The purpose of Muslim Life at Columbia is to create, within this very diverse body, a united community that meets the spiritual, social, and intellectual needs of all Muslims on Columbia’s campuses, a community in which all Barnard/Columbia Muslims feel they can participate and belong.
Meet the Executive Boards of the different Muslim groups at Columbia/Barnard and our Muslim Life Coordinator!
Zeinab is a rising 2L at Columbia Law School where she focuses on issues in the criminal legal system, mass incarceration, and critical race theory. She has experience working with community-based organizations, local government, and philanthropy. She is guided by Islam’s profound emphasis on collective care, justice, and releasing people from captivity and confinement. Zeinab holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Yale University. She is co-president of the MLSA for 2020-2021. Zeinab ventures outside of campus often to study and knows all the cool coffee spots. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Zara Tayebjee, this year's co-social chair, is a sophomore at Barnard College studying Political Science and Mathematics-Statistics. While she was born in NY, she currently lives abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. In her free time, Zara enjoys playing Quiz Bowl and practicing yoga.
Yunus Kovankaya is serving as the MSA Vice President for the 2020-2021 school year. Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Yunus is excited to be part of a Muslim community as diverse as Columbia's MSA in New York. As a Muslim with Turkish-Taiwanese heritage, he appreciates the different cultural communities across the city, spending his free time exploring Muslim neighborhoods across the city. For him, the most enjoyable part of the MSA was meeting Muslims outside of the Columbia community through inter-MSA events like charity week and MSA showdown. This year, in spite the pandemic, he hopes to find unique ways to share the New York Muslim experience with incoming freshmen. Outside of the MSA, he is involved in Engineers Without Borders. He is planning to major in Civil Engineering and minor in MESAS.
Hometown: Togo/Bronx, New York
Youdane is a junior in Columbia College majoring in Human Rights. She currently works off-campus as a research assistant with the African-American Institute. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., On campus she is an ASP (Academic Success Programs) mentor.
Tasnima Zaman is a sophomore at Columbia College. She is one of the political chairs for Columbia MSA. Tasnima has an interest in international development with the potential of majoring in Economics and MESAAS. As a native New Yorker, Tasnima loves to explore the different cultures of the city, especially through food. In her free time, she enjoys learning new things, painting, and listening to Reggaeton and Afrobeats.
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Rehan is a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in Data Science. Her interests include but are not limited to Spirituality, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice. In her free time, Rehan enjoys exploring NYC, solving sudoku and discussing Africa's political and entrepreneurial culture.
Rawda Fawaz is a rising 2L at Columbia Law School, where she focuses on human and civil rights. She graduated from the University of VA in 2019 with a B.A in Political & Social thought and African Studies. She's very excited to serve as co-president of MLSA in 2019/2020. In her free time, she can be found in the Columbia Musalah drinking chai!
Feel free to contact her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rania Alshafie is a junior at Barnard and the MSA secretary. She is studying Computer Science with a minor in Science and Public Policy! She is very excited to be part of an amazing team that will help grow the Muslim presence on campus and help grow the community!
Myesha Choudhury was born and raised in Southwest Florida. She will be serving as the Co-Media Chair for the 2020-2021 year, and she is very excited to help keep everyone connected during these uncertain times. Myesha is a rising sophomore on the pre-med track and hoping to major in Neuroscience and Human Rights. She is very passionate about humanitarian aid and improving medical access in vulnerable areas— especially in the context of the refugee crisis. To pursue her passions, she started the Doctors Without Borders Student Chapter at CU. She is also the President of Club Bangla this upcoming year! If you are interested in either of these, please feel free to reach out to her!
