Today we’d like to introduce you to Shamikh Sahadat.
Hi Shamikh, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I was born in Guyana, South America. As a kid growing up in Guyana, my parents had several businesses and I was able to observe and see first-hand how to run a business. At the same time, our family use to be proactive in the different Mosque around our area. I was able to witness many philanthropic works which my father did within the community and had a huge impact later in my life. We moved to the United States in November 1996. As a teenager coming to the US, I was very excited to see what the new world offer. We came and settled in Hollywood, Florida. I went to McArthur High School where I graduated in 2000. While I was in high school, my life took a turn when I enrolled in an evening Islamic School, Darul Uloom Institute, Hollywood, Florida. There I met my teacher, Shaykh Shafayat Mohamed, who became very instrumental in my life. While attending high school, I was doing my Islamic Studies part-time in which I was learning to Memorize our Holy Scripture, The Quran. After my memorization, I was able to obtain my certificate as a reciter of the Holy Quran, a title given to me as a Qari. Along with that, I was able to do my Islamic Studies in which I finished my studies in 2006. While doing my Islamic Studies, I was also attending college in which I was studying business administration, world religion, comparative religion, and theology. I was very fortunate along this journey to have met many of my teachers from Africa, Egypt, UK, and many other countries.
In 2006 me and my family moved to Georgia where I settled in Marietta, Georgia. At that time, I ended up landing a job with a startup company in which I became the Chief Operating Officer for the company. I spend 13 years and 6 months with the company. While working with the company, I was able to volunteer my time and efforts in helping out the Muslim communities around Atlanta. I was able to use my fundraising and public speaking skills which I develop during my Islamic Studies and apply it towards building many Muslim communities across the United States.
In 2019, my life took a bigger turn when I resigned from running the company and I then accepted the position as the South East Director of ICNA Relief USA Programs Inc. I use to volunteer with this organization for many years before which prompted me to take the position with ICNA Relief. This position has really opened my ability towards serving humanity. As I was growing up in Guyana, watching my father do many philanthropies work, I now see myself in that direction towards helping the most vulnerable within our communities throughout the 8 Southern States, FL, NC, SC, TN, GA, AL, MS, and LA. Within a very short time, I found that what I was now doing was a life’s mission to help people. ICNA Relief is the largest Muslim Social Service organization in the United States and does relief efforts in over 26 plus states. We develop and run programs such as Hunger Prevention, Health Services, Women Transitional Houses, Muslim Family Services, Back to School Supply and Empowerment Grant, and Disaster Response Services throughout the US. I was able to do what my father use to do while we were living in Guyana, helping the poor and needy within our society.
Today I am very happy to say, I love what I do and it feels like it is ingrained in my DNA to do what I do. In the South East, we were able to develop programs to help the homeless population and help needy families at our food pantries. We are able to help the uninsured and underinsured within our communities. Rescue single women and women with children and able to take care of them in the most dignified way and also help them to get back on their feet. We manage to help refugees, those in financial hardships, case management, and those who need counseling services. We do back-to-school drives in many different communities and were able to develop the empowerment grant to help teachers and parents to get the financial assistance needed to teach the students and run the classrooms. Of course, we are able to deploy our employees and volunteers during natural disasters and help families who have lost everything. In 2020 we were able to help over 1.8 million Americans. All of this is done through our donors and volunteer base.
Aside from ICNA Relief, I help my beautiful wife with her company, CAFA Enterprises, LLC in which she does local, state, and federal contracting. We both work towards our dreams and goals in life together. We reside in Dallas, Georgia, and love spending time with our kids and families. We both love outdoor activities such as Bike Riding, Hiking, and Walking.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. My first obstacle was when I wanted to move to Georgia. I had to made that tough decision to take a leap of faith to leave all my extended families in Florida and move to Georgia with my immediate family. My second was to leave the company I was working for to be with ICNA Relief USA. It was a tough decision at that time because I was the one who architect the entire company I was working for before.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
ICNA Relief is the largest Muslim Social Service organization in the United States and does relief efforts in over 26 plus states. We develop and run programs such as Hunger Prevention, Health Services, Women Transitional Houses, Muslim Family Services, Back to School Supply and Empowerment Grant, and Disaster Response Services throughout the US. We have 48 Food Pantries, 24 Women’s Transitional House/Domestic Violence Shelter, 8 Clinics, and 4 Mobile Clinics, Offer Family Services such as bill pay assistance, refugee services, case management, and counseling services. We have back-to-school drives and we are doing a 100k empowerment grant for teachers and we have responded to over 69 disasters since 2005. All of this is done only in the United States.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I LOVE TO SLEEP
- Email: shamikh.sahadat@
- Website: www.icnarelief.org
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