As salaamu alaykum – peace be on you.
Azizah is the world’s window to the Muslim American woman. The first magazine of its kind, Azizah was launched in October 2000; we are now celebrating the wonderful milestone of our 14th year anniversary.
The Azizah team is grateful and pleased to be sharing the powerful stories and rich images of Muslim women in North America with the world. In doing so, we counter the many negative portrayals, the one-dimensional stereotypes and misconceptions about Muslim women commonly held, both within the Muslim community and beyond.
The Azizah team was thrilled to receive the 2009 New America Media Award for Environmental Journalism and to win the 2010, 2012 and 2013 FOLIO Eddie Awards in the Religion and Spirituality category.
Azizah enables the Muslim woman to define her own agenda; it serves as a vehicle for her voice and as a catalyst her empowerment. The Azizah woman makes no apology for being a woman and no apology for being a Muslim. She’s inspired and inspirational. Catch the spirit of the Azizah woman.
Translator/Website & Media Development
Fadwa Abida became a member of the Azizah Team in 2009 when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Born in a small Moroccan town called Ben Guerir, Fadwa Abida grew up in Morocco's southwestern city of Agadir with her loving parents and four siblings. There, Ms. Abida studied administrative management and accounting at the French Institute of Technical Training, and soon realized that working with computers and solving math problems was her academic passion.
Ms. Abida is now studying Computer Sciences at a Georgia college. Fluent in Arabic, French and English, Ms. Abida works at Azizah as a translator, frequently translating interviews and articles. She often lends her technical expertise to the Azizah website and also has contributed artwork. “To me, painting is an open door to a world of peace and serenity,” she says.
Iman AbdoulKarim will be serving as Contributing Editor for Azizah. Born in Akron, OH, Ms. AbdoulKarim is one of nine children. She is currently a student at Dartmouth College and double majoring in Government and Anthropology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies.
With extensive journalistic experience, Ms. AbdoulKarim has been awarded Superior and Honorable Mention in both news, feature, and editorial writing by the Ohio Scholastic Media Association. While at Dartmouth, she holds a chair on the Executive Board of the Afro-American Society, is captain of the Dartmouth Cheerleading Team, is a Research Assistant and will be serving as a Tucker Fellow in Guatemala this summer.
Ms. AbdoulKarim is “more than thrilled to be working with a publication that constantly redefines and challenges what it means to be a Muslim woman in America.”
Mariam Abdul-Aziz has worked with Azizah Magazine since its inception. As associate editor at Azizah, Ms. Abdul-Aziz fills several roles, including writing, editing, customer service and representing the magazine at conferences.
She says, “I am delighted to be working with such a groundbreaking vehicle of empowerment and representation for Muslim women.”
Ms. Abdul-Aziz holds a degree in Psychology and is an avid advocate for those dealing with mental health conditions. Born in Houston, Texas and raised in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Abdul-Aziz currently resides in Atlanta with her supportive husband and two young daughters. She enjoys sports and travel, especially to beaches around the world.
Atikeh Al-Ansari brings expertise and talent to the Azizah Magazine Creative team with her background in PR and communications across several markets including the arts, media and nonprofit. Her professional experience includes a wide range of competencies and expertise in varied areas from media writing and project management to visual design and event consulting. She earned a BA in Communications from the University of Washington and took graduate coursework in nonprofit management at Seattle University.
Ms. Al-Ansari was raised in a creative household of artists and educators who fostered a passion for lifelong learning in all their children. Her multicultural background and global travels provide unique insight and perspective to her work, as well as an appreciation for diversity and the innate inclusivity of Islam. Multi-lingual, Ms. Al-Ansari speaks Arabic, Urdu and French and is an avid student of languages and culture. She says, “I am excited to be a part of the inspiring team behind Azizah Magazine and look forward to contributing to such a dynamic enterprise.”
A PhD Candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ms. Ayubi’s areas of research are Islam and gender, modern and classical Islamic ethics and feminist theory.
