The Counselors – 2018

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

Salaam! Hi I’m Nusrat! I'm from NYC. I write about the stock market. I love Mizaan! And people *cries*. This is my second year at Mizaan. I hope it will change my life again iA .... and hope it does for you too 🙂 Can't wait to meet you all!!!

Nusrat Ahmed

Counselor Lead

Sumayyah 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.

Sumayyah Bilal

Counselor Lead

Salaam Y’all! My name is Subhan. This is my 3rd year at Mizaan and I AM PUMPED. I currently work with CelebrateMercy, a muslim non profit organization. I like everything that empowers the mind, body, and soul. I’ll leave the rest of the bio for when we talk over some chai or hit the sand for some volleyball. Looking forward to connecting with the ever expanding Mizaan Family!

Subhan Vahora

Counselor Lead

Saira 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.

Saira Bhayat

Counselor Lead

Rafique Vahora was born and raised in Norwalk, CT and now lives in the Princeton Area. He is a graduate from Fairfield University and holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. 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. He now volunteers on the Board of Advisors for the Medina Community Clinic and is part of the Leadership Team of the Mizaan Retreat. His interests include Arabic calligraphy, graphic design, web design, hiking and spending time with family and friends. He is looking forward to returning to Mizaan for his 6th year as a counselor.

Rafique Vahora

Counselor Lead

Counselors

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!

Jawad Ali

Counselor

Salaam everyone! I was born and raised in central New Jersey. I will be attending Rutgers Business School as a freshman this fall. I plan on studying finance. I have been to all seven previous Mizaan camps, but this will be the first time as a counselor. However, I’m pretty sure all my campers will emerge from camp unscathed as I currently work with children and have coached special needs children during my high school years. In my spare time I run an online business, am teaching myself to play guitar and I love to travel. I enjoy playing and watching sports and look forward to playing basketball at Mizaan with other campers. I am looking forward to making friends with my campers and making new memories.

Zafar Bhayat

Counselor

Salaam everyone! I'm Yousef, and I'm a junior at Princeton University majoring in Near Eastern Studies. I was born in Alexandria, Egypt, but have spent the majority of my life in Allentown, Pennsylvania. On campus, I am involved with the Muslim Students' Association and the Muslim activist group on campus, MASJID. Outside of my academic interests of politics and history, I love to play and watch soccer (go Liverpool!) and write poetry. This will be my second Mizaan Retreat, and I can't wait for it!

Yousef Elzalabany

Counselor

Hey salaam! 🙂 I'm Sarah from Lancaster, PA (home of the Amish & neighbor to the sweetest place on earth! Woot woot!). I am the eldest of three girls in my family. I graduated from Franklin & Marshall College this year, where I was on the MSA board. At F&M, I mentored and tutored students from inner-city Lancaster. I majored in Public Health given my interest in how medicine intersects with policy and access to physical and mental health care globally and here in the good ol' U.S. of A. Aside from my love for all things Public Health--whether it be addressing refugee health to female empowerment (yes, those are Public Health issues!)--I love learning about ways in which Islam can be applied within our daily lives and in sustaining a healthy community centered around that pursuit, like with Mizaan! Before joining the Mizaan team, I had the opportunity to help organize MYNA (Muslim Youth of North America)'s annual conventions, regional camps, and national leadership retreats, among other programs. I also served as a MYNA counselor prior to becoming a Mizaan counselor. Moreover, I had the opportunity to help organize the inaugural MSA National retreat at none other than Camp Lindenmere! Alright, enough about me - I look forward to learning some great knowledge, reflecting upon how we can implement it, working towards achieving a healthy 'balance' (see what I did there?) in our lives, and MEETING YOU at my third Mizaan retreat inshaAllah! As the saying goes, third time's a charm (inshaAllah)! 😉 <3

Sarah Hafiz

Counselor

Salaam y’all, my name is Sharifa. This will be my first year with Mizaan and I’m super excited! I recently graduated from Temple University and am currently obtaining my masters in Counseling and Mental Health from the University of Pennsylvania. Working with the muslim youth has always been my passion and I can’t wait to hang out with everyone during the weekend. If you get stuck with me, just know that I make a mean grilled cheese sandwich, am willing to take cute instagram pictures for you, and I even once fought off a bear (or did i).

