2013-2014 Executive Board

Haris DurraniNoor SiyamFatima DialloYousr ShaltoutMaisha RahmanRamis WadoodNasrin AkterAnfal BoussayoudMariam ElnozahyBurhan SandhuAbdul Rafay HanifHebah KhanMaimuna HossainRowa El-tohami

Haris Durrani Haris Durrani
School of Engineering and Applied Science ’15
Major: Applied Physics, minoring in MESAS
Home: Connecticut

Salaams. I am a student at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, where I am majoring in Applied Physics and minoring in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. I hail from Connecticut, but I come from a diverse background, as both of my parents are from large immigrant families that moved to the United States when they were children — my mom is from the Dominican Republic and my father is from Pakistan. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved both robots and literature (especially science fiction!), and my quest has been to pursue my passion for those and related subjects. Through my writing particularly, I hope to make the American minority voice heard. With the MSA I hope to work on my deen by helping others in our community, facilitating interfaith dialogue, and improving the public image and treatment of Muslims in America. In my spare time I like to write, read, build robots, and think about random, impossible, and generally useless theoretical physics ideas. I enjoy squash, ultimate Frisbee, bike riding, snowboarding, and food.

Noor Siyam Noor Siyam
Vice President
Barnard College ’15
Major: Undecided
Home: New Jersey

Salams everyone and welcome to CU MSA! My name is Noor and I am currently a junior at Barnard College. I was born in New Jersey, but my Palestinian and Lebanese roots have undoubtedly been a major influence in my life. I am a premed student whose dream is to become a pediatrician or pediatric oncologist, inshAllah. With other academic interests ranging from political science to sociology and Middle Eastern studies, selecting a major was not an easy task for me. I have finally decided to major in neuroscience and minor in sociology. As for my other interests, I love painting, Islamic calligraphy, photography, soccer (go Barcelona!), and the politics and history of the Middle East. Additionally, my involvement in MSA has been a vital part of my college experience thus far. During my sophomore year, I served as the social affairs PCM. Working alongside dedicated members of MSA was an incredible experience, and this year, I have the honor to continue to do so by serving as your Vice President. Our 2013-2014 board has already begun planning events and programs that will contribute to the growth and development of Muslim life at Columbia. The new board has a variety of exciting events–including spiritual, academic, social, and community service oriented ones– in mind for the coming year, but we would also love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me any time at ns797@barnard.edu! I hope you are all as excited as I am for what’s in store for MSA this year. Let’s make this a great year for CU-MSA together!

Fatimatou Diallo Fatimatou Diallo
Columbia College ’15
Major: Chemistry, concentrating in Hispanic Studies
Home: Los Angeles

My name is Fatimatou Diallo, but everyone calls me Fatima. I hail from sunny Los Angeles, CA. I know what you’re asking, why would I leave the sun for the dreary New York weather? Well, it is a question I am still trying to figure out. I am a junior in Columbia College majoring in Chemistry with a concentration in Hispanic Studies. I am also pre-med, so eventually I will be going to medical school. I am the new MSA treasurer for the 2013-2014 academic year. I am super excited to be serving the Muslim community here at Columbia this year. In my free time, I love spending time browsing the web. I watch a bunch of fashion videos on YouTube (check it out, there is a growing fashion comment on YouTube), do a lot of online shopping (I have become a pro), spend loads of time walking along broadway or running/walking in Riverside Park (walking or running along the river is absolutely gorgeous). Overall, I think I am just a free spirit from California who wants to help the Muslim community here at Columbia and in the Morningside Heights area as well. I plan to fulfill my duties as treasurer to the best of my abilities this year. Along that line, if you have any specific questions, suggestions, or comments please feel free to contact me. I am here to help and serve the community in anyway possible, so any feedback will be helpful. I also encourage anyone that is interested in the board or the running of the MSA to stop by our board meetings, they are open to anyone and we would love to have you.

Yousr Shaltout Yousr Shaltout
Barnard College ’17
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior
Home: New Jersey, Egypt, and Lebanon

Salaam everyone! My name is Yousr, and I’m a freshman at Barnard College. I’m hoping to major in Neuroscience and Behavior with a pre-med track, but who knows what life will bring in the semesters ahead! I hail from New Jersey, and my parents are from Mansoura, Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon. I love both cultures and identify equally with both, to the point that my Arabic has become a confused amalgamation of both dialects. In my free time (when I actually have some), I like to take walks around Morningside Heights and the Columbia campus to take in fresh air after hours of stuffy library air. Some of my obsessions (quite literally) include Doctor Who, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, and basically every single BBC/Masterpiece Classics dramas ever made. I also love to do Zumba- I’ve recently been certified as an instructor (I love teaching- hit me up if you’re interested!). I am very passionate about Model UN, and I am looking forward to participating in campus MUN activities this year! I am very thrilled to be part of the MSA board this year, and I hope to help in any way that I can to make our community a strong, integrated, and resourceful one. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone on campus inshaa Allah!

