Meet the Volunteer Department - Islamic Relief USA

Meet the stellar team that keeps our volunteer efforts going around the country. To connect with any of us, please email volunteers@irusa.org.

Said Durrah

Assistant Director of Volunteer Engagement

I have the honor of overseeing our volunteer department team which includes over 25,000 of the most amazing and dedicated volunteers from all over the United States. The volunteer department, also known as the Volunteer Management Office (VMO), is one of the many fulfilling departments at Islamic Relief USA because we get to be a part of everything our organization does to help people in need around the world.
My journey with IRUSA began as a volunteer! In 2013, I joined IRUSA as a full time staff and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Since that time I have held several positions within our volunteer department and our fundraising team. I have traveled the world on behalf of IRUSA to ensure the desperately needed support reaches the most vulnerable sisters and brothers and those experiences have molded me into the person I am today. We are so blessed to be given the opportunity to serve humanity and be among those that Allah swt has chosen to do this incredible work.
Volunteers have always been the backbone of the work we do. It is the most humbling experience to work alongside our BLUESHIRTS and feel that energy and passion they have to help their neighbor regardless if that means organizing a fundraiser, packaging a food box, rebuilding a home damaged from a storm, sorting clothes for newly arrived refugees, or even provide administrative support in our many offices.
Our goal at IRUSA is to one day live in a world where organizations like ours are no longer needed. We dream of a place where every mother, father, and child can wake up and have everything they need to survive and live a fulfilling life full of equal opportunity and access to their basic needs. In order to reach that place it will take a lot of work but IRUSA is ready to face that challenge side by side with our volunteers and supporters. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. Together, we can achieve anything. We are ready and we know our thousands of Blueshirt volunteers are ready too. Are you ready? See you at the next project, inshAllah!

Dima Akach

Lead Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Being personally impacted by the Syrian crisis, I became more passionate about helping people in need. I have years of experience in working with humanitarian organizations and refugee resettlement agencies and was fortunate to work closely with volunteers along those years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing, and my interest in having a career path in the nonprofit world was the reason I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Global Development and Peace with a minor in Communication Studies. Working with IRUSA made me even more inspired by the generosity of time and talent our amazing volunteers offer to enable us to deliver vital programs and services to help more people around the world.

My favorite quote is when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: “Be merciful to those on the earth, so the One above the heavens will be merciful to you.” And I am glad to believe that the work we do with the volunteers is a manifestation of being merciful towards others.”

Ali Mir

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Southwest Region

The values of Islamic Relief USA resonate with me deeply, and I am grateful to be able to use any skill set Allah has given me for His sake. I am thrilled to learn about the various cultures of the world and hold a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine. I also studied Professional Communications at California State University, Fullerton where I obtained my Masters degree.

I LOVE being a volunteer engagement specialist out of sunny Southern California! I engage all southwest volunteers through service projects, general body meetings, open house events and other fun activities. I also enjoy interpersonal communication and love learning more about people – so you may even know my alternate persona behind the microphone: DJ Halal! My favorite IRUSA project has to be our Meal Pack Outs since there is nothing like packaging thousands of meals in just a few hours for those in need around the world.

My favorite quote is: “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” (Jalal al-din Rumi)

Amrah Masud

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Southcentral Region

Growing up, I always saw my late father opening up his home for Kashmiri refugees and raising funds for Tibetan refugees. He is my inspiration and my role model. So when I graduated college with a B.A. in Psychology, I worked at a refugee resettlement agency where I learned about all the barriers refugees face when they arrive in the country. Alhamdulillah, after that humbling experience, I joined IRUSA.

Based in Dallas, I love working at IRUSA because I get to be a sadaqa jariya (continuous charity) for my dad every day. I can’t wait to sit with him in paradise, insha’Allah, and tell him all about our volunteer projects and how much of an impact those projects have had on so many people because of our amazing and dedicated volunteers! Thank you and I hope to meet you at our upcoming project!

A man asked the Prophet (pbuh), “What Islamic traits are the best?” The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Feed the people, and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.” [Bukhari 6236]. Alhamdulillah, I get to practice the best Islamic traits by working at IRUSA

Shawana Javaid

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Mid Atlantic Region

My first vivid memory and lesson in seeing charity in action was when I was in middle school and visited my grandmother overseas. She used to pull money from her purse and hand it out to the group of poor women in the neighborhood who would line up at her front door. This was a weekly occurrence and she was so gracious in her generosity, never turning anyone away.

From that moment, I had made an intention to follow not just my grandmother’s footsteps, but the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was sent as a mercy to mankind and in working with Islamic Relief, I hope to implement that trait of being merciful and being a source of benefit. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and also crossed over to teaching English, World History and ESL for nearly seven years in various schools. I absolutely believe in the vision and mission of Islamic Relief as it aligns with my own personal values and beliefs. May the work we do here continue to impact those who are needy and deserving of our attention and care.

One of my favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Wsmah Siddiqui

Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Midwest Region

My name is Wsmah Siddiqui and I serve as the Midwest Volunteer Engagement Specialist for the Volunteer Department. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a B.A. in Public Health with a concentration in non-profits. I am based in Chicago and have the responsibility of implementing engagement opportunities and service projects for volunteers within the 12 Midwest states. I have the pleasure of working with our incredible volunteers that choose to give up their valuable time to come together and work hard to help us with our mission to alleviate poverty and hunger here in the United States and around the world. This is exactly why I got into nonprofit work in the first place. This kind of work fights for the underserved and marginalized populations who most of the world forgets about. However, our dedicated volunteers and donors never forget, and I absolutely love working alongside them to help as many people as we possibly can.

One of my favorite quotes is, “And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” IR volunteers and donors are already making an extraordinary impact on the world and every day that impact increases to something even more monumental.

Yasmin Mahmoud

National Volunteer Resource Coordinater

My name is Yasmin Mahmoud and I serve as the National Volunteer Resource coordinator at IRUSA. I obtained a double B.A. in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to my bachelor’s, I have researched Global Development and Humanitarian Aid in both the United States and the Middle East. I am based in VA and get to spend a lot of time with volunteers at our new Volunteer & Distribution Center in Springfield, VA. My life’s mission is to alleviate world hunger, and poverty. In addition, I love my work at IRUSA because I get to work with amazing volunteers with similar values. I am passionate about volunteering and working alongside individuals who dedicate both time, and efforts to fulfill the IRUSA mission. Thank you and hope to see you at our upcoming projects!

My favorite quote is when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: “Be merciful to those on the earth, so the One above the heavens will be merciful to you.” And I am glad to believe that the work we do with the volunteers is a manifestation of being merciful towards others.

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