Karemah Alhark is co-founder, along with her sister Jamila Alqarnain, of the upcoming publishing company Noon Publications. She’s also the author of Halal Healthy Meals, Halal Healthy Skin Care and the co-author of the upcoming children’s project, The Islamic Phonics Readers Series. A graduate from the State University of NY at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Early Childhood Education, Karemah worked as an assistant teacher at Bethel Head Start in her hometown, Buffalo N.Y.
In 1993, after graduation, Karemah moved clear across country to San Diego California with family and other community members. “It was time for me to make hijrah, as I felt my spiritual growth was stagnant at this time in my life.” “I was ready to find new adventures and new terrain to tread upon.” Karemah recalls.
Soon after making her journey for spiritual growth, Karemah got married and began to settle into family life. Her new family and community had many ideas that were foreign, yet seemed natural and to her. “I learned about awesome ideas like homeschooling, home birthing and natural eating from my family. I know that I never would have practiced most of these things living in Western New York. That just wasn’t the culture of the city or the people that I was keeping company with at the time. It was a blessing to have relocated at the time that I did.” Karemah has been involved in the education of her own children for over 18 years. “Providing our children with an enriching educational experience has been very rewarding.” “I pray to be around long enough to help my children with my grandchildren’s education.”
Within her community, Karemah has served to coordinate activities, field trips and fundraising efforts for many years. “We believe that in order for a community to thrive, everyone has to be actively working for the growth and improvement of the community, while being sure to keep the youth engaged and interested.”
Karemah’s plans for the future are to continue working with her sister Jamila at Noon Publications, while striving to give her children the best home education possible.
Jamila Alqarnain, a native of Buffalo, New York, was an active child whose hobbies included arts and crafts, reading, drawing and writing stories. Sewing was her favorite. Majoring in Fashion Clothing & Textiles at Buffalo Vocational Technical Center, she intended to become a seamstress and fashion designer.
As life proves time and again, plans rarely occur in the order or manner expected. Jamila married her high school sweetheart, moved to San Diego and began a family. Although family life took up most of her time, she continued to sew. Her clients were friends, family and others who sought her out. She created a line of modest women’s clothing she successfully sold from her home and at various events.
Jamila’s most prized “productions” were her children whom she vowed to home school. After the birth of her 3rd child, juggling a business, teaching and running a household began to take its toll. She began to contemplate getting back into writing. Sewing was still her first love but juggling everything was becoming more and more difficult. Which would most help her satisfy her passion for motherhood, wife-dom and owning a business? She realized that leaving a paper trail vs. selling garments was much more likely to, Insha’Allah, help her earn her blessings in this and most importantly, the next life. So, Jamila unplugged her sewing machine and turned on her computer.
Ten years later, Jamila published, “The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling,” a 150+ page encouraging advice manual. She also started Muslim Homeschool Blog and Successful Muslim Homeschool, where she shares her homeschooling journey. She, along with her sister Karemah, is the co-founder of Noon Publications. They are working on individual and joint literary projects to include a phonetic based reading series, Arabic workbooks and a book that tells the experiences of African American Muslims in America. Eventually, she’d like to expand her ability to help others by operating a successful non-profit organization geared towards helping inner city kids with their reading skills.
Jamila’s main source of inspiration for her writing projects is her family. She is the proud mom to 8 wonderful children and a cat named Ginger. In her spare time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Basheer Ahmed, a third generation Muslim American, was born in San Diego California in 1995. Basheer is a natural born artist, who began wielding a pencil at the early age of three years old. Though Basheer has taken some traditional and digital art classes over the years, he is primarily a self-taught artist. As both a child, as well as a young adult you could always see him walking around with a pen and sketch pad in hand. Basheer has developed many characters and scenes over the years however the Islamic Phonics Readers is his first published project.
Basheer has always had a soft spot in his heart for young children. Basheer is presently studying Arabic and Islamic Studies, and considering focusing more on formal art studies in years to come. We pray that Allah will increase him in his artistic abilities and guide him to do more works for our children for the pleasure of Allah.
Khadijah Amatur-Raheem is an artist who has found early success after discovering her talent at a young age and attending the School of Performing and Creative Arts. She has been featured at the Museum of Photographic Arts, and she placed second at the San Diego County Centennial Art Contest and first at another local art contest. An avid painter, drawer, and reader, Khadihag has been passionate about art from the time that she could hold a pencil straight. She thinks of herself a constant learner, attending several art courses in her own free time and illustrating a children’s book.
A self-starter, Khadijah has been accepted into five college art programs so far, including The School of Visual Arts and The California College of Arts. She hopes to eventually study abroad and her ultimate career is as a freelance illustrator, traveling the world as she practices her art and continues to study the Quran. One additional hobby of hers is fair trade, with a focus on chocolate and clothes.
Asiila Imani was raised an “army brat,” the eldest of three of a career army officer. She was born in Kentucky and graduated high school in Hawaii, living in 9 other states in between. On her own, she continued to wander, adding another 5 states to her list. Finally, she married and has lived in Southern CA since 1992. She has two granddaughters via her stepson. She dabbles in reflexology and homeopathy and occasionally works on both ends of life as a doula and midwife, and a bather for ghusl mayyits(bath for the dead)