Dr. Irfan is a founding member of the Deen Arts Foundation and is president of its Board of Directors. He specializes in Interventional Pain Medicine and is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and operated multiple companies in several different areas. He has been a patron of Muslim artists and supporters of the Islamic sacred arts for 20 years.
Dr. Kashif Irfan
Dr. Ogunnaike is an assistant professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and a Deen Arts Foundation board member. He teaches courses on Islam, Islamic Philosophy, Spirituality, and Art and African and African Diasporic Religions. He holds a Ph.D. in African Studies and the Study of Religion from Harvard University and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University's Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
Dr. Oludamini Ogunnaike
Board of Directors & Administration
Noura Shamma has 20+ years of experience as a teacher, counselor, and youth advisor worldwide. She has studied the Islamic sciences with leading scholars in Malaysia, Morocco, Jordan, the USA, and Turkey, focusing on the Sirah and Sunnah of our beloved Prophet ﷺ. In addition, she has helped develop multiple Islamic educational programs for children and adults both online and in person.
Dr. Naeel Cajee
Dr. Cajee is a Harvard-trained endodontist and board member of the Deen Arts Foundation. He is a hafiz and cantillator of the Qur’an and a longtime apprentice of Mohamed Zakariya and other master artists. He brings first-hand knowledge of Islamic arts pedagogy and an intimate knowledge of the fine arts scene in Istanbul.
Inayet F. Sahin
Inayet Sahin is a founding member and the Executive Director at Deen Arts Foundation. She was a former president of Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA). She is passionate about the Islamic fine arts, fluent in English and Turkish, and can converse and read Arabic.
Farzana Razzaque Hoca is the Program Director at Deen Arts Foundation. She is a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Farzana Hoca has been studying calligraphy and tezhip for over 5 years. She has received her Ijazah, the permission to teach the Thuluth and Naskh scripts in the Ottoman tradition, from her teachers Master Calligraphers Haji Noor Deen Hoca and Ahmet Kutluhan Hoca. Farzana Hoca is also studying tezhip, the art of illumination with Master Tezhip Artist Fatma Ulusoy Sirajuddin Hoca.
Nawaar Abdus-Salam is the community development manager at Deen Arts Foundation. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas. As a manager, Nawaar will be facilitating community planning and projects, as well as supporting and enhancing students’ learning experiences. Nawaar is also a student of Calligraphy and Tezhip under the master calligrapher Shahryanshah Sirajuddin and master illumination artist Fatma Ulusoy Sirajuddin.
Nur Fathiah A'bdussamad
Nur Fathiah A'bdussamad is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She is a graduate of Al Azhar with a degree in Arabic Language and Literature. She received her Calligraphy certificate from IRCICA in Maghribi, Riq'ah, Diwani, and Jaliy Diwani scripts and is currently learning Moroccan Zakhrafah and geometry under a Moroccan crafter. She is also under the tutelage of Haji Noor Deen Hoca in Arabic calligraphy in Chinese style under Deen Arts Program.
Yasmine Ahmed is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She has studied Quran and Arabic in Egypt and has Ijazah in 4 variant readings of The Quran. She teaches in the UK alongside being a calligraphy student of Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen Hoca in the Thuluth and Naskh Scripts.
Zulfar Tofie Samodien
Zulfar Tofie Samodien is the course facilitator for Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen’s classes at Deen Arts Foundation. A passionate student of the Quran, Arabic Language, and Arabic Calligraphy scripts, she is a graduate of the Darun Na’im Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Cape Town, South Africa.
Besides her love for Arabic Calligraphy, Zulfar has also undertaken lessons in Ebru in Istanbul and South Africa. She is currently studying the Thuluth & Naskh Scripts in the Ottoman tradition and Arabic Calligraphy in Chinese Style under Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen.
Alaa Elamin is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She studied Psychology at Pennsylvania State University and trained as a social skills therapist at UCLA. Alaa is currently a traditional artist. She studied Tezhip and Ebru in Istanbul from master artists Alparslan Babaoğlu and Dilara Yarcı. And is currently studying Arabic Calligraphy in the Chinese Style and Thuluth and Naskh script in the Ottoman tradition under Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen.
Sare Güngördü is a translator at Deen Arts Foundation. She holds a bachelor's degree in Islamic studies from Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University in Istanbul. She teaches and speaks Turkish, English, and Arabic. Currently, she is working at IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation and completing her master’s at Marmara University.
Moina Sajjad is the Moderator for Master Calligrapher Haji Noor Deen’s classes at Deen Arts Foundation. She is a mixed media artist who focuses on art inspired by the beauty of God's creations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St Joseph college Karachi, Pakistan.
She studied fine arts under the guidance of renowned artist Syful Islam and is currently a student of Arabic Calligraphy in Chinese style under Master Calligrapher Hoca Haji Noor Deen.