We could not have established or continued to sustain Stones to Bridges without the dedication, commitment and unconditional support from Our Counselors, Volunteers, Advisors and Donors.
Many are referenced here and others are anonymous; in either case, every single individual has been a blessing in forming a bridge that is improving the lives of our youth by supporting them in the struggles they face and empowering them to turn their Stones to Bridges. May Allah bless and reward all of you for your efforts. Meet our hardworking team!!
Meet “The Fatimas!” We have been blessed with a number of exceptionally trained and highly experienced mental health professionals to support you here at Stones to Bridges. They respond to your Dear Fatima struggles and write articles to help you turn your stones into bridges.
Fatima Mirza, PhD, MSW obtained her PhD and MSW in Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is a researcher working to better understand Muslim American families and the lives of Muslim American youth. She interested in learning what encourages their healthy development, and what things put them at risk. She plans to use this research to develop programs to help build strong families and communities that can better support Muslim American youth. Her clinical experience includes working with adult survivors of trauma, and doing individual therapy for people facing a variety of life’s challenges.
Abdallah Ezekiel Rothman is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensed in the District of Columbia and Virginia and a Board Certified- Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) . He received his Masters in Psychology from Antioch University in Seattle, Washington. In addition to his academic and clinical training in western psychology, Abdallah studies Islamic Psychology with leaders in the field both in the U.S. and abroad and is currently doing doctorate level research on the development of an Islamicaly-oriented treatment model. He served as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University for four years and he established Shifaa Integrative Counseling, LLC in the Northern VA and DC area. He is currently living overseas in the United Arab Emirates, but he continues to do some counseling with DC area locals via phone and/or videoconference.
Suphia Dadabhoy is currently a PhD candidate at American University. She is currently providing part-time research assistance and part-time individual therapy in an on campus program. Her approach is heavily based on cognitive-behavioral, family systems, multicultural and developmental frameworks. Her clinical interest include: substance abuse, religious and spiritual issues, anxiety, and depression. Her goal is to use her research to develop and support ongoing programs in American Muslim communities that will help families start off with a strong foundation.
Afshana Haque, PhD, LMFT, is an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and the director of her private practice, Muslim Family Support. Afshana conducts face to face and online therapy with Muslim families with a focus on relational issues (ie. problems in the marriage, with in-laws, with adolescent and younger children, spiritual issues etc.). Afshana has earned her Ph.D. from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX and completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake. As an Assistant Professor, Afshana teaches Cross Cultural Perspectives of the Family, Introduction to Family Therapy, Psychopathology, Substance Abuse Treatments, Practicum and Individual and Family Development Across the Lifespan.
Malahat Baig-Amin, LCSW, LICSW, is a psychotherapist licensed in the District of Columbia and Virginia and Board Certified in Domestic Violence and Traumatic Stress. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Social Work & International Social Welfare from Columbia University in New York. Her post-graduate work has involved both national and international experiences focusing on violence against women, gender and human rights. She utilizes her knowledge and studies in Islam, multiculturalism and psychology in her practice with her Muslim clients and ascribes to an empowerment approach based on a strengths model of treatment to assist clients in overcoming challenges they may face. She consults for the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund and maintains private practice offices in DC and VA.
Dr Arif Shoaib, MD, is a psychiatrist practicing in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Sind medical College Karachi, and conducted research at UT Houston in Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder and Depression. His internship was in psychiatry at Duke University Durham, NC, and General Adult Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine Houston, and Fellowship was in Child and adolescent psychiatry from UT Houston. He was medical director in a Children’s unit for a couple of years after his graduation. He has been to Kosovo and Kashmir on medical missions to help the traumatized patients. He has been volunteering at Houston Shifa clinic since 1998. Currently he is in private practice with both adults and children as his patients. He sees patients with depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD and substance abuse disorders. He is currently affiliated with Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, where he is the director of General Adult Unit.
Sarah Ansari, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in 2006, and her Masters in Community Counseling from Argosy University in 2010. She is an American-Muslim, of South-Asian decent and culturally aware, understanding the challenges families and individuals experience when major life transitions (e.g., marriage, divorce, death, relocating, etc.) happen. She’s also able to relate to people of different faiths, ethnicities, race and background. She has worked in an agency named Family Intervention Specialists, Inc. providing in-home counseling in the community, and also has experience of working in a private practice setting. She enjoys working with adult and adolescent females (ages 13+) who struggle with suicidal ideations/thoughts, self-harm or bodily harm, depression, anxiety, anger, relationship issues and other life or mental health concerns. The interventions she uses are based in DBT but is eclectic in her approach. “I absolutely love and enjoy what I do. My ultimate goal is to help the community in ending mental health stigma. Taking care of your mind is as important as taking care of your body. I understand that talking to a random stranger can be scary; however there are times when we need to talk to someone who is going to be nonjudgmental, empathetic and provide the support we need. I work together with my clients in helping them solve their problems, listen to them and live a life they desire.”
Madiha Tahseen, M.A. is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is a researcher interested in Muslim American families and more specifically, the experiences of Muslim American youth. Her career goals are to research the factors that promote Muslim youth’s healthy development, as well as risk factors that negatively affects them. Another goal of Madiha’s is to use the findings from this research to create programs tailored towards the unique needs of Muslim-American families and youth. She believes that by investing in our Muslim youth, we are investing in the success of the entire Muslim Ummah.
Executive Board of Directors
We are a group of individuals from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds such as psychology, public health, engineering, business management/consulting, etc…just wanting to make a difference. Through our own personal lives, volunteer work, and professional work, we’ve come to appreciate the very real issues and challenges youth face, which are not always discussed as freely as should be and have typically been treated as taboo. None of us previously knew one another, but through the grace of a higher plan, Allah brought the four of us, Huda Akhavannik, Sanjana Quasem, Madiha Tahseen, and Aneela Charania, together in 2010. We decided that we wanted to provide an open space for youth to be able to pose the issues/struggles they face which they might not have a place to address otherwise, and to share their stories and support one another, as anonymously as they wanted. This was the beginning of our journey. It is our prayer and our hope that we can continue to expand our efforts and be a place where youth can continue their own “bridge building” journey in the years to come.
A special thanks to Saud Inam for bringing us together for this very special cause that was near to each of our hearts in our own ways. May Allah continue to bless him in his continuous efforts to improve the lives of the Muslim community.
Volunteers, Advisors and Contributors
Stones to Bridges was originally established and sustained for the first several years on a completely volunteer basis. It’s through generous contributions from our volunteers, advisors and contributors including financial contributions, IT services, marketing, social networking, graphic design, experiences working with youth, sharing of ideas, etc and most of all sincere care and concern, that collectively we all formed a bridge that is improving the lives of our youth by supporting them in the struggles they face and empowering them to turn their Stones to Bridges.
Without Allah’s blessings, and the sincere intentions of these dedicated individuals to make an impact in the lives of the youth, Stones to Bridges would not have been able to better the lives of those it has and of those we hope to in the future.
Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda, Abdullah Jangda (Salam Studios), Wajid Mirza (Arthur Lawrence Consulting), Sophia Ahmed, John Bhaktul, Aliza Farooq, Hussain Jinnah, Sanah Jivani, Aasia Ansari Khan, Fariha Mahmood, Imaan Meghani, Amber Meghani, Alisha Dhanani, Nafiz Tafader, Sharmin Ullah, Fatima Hussain, Zehra Quadri, Haniyyah Taufique, and so many others.