Strategic Plan

Summary of Leadership Goals

  1. Improve our organizational performance.
  2. Develop our community.
  3. Benefit our society.
  4. Grow our youth.
  5. Be a diverse community.

Leadership Goal I: Improve Our Organizational Performance

  1. Improve our leadership performance, financial health, organizational structure, and strategic planning.
    1. Develop our management and leadership by:
      • Developing roles and responsibilities for all boards and committees and
      • Increasing the effectiveness of management and leadership by:
        1. Continuously orienting management and leadership to their responsibilities within our organizational structure;
        2. Providing management and leadership with: leadership training and development, and people skills and sensitivity training;
        3. Ensuring that all responsible individuals, governing bodies, activities, and initiatives are in alignment with our organizational structure and direction; and
        4. Ensuring that all responsible engaged community members are recognized as part of our organization and given a voice in decision-making processes.
  2. Build our financial stability and fiscal health by:
    • Developing financial policies and procedures that follow best practices and regularly examining our financial practices to seek out continuous improvement by:
      1. Implementing the board adoption of a staff-initiated annual budget, and regular board review of financial results; and
      2. Improving internal controls.
    • Expanding our fund development capacity by:
      1. Exploring and engaging in investment opportunities,
      2. Pursuing public and private grants, and
      3. Increasing fundraising opportunities.
    • Establishing an endowment fund.
  3. Review, and revise as needed, our organizational structure; including our bylaws, hierarchy, operating policies and procedures, and performance/accountability metrics.
  4. Commit to an ongoing strategic planning process that includes regularly creating, reviewing, evaluating, and revising short- and long-term goals.

Leadership Goal II: Develop Our Community

  1. Create an Islamic environment that fosters the development and engagement of our community.
    1. Develop and strengthen our faith in, understanding of, and practice of Islam by:
      • Increasing our spiritual relationship with our Creator,
      • Improving our understanding of Islam as a way of life, and
      • Developing the good character of our community members.
    2. Provide training in life skills for all segments of our community.
      • For age groups, such as:
        1. Childhood education;
        2. Life skills training for young adults and adults; and
        3. Life planning, financial planning, and retirement planning for older community members.
      • For people in relationships, such as:
        1. Marital skills,
        2. Parenting skills,
        3. Citizenship skills (how to be a good neighbor), and
        4. Outreach skills (how to share the faith of Islam).
  1. Create an environment that fosters the sense of a united community by:
    • Strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood among our members,
    • Enhancing multicultural relations within our community, and
    • Enhancing trust and cooperation between our people and our leadership.
  1. Increase our community’s participation in developing and executing programs by:
    • Improving volunteer recruiting, training, and utilization;
    • Developing a core team of dedicated volunteers; and
    • Increasing the ratio of volunteers to employees.

Leadership Goal III: Benefit Our Society.

  • Engage with and contribute to our larger society.
    1. Improve our larger society’s understanding of Islam and Muslims by engaging with:
      • Government bodies,
      • Media outlets,
      • Educational institutions, and
      • Faith-based and community institutions.
    2. Increase our community’s participation in the civic affairs of our larger society by engaging in:
      • Interfaith initiatives, events, and activities;
      • Civic events and other (non-religious) activities; and
      • Citizenship activities and civil engagement, such as voter registration, immigration issues, and issue advocacy.
    3. Collaborate with other Muslim organizations on common issues by:
      • Bringing Muslim organizations together to work on common tasks and
      • Supporting other Muslim organizations that are in line with our mission.
    4. Provide support services to our wider Muslim community (beyond our geographical boundaries) by:
      • Promoting and providing support care services, such as emergency care, emotional care and counseling, medical care, and prison ministry; and
      • Making referrals to other relevant agencies, such as the Family Care Committee (for home and hospital visits) and the Social Services Department.

Leadership Goal IV: Grow our youth.

  1. Invest in our youth and plan for our next generation.
    1. Raise a generation of youth who have a proper understanding of Islam and appreciate their responsibilities to:
      • Themselves and their families;
      • Their communities: local, regional, and national; and
      • The world around us.
    2. Produce future leaders by implementing character development programs to develop our youths’ leadership abilities, morals, and manners.
    3. Empower our youth to be active and positive participants in their Muslim community and our greater society.
    4. Provide the youth with opportunities to plan, develop, and implement programs that bring them closer to Allah and serve the needs of their community.

Leadership Goal V: Be a diverse community.

