Meet Our Dedicated Team
Meet the talented individuals of our team who bring together our members. We start with a proven track record and a careful screening process, followed by a detailed interview. We select only those matchmakers and counselors that bring with them the talent to bring people together and those of the strongest moral integrity since all your information is kept confidential. We hope you’ll enjoying working with them as much as we do.
Anwar is a serial entrepreneur and is a MIT Sloan graduate. Anwar has significant experience innovating technical products and solutions. He's a US patent holder and a winner of several innovation awards.
Asad is a management consultant and a published author. He attained his Master’s in Engineering and Management with concentration in Technology Entrepreneurship. He is working closely with the community leaders and Imams in addressing challenges as it relates to spousal search, sustainable marriages, and building happy families & communities. He is also involved with other community based projects through Mishkah University.
Saman is Beyond chai's experienced matchmaker. She received her bachelors degree in communications from the University of North Florida. She is an active member of the American Muslim community and really enjoys meeting new people, building relationships with American Muslim organizations and connecting them with like minded people for marriage, future collaborations and as friends! Saman has previously worked as the Public Relations Coordinator for FAITH Social Services and was the Community Relations Director for Jacksonville chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Saman relies on broad inter-connected Muslim community to find suitable matches for her clients and her passion and dedication paves the way for many success stories.
Afsoon is originally from the Bay Area, California. She has earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in linguistics from UC Berkeley and the University of New Mexico, respectively. She is happily married to the love of her life and has a very active toddler. Her successful marriage has helped her understand the hard work and commitment it takes for a relationship to thrive as well as the various components that work together to ensure compatibility. Afsoon has become involved in Beyond Chai from an awareness of the common pressures many young Muslim singles face today and the desire to give back to the Muslim community and help other young Muslim couples find love and happiness. When she is not matchmaking, Afsoon works as an instructor for test prep for high school and college students.
Khadija Chudnoff was born in a tiny town in Northern New Mexico and has a liberal arts degree from the University of New Mexico. Because Khadija was from such a small town and her parents were converts to Islam, finding the right spouse seemed terrifying. However, Allah is the best of planners and in 2008 she found the one and got married! Eight years and two children later, Khadija is happily married and works to build bridges between diverse and beautiful Muslim cultures. When Khadija isn’t finding someone’s better half she enjoys going to the farmers' market with her family and cooking the fanciest thing she can think of.
Aasia currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and three beautiful children. She was raised on the East coast, and she holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a master's degree in Education. Aasia has been matchmaking for 7 years and has made successful matches that lead to marriage, alhamdulillah. She knows matchmakers from all over the country that she regularly connects with. When she is not matchmaking, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Kamila was born in England to convert parents but spent most of her childhood growing up in different Muslim communities in the U.S. She also spent a lot of time overseas living in the Muslim world and doing some studies when she could fit it in to being a mother and homeschooling children! Her experiences in many diverse, thriving Muslim communities and her drive to help people on a communal and personal level, gives her inspiration to give what she can in helping others find their companions in this life.
Nadia was born and raised in Canada where she currently lives with her husband and 3 wonderful daughters. She enjoys giving back to the Muslim community by volunteering for various non-Profit organizations. Nadia is fascinated by bringing different people together for the purpose of marriage and being a part of their success.
Kianaat is our youngest member and latest addition to the team. She's a young activist and humanitarian at heart. Although frequently mistaken for every nationality but her own, she is of Pakistani-American/Irish decent. Her mom’s conversion at 18 and her parent’s constant support and example, gave her inspiration to walk her own journey with Islamic studies at the same age. Currently pursuing Entrepreneurship with Kennesaw State University and an Islamic degree from California Islamic University, Kianaat works with Beyond Chai in hopes of catching some of Allah’s promised blessings given for bringing people together for marriage. She wears many hats at Beyond Chai, including customer success, finance, and marketing.
