Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies Newsletter, Spring 2017
Zahra N. Jamal ('08) was named Rice University's representative to President Obama's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge by the US Department of Education in 2015, and was recognized for excellence in pluralism and interfaith work by Canadian senator Mobina Jaffer. Following former secretary of state John Kerry's 2016 address at Rice, she hosted the State Department's Office of Religion and Global Affairs leadership, civil society partners, and Rice faculty to explore collaborations on religious literacy and tolerance through diplomacy and development in the United States and abroad. Jamal sits on Houston mayor Sylvester Turner's Welcoming Houston Task Force to better engage Houston's thriving immigrant and refugee community, and works with Houston Endowment to address hate crimes in Houston through religious literacy. Since 2015, she has trained some 7,000 civil society leaders across the country on engaging religious diversity in the workplace, religious literacy in the classroom, understanding and countering Islamophobia, and other issues. She is featured in a 2017 UNESCO documentary on global peace, and on CBS's Hidden Heroes.