(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 5/4/2023) – Dr. Iqbal Hussain (Pakistan) and Heba Shatila (Palestine) are partnering with the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) in Oklahoma City through the U.S. State Department’s Community Engagement Exchange Program. For twelve weeks, these emerging international young leaders are working at CAIR-OK, collaborating on civil society initiatives and preparing the community engagement project they will undertake upon their return to their home country.

SEE: Community Engagement Exchange Program

Dr. Iqbal Hussain will be addressing general healthcare disparities from the perspective of healthcare workers. He will also help mobilize partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved. Ms. Heba Shatila will assist in building community and interfaith partnerships and developing programs for Muslim youth engagement and women’s empowerment within the community of Afghan households who’ve resettled in Oklahoma City.

SEE: Dr. Iqbal Hussain bio
See: Heba Shatila bio

“We are thrilled to host these outstanding young leaders in Oklahoma City and are grateful to the U.S. State Department for this unique opportunity,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. “We hope to learn from their expertise and experience as much as we hope to provide them with the skills, training, and resources necessary to succeed in their civil society work in their home country.”

The Community Engagement Exchange (CEE) Program is a dynamic global network of innovators working with communities to address critical 21st Century issues. CEE equips dedicated visionaries with the expertise, skills, and resources to develop multisector approaches and build healthy and engaged communities in over 100 countries. A transformational leadership development experience, CEE is a year-long program designed to enable civil society leaders, ages 21-28, to harness the power of networks, relationships, and information for the public good, specifically on issues related to civic dialogue and peacebuilding, open and participatory government, women and gender, resilience and sustainable development, and youth engagement.

The CEE Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by IREX.

CAIR Oklahoma is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect the civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR Oklahoma es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.


CONTACT: Adam Soltani, CAIR-OK Executive Director, asoltani@cair.com, 405-248-5853; Veronica Laizure, Esq., CAIR-OK Deputy Director, vlaizure@cair.com, 405-430-9877