Amatullah is an active member of her Muslim community. As a licensed social worker, she spent several years connecting families to each other and to useful resources. Now, she aims to help people on a more personal level. A second generation American Muslim, she has concerns for the social challenges minorities face, especially when looking to get married. She is passionate about removing racial and cultural barriers to marriage, allowing focus on other important characteristics as a means of completing faith and finding happiness.
Shradha has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Master’s degree in
Creative Brand Management. She is a creative and empathetic professional who
believes in the importance of helping others find and maintain healthy, happy
relationships. She is happily married to the love of her life. She joined Beyond
Chai because she believes in the company’s holistic approach, and the hard work
her fellow matchmakers and coaches put into their efforts on behalf of their
clients. She holds the “look beyond” message dear to her heart as she believes
that you don’t truly know someone until you look deeper. When Shradha is not
matchmaking, she is either thinking about her clients or spending time outdoors
with her husband and dog Luke. She’s also excited by the leaves changing colors
in the fall, thunderstorms, children, and animals.
Sharifa has been involved in her local Muslim community and Islamic School in various capacities since she was a child. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed in Education. Sharifa finds true pleasure in trying to make a difference in people's lives; especially when it comes to helping people unite in the sacred bond of marriage. She lives in Maryland, and loves going on long walks with her best friend and husband, and her two beautiful boys, alhamdulillah.
Coaches & Consultants
Maliha is a Marriage and Family Therapist from Connecticut. Raised in the US Maliha has traveled over most of the country and abroad and is currently residing in Connecticut. She has a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and Bachelors in Clinical Psychology. Maliha is an active member in her community. She provides counseling / coaching to adolescents, adults, couples and families. She believes American Muslims struggle with finding their identity within their families and friends and feels compelled to support them through their journey of finding themselves.
A Canadian Pakistani currently living in the United States. Saima completed her Bachelor's in Psychology and then her Master's of Business Administration in 2000. After working in the corporate world for some years Saima realized her true calling was to help people and make a difference in their lives. This paired with her other passion for fashion and style, Saima completed her certification as an Image Consultant in 2008. Since then Saima has dedicated her life to helping people look, feel, be and achieve their best. She is professional and truly cares about making a positive impact in her clients lives.
Salma Abugideiri is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Vienna, VA. She received her masters degree in counseling from GMU and completed a post-master’s certification program in marriage and family therapy at Virginia Tech. She provides counseling to adolescents, adults, couples and families.
Usman is a Marriage & Family Therapist and holds a Master's of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, along with a degree in diagnostic medical imaging. Usman enjoys providing premarital counseling.
Imam Zia was born in Kashmir and grew up in England. He recently authored “ Addressing the Taboos: Love, marriage and Sex in islam. He is a founding member of the North Texas Islamic Council, an umbrella organization representing islamic Organizations in the North Texas Area. He is actively involved in Interfaith, Outreach and Dawah work, working hard to unite various faith groups in an effort to create peace and harmony between religions.
He has completed his PhD thesis with the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Dr. Marwa Azab
Dr. Marwa is a life coach, instructor and public speaker. Her interest in human behavior compelled her to complete two advanced degrees in Psychology and a PhD in Neuroscience. She has taught courses at the Biology (University of California, Irvine), Psychology & Human Development (Cal State University, Long Beach) departments. Her interdisciplinary background allows her to intersect fields to come up with innovative ways to understand 'why we do what we do'. She is a firm believer that it is at these intersection foci that creativity and novelty find fertile grounds.
I believe every individual, couple, and family are unique and bring their own set of experiences to therapy. I work with my clients in a way that is comfortable to them and respects their values and beliefs. We will meet, discuss your concerns, and together come up with goals for therapy. You will be part of the process and along with my guidance and expertise we will work to help you alleviate your negative symptoms and feel better. I work hard to make sure therapy is a safe, judgement free place for you to discuss your concerns and feel relief.
