Asalam-u- Alikum, my name is Mehnaz Piracha. I am so delighted to be your School Director this year. I am looking forward to meeting you all in person. I graduated from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, with a Master of Arts Degree in Economics. I moved to the US 17 years ago and went back to school to earn my Associate of Arts Degree in Early childhood studies and received my California Director’s permit. I have been working with the Irvine Unified School district for the past six years. I also worked as a preschool program specialized for 4 years with Stanford University and Aim Academy School Director for 4 years. I live in Irvine with my three children and my husband. I am so pleased to be a part of Aim Family again and am accessible for any support and help needed throughout the school year.
Ms Adita: Director
Adita Arya holds an MA in Islamic Studies and Leadership from Bayan Islamic Graduate School and a certificate in MBSR from the Susan Samuel Integrative Health Institute-UCI. Her main area of study focuses on bridging modern mindfulness with Islamic contemplative practices to synthesize practical Islamic Mindfulness for Muslim practitioners not versed in mysticism. She also holds an MS in Educational Leadership, and a B.S. in Biology. She has always been passionate about education, so for the past 14 years Adita has been engaged in teaching, directing, and developing curriculum at Islamic Schools throughout the United States and empowering children’s education for the underprivileged in Afghanistan. She is the president and co-founder of Afghan Literacy Foundation, an organization that prevents children from being forced into child labor in Afghanistan and provides them monetary support to attend school instead. As founder of AIM in 2013 she created and proposed a weekend school model for the Islamic Center of Irvine. Prior to that, she directed Pillars Academy Islamic School.
Ms. Asra: Asra was born in Karachi, Pakistan where she grew up, got married and had 3 kids. After moving to the United States, she pursued a college education in Childcare Development. For many years she taught Quran and Islamic Studies, both in Pakistan and in the US. She began teaching in 2001, where she continues enjoying teaching. She joined AIM Academy in 2020 and has become a vital part of our program. Aim program she brings warm smiles and encouraging words to our second graders and pushes them to do their best. Asra is grateful to Allah for being given the opportunity to teach students and hopes that they can apply what they learn in class to the outside world. She works very hard every day to instill core Islamic and academic values, both in her students and children. She can be reached at [email protected]
Ms. Assil: Assil Alsharifi was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. She moved to the United States of America at the age of eighteen and studied Biology at the University of Kentucky. She has been married for thirty one years and have four wonderful children. She started teaching Arabic eighteen years ago at Berlitz Language Center, then moved on to teach at Pillars Academy for ten years. She also taught Arabic at New Horizon Islamic School and Quest Prep Academy for two years. She joined AIM Academy three years ago to teach Arabic and Quran. If you need to reach Mrs. Assil Alsharifi, you can contact her at [email protected]
Omaya Saad: Qur’an & Arabic Studies Teacher
Omaya was born and grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. She graduated from Beirut Arab University with a B.S. in Physics. She then began teaching Quran, Arabic, and math in Beirut. When Omaya moved to America, she continued teaching at Al-Hedayah Academy in Fort Worth, Texas. A few years later, she got married, moved to California, and had three wonderful children. Omaya attended weekly Quran recitation and Tajweed classes at Al- Ansar Mosque. She has also attended various seminars and workshops for Arabic and Quran. She has been working as a Quran and Arabic teacher at AIM Academy for five years. Omaya can be reached at [email protected]
Shaimaa Ahmed: Qur’an & Arabic Studies Teacher
Ms. Shaimaa Ahmed has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Ain Shams University, Egypt in 2006. She has also earned a Diploma in Teacher Preparation from the same University in 2007. Between 2008 and 2010, Ms. Ahmed has been teaching Arabic Language and History in middle school and high school in Egypt. In 2010, she moved to Virginia, USA where she enrolled in a Master degree of Arts in Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. She earned this degree in Oct 2013, specialized in Education Technology and Curriculum and Instructional Design. In 2014, she moved to Irvine, CA where she started her professional career as an Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies teacher in several weekend schools in the Orange County area. She is currently a part-time teacher of Arabic and Quran at Al Kawthar Learning Center, Arabic teacher in the Minaret Academy Saturday School, and an Arabic and Quran teacher in the Aim Academy Sunday School.
Salwa Setaboha: Qur’an & Arabic Studies Teacher
My name is Salwa Setaboha, I started teaching Arabic and Quran with ICOI since 2017. Teaching the words of Allah and their meaning is a passion of mine. It also falls under my values and responsibilities to share the knowledge and pass it to the new generation. I teach Sunday School because I love watching kids start learning about the Quran, worship, and praying as they start their faith journey. Their energy and inquisitiveness is so much fun. My time with them is one of the highlights of my week!
Sabah Awarki: Islamic Studies Teacher
Sabah graduated from the Lebanese American University of Beirut in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. In 2001, Sabah moved to the United States and settled in California, where she attended Orange Coast College and completed many childhood education classes. Between 2009 and 2015, Sabah taught Arabic and Islamic studies in Pillars Academy weekend school in Mission Viejo, California. In 2014, Sabah joined AIM Academy as a teacher assistant, and she is currently the Islamic Studies teacher for first and fourth grade. Sabah is married and has three boys ages 10, 11, and 15. In her free time, Sabah enjoys hiking and watching movies. Sabah can be reached at [email protected]
Sara Nasla: Islamic Studies Teacher
Sara Nasla has been with AIM Academy since 2015. She started off as a volunteer, then worked as a Teaching Assistant, and now she is the Islamic Studies teacher for 3rd and 6th graders. Sara is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Sciences at UCI. Sara was an active cabinet member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) in high school and has continued to be an active member of the MSA in college. Some of Sara’s passions include reading, baking, fishing, and teaching. Sara Nasla can be reached at [email protected]