The Counselors – 2016

Counseling at Mizaan is not baby-sitting or policing. It is a delicate balance of developing a big-brother/big-sister relationship with counselees while maintaining a certain degree of authority in order to stick to the greater camp schedule and safety. The counselorʼs goal is to create an Islamic environment of support, understanding, and guidance.

Age Groups for Campers:

3-4th Grade
5-6th Grade
7-8th Grade
9-10th Grade
11-12th Grade

Separate Cabins for Girls and Boys

Counselor Leads

Baby ApplemichSumayyah Bilal is a recent graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. She is currently a Pre K-7th grade music teacher at the Clara Muhammad School of Baltimore, where she focuses on providing a worthwhile musical experience in an Islamic setting. She also teaches private music lessons to students of all ability levels. In her spare time Sumayyah enjoys acting, hiking, traveling, and performing in jazz clubs. Sumayyah aspires to attend graduate school for music therapy in the coming years. ♥♥♥

Khalid headshotKhalid Bilal: A 2011 graduate from the University of Delaware with a degree in English Education, Khalid Bilal currently works as a high school English teacher in Baltimore, MD. In addition to teaching, he is also an actor, spoken word artist, and stand-up comedian. Khalid is entering his fifth year as a Mizaan counselor and also has three years of counseling at Muslim Youth Camp in California. He is very excited to help conduct another great Mizaan weekend! As a part of our head counselor team, feel free to approach him with any questions, concerns or ideas that you have. ♥♥♥♥♥

sairaSaira Bhayat: Born in Canada, Saira Bhayat is a central New Jersey native and an international adventurer. She attends the University of Toronto and is majoring in Equity Studies with minors in Economics and Religion. Spending most of her time in Toronto, she frequents Tim Hortons and gets a healthy dose of maple syrup, moose, and hockey, eh. Contrary to public opinion, Saira does not have a Canadian accent nor can her laugh be categorized as a “Canadian laugh.” She is a fan of peanut butter, french fries, travelling, and anything sparkly. As a fifth year Mizaan veteran, Saira hopes to continue to bond with campers and is looking forward to having another fun, fulfilling, sleepless weekend in the Poconos. ♥♥♥♥

imageNabil Shaikh: Salaam! I grew up in Reading, PA, with a tight-knit Muslim community that congregates at the Islamic Center of Reading. A senior at Princeton University, I am majoring in Politics, with minors in Global Health Policy, Human Values, and Classics. I've had meaningful experiences with interfaith work and civic engagement in college. I care deeply about spirituality, ethics, healthcare, service, the outdoors, and Mizaan. I like to think about how to build communities and unite individuals for something greater than themselves. I am excited to ponder collectively what "humanity" means and entails at this year's Mizaan! As part of the lead counselor team, I am happy to field any questions you might have about the Retreat, so please feel free to reach me at ♥♥

profile_sharpenRafique Vahora was born and raised in Norwalk, CT. He is a recent graduate from Fairfield University and holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. His senior design project focused on biomedical device development and was funded by grant from NASA. He was an active member and social media coordinator of the Muslim Student Association during his time at Fairfield and also was a Resident Advisor on campus for two years.  His other campus activities include the Leadership Education and Development Program, Social Justice Peer Mediation Training, and mentorship programs directed towards first generation college students. His interests include Arabic calligraphy, graphic design, web design and spending time with family and friends. He is looking forward to returning to Mizaan for his fourth year as a counselor. ♥♥♥


sabahSabah Abbasi:  I grew up in central Jersey where I was really blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful Muslim community. I recently graduated from Rutgers University, where I majored in political science and public health. I spent a lot of time in college working on different research projects, as an active member of a couple of student organizations, and as the opinions editor and a columnist for our campus newspaper, The Daily Targum. Since graduation, I'm now working at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as a paralegal. I'm really excited to be back this year as a counselor! I'm looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones :) ♥♥♥♥

IMG_3966Omar Abbasi: Salaams! Raised in Central Jersey, currently third year in college and transferring to Rutgers University to pursue a degree in Astrophysics/Premed. This will be my fourth year at Mizaan but my first one counselling, and I'm looking forwards to the experience! My hobbies include reading, writing, swimming, sleeping, and playing unhealthy amounts of video games. Looking forwards to meeting other campers and counselors and having a great time at Mizaan!

