Speakers

Here below are some of the invited speakers.  Note that this list comprises confirmed guest speakers.

Note: It’s with regret to announce that Sheikh Mohammed Hamiddin couldn’t physically attend the convention. However, we are planning to arrange a session for him via Skype.

Sheikh Mohammed Hamiddin
Sheikh Mohammed Hamiddin (planned for Skype session)

Sheikh Mohammed Hamiddin is one of renowned Ethiopian scholars. He studied and received teaching certifications from great scholars like the late Sheikh Mohammed Rafi (may his soul be forgiven) in Ethiopia and in internationally acclaimed Islamic schools including the Al-Azhar. Sheikh Mohammed is famous in his eloquently presented lecture series that include Quran Commentary and the story of the Prophets. He is also very well known in his Al-Fatawa (a kind of Q & A) program in Africa TV and in regularly offering Friday Prayer sermons in different Mosques in Sudan and South Africa. Some of his works are compiled in a website created by his name: www.SheikhMohammedHamiddin.com.

Dr Abdella Turkey
Dr Abdella Kedir

Dr Abdella received his PhD in Islamic Studies from Imam Muhammed ibn Sau’d Islamic University, Islamic Law faculty in Riyadh; Masters in Islamic Studies from Imam Muhammed ibn Sau’d Islamic University, Islamic Law faculty in Riyad; Masters in Linguistics / Arabic Philology from Addis Ababa University; and Bachelor Degree in Islamic Da’wa from Al-Imam Muhammed ibn Sau’d Islamic University. He is currently teaching Arabic language at Ondukuz Mayis University in Turkey. Previously, he served as dean and supervisor of the Arabic Section in Awelia College (Ethiopia) since its establishment in 2006 to 2012; as lecturer of Islamic law in Jimma University (Ethiopia) Law Faculty (2007-2009); as lecturer in Addis Ababa University, Linguistic Faculty, Philology Department (2006); as head of the Ethiopian relief and aid Committee for drought and starvation under the supervision of the Ethiopian Embassy in Riyadh twice in 1999 and 2001G.C; as resident of the Board for Ethiopian International School in Riyadh (1999-2003); as a director of the Study and research in The Mosque and Charity Department in Riyadh for 14 years (1410-1423H./1990-2003). He published books and papers on Islamic cultural heritage in Ethiopia, and Arabic words usage in Ethiopian linguistics.

Seikh Omar Suleiman
Sheikh Omar Suleiman

Seikh Omar Suleiman is director of the Islamic Learning Foundation (www.ilmflix.com) and resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center. He is also instructor and Academic Advisor at Mishkah University, instructor at Al Maghrib Institute and instructor at Bayyinah Institute.

Us Wisam Sharieff
Ustadh Wisam Sharieff

Ustadh Wisam Sharieff is the founder and director of AQL Online (Advocating Quranic Literacy), an institute focused on educating people and communities on how to read, recite, reflect upon, and retain the Quran. He has taught over 20,000 students worldwide through workshops, traveling seminars, online instruction, and his studies at home and abroad. Imam Wisam is a teacher, a Qari, and a public speaker whose vision is to bring the Book and Message of Allah to people around the world. Imam Wisam began his Islamic education under Mufti Abdullah Saleem at the Institute of Islamic Education (IIE) in Elgin, Illinois. He then continued at the Quran Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, under the personal guidance of Dr. Israr Ahmed (R)​, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Arabic grammar and a minor in Arabic literature. Imam Wisam has studied under scholars in Makkah and in Egypt, and earned his ijazah in the Hafs-an-Asim recitation. He is also a certified radiology technician. ​In addition to his curriculum development work and teaching responsibilities with AQL, he is studying the varying recitations of the Quran, known as ashara qiraat, with Sheikh Uthman Khan

Sheikh Gyasi Mckinzie
Sheikh Gyasi Mckinzie

Sh. Gyasi (Ja-see) Mckinzie was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Memphis, TN. He accepted Islam while in high school. He is a graduate from the Islamic University of Madinah and also holds a Masters degree from Vanderbilt University in Theological Studies. Sh. Gyasi Mckinzie has nearly 15 years of experience providing Islamic leadership to schools and organizations. Besides having served as Imam of the Muslim Society of Memphis and as chaplain at two federal prisons, he has been the Youth Director of the Youth and Dawah Center in Memphis, TN. He has also served as an Islamic Studies teacher and school counselor at Pleasant View School and the Islamic school of Irving respectively. Currently, Sh. Gyasi works for Helping Hand for Relief and Development as the associate director of Marketing & outreach for the US south central region. Additionally, Sh. Gyasi teaches classes with Mishkah University and Al-Kauthar Institute. Sh. Gyasi lives in Euless, TX with his family. When not spending time with the youth and volunteer activities, he loves reading and going fishing.

Dawud Walid
Dawud Walid

Mr. Walid is the Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), a chapter of America’s largest advocacy and civil liberties organization for Muslims. Mr. Walid is a preacher of Islamic faith delivering sermons at Islamic centers across America and is a political blogger for the Detroit News. Mr. Walid has spoken at more than 30 institutions of higher learning about Islam and interfaith dialogue including DePaul University, Harvard University and the University of the Virgin Islands. He has presented on prominent panel discussions with international leaders and academics including the 2008 and 2011 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Conventions and the 2009 and 2010 Malian Peace & Tolerance Conferences held in Bamako, Mali, which were attended by religious scholars from 12 different countries.

