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Our team. Old school meets new school, with a creative team as creatively varied

as our projects at MIPSTERZ. 

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Founder, Filmmaker, Producer

Abbas Rattani is an academic, entertainer, and founder of MIPSTERZ. He is a strong advocate for individuality and self-expression in minority communities. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Religious Studies with a focus on Islamic Studies. He has published, presented, and taught numerous works on Islamic ethics, social justice, morality, research ethics, film/tv communication, and religious authority. He has opened for Lewis Black and Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live. He has produced countless films and created content for MTV, Tumblr, and musical artists. He can be found roaming the streets of Boston, MA in an oversized airport jacket or by email.


Artist, Maker, Educator

Shimul Chowdhury is a new media artist and Assistant Professor of Immersive Media at Chatham University. She studied Art + Technology at the University of Florida and holds an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In her practice, Shimul is most interested in creating participatory works or experiences that initiate and invite dialogue with the audience. She centers her own lived experiences as a Muslim US American in her work, aiming to create and build community and solidarity with participants and viewers. Shimul can be found knitting and stitching in Pittsburgh, PA or via email.

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Producer, Co-founder, Musician

Yusuf Siddiquee is a musician and a leader in arts organizing. He has produced and curated dozens of community art showcases, including commissioned performances for The Shed and Kennedy Center. His original music has been featured in award-winning short films produced for MTV and presented at CAAMFest, UrbanWorld, and Tribeca Film Festival. Before joining Mipsterz in 2013, he developed a strong reputation for community organizing with the open mic series “Subcontinental Drift NYC.”  He has worked for arts and culture hubs such as the Silent Barn, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and StoryCorps. He studied economics and nonprofit management at UChicago and NYU and is an alumnus of the NYFA Emerging Leaders Program. He can be found drumming on any surface in Brooklyn, NY or by email.


Visual Artist, Designer

Aisha is a visual artist born in Miami, Florida. She has trained and worked in the field of visual arts for over nine years, having exhibited and done collaborations in Africa, the Middle East, North America, Central America, and Europe. Aisha holds a BFA in Photography from Howard University and an MFA in Design Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar. She can be reached via email.


Creative Consultant, Illustrator

Sara Alfageeh is an award-winning illustrator and creative director working to redefine what we expect Muslim protagonists to look like. She is a graduate of Lesley University College of Art & Design in Illustration and has produced artwork for Star Wars, BBC, Hank Green, Google, Marvel Comics, NYU Game Center, Chronicle Books, Harvard University, etc. Her graphic novel, “Squire” will be released under Harper Collins in 2021. She brings her expertise in illustration, art design, visual art, social media engagement, and crowdfunding to the “ALHAMDU” project.

She can be reached if you place a fresh cup of chai at dawn while humming out of tune, or by email.


Journalist, Filmmaker

Heba Habib has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of international publications & was for several years a reporter for The Washington Post, covering the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. She has also worked as a screenwriter, translator, researcher, TV producer and director. She can be reached via email.

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Writer, Musician, Chaos Coordinator

Aliya Klein is a marketing professional with experience in community engagement, field marketing, and production management. She has worked with PEN America and is currently on the Alumni Advisory Board of Young Artists of America -- a youth group for musical theatre -- where she volunteers with mentorship activities and masterclasses for students. Aliya holds a B.A. in Religion (concentrating in Islamic Studies) and Political Economy from Williams College. She also worked in the Religious Studies department at her alma mater, researching and collecting personal stories about navigating relationships to Islam in the face of growing prejudice, artistic and spiritual expression, and the establishment of small-scale community financial systems. In college, you would find her sitting in tech rehearsals as a scenic designer, props designer, stage manager, or pit instrumentalist. Today, you'll find her exploring the street art adorning Bushwick, Brooklyn, or by email.


Community Organizer, Coffee Science Guy

Ahmed Amer (@thatkalb) lives in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to community building through Karavansarai, Ahmed enjoys meeting new friends over coffee and poetry, beat-making, and writing. He can be reached via email.

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