Dr. Mandy Terc is a leading expert on the topics of economic development and entrepreneurship in the Middle East. She serves as the Executive Director of the Middle Eastern Research and Information Project. Previously, she served as director of the Sheikh Faisal Center for Entrepreneurship in the Middle East at DePaul University where she developed programs to strengthen Qatar’s entrepreneurial capacity and to connect entrepreneurs in Doha and Chicago. Dr. Terc has written extensively about the region’s new generation of entrepreneurs. She conducted 18 months of field research on entrepreneurship organizations in Syria and speaks fluent Arabic. Dr. Terc holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Michigan.
Abdalla Aljubori was born in Baghdad/Iraq and raised between Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia and his hometown Baghdad. He graduated from New Jersey City University in 2015 with a B.S in Accounting. He worked with multiple NGOs supporting the refugees in the U.S & internationally and prompting interfaith/cultural dialogue. Currently, he is a Relationship Manager with Bank of America.
Amina Najib is a Palestinian American, born and raised in the Chicagoland area. Being the daughter of a Palestinian in exile has informed her personal and professional interest in international human rights, particularly concerning the Middle East. As a child she spent significant time with family in Jordan. As an adult she volunteered with Al Haq (a legal human rights NGO) in Ramallah, Palestine. Ms Najib has worked in the field of immigration law for ten years. She is currently an associate attorney with the law offices of Kempster, Corcoran, Quiceno and Lenz-Calvo, Ltd., where she practices immigration law exclusively. Her practice is focused on asylum, U visas, benefits for victims of domestic violence, family-based immigration, naturalization, removal defense and federal court litigation. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a member of the Arab American Bar Association. She was previously a supervising attorney with the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Mahmoud Al Ali, PhD
Mahmoud is an Iraqi asylee who came to the United States in 2012 after having taught in several universities in Iraq for over thirty years as a Professor of Literature. He has written and published seven books since arriving in Chicago, and is working on his eighth. His passion for serving on the MIRA Board comes from the belief that Mankind is one single nation, and his duty in life is to help one another.
Thaer Al Hisnawi
Thaer is an Iraqi refugee who currently works with the Illinois Department of Human Services, and previously worked at MIRA as a Child and Family Services Case Manager. He is an experienced Interpreter with a demonstrated history of working in the logistics and supply chain industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Operations Management, Microsoft Word, English, and Management. Strong professional with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) focused in Electronic & Communication Engineering from Baghdad University, Iraq.
Roula Amire is a proud daughter of an Iraqi immigrant. She is first generation, born in Ohio to an Iraqi father and Syrian mother. She is a journalist and current vice president of Editorial at Ragan Communications. She is a former newspaper and magazine reporter, and graduated from Miami University of Ohio. Although from Ohio, she is an unabashed University of Michigan football fan.
Ala’ is a designer and educator with over 12 years of experience creating brand strategies, user interfaces/ user experiences, exhibits, and learning games. He has worked with NGOs, for-profits, start- ups, museums, and social issue campaigns. He applies design principles to further a range of business strategies and social impact missions. Ala’ has helped efforts to: increase 1st generation college applicants, expand STEM education, support multilingualism, curtail street harassment, and build a movement against the death penalty.
Maha Issa holds a doctorate in Urban Planning from Baghdad University in Iraq, where she lived until coming to the United States as a refugee. In Iraq she taught Urban Planning at Dohuk University in the Kurdistan Region, and she also served as a Fullbright Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology working on the Iraq Reconstruction Project. Her previous volunteer experience includes serving as an Advisor and volunteer in AVER NGO Organization for Supporting Health and Social Issues for refugees and Women.
Zinah Kadhim is originally from Iraq. She is currently working with Heartland Health Clinics as a certified Health Counselor. She came to US in 2013 and volunteered with Non Profits like MIRA, Life Span, Heartland Alliance. From 2016-2018 she worked with MIRA for two years as the Child and Family Specialist. She is honored to be a member of MIRA Board, especially because she is part from the community and has previous experience with MIRA and can serve as an ambassador and community representative.
Allen Yalda is originally from Iraq and owns the Assyrian-themed coffee shop Anu Coffee in Niles. He has been deeply involved in the Assyrian-Iraqi community in Chicago since moving to the United States as a refugee.