IMG_3456Juju AbuHammoud: Salam everyone! My name is Jawaher, but everyone knows me as Juju. This will be my 6th year attending Mizaan, but my first year as a counselor. This fall I will be a freshman at La Salle University and I am studying occupational therapy. Through out high school I was involved in many extracurricular activities such as playing field hockey and softball. I was also the class president of my criminal justice class, my friends and I started our own singing group, and I interned at the Mercer County Special Service schools under an occupational therapist. Over the summer I spent my time working at the special service school as an assistant teacher, a day care, and Piccolo Pronto. I enjoy singing, drawing, working, being on my phone, sleeping, eating, and spending time with my friends and family! I’m so excited to finally be a camp counselor and meet and make new friends with new faces! I can’t wait to make Mizaan 2016 an unforgettable

10682230_732599886830104_930183203065294376_oAmani Ahmed: Amani Ahmed is a second year student at Duke University. She has been counseling at Mizaan camp for 32 years. She lives in a shoe and has so many children she doesn't know what to do. When she isn't studying, she spends spare time as a lumberjack in the mountains. In other news, she loves skiing, roller coasters, and Netflix. And she loves her campers, of course. (Her cabin will be the best cabin) Yay Mizaan! ♥

FullSizeRender (7)Nusrat Ahmed: Salaam! My name is Nusrat and I'm a rising senior at Princeton University studying Anthropology. I would love to combine my passion for service work with Islam as a future career :) I really like God, my baby brothers, makeup tutorials on youtube, psych today, pineapple Fanta, zumba, sketching (something new!!), and Argan oil. This is my first year at mizaan and I am so so so excited to meet all of you and become friends!! I've actually never gone to camp before so this will be new to me but I'm all up for new experiences. And all the better to share it with you <3 Can't wait! yas 

image1Dean Alamleh: Hello everyone! I'm Dean, and I'll be a sophomore at Rutgers University this fall. I plan on majoring in Accounting and double minoring in Political Science and Music. My interests include teaching myself new instruments, bits of new languages, and watching stand up comedy (Russel Peters is the man). I'm a really open-minded guy, so I can't wait to hear your questions and have discussions with you all. I've been attending Mizaan since my freshman year of high school, and I'm really looking forward to my second year as a counselor! 😀

image2Jawad Ali: Salaam everyone! I'm from Princeton, NJ and graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. I currently work for Accenture as a management consultant and am eager to attend business school in the future. I've been a camp counselor before for retreats focused around gender equality, sexual education, and substance abuse, but this will be my first time counseling at a program focused on young Muslims. I think Mizaan is a great way to gain exposure to the Islamic community, and I'm excited to join the Mizaan team! I'm a Yeezy fan boy, bleed Eagles green, and have been to 10 other countries. If you see me around, don't be afraid to start up a conversation! ♥

zainZain Bhayat: Salaam everyone! I was born and raised in central New Jersey. I am currently a rising freshman at Rutgers University where I hope to become an active member of the MSA. I intend to study biology and eventually dentistry. This will be my sixth year attending Mizaan, and my first year as a counselor—I’m looking forward to the challenge! I am a huge Manchester City fan, a Montreal Canadiens fan and  a fan of sports in general with soccer being a special passion. I am also a food fanatic. I love to eat but I don’t Iove to cook.  I enjoy traveling and trying new things when I travel.  I’m excited to meet my cabin group and am looking forward to camp this year.

sarahhafizSarah Hafiz: A rising junior at Franklin & Marshall College in her hometown of Lancaster, PA (home of the Amish!), Sarah's interests in how medicine intersects with policy and access to health care drew her to pursue a Public Health major. After being highly involved with organizing MYNA (Muslim Youth of North America) retreats along with other Islamic organizations, Sarah was eager to help strengthen the Muslim community at F&M by joining the MSA, where she is currently president. Coincidentally, last summer, Sarah served as the Public Relations Chair for MSA National's inaugural National Leadership Retreat at none other than Camp Lindenmere! Outside of MSA, Sarah is involved with numerous organizations, such a Squash Aces, a mentoring and tutoring program for low-income students, and campus diversity initiatives. Sarah also enjoys working on a research project in a neuroscience lab at F&M. In addition, Sarah just got back from Jordan, where she worked with Helping Hands for Relief and Development to provide aid to the Syrian and Palestinian refugees seeking asylum. Sarah looks forward to having fun interacting with you as a counselor and learning some great knowledge with the rest of you at the Mizaan retreat this year! 😎