Sharifa Halimi

Counselor

Hey everyone. I’m Rabia, a recent graduate from Princeton with a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and global health. I love hiking, singing, drawing, currently obsessed with masterchef lol. This will be my third time at Mizaan and I am super excited to spend some more quality time with you all!

Rabia Khan

Counselor

Born and raised in Baltimore, MD Ayanna is a graduate of Morgan State University receiving her BFA in screenwriting and animation.During her time at Morgan State Ayanna was the president of the Muslim Student Association for two years and the co-captain for the women's lacrosse club in her last year. A lover of all art forms her true passion is filmmaking. She currently works in film production as a script Supervisor on various films and music videos. Growing up in a pretty close knit Muslim community with a widely diverse friend group she loves learning about different cultures and trying different foods. Being a self proclaimed connoisseur of candy one may also find her with a bag of some type of halal gummy candy in her hand, don't worry she carries enough to share. This is her second year as a counselor and she's excited to see all new and returning Mizaan family.

Ayanna Sharif

Counselor

Azraf loves making music, making apps, and currently works as a google cloud engineer at the USAToday Network in Virginia. He’s a lifelong camper through avenues like Myna, Boy Scout camps and Mizaan. He loves everything about Mizaan and hopes to inspire good values in our campers.

Azraf Ullah

Counselor

Hello Everyone! I was born and raised in Norwalk, CT and grew up surrounded by family every step of the way as youngest of three brothers. I am a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut and now hold a Bachelors in Material Science and Engineering. I aspire to develop a healthier world and am curious about future scientific innovations and milestones. In my free time I like to move my body, climb and embrace the beautiful outdoors, get my hands dirty in some soil, play some "Settlers of Catan", and spend time with friends and family. This will be my second year as part of the Mizaan community and I'm excited to be apart of it. My non-judgmental ears and mind are open to anything one would like to talk or learn about. Furthermore and most importantly, I hope that everyone will learn and evolve whilst enjoying the weekend to the fullest.

Manjoor Vahora

Counselor

I am a fun outgoing professional student that loves to have a great time and create new memories. On my free time I like to play sports, work on cars, and read up on new topics to keep my mind active.

Anis Vahora

Counselor

Hey everyone! I’m the other Salman Vahora, I was born in India and raised in CT. I have a computer science degree from Southern Connecticut State University. In the near future I hope to run a computer workshop where underprivileged people can learn basic computer and typing skills necessary to find better employment opportunities. In my free time I love to play/watch sports, go to the beach, and attempt various Tasty video recipes. This is my first year at Mizaan (as part of the Vahora invasion) and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you!

Salman Vahora

Counselor

Salaams! I'm Amani a veteran counselor of 32 years. If you're in my cabin, prepare for the greatest weekend because our cabin is always the best time. As always, by the end of Mizaan, I want my campers to be swift as the coursing river, have all the force of a great typhoon, tranquil as the forest, and mysterious as the dark side of the moon. These are, in fact, qualities of warrior women, too. I'm a student at Duke University and I'm from Princeton, New Jersey. I like to read and to ski and to eat. I watch a lot of TV and spend way too much time on Instagram's Explore page. I do not like coffee. Or chai. I'm sorry. One day, I hope to become a successful trapeze artist and join the circus. I hope you're excited for Mizaan this weekend and I hope I can be a part of making it great!

Amani Ahmed

Counselor

Aaminah Bhat is a New Jersey native with a passion for Halo Pub ice cream. She is a rising senior at Yale University where she studies Global Affairs specializing in security studies. Aaminah is passionate about social justice and soccer. ​Aaminah is the Co-Founder of Students of Salaam, an organization geared towards serving refugees and new communities.Last summer she studied Social Movement Theory in Morocco. Now, among other things Aaminah works for a New Jersey gubernatorial campaign.

Aaminah Bhat

Counselor

Born in Hiroshima, Japan and raised in Cairo, Egypt, I grew up with so many opportunities to impact people in need. While in high school, I lead fundraising campaigns to collect food, medicine and clothes to help those living in the slums in Cairo. At Drexel University, I studied Mechanical Engineering and Business while developing my own startup. I love backpacking, hiking and meeting individuals from different parts of the world. In 2018 I was chosen to be a Drexel TEDx speaker.

