Imam Khalid LatifExecutive Director, University Chaplain
Imam Khalid Latif is a University Chaplain for New York University, Executive Director of the Islamic Center at NYU, and a Chaplain for the NYPD. He is also the co-founder of Honest Chops, the first-ever all-natural/organic halal butcher in NYC, the Muslim Wedding Service, an agency specializing in providing charismatic and inspirational marriage officiants for wedding ceremonies, and a partner in the MKO Group, an investment group that owns and operates multiple Edible Arrangements franchises in Manhattan. Under his leadership, the Islamic Center at NYU became the first ever established Muslim student center at an institution of higher education in the United States. Imam Latif’s exceptional dedication and ability to cross interfaith and cultural lines on a daily basis brought him recognition throughout the city, so much so that in 2007 Mayor Michael Bloomberg nominated Imam Latif to become the youngest chaplain in history of the New York City Police Department at the age of 24. Most recently, Imam Latif was selected as one of 60 NYC leaders to serve on May Bill Deblasio’s Transition Team, helping to recommend and select individuals for key roles in the current NYC administration and also appointed to a “Task Force to Combat Hate” by NYC Public Advocate Tisch James to deal with the rise in Islamophobic, anti-semitic and anti-sikh sentiment in NYC.
Sheikh Faiyaz JafferAssociate Chaplain, Assistant Research Scholar
Sheikh Faiyaz Jaffer is the Assistant Research Scholar for the Islamic Center at New York University and an Associate Chaplain for the Center of Global & Spiritual Life at NYU. He attained an MA degree in Islamic Studies (UK), with a concentration on early Islamic history, after his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook University in Political Science and Religious Studies. He has had his research published by academic journals. In pursuing the classical course of Islamic education, Faiyaz studied in the Seminary of Karbala, Iraq, one of the most prominent centers for Islamic learning. He currently continues his fieldwork as part of the Islamic Research Institute in New York. As a faith leader and social activist, Faiyaz Jaffer has lectured at various universities, seminars, and workshops across the United States, Canada, Europe, East Africa, and the Middle East. Due to the political and social climate, he has been making strides in the greater New York area by taking part in a number of interfaith seminars and discussions in the aspiration of increasing dialogue with various faith leaders. His outreach efforts have allowed him to be featured in some of the country's most prominent media outlets. As a highly sought after lecturer and religious leader, Faiyaz regularly leads prayer services and delivers sermons across North America.
Amira ShoumanAssistant Director
Amira Shouman is an Assistant Director at the Islamic Center at New York University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English with minors in Art and Women Studies from Otterbein University. She spent a year in Boston as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Simmons College and the YMCA International Learning Center, working with adult immigrants and refugees enrolled in an English language learning program. Amira received her Masters in Higher Education/Student Affairs from NYU. She worked at The Ohio State University focusing on civic engagement initiatives and the Interfaith Youth Core’s Better Together Campaign, and at the NYU Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service advising the Alternative Breaks program as well as student clubs. Amira is passionate about working with students of all identities and backgrounds and building communities that are open and inclusive. Her other interests include traveling, social justice, interfaith initiatives, and identity development.
Sheikh Suhaib WebbScholar in Residence
Shaykh Suhaib Webb joins the Islamic Center at NYU as it's first scholar-in-residence. He can be reached via email at email@example.com
Shaykh Suhaib is a contemporary American Muslim Imam, thought leader and educator. After his conversion to Islam, Webb left a career in the music industry and pursued his passion in education. He enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
While pursuing his bachelors degree Shaykh Suhaib studied privately with a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. After intense private training in various Islamic sciences, Shaykh Suhaib was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he not only provided Khutbas (Sermons) and religious classes but also counseled families and young people.
After serving as Imam and resident scholar in various communities across the country, Shaykh Suhaib decided to further his education and training in Islamic Law and various other Islamic sciences. He enrolled at the world-renowned Islamic educational institution Al-Azhar University in the College of Shariʿah. There he studied at the college and privately with leading Islamic thinkers on contemporary Islam. After years of study in the Arabic Language, he was appointed head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyah as a Mufti.
While undergoing rigorous training in Islamic Law Shaykh Suhaib completed the memorization of the Quran while in the city of Makkah. Shaykh Suhaib has not only studied at Al-Azhar but also holds a number of licenses from traditional scholars in various religious sciences as was practiced in traditional Islamic law for centuries.
Mona HaydarAssociate Chaplain
Mona Haydar is a rapper, poet, activist, practitioner of Permaculture, meditator, composting devotee, mountain girl, solar power lover and a tireless God-enthusiast. She practices a life of sacred activism, poetry, contemplation, and advocacy for living gently upon the Earth. She teaches classes, gives lectures, leads retreats and workshops, does readings and performs her work. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan and has since lived in Damascus where she studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality then went on to live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Lama Foundation and in the Redwood forest of Northern California with her husband and son. Currently, Mona is working on her second collection of poems and her first work of nonfiction on Islamic Spirituality through the lens of other spiritual traditions. She is working towards her Masters in Theology. Mona helps to grow a more universal love with her activism, writing, performing and teaching.
Aziza GaoudaManager of Operations and Community Development
Aziza Gaouda is the Manager of, Operations and Community Development at the Islamic Center at New York University. Aziza received her Master’s in Urban Planning, with a focus on international and community development at New York University Robert F. Wagner. She received her bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering at the United Arab Emirates University in the UAE. Aziza is passionate about education, community development, sustainability in urban environments and art advocacy. She has worked as a student advisor and coordinator for the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Summer Academy at New York University Abu Dhabi. She has led the user interface design for the start-up, PLANETCIVIC, an online civic engagement platform. While at the urban farm, Brooklyn Grange, Aziza worked as an educator, leading workshops for all primary and secondary education levels. She is a partner at MEDEA, an online platform that integrates Arabic Calligraphy with engineering innovations. In her free time, she teaches the basics of Arabic and Quranic recitation, enjoys good food and exploring the great outdoors.
Dr. Hala AlyanClinical Psychologist
Dr. Hala Alyan is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York City specializing in the assessment and treatment of trauma, substance abuse, anxiety, mood and relationship concerns, and cross-cultural issues. Currently, Dr. Alyan works as a part-time psychologist at the New York University Student Health Center’s Counseling and Wellness Services, where she is based within the Islamic Center. In addition, Dr. Alyan is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University, and teaches graduate-level courses on cross-cultural counseling and individual counseling practices.