Misbah Farooqi is the MSA President of Columbia MSA for the 2020-2021 school year and a senior in Columbia College studying political science and Middle Eastern and South Asian studies. She hopes to attend law school in the future. She is originally from Maryland and will never let you forget her DMV roots (DC, Maryland, and Virginia, NOT the Department of Motor Vehicles). Besides having an interest in politics and Middle Eastern/South Asian studies, Misbah is also passionate about community organizing, social justice, education, and journalism. In her free time, Misbah loves to write, drink way more coffee than she should, explore NYC, impulse UberEats McDonalds at 2 am, and fangirl over Zayn Malik (please hit her up if you're into that as well). As President, Misbah hopes to create an inclusive and welcoming community for Muslim students of all backgrounds and ensure that everyone feels as though they have a family within Columbia MSA. She also hopes to engage the MSA to be more involved with the broader Columbia, Harlem, and NYC community and have the MSA play a more active role in mobilizing Muslim communities on and off campus toward positive social change. Feel free to hit her up if you have any questions about Columbia, pre-law, being a transfer student, MSA, or just want to say hi!
Mikyle Hassanali is a senior majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures and Political Science. As a Co-Media Coordinator, he aims to produce and deliver meaningful and artistic content, incorporating his passions for Arabic calligraphy and graphic design. He also hopes to continue helping MSA become a more inclusive and vibrant space for people of all different backgrounds, and as this is his fourth and final year on the MSA executive board, he hopes to make it the best one yet inshallah.
Hometown: Newark, New Jersey
Maymouna is a History-Human Rights combined major in the Barnard College class of 2020. Her main interests are the intersection of public health infrastructures -or lack thereof, in post-colonial states. She dedicates her time to Palestine and Yemen national student organizing as well as being a peer-educator at Well-Woman. Outside of academia, Maymouna enjoys cooking dinners for her friends and listening to podcasts.
Mariana Mohsen is a sophomore at Barnard studying chemistry, and she will be serving as this year’s Event Coordinator. Mariana is a native New Yorker, and she truly believes the city is the only place to be. In her free time, she likes trying new food, spending time with friends, and playing badminton. As a Shia student, she hopes to use her platform to amplify the voices of all Muslims on campus. If you ever see her around, don’t be afraid to say salaam and give her a hug!
Hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey
Isra is a GS Senior studying Evolutionary Biology. Her main interest is the intersection between human rights and healthcare. She serves as co-president of Social Justice Medicine and is a Board Officer of the Women In Medicine (WIM) committee of Columbia’s AMSA (American Medical Student Association) chapter. Beyond school she enjoys good conversations, exchanging smiles with strangers, and lots of tea!
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Hawa is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Economics. She works as a Library Assistant for the Milstein Center and is also a Speaking Fellow who helps their peers tackle challenges such as clarifying presentations and apprehension towards speaking, with the belief that there is not one type of “good speech!” Outside of academia you can hear her interview people for her podcast H-Suite Chats that spotlights the voices of young adults who challenge the college narrative and are contemplating what success means to them!
Hajar Khalid is a rising senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Psychology and one of the MSA political chairs this year. She is most interested in issues concerning criminal justice reform including voting rights restoration as well as the intersection between incarceration and mental health issues that accounts for such a large percentage of the present prison population. Outside of academic interests, she loves poetry and singing in her free time. She also considers herself a boba connoisseur after making as many homemade boba flavors as possible during quarantine. If you ever want to talk about the crippling effects of systemic racism that is embedded within the prison industrial complex or about how to (kind of) survive a midlife career crisis, or anything else at all, reach out to her anytime!
Foysal Uddin Bejoy is a junior at Columbia College and MSA’s Charity Chair. He is on the pre-med track and concentrating in Ethnicity and Race Studies with an individualized focus on race, health, and human rights. Foysal plans to work in underserved communities and fight for equitable and empathetic healthcare. Foysal is a product of the concrete jungle and thus chose to stay in NYC for college and hopes to stay in NYC post-graduation. Some of his hobbies include writing and performing poetry, going on bike rides, hooping in the city, and spending time with his family.
