Emerge Leadership

Khurrum Wahid is a criminal defense attorney based in South Florida. A devoted advocate for human and civil rights, Khurrum has fought tirelessly to protect civil liberties from unwarranted government encroachment and to educate the public about the importance of safeguarding our constitutional protections, especially in times that try our nation’s conscience.

Khurrum has testified on civil rights issues several times before various government organizations, including twice before the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He frequently is invited to speak at conferences, community meetings, and professional forums. Before entering private practice, Khurrum served several years as a Senior Trial Attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. Prior to working at NDS, Khurrum gained extensive trial experience as an Assistant Public Defender in Miami, Florida. Khurrum received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. Khurrum is also a member of professional organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Florida Muslim Bar Association.

Khurrum is a founding member and current Vice-Chair of EMERGE USA and also serves on the board of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews (MCCJ), the Miami Council for International Visitors, and Voices for Children Broward County.

A.J. Durrani is a senior project manager for Shell Oil in Houston, Texas. He created an organization named CONAC which produced over 26 delegates from the Muslim community in the 2004 Presidential election for the Democrat party. CONAC merged with CVA Foundation in 2009.

Nauman Abbasi is a Businessman based in South Florida. He is also the President of Public Relations for The Islamic Foundation of South Florida since 2008. He has been actively working with the youth of South Florida on mobilizing them for various causes such as preventing a garbage dump from being zoned next to a mosque in Sunrise Florida, and he has also organized various interfaith events for The Muslim Community in South Florida.

Zeba Khan was the founder of Muslim Americans for Obama in 2008, which was an online national grassroots movement that garnered the attention of the Presidential candidate himself. Currently Zeba is the Strategic Initiatives Director at the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, a nonprofit that aims to help U.S.-affiliated Iraqis successfully resettle to the U.S. and a virtual campaign manager with Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an incubator for young social entrepreneurs. A former Fulbright Scholar, Zeba holds a joint MA/BA from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies and a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.

Arif Ghafur is a Professional Engineer by trade but he is also an active community organizer in Houston. He is involved in local community efforts to enfranchise American Muslims into the political process. Along with several concerned men and women initiated a political grassroots effort Houston which focuses on educating the community on the US political process known as CONAC. CONAC merged with CVA Foundation in 2009.