For her MA in Religious Studies also at UNC Chapel Hill, she focused on Islam in American Religious History, preceded by her BA with highest honors in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and Women’s Studies at Brandeis University.
In addition to serving as an editorial assistant at Azizah, where she often contribute articles for the Deen department, Ms. Ayubi is a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, where she is completing research on her dissertation, titled “Gendered Morality: Marriage and Social Relations in Medieval Islamic Ethics.
As Azizah Magazine’s fashion intern, Lazina Choudhry has travelled to fashion shows in the US, as well as to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her interest in fashion and design is heavily influenced by her time in New York City. Born in Long Island, New York, Ms. Choudhry lived in Brooklyn for the greater part of her life where she was raised by her mother. There she attended Al-Noor School, an Islamic institution located in the heart of Brooklyn and graduated after her junior year.
Upon graduation, Ms. Choudhry moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she began interning for Azizah. Ever fascinated by the two worlds of writing and science, she is currently pursuing a career in Journalism and Pre-Medicine as a student in Oglethorpe University. She likes to spend her free time travelling and learning about different cultures, especially the various and delectable cuisines of the world. As she advances in her studies, Ms. Choudhry looks forward to more writing, more fashion and eventually medicine.
Kelly Izdihar Crosby
Kelly Crosby has worked with Azizah Magazine for the past seven years as an editorial assistant, writer and contributing artist. Ms. Crosby has also written for such publications as Iqra Newspaper, Illume Magazine, Q-News Magazine, AltMuslim.com and Muslim Link Magazine.
As a professional artist, she has shown her work in galleries across the United States and in Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Born and raised in New Orleans, she currently lives south of Atlanta, Georgia with her family. Her work and musings can be found at www.kellyizdihar.com
Chief Operations Officer
Azizah Kahera has been with Azizah Magazine for ten years. As COO, she manages advertising sales and has implemented new management techniques and procedures. Formerly employed by Delta and the Center for Disease Control, Ms. Kahera has a strong background in corporate customer relations, project management and business operations.
Motivated by her desire to ensure Azizah remains a prosperous and sustainable business in the constantly evolving global market, Ms. Kahera is at the forefront of the creation of the Azizah International Edition. This edition will feature the accomplishments and perspectives of Muslim women around the world.
Having lived in the Middle East and travelled extensively throughout Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, she represents Azizah at conferences and events across the country and around the world. A graduate of Rutgers University, Ms. Kahera is on the board of Back to Basics Kids Foundation a charitable, non-profit organization and is a graduate of the DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Institute.
Ume Naqvi is an award winning writer and editor. She has been a Nonfiction Editor and Promotions & Marketing Lead at REED Magazine. Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, Ms. Naqvi is particularly interested in writing about immigration, cultural assimilation and dual consciousness. In 2013, Ms. Naqvi was awarded San Jose State University’s Undergraduate Research Grant. Since then, Ms. Naqvi has twice been awarded the James D. Phelan Award in poetry, and most recently became the 2014 recipient of the Phelan Awards in short story, familiar essay and satire/humor essays. She also received the prestigious Ruth MacLean McGee Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction. Student and SuperMom (of three children) by day, when Ms. Naqvi isn’t busy saving the world she writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She writes feature and lifestyle articles for Azizah and serves as contributing editor.
For the past nine years, Endesha Raheem has been an editorial assistant at Azizah. When she is not editing and proofreading articles for Azizah, Ms. Raheem serves as an accountant and auditor for the Federal government. True to the meaning of her name Endesha – Kiswahili – to set in motion, Ms Raheem energetically represents Azizah at national conventions and actively promotes subscription sales.
Born in Harlem, New York, Ms. Raheem converted to Al-Islam in 1969 through the Darul-Islam movement in Queens, New York. She is active in the Muslim communities of the Washington, DC- Maryland areas and holds three accounting degrees, including a Master of Science.
