Who We Are

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. In 2021, The Light House moved to an office space in Cary, NC.

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 (she/her) is a current graduate student working to get her Masters of Public Health from New York University. Her passion for social justice stems from her upbringing in North Carolina as a visibly Muslim, Black Somali-American woman and her involvement in her undergraduate career as an interfaith leader at Meredith College. She also currently works at the John A. Hartford Foundation as a Health and Aging Intern, working to improve healthcare for older adults and combat ageism, ableism, and elder abuse. She is also a NYU Social Sector Leadership Diversity Fellow and serves as Secretary on the Executive Board of the African Grad Students Association

As the director of Finance and Development, Eiman is the liason between the Muslim Women For team, funders, and supporters. She ensures the team has all the resources necessary for programs to run smoothly and for operations to be well-managed behind-the-scenes. Eiman loves learning new and innovative ways to manage the team efficiently to enable the team to focus more energy on educating and empowering our people.

Contact Eiman at eiman@muslimwomenfor.org

Director of Digital Strategy

Doha (she/her) is a compassionate health advocate and digital organizer who is deeply rooted in her identities as a Sudanese American, Black Muslim woman. She is an Ignite NC alum and a Re:Power Digital Organizing School graduate. She has served as a political education trainer for the Youth Organizing Institute Freedom School for high school youth in her hometown, Greensboro, NC. Currently, she facilitates the Southern Organizers Healing Collective, amongst other wellness initiatives for Muslim Women For. Doha is the moderator for PressOn’s Movement Journalism list-serv community.

Doha facilitates all things digital for Muslim Women For – from annual reporting to social media posts and strategy. Doha is obsessed with transitioning the ways we work to be more honest, equitable and compassionate. She believes in transformative relationship building and prides herself in developing digital content and data with integrity.

Contact Doha at doha@muslimwomenfor.org

Director of Policy and Programming

Lela (she/her) is a community builder who brings rich experiences in organizing and advocacy, with expertise in voting rights, immigrant rights, and reproductive justice. Her approach to organizing is deeply rooted in her experience as an Egyptian-American, Muslim woman living in NC, and her commitment to building power in Muslim communities. 

Lela is the co-founder of Muslim Women For and currently serves as the Policy and Program Director, leading the advocacy and organizing efforts that support the organization’s vision and strategic goals. In all of her work, Lela aspires to create policy spaces that recognize and honor our communities. 

Additionally, Lela serves as the Muslim Organizing Program Specialist at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, working to center the sexual and reproductive rights and access for Muslim Americans across the state. She is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she received her Master’s in International Development Policy and Middle East Studies.

Contact Lela at lela@muslimwomenfor.org

Content Writer

Maya (they/them) is an undergraduate student at Duke University majoring in International Comparative Studies, with a concentration in the Middle East. They seek to support queer Muslims, QTIPOC environmental justice, and community renewable energy initiatives. Maya approaches social welfare as encompassing energy, technology, and the environment. They also hope to center queer Muslim joy and ways of being in every facet of their life.

Maya takes part in Duke-funded research on the energy-health nexus in the Middle East and climate-induced urban migration. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, they are pursuing an honors thesis on queer Muslim environmentalisms in the United States. Maya also advocated for QTIPOC environmental organizers when they attended COP26. They engaged in community work through their involvement with Westminster Free Clinic, leading a food insecurity project and serving as both a student manager and medical intern. At Duke, Maya was the Justice Director of the Undergraduate Environmental Union, a Jummah 4 All contributor, and a staff writer for Jasur Magazine.

Fun fact: Maya is a huge Rina Sawayama fan– they got to see Rina live in Glasgow, Scotland and Charlotte, NC! Maya is also a strong proponent of creating Spotify playlists by season. 

Contact Maya at maya@muslimwomenfor.org

Administrative Coordinator

Iymani (she/her) is a fierce advocate and community builder whose identity as a southern black femme has driven and guided her work. From her previous roles, she brings great experience in community organizing, advocacy, and program development for a myriad of causes. 

She has served as a Programs associate at VAE Raleigh. Where her focus was supporting marginalized folks within the arts through programmatic opportunities, grants and curating fellowships. Iymani has also worked with Habitat for Humanity, The Banarbas Network and other local initiatives focusing on housing access within the triad. 

She is a graduate of UNC Greensboro where she received her degree in Psychology and African American studies with a minor in Sociology. She is also a former Muslim Women For Social Justice Fellow.  