Ustaz Monzer Taleb
Ustaz Monzer Taleb

Monzer Taleb is a teacher at Bayyinah Institute; a resident scholar and community advisor in the Dallas / Fort Worth area in Texas for the past 30 years; motivational Speaker for local and national Masjeds and Islamic organizations for the past 20 years. He conducted many seminars in leadership, family, youth workshop, and series of Prophet MOHAMMAD & the companions. He is one of the founding fathers of Brighter Horizons Academy and the youth center in Dallas, Texas; served as a member of the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees in many Masjeds and Organizations. He has been in IT and Telecommunication Business for 20yrs.

Sheikh Jemal Beshir Ahmed
Sheikh Jemal Beshir Ahmed
Jemal Beshir studied Islamic Fiqh in Ethiopia on Ethiopian Sheyikhs like Haj Zaynu Muqano (Rahimahullah) and received his B.A  from Madinah Islamic university. He worked with World Quraan Hifz organization for 7 years. He has also worked with Africa TV as program coordinator. Currently, he works on Islamic Researches in Darul Hijra Islamic center; teaches and delivers Friday Qhutbaas (sermons) at different mosques in Virginia. He also travels to different states in the USA for Daewah related programs.
Terje Østebø, Assistant Professor
Terje Østebø, Assistant Professor

Terje Østebø holds a joint appointment in the Department of Religion and the Center for African Studies. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from Stockholm University. Before joining the faculty of the University of Florida, he was an Assistant Professor at NLA University College in Bergen, Norway. His main areas of research are Islam in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and in the Horn of Africa, and he has extensive field-work and research experience from Ethiopia. His recent book (Brill, Leiden) focuses on the emergence and trajectory of the Salafi movement in Ethiopia from the late 1960s to the present. It offers a nuanced understanding of the interaction between the outside (global) and the local, with a particular focus on the role of agents of change in relation to audience, and explores the process of religious change as a dialectic development.

Abadir M. Ibrahim
Abadir M. Ibrahim

Abadir Ibrahim, an International Law Consultant Maney& Gordon, P.A., is a J.S.D. (Juris Science Doctorate) Candidate at St. Thomas University School of Law. He is an expert in International Law and International Human Rights. Previously, he has been a federal prosecutor at the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice and held adjunct and guest positions teaching law in the United States and Ethiopia. He has authored and reviewed several articles/books in his areas of expertise that include human rights and democracy in addition to the current Ethiopian Muslim movement. Abadir is currently working on a case submitted to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights regarding the violation of the freedom of religion and other rights in connection with the Arbitration Committee of Ethiopian Muslims.

Henok Gabisa
Henok Gabisa

Ethiopian Lawyer with extensive experience in human rights teachings and advocacy and Judicial Training, Henok holds LL.B/JD from Mekelle University in Ethiopia, LL.M from St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida and currently a PhD candidate at the same school researching on ‘Judicial Reform and Rule of Law in Africa’. Henok has worked as a Trainer in Ethiopian Judicial Training Institute where he delivered continuous short-term training for sitting judges, prosecutors and judicial officers. He taught human rights courses on an adjunct basis at Royal University College and Wolayita Sodo University Faculty of Law in Ethiopia. He is the founder of Public Defender Association in Oromia region of Ethiopia along with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), the New York based Pro Bono Organization. Henok has produced human rights training and teaching manuals and published articles and commentaries on the Ethiopian Justice System. Currently, Henok is affiliated with Washington and Lee University School of Law as an International Law Fellow and is designing an academic project on global and continental litigation of rights by the Law School.

Sister Leah Seyoum-Tesfa

Leah Seyoum is founder and President at REACh Families; co-founder and chair at F.U.S.E; supporter at Community for Permanent Supported Housing (CPSH). Working with EHPA, Ethiopian Health Professional Association and REACh-Families, she has done various autism awareness presentations for parents, faith based organizations, and leaders in the East African Community in the DFW area. She passionately works to reach families to act quickly and access early intervention services when their children exhibit developmental delay.

Alia Salem
Sister Alia Salem

Alia Salem is the Executive Director for the DFW Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She is a committed activist working for social justice, tolerance, and understanding in her community. To work towards these priorities her focus is placed on developing positive and just social change through community activism, coalition building, media engagement and civic empowerment. As an eighth generation Texan with Egyptian roots, Alia is a proud Fort Worth native and resident with strong ties to the entire DFW community.

Sister Dunia Shuaib
Sister Dunia Shuaib

Dunia Shuaib is becoming a known speaker especially for the youth in the Dalls/Fortworth metroplex. In addtion, she works on a radio show called Deen with Dunia which serves as a platform for Muslims who are striving to create and or maintain a harmonious relationship between their Deen and dunya.

Qari Abdelkarim Edghouch
Qari Abdelkarim Edghouch

Qari Sheikh Abdelkarim Edghouch was born in Morocco, moved to the US in 2000. He memorized the entire Quran at the age of nine, after that he studied the Seven recitations. He participated in many Quranic Contests, locally in Morocco, and internationally, in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and others,and was ranked first place in most of them. He was ranked first place among 20,000 contestants at the Hassan II Award (former King of Morocco). He is a graduate of Quranic Institute In Rabat, Morocco. He used to be the official reciter for the local Moroccan TV channels before he moved to the States. He has an Ijaza with an authentic chain from him to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him). He is now located in Dallas, Texas where he works as the Director of a Quranic Institute. He was the official reciter at Reviving the Islamic Spirit in Toronto, Canada (2007). In Ramadan he travels around the USA to lead people in Taraweeh Prayer.

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