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To be a leading advocate for Justice & Mutual Understanding.


To enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.



CAIR at a glance

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with regional offices nationwide and in Canada. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.

The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter is one of the oldest and largest CAIR chapters across the country. Back in 1996, a group of dedicated volunteers in Southern California saw a need for a unique kind of Muslim organization – an organization that would work to uphold civil rights of American Muslims, foster a better understanding of the Islamic faith and its followers, and help find avenues for Muslims to integrate more fully into the broader society.

Years later, the chapter has grown tremendously, deepening its base in the Southern California Muslim community. CAIR-Los Angeles has, moreover, become a household name among Southland Muslims, and a reliable resource and partner for media, public officials and policymakers, advocacy groups, and the interfaith and progressive communities.

Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA) Staffback to top

Portrait of Hussam Ayloush
Hussam Ayloush   |  Executive Director

Hussam Ayloush is the Executive Director and has been since 1998. He frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs pertaining to American Muslims. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media advocating and articulating the mainstream Muslim position on various issues.

Portrait of Ameena Mirza Qazi, Esq.
Ameena Mirza Qazi, Esq.  |  Deputy Executive Director

Ameena Mirza Qazi is the Deputy Executive Director and Staff Attorney at the CAIR-LA office. She handles legal cases and provides legal advice to community members on civil rights issues.

Portrait of Arefa Simjee
Arefa Simjee  |  CAIR-CA State Chapter Coordinator

Arefa Simjee graduated from University of Central Florida where she received her BS in Cardiopulmonary Science as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. She moved to California in 2000 and joined CAIR-LA as a volunteer. She contributed to many projects and events, assisted in the office and dedicated her time towards the organization of the annual banquet. Her love for children led her to volunteer at her local Islamic Weekend School as a teacher and later as an Academic Manager. She started working for CAIR in the Programs department in 2008 and then shifted to the Administrative department in 2011 before taking on the position as CAIR-CA's State Chapter Coordinator. In her position, she develop meaningful relationships and interoffice operational models that are dynamic, streamlined, scalable and impactful. She is married and has 2 young boys. She loves to travel and play sports. Her hobbies include sewing, arts & crafts, and spending quality time with her family who are her pride and joy.

Portrait of Asim Khan
Asim Khan  |  Multimedia Specialist

Asim Khan is CAIR-LA's multimedia specialist. His responsibilities include graphics and website design, social media engagement, and editing videos. He is currently pursuing his bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems at California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Portrait of Asma Wahab
Asma Wahab  |  

Asma Wahab is the Administrative Coordinator in the CAIR-LA office. Asma’s responsibilities are both administrative and donor relation based. The administrative tasks she handles include data entry, IT coordination, property management coordination and assisting with finance maintenance to ensure accountability. The donor relations tasks she handles include managing the donor database, reviewing and updating donations, sending end of the year statements, and preparing financial reports. Asma graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.

Portrait of Farida  Chehata
Farida Chehata  |  Immigrants’ Rights Attorney

Farida Chehata is the Immigrants’ Rights Attorney at the CAIR-LA office. Farida obtained dual B.A. degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, Irvine.  She received her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.  During law school, Farida fostered her interest in public interest law through her work as a legal extern for the Ugandan Court of Appeals and her involvement in Pepperdine’s Asylum Clinic.  After being admitted to the State Bar of California, Farida practiced in several areas of civil litigation.  Her passion for public interest law also drove her to volunteer at Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, where she assisted on several asylum cases.  Her current work at CAIR-LA focuses on assisting immigrant victims in gaining immigration relief. 

Portrait of Cecilia Peralta
Cecilia Peralta  |  Operations & Development Manager

Cecilia Peralta joins CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA) as the Operations & Development Coordinator, where she manages the membership and office management departments. Ms. Peralta handles the accounting, human resources and membership duties which also includes coordinating fundraising campaigns and maintaining membership relations. She is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received her BA in International Studies as well as a BA in Sociology.

