Meet the faces behind the scene
Dr. ‘Demi Fauziyyah
Dr. ‘Demi Fauziyyah Adebo-Adelaja is passionate about disrupting health disparities. She's a trained public health researcher with over 20 years of experience in community development. Her interest in public/community health was first sparked by the opportunity to work as a peer health educator during her undergraduate years. She was further inspired to work with minority communities when she was selected to be trained as an HIV counselor and health educator working with inner city Baltimore youths faced with inadequate access to healthcare. In 2020, a renewed interest in addressing health disparities reemerge in light of the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on African Americans in her home residence of Prince George’s County.
Dr. ‘Demi Fauziyyah leads The Aafiyah Project in developing novel ways to improve the health and wellness of minority communities in Prince George’s County and beyond. She aims to promote "Aafiyah," an Arabic termed that describes overall “well-being,” through health-promoting activities, innovative mentoring, education, and ethical organizational governance.
Dr. ‘Demi Fauziyyah earned her doctorate in Management of Public Health Services from the University of Maryland Global Campus, a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University, and her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Kafayat is a lifelong learner. She received a Master of Education and Reading Certificate (K-12) from the Johns Hopkins University. Kafayat taught social studies in Washington D.C. and Prince George’s County public school systems to mostly “at-risk” students and those of low social economic status for over a decade. Her experience in the classroom exposed her to the inequities in the educational systems. The effects of these inequities are what motivated Kafayat to create a children’s not-for-profit educational service program in her community. The mission of the program is to foster academic excellence and to ensure that each child is well prepared for success in a top tier college or vocational training. The program also strives to provide knowledge and alternatives that allow teens to explore and experience opportunities in careers and life skills through mentorship programs with professionals in the community. A mindset of holistic approach to education and giving back to the community is the passion that Kafayat brings to The Aafiyah Project.
Kafayat is an avid reader and a “closet” Cordon Bleu chef. She loves exploratory travels with her husband of almost 35 years. She is also a mother of three adult children and can’t wait to be a grandparent.
Dr. Muslimah ‘Ali, The Fitness Doc, earned her Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neuroscience at Howard University in 2009. She is a fitness expert, community health advocate, and science educator. As the founder of Fit and Healthy You with Dr. ‘Ali, she crafts unique health and fitness programs to educate, motivate, and inspire individuals to grow through a healthy lifestyle evolution. A fitness inspiration and recreational athlete, Dr. ‘Ali is a marathoner, triathlete, and health foodie!
Dr. ‘Ali is a certified group fitness instructor, and Zumba & STRONG by Zumba instructor. She has facilitated national distinct health and fitness programming, such as the fun annual January Photo-A-Day Challenge, and Five Rounds Fit Camp, which are efficiently designed for all fitness levels. As an RRCA certified run coach, she has trained over 150 people to successfully compete in 5K, 10K, and half marathon races. Dr. ‘Ali’s leadership as a Muslim woman athlete, is highlighted in a feature in the Huffington Post for successfully leading the first all-Muslim women’s Ragnar Road Relay Team (a relay race of 200+ miles over 2 days) in Washington, DC. She is also the co-author of Ramadan Ready: A Wholistic Spiritual Guide for Muslim Women.
As a community health advocate, Dr. ‘Ali works with hospitals, universities, community health organizations, and religious institutions to provide a practical, hands on approach to health education. Her work is most impactful in underprivileged populations; particularly with low-income households, women, and senior citizens. She facilitates evidenced based programs targeting chronic disease prevention & management, nutrition education, and falls prevention for seniors. Dr. ‘Ali is passionate about improving health outcomes and quality of life for those least likely to have easy access to good standards of care.
Dr. ‘Ali is a native of Savannah, GA and current resident of Baltimore, MD. When she’s not working out in the gym, engaging the community, or logging miles on the pavement, she can be found exploring the globe with her husband Tariq, and homeschooling their four wonderful children.
Dr. Muslimah 'Ali
Doris “Amirah” Opara
Inspired by her own personal story, Amirah has a deep passion for improving the economic and social well-being of marginalized people. This passion led her to earn a master’s degree in International Economic Policy and later an MBA in Finance and accounting. Amirah brings this deep passion to The Aafiyah Project. In her spare time, Amirah enjoys hiking and spending time with family. As Treasurer, Amirah will be responsible for the general financial oversight of The Aafiyah Project. She brings over 12 years of experience in the financial services industry in compliance. Amirah is versatile, results oriented, and a problem solver.
Growing up in Sierra Leone (West Africa) and having survived the civil war with her family over 20 years ago, Aminata Sarjoh to understand the effects of lack of healthcare. She was a witness to the suffered and sometimes death that community members succumbed to from preventable illnesses. This ignited a passion in her to help people live healthier lives by pursuing a nursing career. Aminata earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public health. This will enable her to make lasting contributions that will help improve the economic, social, and environmental health outcomes of communities, both locally and worldwide. In her graduate studies, Aminata will be focusing on a broad range of public health issues, including disparities in healthcare access and outcomes, food security and lack of access to healthy and affordable nutrition.
Dr. Tariqah Nuriddin
Dr. Tariqah Nuriddin is a sociologist, author, educator, and survey statistician. She received her PhD and Master of Science degrees in Sociology from Purdue University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Hampton University. She works in Maryland as an educational researcher and resides in Virginia with her husband and daughter.
Tawakalt is a Home Educator who has home schooled her children from preschool to middle school for the last 12 years. She also maintains a homeschool education resource website for parents and children and has teaching experience develop and implement preschool and kindergarten curricula. Tawakalt has also served as an officer for a nonprofit foundation and on the local masjid’s Sisters Committee where she was tasked with organizing children’s programs such as mock Hajj, Ramadan childcare, and nutrition classes. She currently serves as a Homeschool Program Coordinator for a full time Hifz program in College Park, MD. Tawakalt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria.