Archiving the Heritage of the First Purpose – Built Mosque 2017 – 2018

Project Manager

Tharik Hussain

Tharik is a freelance journalist, travel writer and broadcaster who specialises in the Muslim heritage of the West. His articles about Muslim heritage in Europe and America regularly appear in news and travel sites across the world from the BBC to Arab News, and he is one of the only Muslim Destination Guide Writers for Lonely Planet. In 2016, Tharik’s two- part radio documentary for the BBC World Service, exploring the Muslim heritage of America was named the ‘World’s Best Religious Program’ at the New York Festivals Radio Awards and shortlisted for the AIBs in London. He has an MA in Islamic Studies and has travelled extensively across the Muslim world. Tharik is also a qualified Lecturer of Further Education with over 10 years of teaching experience in the UK and Middle East.

Laura Jones

Laura is based in Cardiff where she recently completed an MA in Islam in Contemporary Britain and is hoping to continue contributing to research on Muslims in Britain in the future. Her academic interest was sparked by practical experience working with Muslim communities through FOSIS (the Federation of Student Islamic Societies) Wales, Ihsaan Social Support Association Wales and the Muslim Council of Wales. She is also qualified as a Muslim chaplain having achieved an MTh in Chaplaincy Studies in 2015 and having worked as a university chaplain for several years. Her research interests include inter-faith dialogue and activity, Muslim perspectives on mental health, and Muslims in the public sphere – she is particularly interested in how British Muslims contribute to the public sphere via Fraser’s (1992) theory of ‘subaltern counter publics’.

Sadia Irfan

Sadia has a degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a PGCE in Primary Education. She has taught in primary schools in the UK and Dubai. She was the first non-Arab to teach Islamic Education in a British school in the UAE and was commended by school inspectors for her interactive style of teaching. She is currently developing an e-learning app for Islamic Education. As a Woking resident and student of history, Sadia is passionate about the long term importance of archiving the history of Shah Jahan Masjid. She is pleased to support Everyday Muslim as a volunteer interviewer.

Samantha Brown

Sam is a freelance documentary producer, and has worked on projects for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. She has a passion for history that stems from childhood, and enjoys nothing more than days spent at archives, searching through old documents for clues about the past. A graduate of Arabic & Islamic Studies from SOAS, her dissertation was written on Muslim-Christian relations in the 17th Century. She loves unearthing forgotten tales from Britain’s multicultural past, and believes it is important to preserve and tell the stories from our shared heritage.

Ruby Smith

Ruby is a recent graduate from the University of Westminster with a degree in BA Arabic and Literature. She spent her year abroad between Rabat, Morocco and Cairo, Egypt where she found the inspiration for her dissertation question: ‘Flexibility of the Shari’ah: to what extent does Islamic Law allow for variation in the hijaab.’ Ruby explored traditional Islamic scholarly texts in light of the current dialogue surrounding Britishness and Islam. She is now pursuing a career in the heritage sector. Ruby is excited by this project, understanding the value of having a go-to source of accessible information on British Muslim heritage and its importance in our society today.

Naji Ali

Naji Ali, is the interfaith director for Qal’bu Maryam Women’s led Mosque in Berkeley, CA. He is the president of Muslims For Progressive Values S.F./Bay Area MPV S.F./Bay Area) and serves on the community Community Council Board of MPV/USA. Ali is a staunch advocate for gender equality, LGBTQI rights, and is active in the progressive Muslim community in northern California. Currently he is studying to become an Imam online with The MECCA Institute. He lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife, Chrissy, and their mischievous cat named Mrs. Chippy.

Muntasir Sattar

Muntasir Sattar is a research consultant based in London. He has a doctorate in anthropology and has conducted research in the UK, the US, and Pakistan. His research focuses on urban life including but not limited to waste management, poverty, and education. In the capacity of a ‘recycling champion’ for his council, he spends his free time encouraging his neighbours and anyone in Westminster who will listen to about the virtues of recycling.

Faisal Hanif

Faisal Hanif is a freelance journalist having worked as a reporter at The Times and as a researcher at the BBC. He has an MA in History from SOAS and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University, London. He has a particular interest in the History of Islam and the History of early British Muslims and believes there is much work still to be done on the latter which remains a still relatively unexplored area.

Zaynab Abdullah

Zaynab Abdullah recently graduated from SOAS with a BA in History. Having had a lifelong interest in historical events and how they inform our day to day experiences, her degree gave her the opportunity to briefly look at the history of different Muslim communities. With this project, she now hopes to use her historical training to go deeper into the communities she has grown up with and celebrate their journeys. She is a strong believer in the ability of historical understanding to create stronger communities by building empathy and a stronger sense of belonging; and she is very excited to work with a project that shares those same aims.

Sadiya Ahmed – Project Planner/Director and Fundriaser

Sadiya Ahmed is Director and Founder of the Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative first established in 2013. She has been instrumental in fundraising, project planning and managing heritage and archive projects on the subject of British Muslim history and heritage. She has initiated and brokered collaborations and partnerships with museums and archives, academics, artists, media professionals and community groups across Britain.

She established the community group Khizra Foundation in 2010 to tackle the lack of representation of the Muslim community across the heritage sector. Subsequently, the Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative was established as an umbrella project that has formally begun to archive of British Muslim life in the UK.