UAC Board


H.I. Shaykh Amir Mukhtar Faezi

Hujjatul Islam Maulana Faezi is a senior theologian and patron of the Unity Academy of Chicago. 
Maulana Faezi was the President of the Islamic Theological Seminary of North America at Medina, NY from 1988 to 1998 . Many of his students are now renowned scholars. 
He moved to the Chicago area in 1998 with a dream to establish a model Islamic community. 
He has organized a knowledge-based community by the name of Baitul Ilm, with the aim of building a seminary, school, and many other institutions to serve the multiple needs of our growing community. 
Maulana Faezi is best known for his exemplary discipline, and dynamic and visionary leadership. Maulana Faezi enjoys serving his local community and mentoring young scholars around the world.

Br. Abbas Kanji

B.A. (Northwestern University), M.B.A (Harvard University)

Br Abbas Kanji has over 20 years of experience in investment advisory and direct investments with a focus on real estate investments.  He has been part of the Baitul Ilm community since its inception and has taught in various weekend Islamic schools across the United States for the past 20 years.  

He and his wife have two children and in his spare time enjoys skiing, tennis and travelling.

Br. Sajjad Zaidi

B.S. (NED University Karachi), M.S. Mechanical Engineering (Wayne State University)

Br. Sajjad Zaidi has been an active member of the Baitul Ilm community since 2006 and has 16 years of experience in Engineering, Business, and Project Management. Br. Sajjad has also been serving as vice principal of Baitul Ilm Sunday School for the past several years. 

He and his wife have three children, ages 13, 9 and 2. In his spare time, he enjoys playing cricket, table tennis and traveling with his family. 

Br. Jaffer Syed

B.S. Chemical Engineering (University of Houston), M.B.A (Depaul University)

Br Jaffer Syed has over 25 years of experience in engineering, business and operations management, and has worked in various industries. He has been part of the Baitul Ilm community since 2001 and has taught in its Sunday school in its formative years. He also owned and was lead instructor at a Kumon center.   

Br Jaffer and his wife, who is a preschool teacher, have three daughters. He enjoys working on volunteer projects together with his family, playing a variety of sports and travelling.

Br. Hasnain Jiwani

B.B.A. and Masters in Accounting (University of Texas at Austin)

Br. Hasnain Jiwani has over 12 years of experience in M&A consulting and corporate finance. He has been part of the Chicagoland Muslim community for the last several years and has taught at various weekend Islamic schools.  

He and his wife have two daughters and in his spare time enjoys cricket, hiking and reading.

Sister Saba Haider

M.A. in English Literature (Punjab University Pakistan)

Primary Montessori Teacher Certification (Midwest Montessori Teachers Training Center)

Elementary I & II Teacher Certification (Midwest Montessori Teachers Training Center)

Sister Saba Haider has worked for 27 years at Montessori Academy of North Hoffman as an assistant teacher for 1 year, lead primary teacher for 5 years, elementary directress for 21 years, along with coordinating the elementary program for six years.

She has conducted parent seminars, served on the steering committee for the school's self-study, organized school events, and served on the American Montessori Society's accreditation team. The Montessori Philosophy has been instilled in her as a child attending Montessori early education and has been a part of who she is ever since. She has been a partner with parents in guiding their children's social, emotional, and educational needs and development.

She has three children and soon-to-be grandmother insha Allah. She enjoys reading, gardening, home decor, and traveling.

Br. Jawad Hussain

B.A. (Northwestern University), M.B.A (University of Michigan)

Br. Jawad Hussain has over 15 years of experience in financial services and analysis with a focus on credit analysis.  He has been part of the Baitul Ilm community since its inception, taught at Baitulilm's weekend Islamic school since 2002 and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Baitul Ilm Academy.  

He and his wife have four children and in his spare time enjoys tennis, reading and community building.

Br. Minhaj Arastu

B.A. (Cornell Univ), M.A.T. (Univ of SC)

Br Minhaj Arastu is a History teacher by training with 25 years of experience in classroom and leadership roles, in the US and in India. Br. Minhaj helped found a group of schools in Hyderabad that aims to provide International Baccalaureate education that is accessible to children of all backgrounds.

He enjoys doing carpentry and crafts with his wife, Romana and children, Haniya (6) and Meesam (5).

Sister Heena Musabji

B.S in Finance (Siena College), J.D. International Comparative Law (DePaul University College of Law)

Sister Heena Musabji has been a part of the Baitul Ilm community from the very beginning serving as a volunteer, Sunday school teacher, and board member. Heena has over 15 years of experience as an attorney working in the areas of international human rights, civil rights, immigration and public interest law. She is the co-founder and Director of Development of the Pro Bono  Network, a legal aid non-profit that provides civil legal assistance to those in dire need. 

Heena is currently on the board of the  school District 181 Foundation, and previously served on the board at West Suburban Montessori School. Her children spent over 10 years in the Montessori school environment, and her family is a firm believer in its philosopy.  She and her family enjoy cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors together. 

Sister Mariam Fadel 

Sister Mariam Fadel has been an educator for the last 22 years in Saudi Arabia, Namibia, Lebanon, and the United States.  Her experience ranges from elementary through middle school.  Currently, she is a middle school science and math teacher at Elgin Academy. Mariam organizes many enriching programs for her students in order to broaden their minds in a safe environment.  Her community-building initiative continues to be one of her many passions.  Another one is cooking gourmet international dinners to share with her friends and family. 
Mariam and her husband, Ihab Nasser, have two sons Ali (23) and Adel (19).