Our Team

Khalil Demir Executive Director

Khalil Demir was born in South East Turkey and as a student, was very active in social issues in his community. After high school, he moved to Switzerland and, while obtaining his degree in Sociology from the University of Basel, Mr. Demir established a humanitarian organization and organized many social events that brought to light social and political justice issues. He advocated minority and humanitarian rights in Switzerland and Europe and in 1991, after the first Iraq-American War, Mr. Demir worked in Kurdish refugee camps. He moved to America to earn a Masters Degree in History. In 2001, Mr. Demir helped found the Zakat Foundation and currently serves as the Executive Director. He has been featured in many television and radio programs. He has visited many countries and speaks six languages. Mr. Demir is completing his Masters in Non-profit Management. He lives in Illinois with his wife and four daughters.


Zakat Board of Directors

Dr. Hasan Arslan President

As a student, Dr. Hasan Arslan was an advocate for social issues in Turkey and his concern and interest in humanitarian efforts remained with him when he moved to the United States of America. Dr. Arslan completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Illinois in Chicago and during his studies, he dedicated his free time to helping Zakat Foundation with his skills and experience. He has been a board member since 2006 and was elected President in 2007. Dr. Arslan works as a Computer Programmer in California where he lives with his wife and two children.

Ziya Kirman Board Member

Ziya Kirman is an electrical engineer and has always had a deep interest in social justice. He has volunteered and served in different social humanitarian organizations and was a valuable volunteer with Zakat Foundation. After volunteering at ZF for many years Zia accepted to serve in the board. He lives with his wife and three children in Pennsylvania.

Michelle Ramirez Board Member

Michelle Ramirez works as a radiographer. She also volunteers in Muslim and Latino communities in the Chicago land area. She is currently pursuing her business degree at Loyola University. Mrs. Ramirez joined the board in 2003 after volunteering for ZF in the administrative realm. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children.

Aidah Abdallah Board Member

Aidah Abdallah joined the board at Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) in 2011, after volunteering with the organization at the administrative level. Ms. Abdallah is currently pursuing her elementary teaching degree at Moraine Valley Community College and is a legal secretary for a firm in the downtown loop. She has also volunteered as a youth counselor at the Orland Park Prayer Center, and continues to be an active volunteer in the community. Aidah lives in Oak Forest, IL and has 3 nephews and 4 nieces.

Zakat International Team

Dr. Mohamad Tarhan Representative - Turkey

Dr. Mohamad Tarhan grew up being very active in various social and humanitarian movements in his native Turkey. He moved to the United States and completed his PhD in Religion at Temple University in Pennsylvania. After years of teaching at the university level, Dr. Tarhan established various businesses. He travels between the US and Turkey and is representing Zakat Foundation at the regional office in Istanbul. He acts as an advisor to the Board. He is currently residing in Turkey with his wife and two children.

Dr. Salia Al-Hassan Director - Ghana

Dr. Salia Al-Hassan represents Zakat Foundation as the Country Director of the regional office in Ghana, West Africa. After graduating with a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Istanbul, Dr Al-Hassan returned to his native Ghana in order to serve his community. He was the President of the Muslim Medical Association in Ghana and has remained active in many health affairs. He helped establish the Zakat Foundation office in Ghana in 2004. He works as a pharmacist at a public hospital and is married with four children.

Nehad Sultana Director - Bangladesh

As a student in New York, Mrs. Nehad Sultana was very active in the Muslim community as a member of ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America). She was introduced to Zakat Foundation and served as a volunteer for years. Upon completing her education, Mrs. Sultana and her husband moved back to their native Bangladesh and helped establish the regional office in the country. She currently resides in Dhaka with her husband and three children.

Ghaleb Chehade Director - Lebanon

Ghaleb Chehade is a community activist and religious advisor and acts as the imam in Lebanon. After helping to implement programs in Lebanon, he took on the role of Country Director. He is married and he and his wife recently welcomed a baby girl into their family.

Zeinab N. Dal Representative - Pakistan

Zeinab Dal completed her degree at the university level in Turkey and traveled to Pakistan to pursue higher education. She is very active in humanitarian work and has used her experience as an educator to maintain various programs in Pakistan, namely schools for orphans. In the aftermath of the Pakistan Earthquake in 2005, Mrs. Dal’s dedication and hardwork was recognized by the Pakistani Prime Minister. She serves as Zakat Foundation’s representative in Pakistan and is married with a daughter.

Zakat Foundation of America, a Muslim charity that collects zakat, sadaqa / donations to provide humanitarian, emergency relief and sustainable development programs to empower lives throughout the world. We offer top Zakat resources including The Zakat Handbook: A Practical Guide for Muslims in the West, Zakat kit, ask an Imam feature, and you can calculate and pay zakat through our easy, online calculator.

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