top of page

Winter 2023

Aman Javid

CUNY Queens College

Aman is a dedicated and successful business owner and developer who is passionate about charitable causes and exploring opportunities in the Middle East. He is pursuing a major in Accounting, Economics, and Computer Science, as well as a minor in Political Science, which has equipped him with the skills and knowledge to excel in his ventures. In 2018, Aman launched his online resale store, AJX LLC, through the website and has since achieved over 200,000 in sales. He also donates a percentage of all profits to charity, showing his commitment to giving back to the community. Prior to his business venture, Aman interned at the American Debate League where he helped provide young people with the opportunity to develop debating, speaking, and literacy skills. This ultimately aimed to improve self-esteem, academic achievement, graduation success rates, and access to higher education. Aman's dedication to providing opportunities for young people is evident in his work at QC MSA where he is the Treasurer. He coordinated a one-week charity event for IRSU which gathered almost 184k and improved facilities for students, creating a more productive and safe community. In addition to his role as Treasurer, Aman is also the Coordinator of QC MSA where he collaborates with other clubs for interfaith events and works with board members to discuss and plan events. He handles the organization’s social media accounts and is the point of contact for events and discussions. Aman’s leadership skills and dedication to community service are evident in his role as Coordinator. He also volunteers for Charity Week. Aman’s interests in business in the Middle East have led him to explore potential opportunities and partnerships in the region. He is dedicated to expanding his knowledge and experience in the field and is always looking for new ways to give back and make a positive impact.

Ekram Ibrahim

University of Pennsylvania

Ekram is a fourth-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Health and Societies with a concentration in Healthcare Markets and Finance. At the University of Pennsylvania, Ekram is involved with the Penn Women’s Center, the Black Muslims Student Association and the University’s First Generation Low Income Student Resource Center, Penn First Plus. Ekram’s identity as a Black Muslim from an under resourced background has shaped her interests and passions in women’s education, mentorship, wellness, and social change. As a first-generation low-income student, Ekram is compelled to serve as a leader and role model in her community and seeks to create a more equitable environment for minority communities. Throughout her time at Penn, Ekram explored various programs such as the Perspectives Fellowship which explored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Through this program, she explored the nuances of the historical, political, and cultural climate of the Middle Eastern region. Ekram’s interest in the Middle East has been amplified after she participated in the Perspectives Fellowship at UPenn, and she hopes to strengthen and expand her understanding of Middle Eastern relations. With the Ibrahim Program, Ekram hopes to leverage her interest in cultural and political relations into her post-college endeavors. Ekram plans to gain an experience that will aid her in fostering sustainable and equitable workplaces in the future.

Seena Alamarie

CUNY Queens College

Seena is a senior at the City University of New York, Queens College majoring in History Secondary Education and Political Science. Her history degree is a concentration in Islamic history while her political science minor is focused on international relations. After graduation from Queens College, Seena anticipates obtaining a master’s in special education and a master's in ESL. Seena hopes to work with UNICEF as an educator in the Middle East to serve young women and children without adequate access to education. While growing up, Seena had first-hand experience living in the Middle East where she intensively learned how to read and write in Arabic as well as studied Yemeni history. She is proud of her cultural heritage and holds great interest in the histories and societies of the MENA region, especially in terms of heritage preservation, establishing national memories, and understanding how such narratives are transnationally portrayed. She is an active member of Queen’s Muslim Student Association and volunteers for many religious and culturally enriching organizations during her free time. Through her participation in the Ibrahim Fellowship, Seena hopes to explore a variety of perspectives within the Middle East while learning more about the region’s multiple faiths, cultures, and political relationships. Seena eventually hopes to utilize her newly acquired knowledge to promote greater cultural understanding to the communities she’s involved in. Outside of the academic sphere, she enjoys working on Islamic calligraphy and photography. Seena is also passionate about writing and hopes to publish a book she’s been working on about her time spent in Yemen during the Saudi-led coalition.

