Afaf Nasher, esq
Afaf Nasher currently serves as the Executive Director for the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, “CAIR-NY.” Prior to accepting the role of Executive Director, she served as Board President for the organization. Before shifting her focus to civil rights advocacy, she worked as an associate for the Law Firm of Rossi and Crowley, LLP, performing work in commercial litigation. Ms. Nasher continues to serve as a volunteer with several religious and secular organizations in various capacities. Her involvement with CAIR–NY stems from an enthusiasm to challenge discrimination in all its forms, promote positive activism, and foster an understanding of the Muslim American identity. Ms. Nasher obtained her Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.
Ahmed mohamed, ESQ
Prior to joining CAIR-NY as litigation director, Ahmed Mohamed was a trial attorney for the CAIR National office in Washington D.C where he focused on combating religious discrimination and profiling, including the government’s surveillance practices that unfairly and illegally target American Muslims. His work included litigating the broadest ever legal challenge to the government’s unconstitutional “watch list” and challenging President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim Bans. Ahmed also led a series of prisoners’ rights, employment discrimination, First Amendment, and school bullying cases. He also traveled the country educating American Muslims about their rights and represented dozens of individuals profiled by law enforcement.
Before joining CAIR, Ahmed was a litigation associate for a large firm and handled complex matters ranging from multi-million-dollar insurance recovery cases to securities fraud, bankruptcy, and estate litigation.
Ahmed earned his J.D./C.L., magna cum laude, and Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University Law Center. There he became committed to public interest work after helping an undocumented immigrant win against deportation. Additionally, Ahmed's own Yemeni American identity has cultivated a profound sense of duty to defend his community and ensure other immigrants have the same opportunity to contribute to America.
Stephen Cúrto graduated from Rutgers University with an MA in religious studies in 2018, and is currently finishing a second graduate degree program looking at the questions of access by minority religious groups to contested sacred space.
The Prophetic teachings of being of service to humanity attracted him to the public sector. Especially, this is true of the vision of CAIR-NY for establishing a safe, inclusive, and tolerant NYC that values the historic legacy of immigration and mutual cooperation upon which the city was founded.
In the role of development coordinator he hopes to help strengthen the mission of CAIR-NY to be an inclusive source of support to the community.
Muhammad Sattaur, the proud son of Guyanese immigrants, was raised in Queens, New York. He currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator for CAIR-NY. Muhammad graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a BS in Psychology. After graduation, he re-committed himself to the service of Islam and Sacred Knowledge and moved to Cairo, Egypt, along with his wife, where they completed a certificate in Arabic studies alongside private Islamic studies. He is a founder of the Imam Ghazali Institute and Lead Project Director for publishing historically important Arabic texts into English. Thousands of students have taken in-person classes through the global efforts of the Imam Ghazali Institute. For the last fourteen years, Muhammad has served as a Hajj guide and coordinator — nearly 10,000 pilgrims have performed Hajj under his mentorship. His Hajj and Umrah guide, "Journey to Makkah" has been utilized by thousands of American and British pilgrims. He remains an active leader in various masajid and community centers throughout the United States — with particular love for his hometown Masjid, Masjid Al Abidin — where his father served as Imam for over fourteen years.
Kay graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors, majoring in Biopsychology Cognitive Neuroscience and Political Science. She is currently an AmeriCorps Vista working at CAIR-NY. Kay moved here from Michigan to help immigrants and fight for justice. She is looking forward to applying to Law School in the near future. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for her friends and learning new languages. She is fluent in English and Arabic, and is currently learning Spanish.
Salman is currently a graduate student studying information technology. He received his bachelors from Stony Brook University. Salman Ahmad joined CAIR-NY as Operations Coordinator in 2019. His work involves donor management, financial management, volunteer coordination, and human resources. Salman is committed to the CAIR-NY mission and understands the value of pushing back against a system that is designed to bring marginalized communities down.
Princess Masilungan, ESQ
Originally from bright and sunny Los Angeles, Princess made her way to the East Coast and earned her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law in June 2018. While in law school, she served as an Ella Baker summer intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she focused on prisoners’ rights and police accountability. She also worked as a student attorney in both the Community Economic Development Clinic at CUNY Law, which helps individuals and groups create sustainable worker-owned cooperatives, and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) Project, which works with Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities in New York City affected by “national security” policies and practices. Her time with CLEAR particularly impressed on her the need for holistic advocacy on behalf of the clients and communities with which we work, including both direct services and movement-building.
Outside of her work with CAIR, Princess serves as an advocate with the National Lawyer’s Guild Parole Preparation Project, which prepares people serving long-term indeterminate sentences behind bars for upcoming parole hearings.
Originally from upstate New York, Anna recently moved to New York City from Berkeley, CA. Anna attended the University of Richmond and studied Arabic and International Studies. Her interest in human rights has taken her from Amman, Jordan, to an under-served school district in St. Louis, and eventually to the New York chapter of CAIR. Anna is excited for her fellowship with CAIR-NY as she deeply believes in their mission. In the fall, Anna will attend law school at George Washington University to continue the fight against injustice and inequality at home and abroad.
