Founder and Managing Director
Sufyan Ismail is a serial Entrepreneur and Founding/Managing director of MEND. His role in MEND is to provide regular strategic input to the working model alongside being a regular speaker on the MEND circuit. Sufyan is also responsible overall for the entire MEND operation. He graduated from the University of Manchester in Corporate Finance and Economics and commenced his professional training with Deloitte. From 2001 onwards Sufyan has launched a string of business ventures involved in financial services, private equity, wealth consultancy and built a global real estate portfolio.
Sufyan and his business ventures have won numerous accolades and awards over the years including Shell Livewire’s ’NW Entrepreneur of the Year’ & ‘fastest growing company’, along with regular entires in the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Fast track and Profit Track corporate listings. Sufyan is also extensively involved in humanitarian relief work across the globe with countless charities and often pays field visits personally to oversee projects. Sufyan also has a keen interest in Islamic Finance and has authored numerous academic papers in the Islamic Finance arena alongside publishing a University textbook on the subject.
Shenaz Bunglawala, Head of Research
Shenaz Bunglawala is Head of Research at MEND. She holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BSc in Economics and Politics. She has taught undergraduate courses in political science at the LSE and King’s College, London and Religion and Faith in Humanitarian Contexts for the MSc in Psychosocial Consultation at the University of East London.
Shenaz sits on the Research Excellence Framework 2014 expert sub-panel for Theology and Religious Studies and advises on various AHRC/ESRC research projects. She is a member of the Management Board for the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) based at Lancaster University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her work has been variously published in books and journal articles.
Azad Ali, Head of Community Development & Engagement
Azad has been a community activist for over 20 years. Azad has extensive experience working in a central government department in various roles. He is the chair of the Muslim Safety Forum and is one of the founding trustees of the Civil Service Islamic Society and its former President. Azad is a member of Liberty and formerly a member of its National Council.
Azad sits on the National Accountability Board for Schedule 7 Stops with the Police and Home Office. He is also a member of the IPCC's Community Advisory Group and the Home Office's Trust and Confidence Community Panel. He is a presenter on Muslim Community Radio's flagship show Easy Talk and a presenter of Islam Channel's Your Views on the News.
Shiplu Miah, London Co-ordinator
Shiplu is an experienced project coordinator with PRINCE2® project management qualifications, APM® qualification, and a BA Honours in Accounting and Law. His experience includes several years of work with charities, NGOs, and in local government. Shiplu is currently undertaking a Masters in Marketing Communication at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Qudues Zafar, Midlands Co-ordinator
Qudues Zafar holds a BA Honours in Business Management. He has been an active citizen in Birmingham and Leicester over the last 10 years establishing three independent youth related organisations. The Stechford Youth Network, which he set up, has been operating for over 7 years.
Qudues has won a number of awards for his community engagement work, particularly with young Muslims, including the News of the World Children Champion Awards 2011 and the National Youth Agency Youth Worker Awards 2011. He is passionate about supporting communities to develop into cohesive and connected bodies that can nurture positive change.
Yusuf Tai, Northern Co-ordinator
Yusuf graduated with a BA Hons in Politics and Social Policy. Yusuf is the former Regional Director of Forward Thinking. He has a strong community focused approach and is passionate about social change. In a variety of roles, Yusuf has had first-hand experience of working with a diverse range of frontline, grass roots and faith communities across England. His expertise has enabled him to provide communities with opportunities to gain access to government and other statutory institutions, while supporting these organisations in internal development and capacity-building.
Khadiza Shahid, Research Assistant
Khadiza graduated with an MSc in Human Rights and BSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining MEND, she has worked for an anti-human trafficking organisation encouraging vulnerable women survivors to redevelop their career aspirations. She has also worked for a Diaspora membership network, providing organisational capacity building support.
With a strong commitment to the voluntary sector, she has been involved with various charities such as Survivor’s Fund and Jeans for Genes. Her main interests include human rights for minorities and the intersection between gender and religion.
Manija Omar, Project Manager
Manija recently graduated with an upper class degree in Business Management from Kingston University. She is former President of a cultural society at Kingston University involved in community engagement and fundraising for local charities.
Her previous career experience is within office operations offering administrative services for a variety of respected commercial and charitable organisations. She volunteers for a number of Muslim organisations under various roles, one of which is a project coordinator whereby she delivers workshops and training classes to empower, motivate and educate Muslim women. In her spare time Manija also tutors young students in the subject of Maths and English.
Abul Mahmud, Graphic & Web Designer
Abul is an experienced Graphic and Web designer and has over seven years of experience in working within this field. He has worked for various organisations and has delivered relevant projects in relation to working with political representatives as well as Charity groups within the UK. Prior to joining MEND, he delivered a project that was showcased at the Houses of Parliament and also developed a website that highlighted the work of NGO projects overseas.