Due to the impact of COVID-19, our Ethnic & Gender campus locations are closed until further notice. Our staff is working remotely and available to support you along your Highlander journey. We look forward to being back on campus and supporting you in-person. Please continue to wash your hands, wear a face covering, and maintain physical distance.


About Our Staff


Omar Azis, MESC Director

Omar Aziz, Director

Omar Aziz currently serves as Director of the Middle Eastern Student Center. His experience includes working in student affairs, teaching, and community organizing. He has worked as a Coordinator for Residential Education at UC Santa Cruz, taught 10th grade math with the Teach for America program in Miami, FL and separately taught in Ramallah, Palestine. Omar attended UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate and Rowan University for a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration. Most recently, Omar served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant/Course Instructor at George Mason University where he is currently working on completing his PhD. Omar's research interests include racial identity formation; immigrant experiences; Arab, South Asian, Afghan, and Muslim identity development; diversity in higher education, and looks forward to using this knowledge to make universities more inclusive for all its students.

Omar's community work includes serving as Director of the Afghan-American Conference and co-founder of The Samovar Network (an online forum and podcast discussing issues affecting the Afghan diaspora). He grew up in the Bay Area and works tirelessly to convince doubters that he is a lifelong Golden State Warriors fan and never rode on any bandwagon

Ali Saadat, MESC Program Coordinator
Ali Saadat, Program Coordinator

Ali Saadat is one of MESC’s program coordinators. Previously, he was the social media and marketing intern. Ali is a Highlander alum as well and graduated from UCR with a B.A. in history.

During his time at UCR, Ali was the president of the Afghan Student Association, a resident advisor in Pentland Hills and an advancement ambassador for UCR Advancement. He played an important role in helping establish the Markaz special interest theme hall and the Ramadan breakfast bags served in the residential restaurants for observing students during Ramadan.

Ali is Afghan-American and enjoys watching and playing soccer (his favorite club is Chelsea FC) and also reading and learning languages (he’s got Spanish and German down along with Farsi and is working to improve his passable French!).

Mariam Danish, MESC Student Program Coordinator
Mariam Danish, Student Program Coordinator

Mariam Danish is the Middle Eastern Student Center’s current Student Program Coordinator. Mariam is a current UCR student working towards her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Mariam is involved in the Afghan Student Association and has served in the role of Secretary for the past two years. Mariam has also been a Resident Advisor for Pentland Hills for the past two years and was the Markaz Resident Advisor for the academic year 2019-2020. Mariam is a first generation born American and understands the struggle of trying to find a balance between two different cultures. Mariam is scared of certain heights. For example, looking out a window of a tall building, TERRIFYING. Going Skydiving? No fear at all, best experience of her life.

Ali Alshaher, MESC Social Media and Marketing Specialist
Ali Alshaher, Social Media and Marketing Specialist

Ali Alshaher is our Social Media and Marketing Specialist. He is a Sociology major and will be graduating in 2020.

During his time at UCR, he has served with the Middle Eastern Student Assembly, Diversity Council, Chancellor work groups, and represented students on a number of search committees. He hopes to continue being an advocate for students and helping students find a voice on campus and in their communities.

Ali is an Iraqi-American that loves connecting to his roots by listening to Iraqi poetry. He grew up playing soccer and enjoys watching Manchester United play every weekend. Aside from interning at the MESC, Ali is a self-taught barber, where he enjoys giving haircuts to his friends, family, and other students. Ali also loves to experiment with his cooking abilities and enjoys a homemade meal. Ali will always go out of his way to say hi to the new person in the room and hopes to make them feel welcomed at the center.

Mohammad Tabel, MESC Community Outreach Coordinator
Mohammad Tabel, Community Outreach Coordinator

Mohammad Tabel is our Community Outreach Coordinator. He is a biochemical engineer major and will be graduating Spring 2020.

During his time at UCR, he has served on the board of Middle Eastern Student Assembly, for Students for Justice in Palestine, is part of Diversity Council, and has interned at the MESC since 2018.

Mohammad is a Palestinian Muslim that loves doing dabcha wherever he can. He loves learning and understanding all cultures that fall under the Middle East. He grew up with the love of playing sports especially football (Go Niners!!!). You can also find him at the gym 7 times a week. Don’t be shy and say hi!

Tamara Mustafa, Civic Engagement and Leadership Coordinator
Tamara Mustafa, Civic Engagement and Leadership Coordinator

Tamara Mustafa is our Civic Engagement and Leadership Coordinator at MESC. She is a proud Highlander and will be graduating in 2020 with her B.S. in Bioengineering.

Tamara has been involved with MESC and student leadership since her Freshman year at UCR. She enjoyed serving her student community through her various roles with MESC, the Middle Eastern Student Assembly (MESA), and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Her proudest accomplishments during her time at UCR were planning MESC leadership retreats and creating a leadership workshop series called GameChangers, in collaboration with Student Life, that focuses on institutional impact and creating change in our communities!

Tamara is a Palestinian-American who lived in Jordan most of her life and MESC has been her home away from home for the past 4 years. Her passion is improving patient’s quality of life through Bioengineering. She is a huge Game of Thrones fan and loves all forms of art with a passion, especially dance and music!