Portrait of Fatima Dadabhoy, Esq.
Fatima Dadabhoy, Esq.  |  Senior Civil Rights Attorney

Fatima Dadabhoy obtained her BA in History with an emphasis on Middle Eastern History from California State University, Long Beach. She received her J.D. degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. After graduating, Ms. Dadabhoy served as a law clerk for the Civil Rights Department at CAIR-LA, handling incident reports and immigration cases related to naturalization delays. Prior to joining CAIR-LA as the Civil Rights Attorney, she worked in private practice for a small civil litigation firm in Chino Hills. She primarily handled cases in the area of Employment Law. Ms. Dadabhoy later left the firm to open up her own practice. However, her main interest remained civil rights work and she eagerly joined the CAIR-LA staff in August to pursue such work on behalf of the American-Muslim community. Ms. Dadabhoy is currently handling cases in the areas of employment discrimination, school bullying and mosque construction, such as assisting Al-Nur Islamic Center with its conditional use permit application.

Portrait of Haroon Manjlai
Haroon Manjlai  |  Public Affairs Coordinator

Haroon Manjlai is CAIR-LA’s Public Affairs Coordinator. He maintains close relationships with community leaders and organizers, partner organizations, and state and local government officials. He earned his B.A. in Political Science and Religious Studies from Eastern Michigan University, and his J.D. degree from the University of Toledo College of Law. He has been active in his community, and having previously worked as a law clerk at CAIR-LA and CAIR-MI, has an understanding of the issues and challenges the American Muslim community faces.

Portrait of Mustafa Eshanzada
Mustafa Eshanzada  |  Outreach Coordinator

Mustafa Eshanzada is CAIR-LA's Outreach Coordinator. His work entails enhancing the presence of CAIR and its services through out the various Masajid, local groups and allies. He is actively engaged in organizing a volunteer system, and activating the communities from within to help communities strengthen one another through activism and education. Leading workshops and Networking in order to establish relationships that will unite our community with the common goal of justice. Mustafa currently holds a bachelors in Business Marketing from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.

Portrait of Nour Kweider
Nour Kweider  |  Development Specialist

Nour Kwieder is CAIR-LA’s Development specialist. Her responsibilities include maintenance and growth of the monthly donor data base, as well as general support with membership and administrative duties. Nour also handles developmental outreach through sponsorship and advertising to create strong partnerships and alliances. Nour is currently pursuing her MA in linguistics at California State University, Long Beach.

Portrait of Sammar Miqbel
Sammar Miqbel  |  Civil Rights Coordinator

Sammar Miqbel holds BA in Political Science from the University of the Pacific and a J.D. from University of California, Davis School of Law. While in law school, Sammar helped start the Muslim Law Students Association at King Hall and has been an active member of the community since she graduated. She joined CAIR-LA in 2012 as their civil rights coordinator where she helps manage the civil rights department.

Portrait of Sherrel Johnson
Sherrel Johnson  |  Community Relations Manager

Sherrel Johnson works on outreach and building bridges outside our community. She also educates and empowers the American Muslim community through social activism, participation, & interaction.

Portrait of Yasmin Nouh
Yasmin Nouh  |  Communications Coordinator

Yasmin Nouh coordinates daily communications, monitors the news, writes press releases, responds to media requests, and edits publications for CAIR-LA. She engages with various news outlets to help generate dynamic coverage of Islam and Muslims. Her previous experience included working for the OC Weekly, Southern California Public Radio’s AirTalk, MultiAmerican.org, Glendale New-Press, PBS’s Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Portrait of Zienab Abdelgany
Zienab Abdelgany  |  Youth Development Coordinator

Zienab Abdelgany joined the CAIR-LA team as Programs Coordinator in 2012. Her role is to create programming which broadens the Muslim American community’s engagement with society at large and to actualize CAIR’s mission through interactive and educational public forums, workshops, panels and other events. Ms. Abdelgany works to increase civic engagement among youth and oversees the organization’s internship, law clerkship, and volunteer programs.