  1. Ensure and expand our diversity.
    1. Expand our membership base to reflect all dimensions of our community:
      • Men and women;
      • Different age groups;
      • All national, ethnic, and language groups; and
      • Different skill sets and disabilities.
  1. Ensure diversity in the membership of our boards and working committees, especially to include women and youth.
  2. Ensure the engagement of women; youth; the elderly; and diverse national, ethnic, and language groups in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of our programs.
  3. Ensure our facilities accommodate the needs of women, youth, the elderly, and members with special needs.
  4. Ensure women’s inclusion by:
    • Holistically including women in the planning, execution and evaluation of our offerings; and
    • Renovating and improving the sisters’ areas to make them more accommodating.


Who are the Leadership?

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Dr. Akram Elzend | Chairman

Akram Elzend is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who is an entrepreneur who has served  on many both executive and board levels during the past 15 years. He graduated from a physical therapy program in 1994. He has Co-Founded several businesses of which most importantly is a home health agency, that is serving the residents of DC metropolitan area by offering quality care at home.

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Dr. Essam Tellawi | Vice Chairman

Essam Tellawi, graduated from Damascus Medical College, He currently has a private practice in Clinton, MD and Mt. Vernon, VA. He received diploma for admission in masters from AIU, College of Sharia, and is finishing Masters degree from Mishkat University. He was the President of the Clinton Muslim Community in Clinton, Imam of ICNA Clinton, member of the DAH Board of advisers, Instructor at AIU and Qubaa institute. Has been a community member for over 30 years.

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Abdirahim Hussein Abdi | Treasurer

Abdirahim Hussein Abdi has been an active community member at Dar Al-Hijrah since 1992. He is self-employed and a father of eight who have all grown up in Dar Al-Hijrah.

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Nour Hawash | Secretary

Nour Hawash is a lifetime member at Dar Al-Hijrah. Before her decision to self-nominate for the board at Dar Al-Hijrah, she was a staff in the Youth Department and moved on to help build the Communication Department. She assumed the role of the Communication Administrator where she gained immense experience in operations management, administrative work, and task management. Outside of DAH, Nour is a registered nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit and a Public Health Nurse at the Fairfax County Health Department. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree at George Mason University.

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Mirvais Ayubi  | Member

Br. Mirvais Ayubi was born in Afghanistan and migrated to the United States in 1982. He is a father of four and has been working in the HVAC field for a total of 35 years and in business for 24 years. His mechanical and construction experience provided him ways to also serve most DMV masjids. He has served one board term for Dar Al-Hijrah and been affiliated with Dar Al-Hijrah for 15 years as a community member.

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Tuqa Nusairat | Member

A native of the Northern Virginia area, Tuqa Nusairat grew up calling the Dar Al-Hijrah community her second home. Her parents’ dedication to the Dar Al-Hijrah community through countless hours of volunteer work instilled in her a desire to give back to the community that gave her so much. 

Since 2002, Tuqa has been involved in community work primarily through the Muslim American Society DC chapter and MAS National, where she led youth projects, personal development programs, civic engagement efforts and children’s activities. 

Currently, she is a senior manager of Middle East programs at a global policy think-tank. She studied international affairs and holds an MS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a BA from George Mason University. She lives in Springfield, VA with her husband and two young boys.

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Daoud Abul Hawa | Member

Daoud is a communications professional with more than 24+ years of experience in public speaking, advertising, marketing, project management, video production, graphic design, public relations, operations and organizational structures and web design. Currently Daoud is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Islamic Relief USA, where he is part of the executive committee. Islamic Relief  is one of the largest Faith based Muslim humanitarian non profits in the world. 

Prior to Islamic Relief, Daoud has also worked as an Art Director in New York and Washington D.C, he has worked at top companies such  AOL, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ciber Inc, Careerbuilder and 20/20 design. He has been recognized for decisive leadership and proven ability to face challenges head-on and execute sound decisions while directing product launches. Prior to joining IRUSA he created a marketing and design firm, Daze Studios, where he served over 150 clients from small to large firms in over 20 different sectors such as Fairfax County, NASA, GMU and Accenture.  

Daoud served as a board member at Al Faith Academy and also served two terms on the ADAMS executive committee and board.  During his time at Adams the board completed phase two Masjid expansion, and during his term at Alfatih he helped the school move into a 60,000 sq ft building from a smaller 5,000 sq office space. Within the community Mr. Hawa volunteers his time giving khutbahs around the country, coaching little league sports and serving those in need.  

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Fatima Abdallah | Member

Fatima Abdallah spent her formative childhood and teen years in DAH since the early days of DAH’s foundation and went on to coordinate and lead youth activities at Dar Al Hijrah including the Dar Al Hijrah Summer Day Camp and MAS Youth at DAH for several years.  She was an active member of the George Washington University MSA where she  graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in History.   Fatima spent time focusing on Arabic and Islamic Studies in Cairo, Egypt from 2002-2003.  She continued her community work through the Muslim American Society DC chapter where she played an active role leading a youth halaqa and the Tarbiya program from 2013-2016. 

