Staff and Teachers
Northstar School has a wonderful and talented team of teachers and staff. Everyone is inspired by and committed to the mission of nurturing and developing young people to their fullest potential. We are very proud to have so many seasoned and highly qualified teachers and administrators on our team.
Please find below background and contact info for each of our staff members. (If you are interested in joining our team go here.)
Principal - Salwa Abed
Salwa Abed obtained her Bachelors of Art in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She began teaching at Peace Terrace Academy in 2001 and served as a classroom teacher and Vice Principal until 2007. She has enjoyed working with students of various ages. Salwa lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter. She enjoys reading, baking, and outdoor activities.
Director of Student Affairs - Haseeb Sadat
Haseeb Sadat (email@example.com)
Director of Programs & Community Development - Michelle Lee
Michelle Lee joined Northstar School as the Director of Programs and Community Development in 2013. Michelle has a diverse role at Northstar, where she oversees co-curricular programs, cultivates enrichment programs, manages the fundraising for the school, leads the WASC accreditation process, and engages the community in the education of our youth. Michelle has worked for two years a research associate for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. She took a break to raise her two sons before working for seven years at Granada Islamic School as a computer science instructor & PE teacher. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science from Loyola Marymount University, and has completed some graduate coursework in Microbiology from UCLA. In her spare time, she stays actively involved in non-profit organizations such as the Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area (MCA), the Institute of Islamic Education (IIE), and the Boy Scouts of America. Michelle loves working in the field of education, where she believes she can make a difference in the lives of our youth. She strongly believes that a love of learning tied with a love of deen will create a lasting foundation of success in our children. Michelle is married with two sons, and enjoys reading novels, hiking new trails, playing board games, eating with family and friends, and hitting the gym to keep the effects of her love of eating in check.
Michelle Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office Manager - Mubarra Ahmadyar
Mubarra Ahmadyar (email@example.com)
Kindergarten Teacher - Dorkhany Arsala
Dorkhany Arsala is currently teaching kindergarten at Northstar School. This is her 14th year teaching at Northstar School. Previously, she taught two years at Peace Terrace Academy and three years at Fremont Unified School District. She received her B.A. in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley. After discovering her passion in teaching, she received her Teaching Credential for Multiple Subjects from California State University East Bay. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and skiing. Dorkhany resides in San Ramon with her husband and two kids.
Dorkhany Arsala (firstname.lastname@example.org)
First Grade Teacher - Muzhda Farooqi
Muzhda Farooqi (email@example.com)
Second Grade Teacher - Afia Mujeeb
Afia Mujeeb is the 2nd grade homeroom teacher at Northstar School, joining in 2012. She was educated in Pakistan and started her teaching career from Beaconhouse School Systems. Beachonhouse Schools is one of the largest school chains in South East Asia with branches in the Far East, Middle East, and Europe. Sr. Afia has 16 years of teaching experience, mashaAllah. Khala Afia has previously been part of the faculty of Peace Terrace Academy in the East Bay and Noor-ul-Islam Academy in Florida. She enjoys reading, cooking, crafts, walking, hiking and biking. Khala Afia has four children, two boys and two girls. Her older 3 children are contributing members of the community and her youngest is on the road of completing his formal education.
Afia Mujeeb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Third Grade Teacher - Iman Lazkani
Iman Lazkani is currently the homeroom teacher for 3rd grade at Northstar School. This is her 3rd year at Northstar, but her 16th year as a teacher. Her experience ranges from teaching 3rd grade, kindergarten, 1st grade, and substituting for grades K-8th. Iman has worked in other private schools such as Granada Islamic School, the Islamic School of San Diego, and two different charter schools in Aurora, Colorado.
Iman holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Phoenix, and earned her Alternative Teaching License from Colorado Christian University. She holds a Colorado professional teaching license. She completed has one year of studying for her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and is attempting to complete that degree in the near future, inshaAllah.
In her spare time, Iman loves to spend time with her family and enjoys traveling by car. This past summer, she made a road trip traveling 6,420 miles to visit family in the Midwest and Canada.