Roaa El Gabrouny

Counselor

Salaam everyone! My name is Ramzie Fathy and I hail from the great state of Tennessee where I've lived since I was 4 years old. I am currently a junior at Princeton University majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School. A lot of my free time is spent playing soccer and reading, and I've spent my past summer working for the Innocence Project in Washington D.C.. I'm excited to meet all of you!

Ramzie Fathy

Counselor

I’m a rising junior at Franklin & Marshall College studying biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry. I’m president of the MSA on campus and served as a representative on the Sophomore Class Board. Born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (the refugee capital of USA), I have developed an interest in helping refugees both locally and abroad, specifically in Jordan. I love to travel, dance, have some chocolate cake and ride camels. I’m looking forward to meeting you all and finally being a part of the Mizaan family! 🙂

Sonia Hafiz

Counselor

Are you, like, in school or what? Graduated from Cool. Go Owls. What did you study? Chemistry and minor in German. Nächste Frage, bitte. So a chemist. What's your dream job? Wildlife conservationist Give me one cool animal fact. Platypus are poisinous. Perry had the right qualifications for the job afterall. Where were you born? Karachi Pakistan What is easy for you more so than other people? Climbing, I'm part monkey Do you believe we came from apes? Astagfarullah What do you desprately wish you could do? Sing. Or have any musical knowldge. Illiterate right here. ♫ ti-ti-ta-tata-ta ♫ Have you ever taken self-defense lessons? Black Belt in TKD Can you do a split? Yes, fun fact. Coffee? Soda? No and No. Water, please What is a fashion trend you just don't get? VERY ripped jeans. I understand a strategic rip, but shorts will do just fine if your pants are ripped from your thighs to your ankles. Gummies or hard candy: Gummies Are vegetables a thing for you? Always (except lettuce. I mean goat food is bleh) Dawn or dusk? Dawn Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? Let's engage. A simmering volacno is not good for anyone What is something that amazes you? The sun rising every morning, and the birds chirping on que. If you could live abroad somewhere, where would it be? African Savannah or Kyrgyzstan Where would you want to retire to? In the mountains by the water. Maybe by Smoky Mountains What do you like about your home? Home vegetable garden - organic beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, squash and gourd, eggplants, okra, peppers Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person Can you stay up at night? On the occasional night, I enjoy staying up and watching the night go by What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? An episode of a K-drama What is the last thing you watched on TV? Nat Geo Big Cats re-run and Brazil vs. Belgium How long did it take you to type this? 5 minutes (72 WPM fingers right here)

Zobia Hamid

Counselor

I was born and brought up in central New Jersey, home to a very diverse and established Muslim community. I’m just graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology where I graduated with a degree in Biology. Over there, I was actively involved in student government and volunteering on campus. This will be my fourth year as a Mizaan camp counselor and I am thrilled to spend time with campers during this weekend of 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 can’t wait to meet you at the retreat!

Omar Qari

Counselor

Salaam! My 5th year of Mizaan will be my best so far, I'm sure of it. I embrace the titles of policy wonk, Rumi enthusiast, public health advocate, and spiritual traveler. But mostly I'm just a turtle let out of his tank. Can you keep up with me?"

Nabil Shaikh

Counselor

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 am currently a Senior 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 6th year as a counselor and I am really looking forward to being a part of Mizaan 2018.

Sohail Sumra

Counselor

What’s up everybody! My name is Hasir Vahora and I was born in Norwalk, CT. This will be my third year at Mizaan and I am really excited.  I will be a sophomore majoring in Business Information Systems. I am interested in running my own business one-day helping people lead healthier and happier lives. In my free time I enjoy reading, working out, hiking, and taking pictures. I am always ready to play sports and love beaches and barbecues.  My first and second years at Mizaan were an incredible experience and I met many great people. I look forward to returning and seeing all of you.

Hasir Vahora

Counselor

Hi everyone! My name is Ilani and I was raised in Shah Alam, Malaysia. I moved to Philadelphia in 2013 and recently graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelors of Science in Finance and Business Analytics. I served in the Drexel Muslim Students Association for two years and it was how I met my amazing friends that have become my second family here. I am currently a Technology Risk Consultant and in my free time I practice yoga, read, cycle, and spend time with friends. This will be my first ever Mizaan retreat and I’ve heard many great things about it so I’m excited to meet all of you! 🙂

Illani Zin

Counselor