Social Media - Twitter
Sana Rahim manages Azizah Magazine’s Twitter account. Passionate about the power of social media, Ms. Rahim is constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to spread the Azizah message across the Twitterverse.
Ms. Rahim is also an ardent advocate of human rights, women’s rights and interfaith dialogue. Most recently, she served as a Faiths Act Fellow for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. During her Fellowship, she worked in Atlanta, Georgia on interfaith projects and raised funds for malaria prevention in Sierra Leone.
In 2009, Ms. Rahim worked at the Istanbul Bilgi Human Rights Research Center where she analyzed legal implementation of women's rights legislation. In 2010, she received The Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Grant to further explore gender equality in Turkey, specifically identifying and analyzing best practices and approaches of women’s NGOs towards women's rights. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ms. Rahim is honored to be the newest member of Team Azizah
Marketing and Events Coordinator
Noreen Refai joins the Azizah Team as the Marketing and Events Coordinator.
A recent graduate from the University of Washington Bothell, Ms. Refai earned her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. She absolutely loved her student experience and took advantage of every opportunity the school offered her—from working on campus in Admissions, to serving as Collegiate DECA President to interning at Amazon.
She is a self-starter; when Ms. Refai noticed the lack of a Muslim presence at her school and among youth in the community, she applied the knowledge she had gained in her courses to fill the void. Using her skills and expertise, she founded the Muslim Student Association at UW Bothell and launched Umitna, a Facebook group dedicated to bringing together Muslims at events around the Greater Seattle Area.
Marlina ‘Nina’ Soerakoesoemah
Co-founder and Creative Director
Marlina ‘Nina’ Soerakoesoemah is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Azizah Magazine. She manages the art direction and works with graphic designers, photographers and artists to ensure each page of the magazine is captivating and oversees the website, production and printing of Azizah in Seattle, Washington. She lives in nearby Redmond with her supportive husband and two teenage sons. Born in Indonesia and raised in the Philippines, Ms. Soerakoesoemah studied Interior Architecture at the University of Oregon.
Ms. Soerakoesoemah is a founding member of Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Masjid Ar Rahmah, in Redmond and has served on its board of directors, as the Women’s Affairs Secretary as well as its board of trustees. Active in the Muslim American Society, Seattle Chapter, Ms. Soerakoesoemah is currently its Executive Director.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
As the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of Azizah Magazine, Tayyibah Taylor has realized her vision to provide a vehicle for the voice of Muslim American women. She guides the editorial tenor of the magazine and was thrilled when Azizah won a 2010 Folio Eddie Award and a 2009 New America Media Award.
Ms. Taylor travels worldwide representing Azizah and presenting lectures on Islam and Muslim women at national and international conferences. She has worked on several interfaith initiatives and in Fall 2011, she travelled to Malta, Tajikistan and Afghanistan to speak about women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship.
Born on the island of Trinidad, Ms. Taylor grew up in Toronto, Canada and lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for several years. Ms. Taylor has been named as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Middle Eastern think tank The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies.
Sofiariantika Primananda 'Nanda' Wilson
Sofiariantika Primananda Wilson, also known as Nanda, studied Advertising at the University of Indonesia. The advertising industry held no fascination for Ms. Wilson, but it did introduce her to the art of graphic design, with which she fell in love. She now works as a freelance graphic designer and is part of the Azizah Magazine creative team. She enjoys playing around with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Dreamweaver and gets very excited when mixing them with traditional techniques. “My style can best be described as imaginative, youthful, colorful and vibrant,” she explains.
Ms. Wilson loves designing and creating illustrations for children’s books as much as she loves the sprinkle raindrops of Seattle, Washington, where she resides with her baby son and husband. When not designing and mothering, Ms. Wilson makes beautiful music with her husband, literally; they released the second Mr. and Mrs. Muffins vinyl record last summer. (www.nandawilson.com)