Our Story

In 2016, Muslim Women For was started by three driven, African immigrant women who saw the need for a channel for Muslim women to implement the social justice and community service teachings of their faith.

These three women recognized that Muslim women and women of color like themselves often experience spaces (both Muslim and non-Muslim) that are dominantly led by cis men, where they are often sexualized, devalued, and silenced. In this moment, the vision of Muslim Women For was born. Inspired by the history, work, and resilience of Black, Brown, Muslim, and indigenous women, they decided to create their own space- a space of learning, love, healing, and sisterhood.

They worked throughout the summer of 2016 to develop a model of beliefs and ideals that they wanted to uplift in their programming, which were later compiled into the five pillars.

In 2017, Muslim Women For became an incubator program under the Light House Project which provided them with physical meeting space in Downtown Raleigh. To find out more about the Light House project, we invite you to explore their site.

Today, Muslim Women For is a grassroots organization of diverse women leaders whose mission is to embody and be an effective voice of the Qur’anic ideals of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion, and social justice. We are dedicated to working together to create transformative change by organizing locally and building power through direct service, community organizing, advocacy, and spiritual resistance. The work of Muslim Women For challenges the monolithic image of Muslim women that continues to contribute to gender-based Islamophobia and inter-community marginalization, and addresses issues that concern vulnerable communities like gender-based violence, anti-blackness, immigrant injustice, anti-Muslim bigotry, xenophobia, and violence against LGBTQIA+ persons.

Our Team

Director of Finance and Development

Eiman Ali  is a graduate from Meredith College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Public Health. Her dedication to social justice is rooted in her identity as a Somali immigrant and her upbringing as a Muslim woman. During her undergraduate experience, she discovered her passion for service through her internship at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants as a Health Intern, insuring healthcare access for newly arrived refugees. She also served as a coach for the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, training college students from across the country to be interfaith leaders on their campuses. She went on to become the IFYC recipient of the Mike Hammer Leadership Award in 2017. She continued her work for refugees through a viral advocacy campaign with Oxfam America.

Eiman is currently working as a Marketing Research Coordinator in Durham, North Carolina. Her work pushes her to organize through a critical and creative lens, which is a skill she strives to bring into every aspect of her life. Enjoying the outdoors, playing music, and watching comedy television shows are just a few of the essentials in her self-care routine.

Contact Eiman at eiman@muslimwomenfor.org

Director of Operations and Digital Strategy

Doha Medani is a compassionate health advocate and budding digital organizer who is deeply rooted in her identities as a Sudanese American, Black Muslim woman. She holds a B.S. in Nutrition Science from NC State University. She is an Ignite NC alum and a Re:Power Digital Organizing School graduate. Additionally, she has served as a political education trainer for the Youth Organizing Institute Freedom School for high school youth in her hometown, Greensboro, NC.

Doha is committed to the work of critically engaging with our histories, building community, sharing stories, personal empowerment, and black liberation within all that she does. Her hobbies include building her personal library, supporting local arts events and discussing the literary & cultural relevance of her favorite R&B and rap records.

Contact Doha at doha@muslimwomenfor.org

Director of Policy and Programming

Lela Ali is a proud immigrant from Egypt and a graduate student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, specializing in International Development Policy and Middle East Studies. Her research focuses on social network analyses of local Muslim-led networks in the south and transformative social change through community intervention. Lela is currently working to publish her first scholarly paper, “Muslim-led Groups in the Triangle: A Social Network Analysis.”

Lela is a vivacious community leader who brings rich experiences in community organizing and social justice advocacy, with expertise in voting rights, immigrant rights and justice, reproductive justice, coalition building, and curriculum writing. Her passion for community building and transformative justice led her to start Muslim Women For. In all of her work, Lela aspires to use research and data in social justice advocacy and direct action in order to create policy spaces that recognize the most marginalized of our communities.

Contact Lela at lela@muslimwomenfor.org

Digital Organizing Intern

John Hasan Yildiz is a blossoming human rights advocate and aspiring digital organizer, who feels an intense, moral responsibility to the pursuit of social justice. He believes that storytelling, political education, and community engagement across digital platforms are essential in achieving intersectional liberation for oppressed communities. John is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he studied International Relations and the MENA region. During his undergraduate, John wrote for his university’s newspaper, spent a year studying abroad in Istanbul, became a Salaam Fellow of Conflict Resolution, and gained a depth of experience in policy advocacy, negotiation, journalism, and GIS mapping. While based out of North Carolina since birth, he has also been an advocate for human rights in Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon.

John is currently a volunteer for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and will soon begin a graduate program of Democracy and Human Rights at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon. In both academia and the Raleigh community, his knowledge of transnational solidarity, black feminism, reproductive justice, and prison and police abolition augments his defense of human rights. While off the clock, John spends his time painting, talking to his partner in France, and playing volleyball. Please, talk to him about volleyball.

Contact John at JohnHasan@muslimwomenfor.org

Civic Engagement Intern

Sanjidah Ahmed is a Bangladeshi-American organizer born in Brooklyn and raised in the Midwest. Sanjidah (she/they) firmly believes in our communities and all oppressed communities: that our collective power, creativity, and imagination will actualize beautiful, emancipatory futures for us all. They strive to use the frameworks of intersectional feminism, queer and trans liberation, anti-colonialism, abolition, and anti-capitalism to direct their political action and ground their interpersonal relationships. Sanjidah is especially excited about building community power, engaging in political education, and ensuring that our communities are well-resourced. 

Electoral Community Organizers

Waad (she/her) is a Sudanese American artist/designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her interest in community work stemmed from the age of 8 years old when she started the “Tsunami Relief Fundraiser” with a friend. As she grew older, she continued to fundraise but began to introduce her art as a means to do so. Waad’s involvement with Muslim Women For has taught her to advocate for causes she is passionate about such as, food insecurity and housing injustice.

Sinthia Shabnam (she/her) is a recent graduate from NC State University, currently interns for Chief Justice Cheri Beasley at the NC Supreme Court and works in Policy Research for Real Facts NC. She serves on the advisory (shura) board at the Islamic Center of Morrisville and loves working with Muslim youth and advocating for marginalized communities.

Haya Mujali (she/her) received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Guilford College. She is driven by her passion for liberation and by the love she has for her loved ones, including her dogs Oso and Toro. She plans to pursue becoming a therapist where she will work to destigmatize mental health in Arab and Muslim communities. In her time working with Muslim Women For, Haya hopes to encourage, motivate, and mobilize young people to vote in this upcoming election. She wants people to know that their voice is important and needs to be heard, so get out and vote!