Board of Education

Message from Board of Education Chairperson

In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful, “Read: in the name of your Lord who created. Created mankind from a clot. Read: And your Lord is the Most Generous. He, who taught by the pen, taught the human-being that which he or she knew not.”

All praise is due to Allah and Peace and Blessing upon our leader Prophet Mohammed (SAW). For over thirty years, Al Rahmah School (ARS) has existed as the centerpiece of the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual milieu present at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. I am honored and excited to serve in the capacity of ARS Board of Education Chair. The ultimate task of ARS is to preserve the true religion of Allah (SWT). In a time of rapid change and in a society that denigrates traditional values, ARS strives to provide a learning environment geared to protecting and fostering the best in developing Islamic character while holding ourselves to the highest standard of private education.

Whether you are a student, a parent, a volunteer, a teacher, a custodian, a security officer, an administrator, a donor or a fellow board member, I thank you for your service and support as we join collectively to provide the best experience possible for our children.

Please – we invite you to tour our website, and to come to the school with the whole family for a tour.  Contact our school office at 410.719.0921 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a visit.  We hope that you will take the steps to give your children the gift of an Al-Rahmah School education.

Thank you,

Sharif S. Silmi, Esq.
Chair, Al-Rahmah Board of Education
[email protected]

BOE Members

The Board of Education has sub-committees which manage various aspects of Al-Rahmah School.  The link below is a listing of current sub-committees and their members:

Sharif S. Silmi, Esq.- Chair 

Sharif hails from Northern California and has been an active proponent of fostering excellence in Islamic education institutions. Sharif has previously served as a board member of Salam Academy in Sacramento and as an advisor for the Northstar school in Hayward, California. Sharif is a practicing attorney who has dedicated his legal career to assisting individuals as well as businesses to meet their immigration and business needs.  Sharif has also operated a series of businesses including several retail and wholesale wireless businesses. Sharif completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, East Bay and earned his law degree at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Sharif has two children who attend ARS.
Contact: [email protected]

Islaah AbdalRahim – Al-Rahmah School Principal

Sister Islaah is the founding principal of Al-Rahmah School and is an experienced and accomplished leader. Sister Islaah is a former adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and has served as an education consultant, teacher, and administrator throughout her career. Sister Islaah holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts from Coppin State University. Sister Islaah is also a student of Islamic knowledge and engages in continuous coursework in Arabic, Tajweed, Aqeedah, and Seerah.
Contact: [email protected]

Noureen Zar – Al-Rahmah Nursery Director

Sr. Noureen Zar is a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Level 6 credentialed early childhood education professional serving as the Al-Rahmah Nursery Director since 2016. With an educational background in psychology and over 16 years of early education experience in various capacities including lead teacher and site director, Sr. Noureen now oversees a program with nearly 60 students and 10 staff. She has received citations and awards for her service in Head Start programs and in support of numerous early childcare development initiatives. Her passion to understand the behavior and development of young children and how best they learn brings her excitement each and every day.
Contact: [email protected]org

Zubair Ansari-Education Secretary 

Zubair Ansari serves as the Strategic Consultant for FHCC.  He has decades of experience in his field both locally and globally.  Zubair is founder of MYSTL, Muslim Youth of Saint Louis, and past principal of the Weekend School at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis (IFGSTL).   He currently serves on the Council for the Islamic Society is Baltimore (ISB) and has extensive outreach experience with the Baltimore County Police Department.


Fauzia Tariq-Vice Chair

Sr. Fauzia Tariq obtained her Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Strayer University and Masters of Science from Towson University.
She previously served the Comptroller of Maryland as a Financial Compliance Tax Auditor. Her position required examining the financial statements of corporations, as well as interpreting and enforcing tax laws in accordance with Maryland state regulations. She has accumulated over 13 years of experience in financial accounting and auditing.
Currently, Sr. Fauzia works at the Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau. She is ready to embark her first term representing the finance team of Al-Rahmah School Board of Education. She has been a part of Al-Rahmah School and the Islamic Society of Baltimore since 2000.

Ateya Arozullah-General Secretary

Sr. Ateya Arozullah worked at Al Rahmah school between 1999-2011. During her time serving the
school she helped with Middle States Accreditation as well the establishment of the full time high school. She has served on the Board of Education in various Masaajid in the area. She also serves as a consultant for professional development for Islamic schools in the area. She is life long educator with over seventeen years of experience in both Islamic and public school arena. She holds a BS in Microbiology and Master’s in art of teaching from Johns Hopkins University and holds an advanced secondary science teaching certificate.
Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Madiha Tahseen

Dr. Madiha Tahseen is a Research Fellow and a Community Educator at The Family and Youth Institute. She holds a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is a Research Coordinator at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Professionally, she is interested in helping Muslim youth achieve their fullest potential. She has presented her research nationally in both academic and community settings.She has been a community organizer for more than a decade serving the American Muslim community in varying capacities. Specifically, she has served on the boards for the ISB Youth Group, BOE and PTSC in the past, and is looking forward to working with the Al-Rahmah community again. Dr. Tahseen, and her husband, have one child attending Al-Rahmah School and one in Al-Rahmah Nursery.
Contact: [email protected]

Sr. Abeer Shinnawi
Abeer Shinnawi earned a BA in History and Education from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL.; and a master’s degree in Special Education from University of Phoenix.  Mrs. Shinnawi’s  15 year teaching career has spanned 3 middle schools and an 8 year stint at Parkville High School teaching students with Autism.  She is currently the middle school resource teacher for the office of social studies for Baltimore County.  She has worked on new teacher development, co-planned with individual teachers and entire social studies departments. 
Contact: [email protected]
Sr. Soubia Balkhi
Sr. Soubia Balkhi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences from Wilmington University, Delaware. Her first teaching experience took place at a Juveniles Detention Center, where she realized her disposition toward the field of education. She holds a Maryland teaching license and is endorsed in Middle School English Language Arts, and Math. She taught math for 3 years at a public middle school in Richmond, Virginia. Her and her husband visited several Islamic schools before deciding to move to the ISB area, namely for its Quran Academy and Al Rahmah School.
Contact: [email protected]

Al-Rahmah School Board of Education Sub-Committees

All questions and comments for the Al-Rahmah School Board of Education can be addressed to [email protected]