Collections & Stories of American Muslims Inc.
Who We Are
Dr. Khalid Blankenship- Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Aminah McCloud- Chicago, IL
Dr. Zakiyyah Muhammad- Sacramento, CA
Dr. Muhammad Sillah- Hampton, VA
Imam Yusuf Saleem- Washington, DC
Dr. Hakim M Rashid- Washington, DC
Mohamed Zakariya- Arlington, VA
Abrar A Ansari- Texas
Vaseem Ansari- Texas
Retired Lt. Commander R. Ayesha Muhammad- Arlington, VA
Meet Our Board and team
Collections & Stories of American Muslims (CSAM) was created in 1996 as a 501 © 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and the education of the history of Muslim Americans and the establishment of an Islamic museum and traveling exhibit in the United States, and abroad, which reflects America’s rich Islamic history, culture and diversity.
Our purpose and mission as an organization are to shed light on the depth, diversity, growth, and history of Muslim Americans. We serve as a resource center for the history, enrichment, knowledge, and understanding of Muslim Americans. Muslims and Islam have been a part of the American fabric for centuries. It is part of the many threads of culture, colors, religions, and lifestyles that make up the American pluralistic quilt.
Our exhibit represents the first major national exhibition that brings together an extraordinary range of documents and photos of Muslim Americans, and of the Muslims of the African Diaspora. Throughout America’s history from its very beginning, Muslims have played a significant role. Muslims were among the earliest explorers of the America’s and veterans of the revolutionary war. Yet, in the history books of the United States, our voices and our experiences are not told.
For over 20 years CSAM exhibits have traveled around the country and overseas reaching more than 50,000 people.
The exhibit has been on display at public Museums and Libraries: The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum and Center for African History and Culture, Cleveland’s African American Museum, Harvard’s University, Monroe Gutman library; Martin L. King Public library Washington, DC; and Memphis, Tennessee public library.
The exhibit has been on display at Universities around our Country such as Harvard University; Rutgers University; Howard University; Drew University; Fairleigh Dickinson; University of Indiana Bloomington; University of Illinois Chicago; University of Pittsburgh; Stanford University California; UDC University of Washington, DC; Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport, CT; Essex County Community College, Newark, NJ; and Wayne County Community College, Detroit, MI.
CSAM has been on exhibit for United States Agencies such as The GSA General Service Administration in Washington, DC, the SSA Social Security Administration in Maryland, The Pentagon Iftar Program, and The State Department International Visitor Program.
For Community Events and Programs like The Amistad national program in Washington, DC and Portland, Maine, Mosque Care Chicago’s National conventions, Chestnut Street Historic United Methodist Church, Portland, Ma, the Bermudian Government Tourism Department Bermuda, Masjid An Nur St. Thomas Virgin Island, Masjid Open houses in Washington, DC, Islamic Center Pittsburgh, Pa, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Southern New Jersey, Seattle, Washington and in Virginia.
Board Director: Dr. Sulayman Nyang has served on Collections & Stories of American Muslims Inc, Board as Vice President since our inception in 1996.
He served as a director of Muslim Media Network Inc. He has served as a Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Gambia to Saudi Arabia and seven other North African and Middle Eastern Countries, was the founding editor of the American Journal of Islamic Studies, now known as American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and was also the President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. Dr. Nyang received a Ph.D. degree in Government from the University of Virginia in 1974.
Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he serves as Professor of African Studies in 1972. From 1975 to 1978 he served as Deputy Ambassador and Head of Chancery of the Gambia Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Following his diplomatic stint, he immigrated to the United States and returned to academic life at Howard University where he later assumed the position of department chair from 1986 to 1993. He also serves as co-director of Muslims in the American Public Square, a research project funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Professor Nyang has served as a consultant to several national and international agencies. He has served on the boards of the African Studies Association, the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. Dr. Nyang is listed on the editorial boards of several national and international scholarly journals. He has lectured on college campuses in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Dr. Nyang has written extensively on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern affairs. His best-known works are Islam, Christianity and African Identity (1984), A Line in the Sand: Saudi Arabia’s Role in the Gulf War (1995) co-authored with Evan Heindricks and Religious Plurality in Africa co-edited with Jacob Olupona. His last book was Islam in the United States of America (1999). Professor Nyang has also contributed over a dozen chapters in books edited by colleagues writing on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern subjects. His numerous scholarly pieces have appeared in African, American, European and Asian journals.
Board Director: Ms. Habeebah Muhammad is retired Registrar for the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, DC. She has been employed by the Smithsonian for over 24 years. Ms. Muhammad is the past President, Vice President and Secretary of the Association of African American Museums. Ms. Muhammad has worked in the museum field for over 30 years. Previously she has worked at the Buffalo History Museum in Buffalo, NY; The Apex Museum, The High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Ballet all in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently the owner and developer of Habeebah's Herbal Company.
Ms. Muhammad has a BA in Sociology/Psychology from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. She is also the co-founder and a board member of Collections & Stories of American Muslims.
Board Director: Muhammad Fraser Abdur-Rahim is a former program officer for Africa programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Mr. Fraser-Rahim's areas of expertise include security sector reform, countering violent extremism (CVE) and community oriented policing in Africa. Prior to joining USIP, Mr. Fraser-Rahim worked for the United States Government for more than a decade providing strategic advice and executive branch analytical support on CVE to the White House and the National Security Council. Mr. Fraser-Rahim has conducted original research in more than 40 countries on the African continent and has worked as a conflict mediator, ESL instructor and adjunct professor on topics related to Africa, CVE and international relations. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University in African Studies with a focus on Islamic Thought, Spirituality and Modernity, and holds a master’s degree from Howard University in History, and a bachelor’s degree in History from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.
President: Mr. Amir Muhammad is an accomplished and noted researcher, historian, author, and poet whose works have gained him international recognition. Mr. Muhammad is the president, co-founder, and curator of America’s Islamic Heritage Museum a division of Collections & Stories of American Muslims, Inc. (Traveling Exhibit, Archives, & Museum), established in 1996. He is among the foremost historians and researchers of the Islamic experience in the United States as well as one of the leading activists in creating public awareness of America’s rich Islamic history.
Amir Muhammad is an author of eight books, A Life’s Journey from the Heart of A Man; Muslims in America; Seven Centuries of History from (1312-2000); Africans: People of Color in Pre-Islamic & Islamic History; Muslims Contribution to the World; America’s Masajid & Islamic Centers: A Pictorial Account; Muslim Veterans of American Wars; Unique Tombstones: Found Across the United States; and The History of Masjid Muhammad and the Early Muslims in the Washington, DC area. His work has been published in many articles for national and international magazines and newspapers. The book Muslims in America: Seven Centuries of History has sold over 40,000 copies over the past 10 years, the book still sales very well today.
Mr. Muhammad has lectured and exhibited at Harvard University, Stanford University, Rutgers University, Howard University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Indiana Bloomington, University of Florida, the University of Illinois Chicago, and a host of other universities and schools across the country. He has also provided exhibits for the State Department, the Pentagon Iftar programs, a variety of government agencies, Masajid, Churches, and community groups across the US, Bermuda, St. Thomas, Qatar, and Nigeria. He has won various awards for both his poetry and historical works. Mr. Muhammad has more than thirty years of business management and entrepreneurial experience. Throughout his career, he held many management positions for the America’s Islamic Heritage Museum, A&H Books & Gifts, ACLU, AMC, and Masjid Muhammad.