Our Staff & Interns

Staff


Hussam Ayloush, M.B.A. : Executive Director

Hussam Ayloush, M.B.A.

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.

Asmaa Ahmed : Policy & Advocacy Coordinator

Asmaa Ahmed

Policy & Advocacy Coordinator

Asmaa Ahmed is the Policy & Advocacy Coordinator with CAIR-LA. In this role, Ms. Ahmed advocates for just and inclusive policies with both local and federal government agencies, coordinates civic engagement efforts, builds and strengthens relationships with elected officials and community members, and monitors local and state legislative initiatives related to the American Muslim community. Ms. Ahmed graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and then pursued a Master of Public Policy, specializing in International Relations and Economics at Pepperdine University.

Cecilia Peralta : Operations Director

Cecilia Peralta

Operations Director

Cecilia Peralta joined CAIR-LA in 2011 and currently serves as the Operations Director. Ms. Peralta is in charge of the finance management, human resources, organizational planning and overseeing the internal operational systems and processes of the organization. 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.

Farida Chehata, Esq. : Immigrants’ Rights Managing Attorney

Farida Chehata, Esq.

Immigrants’ Rights Managing Attorney

Farida Chehata is the Immigrants’ Rights Managing Attorney at CAIR-LA. 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. Farida's work as a legal extern for the Ugandan Court of Appeals and her involvement in Pepperdine’s Asylum Clinic during law school piqued her desire to pursue public interest law. After being admitted to the State Bar of California, Farida practiced in multiple areas of civil litigation before concentrating solely on immigration law. Her current work at CAIR-LA focuses on managing the Immigrants’ Rights Center and providing direct legal services to immigrant communities and their families in the greater Southern California area.

Jacqueline Bruce : Office Manager

Jacqueline Bruce

Office Manager

Jacqueline Bruce is CAIR-LA’s Office Manager.  She provides office services by implementing administrative systems, procedures, policies and monitoring administrative projects. Ms. Bruce also manages the donor database, donor acknowledgment process, and provides donor research and analysis.

Madiha Siddiqui, Esq. : Immigrants' Rights Attorney

Madiha Siddiqui, Esq.

Immigrants' Rights Attorney

Madiha S. Siddiqui is an Immigrants’ Rights Attorney at CAIR-LA, where she provides direct legal services to immigrant communities and their families in the greater Southern California region. Madiha earned her J.D. from Chapman University, Dale E. Fowler School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Chapman Law Review and successfully represented victims of domestic violence in VAWA and asylum cases through Chapman’s Immigration Family Protection Clinic. Prior to joining CAIR-LA, Madiha was an associate attorney at the international law firm Crowell & Moring. Madiha earned her BA, magna cum laude, in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Maheen Ali, Esq. : Immigrants' Rights Attorney

Maheen Ali, Esq.

Immigrants' Rights Attorney

Marwa Rifahie, Esq. : Civil Rights Attorney

Marwa Rifahie, Esq.

Civil Rights Attorney

Marwa Rifahie is a Civil Rights Attorney with the CAIR-LA Office. Marwa provides direct legal services to individuals who are victims of discrimination from both the government and private entities. Marwa is experienced in a diverse array of practice areas within the civil rights context including employment, national security, law enforcement practices, and prisoner’s rights. Marwa received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Middle East/South Asia Studies from University of California, Davis and received her J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.

Masih Fouladi, J.D. : Advocacy Manager

Masih Fouladi, J.D.

Advocacy Manager

Maureen Dadabhoy, M.A. : Legal Coordinator

Maureen Dadabhoy, M.A.

Legal Coordinator

Maureen Dadabhoy serves as the Legal Coordinator for CAIR-LA. Maureen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Fullerton and earned her Master’s Degree in Education along with a Teaching Credential before pursuing a career change to the Legal arena. While working for a law firm Maureen earned her Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Maureen served as the Director of the Client Relations at an Estate planning law firm before joining CAIR-LA. She has a very clear understanding of why Civil Rights and Immigration matters are necessary from a financial, personal, and social perspective. With Maureen’s finance background as a former banker and organizational skills as a former teacher, and paralegal; she is able to facilitate cases with procedural accuracy. 

Mostafa Mahboob : Development Manager

Mostafa Mahboob

Development Manager

Mostafa is CAIR-LA’s Development Manager. His responsibilities include maintenance and growth of the monthly donor database, as well as general support with membership and administrative duties. Mostafa also handles developmental outreach through sponsorship and advertising to create strong partnerships and alliances.

Ojaala Ahmad : Communications Coordinator

Ojaala Ahmad

Communications Coordinator

Ojaala Ahmad manages communications and media relations for CAIR-LA. She engages with news outlets to generate dynamic coverage of Islam and Muslims. During her undergraduate career, Ojaala founded and served as host of Talk Progress, a one-hour talk show program at KBeach Global Radio. For three years, she covered a range of topics on the show. In addition, she served as the spokesperson for Students for Quality Education, a statewide campaign promoting educational justice within the California State University system. Ojaala has written on civic engagement among American Muslims, free speech on college campuses, and college affordability for the Orange County Register and The Daily 49er.  

Rasha Moubacher : Muslim Latino Collaborative Coordinator

Rasha Moubacher

Muslim Latino Collaborative Coordinator

Rasha Moubacher serves as CAIR-LA’s Muslim Latino Collaborative Coordinator to represent the Muslim community in alliances with the Latinx community to learn about and from one another as well as to form a united front, to stand in solidarity with each other pertaining to issues that affect our communities. Rasha has been a long time CAIR-LA volunteer and formerly interned with CAIR-LA’s Civil Rights and Policy & Advocacy departments. Rasha received her B.A. from University of California, Irvine in Cognitive Psychology.

Shazia Mian : Administrative Coordinator

Shazia Mian

Administrative Coordinator

Patricia Shnell, Esq. : Civil Rights Attorney

Patricia Shnell, Esq.

Civil Rights Attorney

Patricia Shnell joined CAIR-LA as a Civil Rights Attorney in October 2017. She handles a diverse range of anti-discrimination work including providing clients with direct legal services and working as part of CAIR-LA’s advocacy team. Patricia has experience in international human rights including work with asylum and refugee law, statelessness, and immigration in the Middle East and South Africa. She graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Development Studies and a minor in Education. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Sherrel Johnson : Community Relations Manager

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.

Syed Hussaini : Outreach Manager (Los Angeles/Valley Areas)

Syed Hussaini

Outreach Manager (Los Angeles/Valley Areas)

A longtime volunteer for CAIR Syed joined the staff in 2015. His role is to organize events, mobilize the community and deliver khutbahs, focus on the San Fernando Valley and its surrounding areas. He graduated with a BA in Political Science from UC Riverside and is currently pursuing a JD at Glendale University.

Yusra Khafagi : Leadership Development Coordinator

Yusra Khafagi

Leadership Development Coordinator

Yusra Khafagi serves as the Leadership Development Coordinator at CAIR-LA. In her role she promotes empowerment, social consciousness, and civic engagement among American Muslims by creating and administering educational programs and platforms for leadership growth. Some of CAIR’s flagship empowerment programs under her department include the Muslim Gamechangers Network, Muslim Youth Leadership Program, Higher Level Volunteer Program, Leadership Development Trainings, and Bridging Communities. She has received community organizing training from Harvard professors and graduate students under the WISE Summit. Yusra graduated with a BA in International Studies from UC Irvine.

 

Law Clerks and ​​Interns


Anas Parekh : Programs & Outreach Intern

Anas Parekh

Programs & Outreach Intern

Anas Parekh is the Programs and Outreach Intern for CAIR-LA. He is a college student and community activist who has been involved in various Islamic causes. His internship responsibilities include working with CAIR departments to maintain relationships with local government institutions, furthering community involvement, and the organizing, advertising, and documenting of local outreach activities and events. He is currently engaged in several videography projects to promote CAIR's mission, and is working on other videography projects outside of the internship.

Celine Qussiny : Policy & Advocacy Intern

Celine Qussiny

Policy & Advocacy Intern

Celine Qussiny is a Policy & Advocacy Intern for CAIR. Her responsibilities both within and outside of CAIR include developing workshops for various collaborations and youth programs, as well as curriculums and youth summer schools. She worked with Asian Americans Advancing Justice and MSAW to develop a campaign to mobilize the Muslim community against Islamophobic and racist programs and policies, and continues to do so within a Los Angeles coalition. Throughout the past few years, she has been in a grassroots Palestinian organization in conjunction with various coalitions to work with students and community.