Julia is originally from San Jose, California but moved to New York two years ago to attend Fordham University. She is a rising junior there and majors in International Studies with a double minor in Spanish and Peace and Justice Studies. Her experiences as a member of Fordham College Democrats and in her classes have made her passionate about social justice and human rights, and she hopes to pursue a career addressing these. Julia is excited to be a part of this work at CAIR-NY and to contribute to defending the rights of American Muslims.
LEGAL Services intern
Sarah Ali is a Queens native and is currently a rising Senior at Barnard College of Columbia University. She is majoring in Urban Studies with a concentration in Public Health and a minor in Anthropology. Due to Sarah’s growing interest in fighting for inequality she aspires to become a lawyer and help advocate for those that are often unheard. She is extremely excited to embark on this journey with CAIR-NY and is looking forward to participating and make a difference in meaningful work that CAIR-NY is committed to.
Nigeena is a small town soul who moved to the big city to pursue her passion of fighting injustice. Nigeena is a rising second year law student at CUNY School of Law. At CUNY, Nigeena worked on cases with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). Through IRAP she organized a panel to bring awareness to the Muslim Ban and its impact on Syrian and Yemeni Americans in New York City. Nigeena is a member of the Muslim Law Student Association and will be the Co-President for 2019-2020. Alongside her peers in the Muslim Law Student Association, she organized an art show that focused on activism through art and raised funds for summer fellowships to assist Muslim law students pursuing careers in public interest.
Nigeena is excited and thankful for the opportunity to intern at CAIR-NY this summer. Having grown up in Omaha, Nebraska where the Muslim community was small and often targeted by islamophobia, Nigeena is eager to fight for the injustices Muslims face in their community, workplace and schools.
LEGAL Services intern
Zoë is a life-long resident of New York, but splits her time in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is a rising junior at Brown University studying Middle Eastern History & Classics. She is joining CAIR-NY as an Engaged Scholar, an honors program through which she is seeking to prepare herself for a career in civil rights and public service. She is the President of Brown College Democrats and the Political Director of College Democrats of Rhode Island. Through her work in voter registration and education, as well as mobilizing and lobbying for progressive state legislation (including education access, reproductive healthcare, gun reform, and immigration rights) in partnership with other local and on-campus organizations, she has developed a passion for grassroots advocacy. Zoë is so excited to work at CAIR-NY this summer as a Legal Services Intern and contribute to its mission of advancing justice for Muslim-American New Yorkers.
Amal Thabateh is a Palestinian-American from Brooklyn, New York. Amal is a rising second year law student at CUNY School of Law. At CUNY, Amal is a member of Student’s Justice for Palestine (SJP) where she works to advocate for justice, human rights, and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Amal is also a member of the Muslim Law Student Association and will be the Social Media Chair and Communications Liaison for 2019-2020. Amal is excited to work alongside CAIR-NY’s legal team this summer and is committed to working to protect and defend civil liberties of American Muslims.
government affairs intern
Miranda Kerrigan is currently pursuing a double major in Political Studies and Literature at Bard College, which is located in the Hudson Valley. Miranda is originally from Queens and has interned for both non-for-profit and government agencies over the last five years. She has studied in Berlin and New York, with a focus on the parallels between antisemitism and Islamophobia in the European media. She is excited to join the CAIR team this summer.
Hannah Towfiek is a born and bred Brooklynite who is dedicated to giving back to the communities that raised her. She goes to the The City College of New York, where she majors in Political Science and International Studies, and minors in Black Studies and Arabic. Living her whole life in Brooklyn, and now going to school in Harlem, Hannah has been exposed to the everyday struggles of immigrant and minority populations. Hannah is an advocate for those who are underserved and underrepresented, and hopes to use her experience at CAIR-NY to further benefit communities in need.
Anti-SURVEILLANCE & Graphics intern
Noshin Begum is a native New Yorker, having been born and raised in Queens all her life. She is currently a sophomore at The Bernard M. Baruch College, her intended majors being Political Science and International Relations, and minors in Graphic Design. She has a passion for the arts as well as political activism. Noshin is committed to CAIR-NY mission as it aligns with her values. She hopes to become a lawyer that will help serve her community and underprivileged groups.
outreach and surveillance intern
Hifza Shaukat is a rising junior at Columbia University majoring in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, and is currently deciding between a Sociology or History Concentration. She is originally from Brooklyn and is interested in tackling injustices that the South Asian and Muslim community continue to face both in the US and abroad. She is excited to intern at CAIR-NY this summer!
Zawareen Zakaria is a third-year, senior Urban Studies and Religion major at Barnard College interested in pursuing a career in children’s advocate and human rights. Born and raised in Queens, Zawareen is enamored with the stories that the city has to offer via the constant flow of people filtering in and out and its intersection with shifting local and global positions on sustainability and media. Her experience in Catholic school has informed much of the passion and determination that now strengthens her desire to amplify the voices of the marginalized and underserved, and she hopes to be able to bring that same work ethic to CAIR-NY for the duration of her time there.