Yaas Farzanefar

UC Berkeley

Born and raised in Tehran, Yaas is an Iranian immigrant in her final year at UC Berkeley. Not being able to find a major that suited her academic interests she has intersected her academic passions and studies Political Science with a focus on International Relations, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, and Gender Studies. Spending the first 18 years of her life under an oppressive authoritarian government where freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and gender equality were a dream far from reality, her background and experience have instilled in her a passion for human rights and a duty for activism. As Iran undergoes a revolution, Yaas sees as her duty to support the fight for freedom in exile. As an activist, Yaas has been involved with Middle East Matters for three years and is the Co Director of the youth-run Organization with the mission to raise awareness, amplify, and aid humanitarian efforts to Middle Eastern Matters. Through Middle East Matters she has worked on campaigns with Middle Eastern grassroots organizations, assisted with fundraisers, and has learned first-hand the power of social media in spreading awareness. As a social media platform, Middle East Matters has gained traction during the Iranian revolution and is now one of the leading media sources for events happening in Iran. Yaas is also involved as a community organizer, organizing rallies, teach-ins, and protests to raise awareness and uniting the larger bay area Iranian community in solidarity with Iran. For Yaas Human Rights work does not take a backrest. Engaged with the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law since her first year as an undergraduate, Yaas is now one of the Investigation Lab’s student managers. In her team, she works with Amnesty International where she uses Open Source Investigations along with her language abilities to identify human rights abuses in different projects including Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, and Syria. At Berkeley, Yaas is a managing the Gender and Sexuality Director of the Middle Eastern North African Recruitment and Retention Center, part of a larger multicultural coalition fostering representation and support for Middle Eastern students and communication with the larger campus community. As the Gender and Sexuality director, Yaas focuses on fostering an inclusive community to support and empower queer and female Middle Eastern and North African individuals. With deep gratitude for being chosen as a fellow this year, Yaas is thrilled that the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship will allow her to be immersed in a living learning experience that will enhance her theoretical learnings and connect her with cultures, and languages she has only theoretically studied. An important part of this learning experience for Yaas lies in her connecting with like-minded individuals, conversing with incredible leaders, and learning from different perspectives she will come across. Next year, Yaas will spend her last semester in Jordan and is certain that the lifetime of teachings from this fellowship will guide her through the next chapter of her life as she chooses a career that will intersect her passion for Gender, and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

Bricen Fisher

CUNY Baruch College

Bricen Fisher is Jeannette K. Watson Fellow with the Watson Foundation and Voyager Scholar for Public Service with the Obama Foundation who has interned both domestically and abroad, developing projects at the intersection of urban planning, green infrastructure, and sustainability. He plans to engage in a public service career by utilizing data analysis, modeling, and finance to support state and local resiliency efforts, business growth, and infrastructure development. After spending this past summer interning in Bangalore, India and traveling around South Asia to Nepal, he had his first experiences exploring a new country on his own and is now eager to embark on more journeys. He believes that by further expanding his worldview and traveling to new and exciting places, he will become globally minded in his approach to business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and problem-solving. He is hoping to meet with world leaders and innovators to build his own understanding of the world and subsequently craft a unique career that combines the innovative potential of data and finance to meet the demands for resilient and innovative infrastructure development in the 21st century. As a Statistics and Quantitative Modeling major at the City University of New York, Baruch College, he has learned to apply a broad scientific method to utilizing data in interdisciplinary applications. Through technical application of coding and data science, Bricen has discovered a new way to analyze urban development, community planning, and demographic studies. Through his professional and academic work, he hopes to redefine business with an emphasis on how engaging in public service can help develop and promote sustainable and ethical business practices. Bricen’s experiences have painted a greater picture of how interconnected our world is and the importance of leadership across sectors.

Gav Meiri

CUNY Queens College

As a fourth-year university student attaining a bachelor’s in history and Secondary Education, Gav Meiri is perpetually eager for hands-on learning experiences, particularly those relevant to his academic concentrations in Islamic, Jewish, and African histories, cultures, and politics. Gav has engaged in a number of intercultural and interfaith programs, such as the Muslim Jewish Solidarity Committee’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship, as well as helping to organize the CUNY Office of Student Affairs, Division of Student Inclusion’s Interfaith Student Fellowship. As part of his aspiration to become a high school history teacher and community organizer, Gav is yearning for ways in which to share his love for humanity with others. Though diplomas may assist in this mission to an extent, Gav recognizes that such a goal can only be accomplished through a genuine knowledge of and respect for the world and its people, knowledge and respect which one can only attain through the meeting of such people, face-to-face. Gav is immensely honored and humbled to have the opportunity to meet the many leaders, entrepreneurs, and influential figures of Oman and the Levant. He is grateful, further, for the opportunity to meet everyday people, those most-impacted by the political and economic decisions of their countries, to bond over the similarities and differences in our experiences. Upon completing the Ibrahim Fellowship, Gav hopes not only to have many wonderful stories to tell, but to have an international network of partners in the fight for a more sustainable, just world.

Suaad Nour

UC Berkeley

Suaad Nour is a fourth year student at the University of California, Berkeley who is pursuing a simultaneous degree in Legal Studies and Business Administration. Suaad is influenced by her upbringing in San Diego and the time she spent as a youth volunteering for social rights organizations in order to advocate for her community. After graduating she intends on attending law school in order to pursue a career in Criminal Justice and International Refugee Rights. Suaad is interested in pursuing a career in the legal field that prioritizes a holistic understanding of casework and legislation that takes into account the effect of social and economic statuses on the lived experiences of individuals and communities. Suaad has previously worked in Senator Nancy Skinner's Office where she supported individuals through the pandemic to obtain EDD, SSI and rental assistance benefits. She currently works at UnCommon Law, a law firm in Oakland, to provide direct support to attorneys for discretionary parole cases. On campus Suaad serves as an Assistant Program Manager for the Experience Berkeley High School program at Stiles Hall which helps low income marginalized students gain admission into UC Berkeley. Suaad plans to utilize her work, educational and lived experiences in order to contribute to dialogue in the Ibrahim Leadership and Development Fellowship and further her understanding of international relations.

