> ISAQ Department
Sr. Samia Ali
Sr. Samia Ali earned her Quran Recitation Ijaza certificate from Abdullah bin Aamer Institution in Jordan in 2009. While there, she had the privilege of being taught by several certified scholars and reciters. Samia successfully completed the required Tajweed Rules Examination and recited the Quran in its entirety to her teacher, Intisar Albalbisy, all according to Hafs on the authority of Imam ‘Aasim. Samia’s Ijazah through Intisar Albalbisy is chained all the way back to our prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Since working at APA, she has taught and guided dozens of students to the completion and memorization of more than 15 Juza with Tajweed rules. Additionally, Samia has taught Quran recitation and Hifz in one-on-one sessions privately for six years. As such, she has awarded and certified one of her students with Quran Recitation Ijaza according to Hafs. Samia has also served different roles in managing several Quran competitions in the Austin area.
Sr. Huda Qerqez
Sr. Huda Qerqez worked at an Islamic School in Knoxville, Tennessee and was also a teaching instructor in Gaza, Palestine. She attended the College of Saarland in Germany. Upon joining APA Huda has completed many workshops and attained a Bayyinah teaching certificate, a program developed by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan. In addition she also has a Flagship Arabic certificate that qualifies her for teaching the Arabic language. She also took workshops in the liberal arts department at UT Austin under the instruction of Professor Mahmoud Al Batal. She is very passionate about teaching Arabic especially for the guidance of understanding the Quran.
Sr. Guyna Elabiad
Sr. Guyna Elabiad previously taught at Al-Manar Islamic School, Lebanon. She is fluent in Arabic and French. She has attended numerous workshops engaging students for the love of Arabic language and her classroom was considered by the UT LOTE department as example for the UT Arabic interns. She teaches lower Elementary Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 2017, Ms Guyna received the Best Qur’an/Arabic teacher by the Islamic Noor Kids Foundation, a national recognition for Islamic Schools across the USA.
Shaykh Tahir Patel
Shaykh Tahir Patel was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His journey to pursue sacred Islamic knowledge began at age 13 when he traveled to the UK. By the age of 16, he completed the memorization of the Holy Qur’an at the renown seminary Darul Uloom, Bury. To further advance his studies in the Islamic Sciences, he continued at the seminary and pursued formal Islamic authorizations (ijazah). For 7 years, Sh. Tahir studied a rigorous curriculum covering the Arabic language and literature, Islamic jurisprudence, Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic Philosophy, and Aqeedah (creed). He also earned his qualification in Information and Communication Technology from the UK. Shaykh Tahir has been teaching Islamic Studies, Arabic and Qur’an Memorization/Recitation at an Islamic School for the past 7 years. His greatest accomplishment is passing on the gift of Qur’an memorization to two of his students. His interests include biology, history, and technology.
Sr. Suzanne Aly
Sr. Susan Aly earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and her Masters of Science in Organic Chemistry from Cairo University. She also has a Bachelor of Islamic Studies from El Shorouk Islamic Studies Institute, which has a similar curriculum to Al-Azher's curriculum administered under the supervision of the Egyptian Scholar Waleed Abdel Salam Baly. Ms. Susan has also received an ijaza in tajweed, Quran and Fiqh. She has previously taught Aracbic and Quran to lower and middle school students in addition to High School Chemistry and Lower and Middle School Math and Science. In her free time, Ms. Susan loves to read. She joined APA in 2021.
Sr. Touria Laghzar
Sr. Touria Laghzar completed her Bachelor's Degree in Physics from Morocco and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming from New York. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Education. Sr. Touria discovered her passion for teaching Islamic Studies, Quran, and Arabic and went on to attain a certificate in Tajweed from the ISGH Al-Ansaar Islamic Center with Dr. Irhabi Mohammed. She has taught Arabic and Islamic studies at Iman Academy for the last 4 years. She has also taught Quran and Hifz at her local masjid for the last 10 years and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Sr. Touria strongly believes in building love and understanding of Islam as they are the building blocks of the future. She creates lessons based on students' abilities and different levels of the Arabic language. She is excited to continue her learning journey with her new family at APA. She joins APA in 2022.
Br. Ahmed Alhalhali
Mr. Ahmed Alhalhali is a certified teacher in the state of Texas, and he has a Master’s degree in Education, Learning, and Technology. He also has many years of experience working with young Muslims on an almost daily basis. He has worked as an administrator and teacher at Iman Academy for the past 8 years, and during that time connected deeply with students, building strong relationships centered on trust and mutual respect. He also strongly believes in connecting Islam to everything we learn and do, as well as enhancing education via technology. Br. Ahmed Alhalhali has also had the honor of serving as the Education Secretary at his local mosque, and has had the chance to organize and take part in many Islamic programs geared toward the Youth with many ISGH masajid in the Southwest Houston area over the past few years. As a father of four children in varying stages of growth, he understands the great importance of weaving Islam into the lives of the youth, and the importance of mentorship and empathy towards them. He strongly believes that our communities should strive to teach our children from a young age the correct Aqeedah and beliefs, and share with them a love for the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions. Just as importantly, they should be taught aspects of good character, like being courageous, kind, generous and modest. Alhumdulillah, he has gained respect and a second family in his current community, and he is excited for his coming journey as APA’s Dean of Students and Middle and Upper School Islamic Studies teacher, and for all the goodness it will bring inshaAllah.
Dr. Nehal Khadr
Dr. Nehal Khadr was born in Boulder, Colorado in a family of seven. She has lived in Texas for nearly 30 years and has been teaching Qur’an, Arabic, and Islamic Studies since 1998 at Austin Peace Academy. She completed medical school in 1989 with a focus on Internal Medicine from Alexandria University in Eqypt. She worked as a physician at Gamal Abdel-Nasser hospital in Alexandria for two years. In addition, Ms Khadr holds a diploma in teaching Islamic Studies from Toronto University in Canada and Bayyinah certificate from the Bayyinah center in Dallas, Texas by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan. In addition to this, she holds a Flagship Arabic certificate based on teaching reading, writing and speaking the Arabic Language and an Arabic certificate from the University of Texas at Austin by Mahmoud Al Batal. In 2015, she obtained her Austin Texas Nursing certificate.