Maisha Rahman Maisha Rahman
Programming Committee Member: Community Affairs Chair
Columbia College ’14
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior
Home: New Jersey

As-Salaam ‘Alaykum everyone! My name is Maisha and I am a senior in Columbia College. I am majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior but I am interested in a wide array of subjects. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in New Jersey for the majority of my life. My parents are from Bangladesh and I absolutely love my Bengali heritage! I hope to travel more in the future to experience and learn about many more cultures, Insha’Allah. Though I am an only child, I have an enormous family and of course, there is the MSA family which I hope you all will be part of! I greatly enjoy reading, doing arts and crafts, spending time with my family and friends, working with young children, and playing golf. I am so excited continue being a part of MSA this year and even more excited to see all the bright new faces eager to spread awareness and get involved! My hope for this year is to continue to cultivate the amazing religious community we have here at Columbia and as a senior, I am always willing and available to give any advice or guidance, as needed.

Ramis Wadood Ramis Wadood
Programming Committee Member: Political Affairs Chair
Columbia College ’16
Major: Political Science
Home: Troy, Michigan

Salam! My name is Ramis Jamal Wadood. I’m a sophomore at Columbia College studying Political Science, but I’m also interested in literature, philosophy, anthropology, and history. I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and currently live in Troy, Michigan. My parents are from Pakistan, and I hold the culture close to my heart. I grew up as the typical brown science-minded, medicine-bound kid. Upon entering high school, I immediately got involved in politics and social justice movements, and consequently changed my life course. As Political Affairs Chair, I hope to revive the political spirit and social activism that Islam inspires. In my spare time I love to play basketball and football, listen to music, read books, and hang out with friends. I love meeting new people, and I can’t wait to meet more of during the 2013-2014 year. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions!

Nasrin Akter Nasrin Akter
Programming Committee Member: Religious Affairs Chair
Barnard College ’16
Major: South Asian Studies
Home: Brooklyn

I’m a premed sophomore at Barnard intending to major in South Asian studies. An alumna of Stuyvesant High School, I was involved in the MSA for four years, and held board positions for three of those years. Born in Bangladesh, I am technically an immigrant, but not fresh off the plane, since I’ve lived in Brooklyn for …oh… 14 years and counting. I want to be a doctor, but I’m not a “sciency” person; I actually love learning history and reading (I’m quite the bookworm when I have the time to read) and I love writing, too. College life doesn’t suit me too well because I like sleep, I don’t like coffee or tea or any caffeinated drinks (including sodas), and I am happiest when basking in sunlight. I can’t say I’m particularly skilled in any sports–I’m not athletic at all–but I like to dabble in badminton and chess (yes, chess is a sport. I checked). Feel free to contact me because I’m always happy help.

Anfal Boussayoud Anfal Boussayoud
Programming Committee Member: Social Affairs Chair
Barnard College ’16
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior
Home: Brooklyn

I am currently a sophomore in Barnard and considering a major in Neuroscience and Behavior, with likely a dash of English involved to keep me sane. I’m a proud alumna of Brooklyn Technical High School and an even prouder native born Algerian who doesn’t hesitate to let you know it. Brooklyn is still a huge part of me, as some people who interpret my accent claim to be able to hear–and speaking about that accent, I’ll cut out all the preliminary filler explanation and say that I am just as much in the dark about it as you are. But if you guess Australian, I will judge you. I enjoy science, but if you really want to see me open up, ask a question about one of the shows or books I’m obsessed with. I do so love my sleep, but am always willing to give it up for time hanging with my friends. I love the beach with a passion, and if you give me access to a gorgeous Mediterranean beach you better believe I am not getting out of there until the salt has corroded me dry. I’m always here to help or even for a quick chat, so I really mean it when I say don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mariam Elnozahy Mariam Elnozahy
Events Coordinator
Barnard College ’16
Major: Undeclared
Home: Austin & Cairo

