Tides of Change Family Workshop - About the Instructors

Tides of Change Family Workshop - About the Instructors

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SOS Tides of Change

Anse Tamara GrayAnse Tamara Gray
 is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through individual empowerment, spiritual upbringing of women by women, and the revival of the female voice in scholarship

She lived in Syria for twenty years, studying sacred knowledge and traveling along the road of tarbiya (spiritual upbringing). Anse Tamara studied a full curriculum of Islamic sacred texts and subjects including: Shāfiʿī jurisprudence (fiqh), Islamic theology (ʿaqīda), Quranic sciences (tafsīr and tajwīd), Arabic grammar (naḥū), geography of the Muslim world, Islamic civilization and culture, Islamic history and classical methods of spiritual growth (tazkiya). Her specialty area is the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him (sīra), which she studied in-depth with the foremost sīra scholar of our time. She is fluent in both spoken and classical Arabic and received her ijāza in the recitation of Quran from the late Shaikh Muḥyī al-Dīn al-Kurdī in 1997.

Anse Tamara is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, and works in the field of education, focusing on instruction, curriculum design and implementation, administration, and teacher training.

Her publications range from several culturally appropriate English language curriculum programs to translations of sacred texts. Her most recent publication is an interactive journal called Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, which takes the reader through 52 weeks of growth, discovery and  joyful outreach

Some of the projects that she has initiated through Rabata include: The Lina Project, a two-day workshop that addresses the unique needs of female converts; Circles of Light, group and individual activities that foster a strong habit of worship; Daybreak a publishing company and third space in Minnesota and Ribaat, an online academic program that brings college-level Islamic learning to women across the world, offering certifications in the Islamic sciences as well as teaching certifications.

Anse Marah DahmanAnse Marah Dahman grew up in Syria, where she studied Tafsir, Hadith, Tajweed and other Islamic sciences. She now lives in Tampa, FL, where in addition to working as a mom of three and a dentist, she teaches at her local masjid. Anse Marah was greatly influenced by her teachers in Syria, who she remembers as open, kind, patient and wise. "My teacher made things easy on us and put the world into perspective," she said. "All our teachers spent so much time bringing us up. I am excited to be able to pay that debt forward by teaching at Ribaat."  


anse rydanahAnse Rydanah Dahman has dedicated her life to teaching Islam, leading weekly halaqas in her community in Tampa Bay, Florida for the past 20 years, and has taught with Ribaat since its inception in 2013. Anse Rydanah received traditional Islamic knowledge from her teachers in Syria and teaches a variety of subjects including usūltafsīr, hadith, and fiqh, and is frequently invited as a guest speaker at local colleges and universities. Anse Rydanah states about teaching at Ribaat, “I love the idea of providing a taste of what Allah (swt) allowed us to get from our teachers, and to be part of a safe, reliable, and effective teaching institution.”

Besides being a committed educator of Islam, Anse Rydanah is a certified IRS Enrolled Agent and has been helping individuals and businesses with their taxes since 1990. She also has an AS in Computer Programming and Applications and studied pharmacy in Syria for 3 years before she moved to the United States. She is also the president of Minaret Management Group, a partnership providing management services. Anse Rydanah comes from a large and loving family with many siblings, children of her own, one of whom she describes as “a true angel” due to being diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, and three grandchildren. With the little time she has left in between working, family, and teaching, she enjoys reading, writing, and needlework. 

anse raghad bushnaqAnse Raghad Bushnaq
 was born and raised in Syria. She studied with some of the best teachers in Syria, including those who have published works in the subjects of fiqh, comparative fiqhtawīdsīrafiqh sīra, hadith, tafsīrtajwīdrijāl, and sciences of the Quran. She memorized the Quran in 1994 and later received ijāza to teach tajwīdin the recitation of Ḥafs. She is currently working on a if ijāza.

Additionally, Anse Raghad studied agricultural engineering at Damascus University andsharīʿa at Imam University in Saudi Arabia. In 2006, she returned to study Islamic Economics at Imam University.

She has also taught English as second language at Al Rowad International Schools and developed curriculum for Jewels of Knowledge International Schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Anse Raghad has been an instructor and an active member in the Muslim community of the DC Metro area since 1989 and is an instructor and member at the Fawakih Institute. 

Rania Awaad, M.D., is a practicing Psychiatrist based at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a Clinical Instructor in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and pursues her clinical practice through the department's community psychiatry track. She is also a researcher and the Director of the Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab where she mentors and oversees multiple lines of research focused on Muslim mental health. She completed her psychiatric residency training at Stanford Hospital and Clinics where she also pursued a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work.

Through community partnerships established by the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, she is currently the Psychiatric Director of the El Camino Women's Medical Group (Mountain View and San Jose) where she pursues her interest in women's mental health. Additionally, through another community partnership with the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, she serves as the Clinical Director of the Bay Area branch of the Khalil Center (Santa Clara), a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology.

Prior to studying medicine, Dr. Awaad pursued classical Islamic Studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certification (Ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. She is a Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, an American Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls.

Dr. Zakiyyah Hyatt

Dr. Zakiyyah Hyatt obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, pursued a master's degree from UC Berkeley and Pacific School of Religion, and completed a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Newport University, in California. Her professional experience includes various county of mental health agencies, Kaiser Permanente Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, San Quentin State Prison, and San Jose Unified School District as a school psychologist. Dr. Hyatt' is affiliated with PHP (Parent Helping Parents), ABPsi (Association of Black Psychologist), Bay Area MMH (Bay Area Muslim Mental Health), Natures Sunshine Products - Herbs, and APA (American Psychology Association).

Sakeena AbdulraheemSakeena Abdulraheem has a BA in Spanish and International Studies from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and an MA in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington D.C.  She has extensive experience working with children that exhibit emotional disturbances and their families, providing parenting consulting and mentoring in the Domestic Violence Treatment Department at STAND For Families Free of Violence in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Sakeena's focus is often on supporting families utilizing the nurturing parenting curriculum as well as providing bilingual parenting consulting to Spanish speaking families.  Her other areas of expertise include self-esteem and self-image concerns, coping tools to manage anxiety and anger outbursts, developing a health frustration tolerance, effective communication, developing positive communication skills, social skills, and teaching children that exhibit defiant behaviors healthy limits and boundaries.

Khadija Husain is the Communications Director for Muslim Women's Alliance, a non-profit organization empowering Muslim women for over 10 years. She has been working with MWA since 2010. For the past 6 years, Khadija has been in charge of elevating Muslim women's perspective and narrative online as well as organizing conferences amplifying Muslim women scholars, leaders and activists. Khadija's passion for activism drives her to find concrete ways to build and strengthen the Muslim community. Khadija and her husband are committed to raising their 4 children with a strong Muslim American identity in their beloved city of Chicago, home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs. 

donnaRaised in a Baptist Christian family, having a deep understanding and curious mind, Donna Dimer accepted Islam at the tender age of 23. She is a graduate of University of Southern California (USC) with a degree in music and performing arts. Donna then moved to Basel, Switzerland where she married and began raising her family. She would earn a second degree in nursing specializing in labor and delivery, neonatal care. In 2001, Donna and her husband founded Zakat Foundation of America, a renowned charity organization that operates in over 43 countries. There, she serves as a medical consultant and health adviser. Being an avid traveler at heart, she has since worked at maternal clinics in Southeast Asia, helped war victims in East Africa, and offered medical care in war-torn North Africa. In her spare time, Donna sings, writes poetry, and writes about issues affecting Black Muslim women and confronts issues of racism in the Muslim community. Donna lives with her Turkish husband, four daughters, three rescued parrots, and two cats in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.