Dr. Masuma Rasheed
Dr. Rasheed is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas and currently works in her own private practice offering counseling services to individual adult clients struggling with a wide range of life challenges.
Additionally, Dr. Rasheed, as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), completed training in yoga for treating depression & anxiety and is currently certified as a LifeForce Yoga Practioner (LFYP), Yoga for 12-Step Recovery, and the Psychology of the Body System.
Dr. Rasheed’s education, clinical experience, and volunteer service have afforded her the knowledge, insight, and skill to work with you and to help you meet your needs.
Dr. Yasmeen Khan
Dr. Yasmeen Khan is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has a subspecialization in cross cultural psychology. She is trained in the Internal Family Systems model from the Center of Self Leadership. She also holds a certification in clinical hypnosis from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr Khan has a private practice called The Self Empowerment Center in Wheaton, IL. She has been in practice for over 15 years. She works with children, adolescents, and adults. She provides individual, group, couples, and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with muslims, religious and culturally diverse population. Dr Khan utilizes a holistic approach in her therapy where she believes in working with the mind body and spirit thus working with the whole person. Dr Khan has presented many workshops on many subjects both in US and abroad.
Dr. Nora Pharaon
Dr. Nora Alarifi Pharaon is a counseling psychologist licensed in New York and New Jersey. She provides individual, couple, and group psychotherapy as well as performs psychological evaluations for adults, youth and children. She volunteered for 10 years as a United Nations NGO representative of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She was an active member of the UN NGO committee on Mental Health and the committee on Refugees and Displaced Persons. Nora earned her doctorate and master’s degree in psychology at Columbia University.
Najwa Awad, LCSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker who offers therapy services to individuals, couples and families in Baltimore County and Howard County, Maryland. She obtained a Bachelors degree in Psychology from George Mason University in 2005, and in 2007 she received her Masters in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University with a specialization in the clinical treatment of individuals and families. She provides individual counseling for clients who are struggling with issues related to getting married (stress from family about getting married, interpersonal stress about not being able to find someone and chronic unstable relationships.
Shamir A. Khan
Shamir A. Khan, Ph.D. is a New York City psychologist with over 15 years of experience across the fields of psychology, education, research, business, and online publishing. His counseling sessions involve working with parents/families , particularly if the family is not supportive of the marriage/partner.
Dr. Khan has co-authored peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Schizophrenia Research & Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and has been quoted in the areas of psychology or education in The New York Times, AM New York, New York Family Magazine, The New York Observer's Scooter Magazine, and West Side Spirit
Originally from South America, Dr. Khan currently resides in NYC with his wife of 14 years and children, ages 11 and 8. In addition to living in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and different parts of the U.S., he has travelled extensively, focusing on ethnic, religious, racial, and political warfare zones around the world.
As a marriage and family therapist and motivational speaker, she has experience working with individuals, couples, families and groups. She has a M.A in Marriage & Family Therapy from Hofstra University. She is experienced in the modalities of structural therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, and reality therapy. She was featured as a "therapist spotlight" for the Muslim Wellness Foundation. You may access additional information on her facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheMuslimMFT) and on her website: www.SaadiazYunus.com
Dr Nafisa Sekandari
Dr. Nafisa Sekandari is the co-founder of Mental Health 4 Muslims (http://mentalhealth4muslims.com). She is currently licensed and practicing in California and Arizona. She provides counseling on mental health issues that is both clinically supported and Islamically sound. She works with a wide variety of Muslims from different backgrounds and knows firsthand how important such a service is to our community. She is also a published author and lecturer.
Malahat Baig-Amin is a psychotherapist licensed in VA and the District of Columbia. She received her master's degree in social work & international social welfare from Columbia University in New York. She counsels adolescents, adults, couples and families. She helps clients with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, marital conflict, domestic violence, anger management, trauma, abuse, interpersonal conflict, work issues and adjustment disorders. She utilizes her knowledge of Islam, multiculturalism and psychology in her practice with her Muslim clients.