Hello! My name is Mariam and I’m a rising sophomore at Barnard College. I hail from the two best cities in the world: Austin, Texas and Cairo, Egypt. I’m currently blissfully undeclared but, hey, I still have one more semester to figure my life out! When I’m not in Butler you can find me drinking bubble tea at cafe 212, enjoying some lovely Hungarian pastries, or reading in Riverside. In addition to serving on the MSA e-board, I’m also a mentor at the Columbia Mentoring Initiative, an Athena Scholar, and a representative on the University Student Governing Board. I joined MSA as a freshman OCM and am happy to be continuing on the executive board as the Events Coordinator for the 2013-2014 academic year. Personally, I feel that it’s extremely important to be able to balance a spiritual life with everything else life in Morningside Heights entails. For me, MSA serves as a spiritual and a social release, and I enjoy dedicating my time to bettering both the Muslim and interfaith community in Morningside Heights. I’m extremely excited for the MSA events in the works for the upcoming academic year. Please feel free to contact me for MSA event suggestions or general life ponderings. I’m excited for an educational, fruitful, and successful year inshAllah!

Burhan Sandhu Burhan Sandhu
Media Coordinator
Columbia College ’16
Major: Medicine, Literature, and Society
Home: Brooklyn

Assalamu alaikum! I’m Burhan, the MSA Media Coordinator. I’m a member of the Class of 2016 at Columbia College who’s studying a pre-med track with a strong inclination towards majoring in Comparative Literature. On campus, I’ve been involved with The Columbia Daily Spectator as a graphics deputy, with the Columbia Science Review as a layout editor, and the Men of Color Alliance as a coordinator. Originally hailing from Brooklyn, I am still very involved with community outreach at my mosque back home, which I visit on a regular basis. If you’re ever in the area, let me know! I find the MSA to be one of the most vibrant communities on campus, and I am thrilled to be able to bring my skillset to the board to improve outreach this year and get Muslim brothers and sisters as well as the larger Columbia/Morningside Heights community connected with each other.

Abdul Rafay Hanif Abdul Rafay Hanif
Senior Advisor
Columbia College ’14
Major: Economics and Statistics
Home: Kuwait

Salaam everyone! My name is Abdul Rafay Hanif (most of my friends and colleagues just call me Abdul). I am currently a senior at Columbia College majoring in Economics-Statistics. Growing up in a country where the main language spoken was neither my first nor my second language, I have learnt to love different languages. I am also highly interested in philosophy and human rights, especially in the MENA region. This year, I am serving the larger Columbia student body as chair of the Student Governing Board. I enjoy reading and speaking to others about topics related to the field of philosophy, as I feel as if doing so allows me to better understand the way I reason and think out certain things. Relating this to Islam, I believe that having a stronger grasp on why one believes what they believe in allows them to be more confident in their very own belief. As a senior advisor of the MSA, I hope to strengthen the Muslim community in as many ways as possible. Don’t be afraid to contact me if you have any questions related to anything (or just want to talk!), and I would try to respond to them to the best of my ability. I look forward to meeting you guys!

Hebah Khan Hebah Khan
Organizing Committee Member
Barnard College ’17
Maimuna Hossain Maimuna Hossain
Organizing Committee Member
School of Engineering and Applied Science ’17
Major: Undecided
Home: Queens, New York

Assalamu alaikum everyone! I am Maimuna Hossain, hailing from Queens. I am a first year at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and I will serve as an Organizing Committee Member this year. I am interested in Mechanical Engineering and Physics, but have not decided on a major yet. I enjoy learning languages, listening to Bollywood music and anything that has to do with Math. I am really excited to be a part of Columbia’s MSA after being an active member of my high school’s MSA for the last two years. I believe that the MSA plays a crucial role in the lives of the Muslims on campus, so it will be an honor for me to help the board this year. MSA is all about building stronger faith, community, and friendships among Muslims and non-Muslims. As long as we keep working towards that, insha’Allah we will have a successful year.

Rowa El-tohami Rowa El-tohami
Organizing Committee Member
Columbia College ’17
Major: Undecided
Home: Khartoum, Sudan

Assalamu Alaikom everyone! I’m Rowa El-tohami, a freshman in Columbia College. I’m from Khartoum, Sudan (born and raised), and that’s where the heart is! I’m still undecided regarding majors but will probably study something that merges my love for politics and development. I love spoken word poetry, jazz music, rap, African literature and any sort of artistic medium of expression, really. I’d also like to think of myself as a human rights activist, and future “world-changer” so hit me up if you wanna protest about something together! As an international student, MSA has definitely created a more safe and comforting atmosphere for me. Our MSA is unique and welcoming in its atmosphere of diversity in all ways. Regardless of where you come from or how much you practice the religion, it just gives you the opportunity to work for the sake of the religion and to meet and interact with Muslims on campus. My personal goal as a member of the MSA would be to try as much as possible to share the beauty of Islam, in actions and in words.