaching and religious leadership.