Major Mosque ISOC Selects Woman President

TMO Stringer

isoc president

The Islamic Society of Orange County, a major Los Angeles area Muslim institution and probably one of the biggest mosques in America, has selected Duaa Hana Alwan to be its new president.

Her press release making the announcement is below:

“Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.  May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.

I pray that in this month of Ramadan, Allah showers His mercy upon you and accepts your fasts and acts of charity and devotion.

My name is Duaa Hana Alwan. It is with Allah’s will and blessings that I have accepted to serve you as the President of the ISOC Masjid Board. I will be reporting directly to our 17-member Majlis Shura. While it is a huge amanah (trust) to carry such a responsibility, it is even a bigger challenge to fill Hassan Siddiqi’s shoes.     

His last four years as president have demonstrated steady growth in our community and an increased trust in our leadership. ISOC has a legacy of being a cornerstone of the Southern California Muslim community and will insha’Allah continue to lead the way now and in the future. Many of you have already heard that I’m currently overseas due to the passing of my father a few weeks ago. Please keep him in your prayers and pray for my mother who is adjusting to a difficult and new phase of her life. I would like to start by introducing myself and then share with you my vision for ISOC.

I was born in the UK and raised in Medina. I have moved from New Jersey to Garden Grove as a teen, and today, 22 years later, I continue to reside here with my husband, Yaman Kahf, and our three sons. I earned my BA in Film Production from CSULB and an MA in Film Studies from Chapman University. My experience spans from the private sector, academia, and other non-profits. Over the years, ISOC has offered me many opportunities to grow and serve as a youth group advisor, high school girls study circles mentor, OCS Quran Competitions judge, OCS Boy Scouts/Wolf Den, weekend school teacher, and OCS debate team certified judge.  I’ve also been able to lead and co-lead summer and winter day camps at ISOC and initiate OCS students’ participation at the Eid Prayer Program. My understanding of the Islamic perspective on masjid and community work draws from my personal experiences and commitment to ensuring that our universal Islamic values flourish both within and outside ISOC.

I believe that ISOC is much more than our masjid and school.  It is an institution and a community building block and thus, it holds great potential. To that aim, I am committed to furthering the many recent advances at ISOC:

1.  Most importantly, to keep up our communities’ stronger trust and confidence in the masjid’s administration. This includes conducting the masjid’s affairs and operations in a manner that is ethical, transparent, inclusive, and growth-oriented. This can be accomplished by inspiring and motivating our volunteers (Islamic workers) to continue the model of working in teams– within masjid board and masjid committees. Having an open and inclusive leadership style will help ISOC serve a larger group of diverse individuals, while cultivating new leaders. 

2.  Financial stability and growth is a key. Our previous leadership had masha’Allah broadened the base of financial supporters of ISOC. I look forward to continue to be creative in exploring new revenue sources that would be vital for our growth, insha’Allah. Finally, to hear and respect our community’s wishes to raise funds for exactly what is needed and committing to spend in a wise manner that results in long lasting success for the masjid.

3.  Expand our services to all demographics: young children, high school, college, young professionals, families, women, new Muslims, seniors, and an increased ethnic diversity. Engaging a broader group of individuals and tapping into our community’s talents will only support our growth as a society. I have seen this first hand during this past year serving in the Majlis Shura, our majlis’ diversity encourages creativity and enriches our decisions. I look forward to working with similar dynamics within the masjid board, insha’Allah.           

The weight of what I have been entrusted with foremost by Allah (swt) and then all of you, is indeed quite heavy. I ask for your support, advice, and prayers so that together we can ensure this masjid can both continue the good work already in place as well as create even more good for our community. Along with the masjid’s many volunteer teams, I will be calling on you to get involved with your time, talent, and yes—your money. From the wisdom of our seniors to the energy of our youth, there is a place and a way for everyone to contribute at ISOC and I look forward to working with such a dynamic community.

Duaa H. Alwan
President, Orange County Masjid (OCM), ISOC”


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