Assalamualaikum Community Members,
My name is Danyal Khan and I am humbled and honored to be serving this community as the Islamic Association of Raleigh's (IAR) CEO. My wife, Urosha and I moved here from New Jersey in January of 2021 with our toddler son. We are excited to be a part of the Raleigh community and the IAR family.
Over the last few months, I have had the honor to meet and get to know some of our dedicated volunteers, our hard-working Association staff and many of our community members. I am in awe of your kindness and hospitality to my family but more importantly, in your unwavering dedication to your faith and to the causes you champion. This is a vibrant and amazing faith community and we are lucky to be a part of it.
You are probably wondering who I am and what I bring to the IAR as CEO. My background is in community work and I hold a degree in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. I most recently served as the National Director of Muslim Family Services, a program under ICNA Relief. In addition to my non-profit management experience, I am a trained mental health provider and am currently pursuing my license to practice as a Clinical Social Worker.
But it is not only my education, but also my personal experiences, that have shaped me and inspired my approach to leadership. I come from a single parent household, the oldest of six siblings. Most of my passion for community service comes from my mother. She would often take in women who were struggling and would make them feel like the most important person in the room: giving them a place to stay, food, and a loving environment. I learned two main things from her: To serve with Ihsaan (Excellence) and Ikhlaas (Sincerity). Alhamdulillah, it has become my work motto that has followed me throughout my career.
About me personally, well, I am what society calls a "geek" but I wear it proudly. I enjoy being creative and spend my free time dabbling in video and illustration work. I love spending time with my wife and toddler son and am looking forward to exploring this beautiful city and all it has to offer.
I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you and working with you to continue to develop, uphold and expand this vibrant, amazing community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions, concerns or just want to say hi. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS. I recently joined the Head Light podcast with Br. Ibraheem Khalifa to discuss what inspires me to continue building community.
This is an exerpt of an interview done recently with Br. Danyal Khan:
What are your goals for IAR as the CEO?
There are certainly some unique challenges IAR will continue to face in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic and current political and social climate. That said, I believe there's nothing we can't overcome, when we work together.
I practice servant leadership; which means I lead by example, I encourage collaboration and I am willing to roll my sleeves up and work beside my team to address challenges and find solutions. As we all face the difficult nature of these times, I hope to serve IAR and work together with our dynamic team to build towards a brighter future. My goals for IAR have a common factor to them: building efficient systems to increase IAR's capabilities to serve this growing community well. I hope that throughout my tenure, we can build towards the following goals:
- Catering to young professionals through programs, leadership opportunities, and investments to prime this community for the future
- Upholding and enhancing a transparent and welcoming environment to serve our diverse and growing community
- Build and nurture the volunteer experience; designed to engage and motivate skilled volunteers
- Develop quality and diverse programming geared towards providing a holistic experience to our community
- Nurture a career-driven workforce so that our team can have a fulfilling career at IAR
- Establish a culture where the community feels heard, welcomed, accepted and supported
What excites you about your new role and being part of the Raleigh community?
Communities like IAR are rare to find in the western world. With the high concentration of educated and enthusiastic community members, the opportunities for growth here are high. The love for the Imams, the demographics of the community, and the genuine passion that has built this community were some of the main reasons why I chose to join IAR. There is a hunger for change and improvement in our society and I feel the hunger in this community. We demand better because we know we can do better. Mental health, economic issues, social issues, and political issues are impacting our community every day. I see IAR as a vehicle for growth, a vehicle for change. I hope, with the support of the IAR team and community, we can make a long-lasting impact in sha Allah.
As an American-born Muslim, I want to be a part of a community where I would be proud to take my children. A place where we can confidently say belongs to us, represents us, and supports us. I hope the IAR community is ready to roll up its sleeves with me, and put in the work to take this beautiful organization to the next level. May Allah SWT bless our community and grant us the resources to push towards a better future- Aameen.