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Fatou is a part of the Class of 2022 at Barnard College majoring in Anthropology. She also serves as the campus liaison for MSA. You can consistently find her in Diana with a smoothie and/or fries!
SIPA Muslim Commons Vice President
SIPA Muslim Commons President
Edna Egal is a junior in Columbia College majoring in computer science and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. She currently serves as the Community Outreach Chair and is incredibly excited to work to create more connectivity between Columbia MSA and the greater Harlem community. Outside of class, she enjoys trying new foods (which are really just 2AM McDonalds orders), sailing, and reading.
Danya Jafri is a sophomore at Barnard and will be serving as the Ahlul Bayt (as) Chair this year! Danya grew up in Connecticut and is interested in studying Organismal and Physiological Biology and Public Health on the pre-medical track. As your Ahlul Bayt (as) Chair, Danya will serve as a representative for the collective Shia voice on campus–– whether it be remotely or in-person, or a mix of both, she can’t wait to organize events for and with the Shia community at Columbia and the Greater NYC Area! Outside of MSA, you can find Danya editing for Columbia Spectator, advocating for GlobeMed, reading Urdu poetry, and of course, venturing the streets of New York in her free time. She is very excited to meet incoming MSA members and attend all the wonderful events put on by the board this upcoming year!
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ciani is a Barnard student in the class of 2022 where she majors in sociology with a minor in secondary urban education. She aspires to be a middle school studies teacher and loves to talk about the sociology of education. On campus she’s been involved with Matriculate, Teach for America, Barnard SGA’s (Student Government Association) committee on Inclusion and Equity and Columbia MSA’s Charity Week Committee. She loves to talk about her hometown, so feel free to use that as a conversation starter!
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Cesay is a senior at Barnard College majoring in Urban Studies. Outside of MANSA, she is a fellow at the Empirical Reasoning Center (ERC) and is really passionate about the intersections of data, community development and urban planning.
Brandon Kaan Marco is a rising senior in the school of General Studies majoring in Anthropology and pursuing the Pre-Med track and the MSA General Studies representative. He is currently writing a thesis related to the field of disability studies, an area of study and activism that he would like to engage with further. When not busy with school, he makes an effort to explore the city as much as he can, exercise, and socialize with friends. He also serves as the president of the Columbia Turkish Students Association.
SIPA Muslim Commons Treasurer
Areej Qadeer is a sophomore at Barnard and is so excited to serve as MSA’s Co-Social Chair this year! She grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey and plans to study Urban Studies and Public Health on the pre-med track. Areej is interested in the intersection of healthcare and activism and is excited to host networking events for Muslim students to explore their academic passions. Outside of MSA, you can find Areej singing on Columbia Sur, making podcasts for the Journal of Global Health, or shopping while trying to find the best desserts in NYC! Areej looks forward to welcoming the first-years to campus and keeping the community connected virtually all year!
Ammran Mohamed is a sophomore in Columbia College studying Computer Science. She is one of the religious chairs. Outside of school, she loves learning more about theology and language.
Amana Mohiuddin is a junior chemistry major at Barnard and the MSA treasurer. On campus, she is involved in Club Bangla, peer tutoring, and environmental science research. In her spare time, she likes to babysit, explore (get lost in) the city, and have picnics with her friends. She’ll miss campus this fall but is very excited for her position as treasurer this year.
Aiman Najah is currently a rising sophomore in the School of Engineering and Applied Science pursuing Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and one of the MSA religious chairs. A native of Massachusetts (Danvers, to be exact), Aiman enjoys spending his time on campus working with clubs like Formula SAE and the Engineering Recruitment Committee, as well as exploring museums, new restaurants to eat, and hanging out with friends on campus. Inshallah wa bi’ithnillah, Aiman hopes to establish more inclusivity amongst the muslim community on campus, and introduce a new means of spiritual reflection and engagement through virtual programming.
SIPA Muslim Commons Communications Secretary