12711275_10207168528066532_1185462376955088683_oIrfaan Hafeez: Salam! I was born and raised in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida last year. I currently work in management on the operations side of Amazon in Lehigh Valley, PA. I was actively engaged in my college years in lots of organizations catering towards understanding others while presenting a positive image of Islam. I believe Mizaan is an excellent way to extend my roots and for others to come together to provide support, knowledge, and a safe space for one another. On my down time, I love to travel and meet new people along the way. I am looking forward to meeting everyone this year!

Hamid_Yossra_PictureYossra Hamid: Salaam all! <3 My name is Yossra. I'm from northern VA, originally Sudan. I just graduated from Duke University, where I studied computer science, was involved with the Muslim Students Association, and served as a resident assistant. I love trying new things, and am a very enthusiastic (and very unskilled) soccer and basketball player!
InshAllah, at camp I will (successfully) convince you that pizza is a vegetable, that chocolate is necessary for the well-being of your soul, and that elephants are the most magnificent creatures to grace the Earth.
This is first my time joining the Mizaan family, and I'm super excited! I'm here to serve YOU, so please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything. Can't wait to meet you all in person iA! :) <3

YasinHYasin Hegazy: I'm an Egyptian-American graduate of Princeton University, and I am currently a student at Yale Law School. I grew up in Seattle, Washington, but my family currently lives in Doha, Qatar. At school, I studied economics, and I was also very involved in MSA and various political action groups on campus. I'm really excited to be a counselor at my third ever Mizaan retreat. I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences, so feel free to approach me whenever, even just to say 'Salaam'! ♥♥♥

IMG_3926Rabia Khan: Asalamualikum guys! I'm Rabia, a rising junior at Princeton University going into the medical field insha'Allah and majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Global Health.  I'm super excited to serve as a counselor this year and have tons of fun with my counselees and the other campers as well! You might find me singing some Rihanna song, cooking some new dishes (mostly eating though), or travelling to new places! I'm a pretty energetic person and will be just that at the retreat, I look forward to seeing all of you insha'Allah. 😄

IMG_0853Saad Saeed Khan: Hailing from the Himalayas, is Saad aka Saad-bin-Saeed (Instagram Plug.) The Self-Proclaimed Harbringer of the Great Wave has an undying passion for people, photography, spiritual storytelling, and mountains obviously. Saad's undergraduate journey at  Rutgers University came to an end in January 2015 and he is now making professional waves in the field of Human Resource Management. A message from Saad: "I'm ready to make my third year as counselor the best one yet. My college career is over but it feels as if my education has only begun. I'm learning something new everyday. Some of my recently acquired skills include fishing, hunting, and driving manual cars. P.S. there's nothing I love more than connecting with others so if you want to talk about life or the Great Wave, know you'll be greeted with a smile and a non-judgmental ear." ♥♥♥

zkZahra Khan:  I graduated from Rutgers University a few months ago where I studied Applied Kinesiology and African, Middle Eastern, South Asian languages and literatures. While I was in college, I worked as an orientation leader and campus tour guide, played soccer, and spent time developing ways to improve the Jummah experience on campus. I love traveling and working on projects that help people. In my spare time, I eat lots of ice cream, sometimes when I’m experimenting with my ice cream machine at home, but mostly during shifts at my local ice cream parlor, Halo Pub. I’m excited for another year at Mizaan! ♥♥♥♥

IMG_3590Majid Mubeen: Salaam! I am a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Economics in the business school. I grew up in Southeastern Michigan, so you'll definitely hear me mention the mitten at least once :)! At school I've been involved in Penn Univeristy Television, Asian Pacific American Heritage Week and other identity and media organizations. Currently, I'm the Vice Chair External for the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, an umbrella group  and political action council for all Asian Pacific-Interest organizations on campus.  I'd like to live a life of character and service, helping others and softening hearts. I'm also a fan of performing comedy, reading lots of books, physics geekery, pure food, spirituality, Michigan cherries, service, and connecting with the hearts of awesome people! This is my first Mizaan retreat so I'm super excited for this awesome weekend. Don't hesitate to ask any questions!