Charlie Ehrman

CUNY Queens College

Charlie Ehrman is a first-year transfer student at CUNY Queens College, majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and Media Studies, with minors in Latin American studies and Political Science. His concentration is in the medium of documentary film and video journalism. Through his academic studies at Queens College, Charlie plans to study the languages of Arabic and Hebrew. Charlie grew up in Long Island, New York, and moved to Los Angeles at age 18. In 2018, Charlie took a gap from his studies and pursued his passion for filmmaking and worked in the film industry for four years, working on various projects ranging from music videos to television and commercials. In 2019, Charlie worked on a documentary project in Guatemala in collaboration with a non-profit, igniting his passion for documentary filmmaking and giving a platform through filmmaking to stories that normally do not have the space to be told. In 2021, as a prelude to returning to University, Charlie studied Spanish at an immersion program in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. It was here, living in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, that played a crucial role in sparking Charlie’s interest in cross-cultural and ethnic coexistence across borders. During this time, Charlie focused on mastering fluency in Spanish while documenting stories of migrants and humanitarian workers in the U.S-Mexico borderlands from California to Arizona. As a student and documentary filmmaker, Charlie aspires to dedicate his career to giving a platform through film and journalism for ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East. As well he hopes to inspire a discourse about coexistence between different ethnic and religious groups through the mediums of documentary film and journalism. In Charlie’s extracurricular time, he is planning multiple short documentary videos that tell the stories of the experience in New York of different diasporic communities from the Middle East. Through the Ibrahim Fellowship, Charlie looks forward to gaining more on-the-ground experience in the Middle East and learning more to bring back home to New York City.

Jacob Shofet

UC Berkeley

Jacob is a 4th-year student at UC Berkeley, studying Economics to pursue a career in the law. Growing up in Los Angeles, he developed a love of culture, religion, and history with an eye toward understanding Jewish and Muslim cross-cultural exchange during the Islamic Golden Era. Jacob cares deeply about social work, working clinically as a behavior therapist for Autistic children, coordinator for the non-profit Friendship Circle, and as a resource to the special-needs community as he personally connects special-needs young adults to employment opportunities in Los Angeles and the San Francisco area. He is the director of West Coast programming of the Tikvah Fund, working to build cadres of thoughtful political exchange and reduce the rising political polarization that threatens the health of American democracy. In the 2020 Presidential election, Jacob also co-launched and ran the super PAC “Don’t Be Dumb” to encourage voting and citizen registration in an apathetic community, ultimately boosting turnout by 16% in the Persian-Jewish community. Furthering his political involvement, Jacob ran and was successfully elected to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, representing roughly 18,000 citizens to the LA City Council. His work leads him to advocate for better services for the homeless, advance community development, and hold city politicians accountable through transparency and citizen access. In his free time, Jacob enjoys reading about neuroscience, political history, and Jewish law, as well as swimming, basketball, and tennis. He hopes to create and deepen friendships through Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Conference.

Tasfia Nawar

CUNY Hunter College

Tasfia Nawar is a second-year student at the City University of New York, Hunter College. She is majoring in international relations in Political science and Critical Analysis in Media studies, as well as a minor in Journalism. Tasfia began her journey to fight for grassroots civic engagement and social injustice during her sophomore year in high school with the Muslim Community Network (MCN). She focused research on the impacts of replacing the Rikers prison complex with plans to establish a new one in downtown Brooklyn. Her research paved way for multiple opportunities to engage with not only her Muslim community but to open dialogue in spaces of interfaith-related issues. In her Senior year, she ensued a year-long pursuit of hosting events alongside MCN on police reform, Solitary confinement and Mass incarceration within the Black community, and injustice to South Asian communities. Tasfia also served as the President of the Model United Nations club. Her involvement stemmed from her love for debating and discussing international issues. Her task consisted of working alongside student delegates discussing global politics and humanitarian issues. She hosted monthly events in person and through Zoom with appearances from student ambassadors in UNICEF. An initiative she took was using Tik Tok to engage with students in other nations to collaborate on projects. She combined academia with social media influencing, and it was thrilling for her to be a part of both worlds. Tasfia is a fond believer of tradition; however, social media has proven to show her how humankind combats unprecedented times, and believes humanity needs that connection now more than ever. Her team won the NHSMUN Best Research and Preparation Award of Merit back to back for the years 2021 and 2022. Her relation to Model UN has helped her gauge a solid performance in forming her own opinions and advocating for social injustice in the geopolitical sphere, including the climate crises, education crisis in Tunisia, and water and sustenance crises in Somalia. During her time at Hunter thus far, Tasfia’s joined the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA) clubs. Both have been incredibly rewarding experiences and allowed her to be in spaces filled with passionate and well-cultured people. Tasfia hopes to work towards becoming an International Correspondent. For her long-term education goals, she plans to go to Law school and in the future work as a Representative in combating the climate crises and animal safety. Tasfia hopes to use the experience with Ibrahim fellowship to gain exposure in an international context, especially in the diverse regions of the Middle East. Having access to new terrains will allow her a push in her career within the writing and reporting sphere, as well as open dialogue on humanitarian efforts and political crises. She hopes to navigate and gain perspectives within the Middle East politically while enjoying the region's culture, many faiths, and customs.
bottom of page