CAIR-LA Law Clerks & Internsback to top

Portrait of Zayn Razi
Zayn Razi   |  

Zayn Razi attends the California State University, Fullerton. He currently interns with the programs department, and hopes to help further CAIR’s mission and develop his leadership skills through community-based activism. In his spare time, he likes to write and perform rap.

CAIR-LA Executive Committeeback to top

Portrait of Yasir Mahar
Yasir Mahar  |  President

Yasir Mahar is an Assistant Fund Controller for a financial services firm. Being in the field for almost ten years, his areas of expertise include accounting, finance, and business process improvement. He loves playing basketball and reading.

Portrait silhouette of Maureen Dadabhoy, MAEd
Maureen Dadabhoy, MAEd  |  Vice President

Maureen Dadabhoy is a mother of four children and a dedicated volunteer in the Orange County community. As a mother and a former teacher, she spent over 15 years organizing and supporting the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. She has earned the Outstanding Leader, Green Angel, Orange Owl and the Prestigious Spotlight Award from the Girl Scout Council of Orange County. Maureen Dadabhoy earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from California State University, Fullerton. She has also earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Master’s Degree from National University. She started her career in finance and decided to stay home to care for her children for eight years. She went back to school to earn her post-graduate degree and worked as a teacher for four years, and currently holds a position as the Director of Client Relations at The Law Office of Richard Huettl. Maureen earned her Paralegal Certificate from University of California, Irvine in December 2013. The diversity of Maureen’s background gives her a unique perspective to life. She was born in the Fiji Islands to ethnically Indian parents, raised in the United States primarily amongst the local Hispanic American Community, married a Muslim in 1992 and is raising her children as Muslims in the changing climate of America today. She also serves on the CAIR-CA board.

Portrait silhouette of Shereen  Sabet, PhD
Shereen Sabet, PhD  |  Treasurer

Shereen Sabet received her PhD in Immunology from UCLA. She is also the founder and President of the Splashgear brand of modest, full-coverage swimwear. Shereen began her civil rights activism as a CAIR-LA volunteer from 2002-2003, and in 2004 she was the Spokesperson of the Airman Halabi Justice Committee, which raised funds for Mr. Ahmad al-Halabi’s legal defense. Shereen has also been a guest lecturer at USC and CSUDH covering topics relating to Muslim women’s issues.

Portrait of Dina ElDeeb
Dina ElDeeb  |  Secretary

Dina ElDeeb has worked as a volunteer with CAIR for 10 years, helping with the annual fundraising banquets. She works at NASA's JPL in Pasadena with the Mars Rovers, both Curiosity and Opportunity

Portrait of Shamel Abd-Allah, M.D.
Shamel Abd-Allah, M.D.  |  Member

Portrait of Hafez M. Hafez
Hafez M. Hafez  |  Member

Hafez M. Hafez has practiced auto engineering for more than 26 years. His area of expertise is product development and Management. He frequently gives Friday khutba and teaches Islamic classes to the new Muslims. He is currently serving with the Islamic Shura Counsel Majlis representing CAIR. Hafez is grandfather for 5 children and enjoy couching soccer.

Portrait silhouette of Asif  Harsolia, M.D.
Asif Harsolia, M.D.  |  

Asif R. Harsolia, M.D. is a board certified cancer specialist in Radiation Oncology. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Harsolia obtained his Bachelors of Science in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He then went on to obtain his medical doctorate from the University of Michigan Medical School with honors in radiation oncology. Following this, he successfully completed his internship and residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan where he had the privilege of training with some of the world's top specialists in the field of radiation oncology obtaining highly specialized skills in advanced radiation techniques such as brachytherapy, image-guidance, radiosurgery, and intensity modulated radiation therapy. While there, he also served as the Chief Resident. He has authored multiple scientific publications in the fields of breast, prostate, and lung cancer resulting in multiple awards for his work including the first place clinical research award from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) for his work on breast cancer. He is a practicing partner with the Memorial Radiation Oncology Medical Group in Orange County and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of California - Irvine. He has been an active member of the Muslim community previously serving in leadership and volunteer positions in a number of different non-profit organizations.