Iymani is passionate about creating a world where her community sees new suns and has access to everything they need and desire. In her free time, she enjoys hitting up art museums, crate digging for new records, trying new recipes or scrolling TikTok.

Contact Iymani at iymani@muslimwomenfor.org

Charlotte Community Organizer

My name is Sondous and I’m a Palestinian organizer, researcher, and birthworker based in Charlotte, NC. My hobbies include reading, baking, jewelry-making, and woodwork. I enjoy good food, good company, and the beauty of living in the moment. I’m excited to take on the role of a Community Organizer at Muslim Women For! I hope to deepen my community engagement in the Charlotte area and enhance my understanding of social justice issues that affect our local community. My proudest achievement is my peer-reviewed research study, Perceived Gynecological Needs Among Muslim Women in Southern US, that was published in McGill Journal of Medicine in November 2020! I’m a strong advocate for reproductive justice; my goal is to ensure that all members of our community, especially marginalized Muslims, have access to ancestral knowledge and evidence-based information to make the best decisions about their bodies and relationships. 

I love being a resource to my community by sharing knowledge and collaborating to create a more hopeful future where we all have the education and resources needed to nurture our sexual and reproductive health. I have experience hosting events, discussions, and trainings to engage peers in dialogues about healthy relationships and promote safer sex behaviors. I use a public health approach to research, design, and implement educational initiatives for my community as part of being a life-long teacher and learner. I see this as an effective form of intervention to public health issues that our communities are facing. I find joy in building community by connecting people and holding meaningful conversations. I want to bring people together and share resources and insight because after all, community is all we have and community-building is what will sustain us.

Contact Sondous at sondous@muslimwomenfor.org

Triangle Community Organizer

Hadeel (she/her) is a fierce and passionate advocate, organizer, and researcher based in Durham, NC. A Sudanese-American Muslim, Hadeel seeks to build movements and empower Black and Muslim communities, particularly on issues of environmental justice, migration, climate and environmental induced migration, and social welfare. Her work has focused on doing this through advocacy, research, and grassroots organizing.

In the past, Hadeel has conducted research on the impacts of COVID-19 on migrant populations in the Middle East and North Africa and on assessing the needs of Durham’s immigrant youth population. A Mellon Mays Fellow, her research culminated in her senior thesis which analyzed the language and rhetoric used to describe climate-induced migration in Sudan. As an organizer, Hadeel has worked with various local organizations to advocate for low-income and marginalized communities. This includes establishing Duke Mutual Aid in response to COVID-19, working with Sunrise Durham to promote environmental justice, and conducting civic engagement and election work with the Campus Election Engagement Project (now renamed Civic Influencers).

Hadeel graduated from Duke University in May 2022 with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and International Comparative Studies with a concentration on the Middle East. Hadeel currently works at the Duke Center for Muslim as a Student Development Coordinator where she works to build an inclusive spaces for Muslims of all backgrounds by planning and executing programming, advocating for Muslim students, and building relationships. She’s incredibly excited to work with Muslim Women For as a community organizer and hopes to continue deepening her relationship with the North Carolina Muslim community. In her free time, she loves exploring Durham and going to as many farmers markets as she possibly can!

Contact Hadeel at hadeel@muslimwomenfor.org

Greensboro Community Organizer

Nora (she/her) is a passionate organizer based in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a Sudanese-American Muslim, Nora is immensely passionate about helping others learn more about their rights and how to advocate for themselves. Nora is also passionate about immigrant rights and social justice.

She is a former Muslim Women For Fellow, that worked on educating the muslim community in Greensboro, NC about the Muslim Ban.  Nora also worked with the Multicultural Student Affairs center at NC State to develop Black history month celebrations across campus. She is a graduate from North Carolina State University where she received her degree in Political Science with a minor of Psychology.

Nora is a self proclaimed coffee connoisseur, interior designer, and book worm. During her free time, she enjoys visiting locally owned coffee shops and farmer markets in the Triad Area. 

Contact Nora at nora@muslimwomenfor.org

Digital Organizer

Niyah is 23-year old fictional character, based in Durham, NC, from the comic series, Niyah. This comic was developed by Muslim Women For under the artistic direction of Anne Soph, a Colombia-based graphic designer. Meaning, “intention” in Arabic, Niyah serves as a vessel for digital political education for North Carolina-based Muslims and the broader immigrant and working-class community that Muslim Women For serves.View Niyah’s monthly-ish comic on our website.

2020 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 (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 (she/they) 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!