Currently, Fatima works in the field of maternal and community health through her work as a childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula. She believes in empowering  families and communities as they navigate the important journey of birth into new parenthood.  She is a wife, sister, daughter and mother to 4 children and resides in Falls Church, VA.

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Tammam Dandashi | Member

Samir Abo-Issa | Executive Director

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Samir Abo-Issa is currently the Executive Director of the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. Mr. Abo-Issa has been working with Dar Al-Hijrah since March 3rd, 1992. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, B.A. in Islamic Studies, and MBA in Human Resources. He has attended classes and received training regarding non-profit organization management, resource development, and fundraising. As the Executive director of Dar Al-Hijrah, He has established a comprehensive infrastructure set on specific policies and clear procedures. Through this infrastructure, Mr. Abo-Issa has successfully managed employees and organized them in a way where the center now has multiple departments and an abundant amount of staff at the service of the community. Alongside that, Mr. Abo-Issa has been successful in obtaining funds through resource development and key networking. Not only has he created, managed, and obtained funding for the infrastructure built for the center, he has also protected it through complex and thorough risk management.

Shaker Elsayed | Family Services Director

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Since 1972, I worked as a teacher, a volunteer Imam of the Local Jameyyah ShareyyahMosques, Cairo Egypt, an Imam of the Islamic Center, Wash. D. C., Taught Islamic Studies at the LIR Institute, the American University, Washington D. C., Principal K-12 school, Director of Education at Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Founding President of the American Egyptian Council, and the Secretary General of the Muslim American Society.

Stacey Picard | Social Services Director

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Stacey Picard has been with Dar Al-Hijrah since 2018. She has a BA in Management from Notre Dame College, an MBA from John Carroll University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Case Western University.
Stacey has over 30 years of experience in every aspect of for profit and nonprofit management. She has served at DAH as a Program Coordinator, and Deputy Director and is now Director of the DAH Social Services Department.
In her time with DAH Stacey has been an active collaborator with community partners and has leveraged those partnerships to significantly expand and improve programming, and increase funding.
She had a significant role in leading the department’s emergency response throughout the pandemic, expanding DAH’s empowerment program and most recently in leading Dar Al-Hijrah’s Afghan refugee response.  Stacey also serves as the Co-Chair of the Coalition of Culmore Service Providers involved with Kaiser Permanente’s Placed Based Initiative in Culmore and on the Advisory Board of the Culmore Clinic.
She and her husband Mark, live in Arlington, VA.

Naeem Mohammad Baig | Outreach Director

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Former President of Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA, a grass-roots Muslim American organizations with over 40 chapters. He is Director of Interfaith Alliances. 

Mr. Baig serves as the co-chair of the ‘National Muslim-Christian Initiative’. He also serves as the Muslim Coordinator for the ‘Catholic-Muslim Mid-Atlantic Dialogue’, which takes place every year between Catholic Bishops and Muslim Leadership in America.

Mr. Baig is serving as the National Moderator for ‘Religions for Peace USA’. He is member of the board of ‘Interfaith Workers Justice”.

Saif Rahman | Public and Government Affairs

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Saif Rahman serves on Board of Directors of The Family and Youth Institute. He grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated with a Bachelors in International Relations from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, he has completed Master’s level work in Arabic and Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) while living in Cairo, Egypt.

Saif is a successful entrepreneur and currently serves as the Vice President of IWG and a Partner in JR Real Estate Group.  He has held senior posts in the Iraqi government, including Advisor to the Vice President of Iraq (2009), Chief of Staff to the Speaker of Parliament (2005), Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry & Minerals (2004) and the Director General of Research Directorate (2005-2007), for which he has won numerous regional awards. 

Saif Abdul-Rahman is married and has four children and is currently living in Falls Church, VA.

Muhammed Oda | Youth Director

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Muhammed Oda is currently the Youth Director of Dar Al-Hijrah. Oda is a writer, poet, lyricist, and entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder and former CNO of Muzbnb, community organizer and former Program Director of Center DC. Muhammed has developed curriculum ranging from youth leadership to performance techniques to Islamic Education for various communities and organizations in San Diego and the DMV. In his spare time, Muhammad enjoys hanging out with family friends, hitting up various coffee shops, learning from scholars and students of Deen and discovering new things. He looks forward to learning, growing and building with Dar Al-Hijrah!

Nacima Mechkour | Weekend School’s Principal