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Zaynab Ansari is a native Atlantan, who has been with the ISB since its inception in August of 2001.
| Zaynab Ansari Abdulrazacq
With extensive Islamic studies in her background and a commitment to community outreach, Ansari found it a natural fit to join ISB's volunteer base. Her contributions to the organization include being the previous writer-editor of the ISB newsletter as well as a current certified speaker.
Ghada Elnajjar recently spoke with
Ansari about her experience with ISB and her future plans. Their conversation follows:
Elnajjar: For a number of years, you have served as key person in providing ISB news to its members, not many know who Zaynab Ansari is, give us a brief insight as to your background and to what made you join ISB and be a part of it for so long?
Ansari: I have been an ISB speaker and volunteer since the organization's inception in August 2001. I am a native Atlantan, with roots in Michigan and Massachusetts. I spent almost a decade living and studying in the Middle East in the 1990s, where I had the opportunity to learn Farsi, Arabic, and a traditional Islamic educational curriculum. I have been married for almost eight years to Salahud-Din Abdul-Razacq, a health and physical education teacher in Atlanta Public Schools, and we have three children. I was motivated to join the ISB because its work appealed to me. It focused on education and community outreach using a very effective combination of formal presentation and informal dialogue. The ISB has given me, as well as so many other volunteers, the tools to speak with clarity about Islam and Muslims, something I really value in such an age of distortion of the basic facts of Islam and Muslims' incredibly vast and diverse experience.
Elnajjar: You've seen the growth of the newsletter and ISB over the years how satisfying is it?
Ansari: I was at the helm of the ISB newsletter from 2007-2010 and was very gratified to note the astonishing growth of the ISB from an idea that started with a few volunteers around someone's kitchen table to one of Atlanta's most effective and dedicated faith-based organizations. The newsletter, in addition to its marketing value, is a wonderful, consistent chronicle of a vibrant Atlanta community where people of different faiths come together for good works.
Elnajjar: You've stepped down from your position as writer-editor of ISB newsletter, what are your plans now?
Ansari: Now that I've stepped down as writer-editor of the newsletter: On a professional level, my plans are to apply to graduate school to pursue advanced degrees in historical & religious studies and continue as an ISB speaker. On a personal level, I want to focus on learning more about interventions for children with autism. My son was diagnosed with autism over four years ago and, although I've done a lot of research on treatment methods, I feel like I can never do enough.