Iman Lazkani (email@example.com)
Fourth Grade Teacher - Marwa El-Sharkawy
Fifth Grade Teacher - Uroosa Saifuddin
Zaineb Nezamy is the 5th grade homeroom teacher. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, Zaineb is dedicated to providing a positive learning experience for her students. She has served as a halaqa coordinator of the MSA at U.C. Davis as well as a high school advisor for Taleef Collective. Zaineb has previously taught fourth grade at Ilm Academy in Fremont.
Zaineb Nezamy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sixth Grade Teacher - Haseeb Sadat
Haseeb Sadat (email@example.com)
7th / 8th Grade Math & Science - Fadwa Silmi
Fadwa Silmi currently teaches seventh and eighth grade math and science at Northstar School and also serves as the eighth grade homeroom teacher. She received her B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California in Berkeley in 1997. After teaching in a private elementary school for five years, she returned to academia and received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education as well as her teaching credential from San Francisco State University in 2004. Fadwa attended classes at the Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, California from 1997-2005, completing her fard ayn studies along with other various subjects focusing primarily on Maliki fiqh with both resident and visiting scholars. Fadwa has previously served as the Program Director for the Children’s Quran school at the Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, CA and and is co-founder of The Rahmah Foundation, a non profit organization serving the Islamic educational needs of girls and women. She has taught students in both public and private schools as well as homeschoolers in small class settings and served as an educational consultant to parents and educators over the last twenty years. She resides in Hayward, California with her husband and three children.
Fadwa Silmi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
7th / 8th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies - Mabruka Abudra
Qur'an - Qari Amar Bellaha
Qari Amar Bellaha (email@example.com)
Qari Amar is a well-known and esteemed Hafiz or one who has committed to memory the Quran in its entirety. Raised in Morocco, he memorized the Quran at the age of 17 from Madrasat Imam Nafia. He has ijaza (Islamic teaching licenses) for both the Hafs and Warsh forms of Quranic recitation. In 1994 and 1995, Qari Amar was awarded top prizes in the National Moroccan Tajweed Competition, a competition of the best Quran reciters in all of Morocco. He is recognized for the beauty, clarity, and excellence of his recitation. He is one the Bay Area’s most respected and active Quran teachers, having taught hundreds of students at numerous schools and Islamic centers in the area.
Islamic Studies & Quran - Ustadh Zaid Khan
Zaid Khan was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He memorized the Qur’an at an early age and began his traditional Islamic studies at Darul Uloom NY in 2001. He travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002 to continue his studies and enrolled in the 6-year Alim program at Darul Uloom Azaadville, graduating in 2007 with Ijazah in Qur’an, Tafsir, Hadith, Usul, Fiqh, Tajwid, and Qira’at (different narrations of recitation). He received his Associates in Liberal Arts at the Borough of Manhattan Community College before transferring to Columbia University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies in 2015. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Theology program at Darul Qasim, a seminary in Chicago. He served different Masajid, MSAs, and communities through Khutbahs, lectures, halaqas, and seminars, and has worked with organizations such as the Islamic Center at NYU, Young Muslims of New York, ICNA-NY, MIST-NY (Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament), CAIR-NY, and Children of Adam. He is a seminary faculty member for the Institute of Knowledge (IOK), an Islamic institute in SoCal, and a Hajj and Umrah group leader for Dar El Salam Travel. He recently relocated with his wife from NY to Sunnyvale, and loves books, traveling, baking, sports, and cats.
Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Muna Almawri
Muna Almawri is a teacher of Arabic, Qur’an, and Islamic Studies who joined Northstar School in 2007. Muna is a graduate of Sana’a University in Yemen with a B.A Degree in Education. Muna has participated in the BIAE (Bureau of Islamic Studies and Arabic Education) Arabic program, which was designed to teach Arabic as a foreign language to non-native speakers. Muna has 14 years of teaching experience in Arabic, Qur’an, and Islamic Studies, and has previously taught at Ilm Tree Homeschooling Co-op, Peace Terrace Academy, Dearborn Islamic Academy, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and The Samawi Middle School (Yemen). Muna loves to apply innovative teaching techniques which engage the student in learning, and foster a love of the subject material.
Muna Almawri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Nahla Mohammed
Nahla Mohammed (email@example.com)
Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Awra Mohamed
Awra Mohamed (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Art Teacher - Arshia Saifuddin
PE Teacher - Fatima Abdel Wahab
Fatima Abdel Wahab (email@example.com)