Muslim candidates running for offices in Chicago and Suburbs

Muslim candidates running for offices in Chicago and Suburbs
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Muslim candidates running for offices in Chicago and Suburbs

New Muslim Political Organization makes its first endorsements in Chicago City-Wide Elections: Ameya Pawar for City Treasurer and Anna Valencia for City Clerk. The Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition also released its list of Muslims running for office in Chicago and the Chicagoland suburbs

Today, on the first day of early voting, the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition-Activate made its first set of endorsements for the Chicago City elections. The organization is a 501c4-status organization in Illinois founded by the Muslim community to participate fully and strategically in the political process.

“We are proud to endorse two candidates for city-wide office in Chicago who stand with the Muslim community, and all diverse communities across our city.” said Executive Director Reema Kamran. The IL Muslim Civic Coalition-Activate is endorsing Ameya Pawar for City Treasurer and Anna Valencia for City Clerk.

“Mr. Pawar has impressed us with his track record as alderman and with the bold, progressive ideas he would bring to the City Treasurer’s office” said Ms. Kamran. “Representation matters; Mr. Pawar is also proudly of South Asian heritage, an underrepresented community in city government.”

Alderman Pawar Speaking at the Dedication of Honorary Lee Sandlin Way. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Alderman Pawar Speaking at the Dedication of Honorary Lee Sandlin Way. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The Coalition-Activate also endorsed Ms. Valencia for City Clerk, stating “Anna Valencia has taken the time and effort to understand the contributions and needs of our dynamic and diverse Muslim community in Chicago.” said Board Member Mehrdad Azemun. Ms. Valencia recently joined the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition for a half-day “Engage and Impact” tour that built lasting relationships between her office and Muslim social, business, and civic organizations.

Both candidates filled out the Coalition-Activate’s endorsement questionnaire, which was reviewed by the organization’s endorsement committee and board. This is a key election cycle in Chicago with an open seat for mayor and many contested Wards. Coalition-Activate will be announcing other key endorsements across the city and state in the weeks to come.

“Our organization and our agenda is focused on the issues that our core values and faith call us to support: affordable housing, public education and social justice” states Ms. Kamran. “Naturally we are concerned about the use of public resources for surveillance of Muslim communities – and, we are residents and neighbors in a city facing escalating violence. Our agenda focuses on the root causes of those issues.”

The Arab Daily News

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We have several candidates running from our IL Muslim community. Please reach out and learn more!
February 26th Elections:
Zehra Quadri, Chicago 50th Ward Alderman
Contact Number: 224-428-5291
April Elections:
Bushra Amiwala, District 73.5 School Board (Skokie)
Contact Number: 224-200-9243  Website:
Mohammed Faheem, Plainfield Village Board Trustee
Contact Number: 630-345-0202    Website:
Nagla Fetouh, District 86 School Board (Hinsdale)
Contact Number: 248-83-55004   Website:
Saud Gazanfer, Bolingbrook Park District Commissioner
Contact Number: 630-346-7040   Website:
Ajaz Gill, Bolingbrook Village Board Trustee
Contact Number: 630-965-6955    Website:
Nazneen Hashmi, District 509 Elgin Community College Board of Trustee
Contact Number: 312-498-8387
Asad A Khan, Poplar Creek Public Library Trustee (Streamwood)
Contact Number: 630-747-7869
Zubair Khan, District 15 School Board (Palatine)
Contact Number: 312-545-7179    Website:
Nashra Mohammed, District 219 School Board (Niles Township)
Contact Number: 312-982-1038 Website:
Rahaf Othman, District 140 Kirby School Board (Orland Township)
Contact Number: 708-790-6828
Nafees Rahman, Schaumburg Village President
Contact Number: 630-854-0262 Website:
Sara Sadat, Lisle Village Trustee
Contact Number: 630-991-7700   Campaign Website:
Itedal Shalabi, District 117 School Board (Bridgeview)
Contact Number: 708-289-6093
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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, the, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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