Our Team

Najiyah Maxfield

Editorial Director

Read Biography

Najiyah Maxfield

Najiyah Maxfield was raised on the windswept prairies of central Kansas. She is the award-winning author of many articles, poems and short stories. Her young adult novel, Sophia’s Journal, explores themes of inclusion and identity, and is being taught in several middle and high schools across North America.

Najiyah taught secondary level English and history in the States for 12 years and university level English in Syria for two. She spent three years as Managing Editor of Discover: The Magazine for Curious Muslim Kids and is now the Editorial Director of Daybreak Press, Rabata’s non-profit publishing company.
Najiyah currently lives in Canton, MI where she kayaks in the summer and knits in the winter.  She and her husband enjoy spending time with their six children and three granddaughters.

Anse Tamara Gray

Founder and Executive Director, Rabata

 Read Biography

Anse Tamara Gray

Anse Tamara is the author of Daybreak Press publication Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, and works with the Daybreak team in matters of strategy, alignment to the Rabata mission, and project and publication development.

You can read her extended bio here

.

FullSizeRender

Afshan Malik

Afshan Malik – Project Manager

 Read Biography

Afshan Malik

With a Bachelors of Arts in English Language and Literature from Northeastern Illinois University, Afshan volunteers extensively for organizations that promote spiritual growth and confidence for Muslim women, including Rabata and Sisters Steppin’ Up. She also writes regularly for online publications and is involved in her local community. Afshan began her pursuit of traditional Islamic knowledge at the age of 14 at the Georgia Islamic Institute and is currently enrolled in the Ribaat Academic Program. Her love of literature encouraged her to write a young adult novel which will be released in 2016 by Daybreak Press. Afshan was born in Chicago and currently resides in Houston with her husband and children.


Tayyaba Syed

Editorial Publishing Associate

Read Biography

Tayyaba Syed

Award-winning author and journalist Tayyaba Syed is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. She began as a writer/editor for her Honors College Pre-medicine Journal. Since then, she has written for numerous publications, including a feature on National Public Radio. Islamic Writers Alliance awarded her first place for her short story called “The Blessed Banana Tree.” She is the co-author of Umm Nura’s Jannah Jewels Book 6: Mystery in Morocco and Book 7: Triumph in Turkey. Tayyaba was also selected by Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar as a panelist for their Writing Women’s Lives Annual Conference in March 2016. She actively volunteers for Rabata and is pursuing her Islamic Studies certification through the Ribaat Academic Institute. She also mentors and volunteers as an SSU youth adviser in Illinois, where she resides with her husband and three young children.

 

Whittni Brown

Editorial Publishing Associate

 Read Biography

Whittni Brown aka W.B. Abdullah is an avid writer and blogger at The Sandal and Good AfterNoora. Whittni is a woman of many hats and talents – including a fluency in 3 languages! She completed her BFA in Art Education and a BA in International Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. Between chasing around her 3 home-schooled daughters, Whittni also manages her company of custom made prayer clothes at SewKhyoot Custom Prayer Garments and is involved in making Rabata accessible to Spanish speakers.

Nusaiba Imady

Nusaiba Imady – Social Media Specialist

Read Biography

Graduated from St. Catherine University, an all women’s college, in English Literature and Latin. She is a strong believer in the power of women focused institutions to create cultural change. She is a poet and a novelist. When she isn’t writing or working, Nusaiba enjoys reading fantasy novels, watching soccer and playing roller derby. An avid tea drinker, she would highly recommend the Irish blend tea which is stronger than the English breakfast. Born in Philadelphia, PA she is pursing her Masters in Gender Studies in London.


pink-and-purple-flower-clipart-RTdKGaaEc

 

Nazlin Rafiq

Consultant

Read Biography

Soon

Mary Schmidt

Editorial Director

 Read Biography

Mary Schmidt (Iqbal) currently resides in St. Cloud, MN, and graduated with a BA degree in English, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing. In her free time, she likes to hike with her husband, learn new recipes, write poetry and non-fiction, and take Islamic classes. Mary also hopes to soon start working on the book she has always wanted to write.