Portrait silhouette of Ali Mir
Ali Mir  |  Member

Ali is the current Director of Muslim Student Life in the USC Office of Religious Life. In this capacity he serves as the staff adviser to the USC Muslim Student Union and USC Ansar Service Partnership, both of which are IRS-sanctioned 501(c)3 non-proft organizations. He is also the Faculty-Staff Mentor for the Muslim Floor located on campus at the Parkside Apartments. In addition, Ali works full time as an urban planner for a private architecture, engineering, planning, and construction management firm in Los Angeles.

CAIR-California Boardback to top

Portrait of Safaa  Ibrahim
Safaa Ibrahim  |  Chairman

Safaa Ibrahim holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Strayer University. Her professional experience includes internet and software project management, operations, marketing, and she has contributed to the establishment of two small business start-ups. In the past five years, Ms. Ibrahim has shifted her career path by dedicating herself to nonprofit endeavors by volunteering full-time to the San Francisco Bay Area community. She has been active with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (CAIR-SFBA), the Muslim Community Association (MCA), and GiveLight Foundation. Ms. Ibrahim was appointed Executive Director of CAIR-SFBA in July 2005 and currently serves on the executive committee for the chapter.

Portrait of Wazhma Mojaddidi, Esq.
Wazhma Mojaddidi, Esq.  |  Vice President

Portrait silhouette of Anbar Mahar
Anbar Mahar  |  Treasurer

Portrait silhouette of Ziad Asghar
Ziad Asghar  |  Secretary

Ziad Asghar serves on the Executive Committee of CAIR-SD. He is also on the board of Iqraa Academy of San Diego, a non-profit academic institution focused on Arabic and Quranic learning. Ziad works on wireless product & technology strategy in the semiconductor industry. He holds a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from University of California, San Diego.

Portrait of Dr. Hamza El Nakhal
Dr. Hamza El Nakhal  |  Member

Dr. Hamza El-Nakhal is a retired professor. He was born in Cairo, Egypt. His B.S. (1964) and M.S. (1965) degrees were in Food Science and Technology from University Of Ein Shams In Cairo. His Ph. D. degree is in Microbiology from UCD 1976. He worked in the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt at different times. He is married with two daughters, one son and one grand son. As a student in Davis, Hamza served as president of International club, Orientation club. He, also, was a member of the international student advisory committee to the Late Chancellor James Mayer and member of Club Finance Council of ASUCD. As a university professor, beside teaching and research, he served as head of Dept. and chaired many committees including Budget, Laboratories, Scientific research, curriculum, admission and registration and many others. Hamza has many published one book in Microbiology, many scientific papers and educational papers. After retirement, Hamza served in many non-profit organizations including Human, Civil Rights, Charity, Interfaith and Community service. Currently Serving as: member of Community Advisory Board to Davis Police Dept., member of the Board of Directors of International House and member of the Board of Directors of Davis Community Meals.

Portrait of Hussam Ayloush
Hussam Ayloush  |  Member

Hussam Ayloush is the Executive Director and has been since 1998. He frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs pertaining to American Muslims. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media advocating and articulating the mainstream Muslim position on various issues.

Portrait of Sameena Usman
Sameena Usman  |  Member

Portrait silhouette of Noha Salem
Noha Salem  |  Member

Portrait of Yasir Mahar
Yasir Mahar  |  Member

Yasir Mahar is an Assistant Fund Controller for a financial services firm. Being in the field for almost ten years, his areas of expertise include accounting, finance, and business process improvement. He loves playing basketball and reading.

Portrait silhouette of Rashid Ahmad
Rashid Ahmad  |  Advisor

Proven Results. Our Annual Reportback to top

2012/2013 Annual Report
2012/2013 Annual Report

Download Arrow  Download the 2012/2013 Annual Report in .PDF format

Our annual report is an opportunity to share our advancements in our grassroots advocacy work with the broader community. As with prior years, this year was full of exciting and proud moments for CAIR and the California Muslim community.

PAST ANNUAL REPORTS: 2011/2012 | 2010/2011 | 2009/2010 | 2007/2008 | 2006/2007