Omar Qari

Omar Qari: I was born and brought up in central New Jersey, home to a very diverse and established Muslim community. I’m currently a rising sophomore studying at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where I hope to graduate with a bachelor’s in Biology. Over there, I’m actively involved in student government and volunteering on campus. This will be my first year as a Mizaan camp counselor and I am thrilled to embark with campers on this weekend of Islamic knowledge and reflection. In my free time, I like watching/playing soccer, reading, and hanging out with friends. Interacting and meeting with new people is something I enjoy thoroughly so, I cant wait to meet you at the retreat! ♥

image1Anisah Rashid: Born and raised in New Jersey, Anisah Rashid is a recent graduate from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) with a major in Rehabilitation and Human Services and minor in Special Education. As a student, Anisah served on the executive board of the Pakistani Students' Association. She works as a teacher's assistant at a Montessori school. In her spare time, Anisah enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, and baking. This will be her fourth year as a counselor and first year as a teacher. She is so excited for another amazing year at Mizaan! ♥♥♥

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Alizeh Shamshad: This is my fourth year attending Mizaan and my first year as a counselor. I was born in Tennessee and am currently living in Princeton, NJ. I am a rising sophomore at The College of New Jersey and majoring in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. When i'm not studying, I tutor at Mathnasium and volunteer as an EMT in the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, where I have been volunteering for three years. I enjoy playing piano, playing guitar, photorealistic drawing, fencing, squash (the sport, and the vegetable with chaat masala), and Bollywood dance which I am currently inexperienced in. I am very excited to finally be a counselor and can't wait to meet all of you!

IMG_7137Sarah Shoeb: Salaam everyone, this is going to be my first year at Mizaan and I've heard so many great things about it that I can't wait to be a part of it! I am currently a rising sophomore at The College of New Jersey where I major in chemistry and minor in biology and psychology. I've spent this summer studying Urdu and calculus and working at the University Medical Center of Princeton as well as the TCNJ School of Engineering. I enjoy playing tennis, which I've been playing for about 6 years, watching funny tv shows (Friends), and going to museums and cherry blossom festivals. I'm looking forward to volunteering for a variety of organizations next semester, such as the American Cancer Society and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Also I ran into Ben Simmons at the mall last week which was pretty cool. Can't wait to meet everyone, see you guys soon! :)))

Sohail SumraSohail Sumra: I'm from Fairfield, CT and graduated from Fairfield University in 2015 with a major in International Studies and minor in Economics. At Fairfield, I was a very active member of both the Muslim Student Association and South Asian Student Association. I was also a Resident Assistant for 2 years and a Senior Resident Assistant for my final year. I studied abroad in Shanghai for my Spring Semester, Junior Year. I am currently an Associate at LCR Capital Partners in Westport, CT. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family as well as cooking, reading, traveling and playing basketball and volleyball. Insha'Allah this is my 4th year as a counselor and I am really looking forward to being a part of Mizaan 2016.  ♥♥♥♥

12662509_10207381117741027_284248978985711361_nSaad Syed: Salaam! I’m excited to be a part of the Mizaan team. I grew up in the beautiful city of Chicago and recently graduated from Yale University with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I love mangoes with a deep passion. Whether they’re sliced, diced, or squeezed into lassi, I’ll find a way to enjoy them. When I’m not busy eating mangoes, you can usually find me playing basketball or going out for a run. This is my first year as a Mizaan counselor, so I’m looking forward to meeting everyone!

10175010_10153847887414515_2222244195421242558_nRaza Zia: Salaam! My name is Raza Zia and I'm excited to be coming back to Mizaan for a third time. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in Biology and Middle Eastern studies and I'm currently a second year at Rowan University studying osteopathic medicine. I love Mizaan, first and foremost, for its nature. I LOVE NATURE. But more than nature, I love CHAI. So, basically, my favorite thing in the whole wide world to do is drink chai while in nature. If you're into hiking, stargazing, canoeing, or all of the above, stick with me and you'll have a good time.  ♥♥♥