Writings & Speaking

Food at Home

My new project ‘Food at Home’ explores the role of ethnic cuisine in creating a home away from home for first generation American families. Our six storytellers or their families might have come from different parts of the world but today they all call Maryland their home. Check out the teaser to know more and stay tuned for a fresh episode every Wednesday starting Oct. 12.

Subscribe to “Becoming American” YouTube Channel to stay in touch with past and upcoming episodes.

This project has been made possible by a generous grant through Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC).

Becoming American

‘Becoming American’ is a digital storytelling project that features conversations and panel discussions with immigrant women in Maryland. The project is ongoing with the first 10 stories published in Fall 2021.

The first phase of ‘Becoming American’ was generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) through their Creativity Grant. The stories were shared in partnership with CityLit Project, Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS) and Welcoming America.

Check out stories of featured Marylanders here.

The Karachi Collective

Whimsical Encounters: The Nine Lives of Pakistan. A Conversation with Declan Walsh

The Lost Summers


Trauma and hope after 4 years of Trump: Pittsburgh-area Muslims hope for a better day from the next administration

How Trump’s barrage against Muslims has affected my family’s life in the Pittsburgh suburbs

How Pittsburgh-area houses of worship are guarding their people and property

In Pittsburgh, refugees try to seize opportunities but job prospects and chances to learn English are slim

How some Pittsburgh-area faith leaders have addressed security concerns since the synagogue shooting

Activists aren’t the only ones preaching about climate change. Some Pittsburgh congregations do, too.

An act of spiritual resistance’: Pittsburgh’s Jewish community hosts Shabbat services one week after the Tree of Life shooting

An immigrant’s relationship status with Facebook post-data breach? It’s complicated.

As homeschooling becomes more mainstream, is it right for my child? Here’s what I’ve learned.

Project: #PublicStreetsPGH – Vignettes for National Welcoming Week 2017

1- Romana King Bruneri from Czech Republic

2- Rup Pokharel from Bhutan

3- Ruchi Singh from India

4- Sabeen Iqbal from Pakistan

5- Taha Ahmed, American Muslim

Essays, Miscellaneous Publications

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

We can’t ‘go back’: From Pittsburgh to Paris, the Muslims living next door must live in fear

First Person: The power of Punxsutawney Phil (for a native Pakistani)

Local leaders are helping Muslims to foster harmony

Franklin Park residents concerned about fracking dangers

Notable Speaking Engagements

March 24th, 2019: Community Representative: “Rehumanize” Vigil at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum. 

August 17th, 2018: Guest Speaker, Allegheny County Department of Human Services Inclusion Committee Speaker Series, “Understanding Traditions”

April 25th 2018: Guest speaker, American Association of University Women (AAUW), North Hills of Pittsburgh. Topic: “From Pakistan to Pittsburgh: Reality and myths of identity.”

April 2017: American Association of University Women (AAUW), North Hills Pittsburgh American Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions Series at La Roche College, Pittsburgh. Guest Speaker, Topic: “Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan”

2016-2018: Presenter for multiple Behavioral Health and Cultural Competency Trainings arranged by service providers for immigrants and non-native speakers of English in Allegheny County 

April 2015: Panelist and speaker, international Conference on “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)” at the University of Pittsburgh. Topic: “Countering Extremism Through Community Outreach in the West; Opportunities and Challenges”

Presenter for Student Ambassador Program (World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh), Class on Islam and Terrorism at Slippery Rock UniversityCommunity College of Allegheny CountyNorth Hills Anti-Racism Coalition (Pittsburgh area), schools and community events. 

Media Engagements

Muslim Association Responds To North Side Food Pantry’s Call For Help

‘We Want To Welcome People’: 19 Sworn In As Citizens In Pittsburgh

Jewish community security director extends training to Muslim group

Teaching & Classes

Upcoming Courses/Classes

Fall 2022

Notre Dame of Maryland University, Renaissance Institute

Literature and Society

Course Description: The works of literary creatives serve as the most powerful depiction of an era. This six-week course will examine contemporary concerns and ideas as expressed by the writers and poets of our times in their works of fiction, non- fiction and poetry. We will undertake the study of literary pieces about war and peace, global migration, environmental sustainability, and human security from mid-twentieth century to present day. We will also delve into the relationship between artists and society and what can communities do to keep public art, especially literary arts, alive and thriving?

Previous Courses for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at the University of Pittsburgh, Towson University and Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU

The American (Minority) Experience

Stronger than hate: Building inclusive communities

Muslims in the Neighborhood

International teaching experience as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor to non-native speakers.

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