Anwar Arafat is the imam of Masjid Arrahman, in Memphis, TN, the largest mosque in the mid-south area. He is also a speaker for iERA. Although born in Utah, where his mother is from, for 10 years during his childhood and teenage years he lived in Gaza City, his father’s hometown, which wasn’t as dangerous as you think. He went to school there fully in Arabic, and was enrolled in the Qur’an memorization and Islamic Studies classes at the mosque for several years. He has a Bachelors Degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Islamic Studies, where he’s currently pursuing a masters. He also studied at Ma’had Al-Furqaan in Kuwait, where he doubled as the program’s translator.
On the non-religious side he studied Film at the University of Utah. He was also active with the local MSA, serving as president for two years and helping to organize the first few Islamic conferences ever to come to the state of Utah, as Utah is kind of out of the way (Go Utes!). For the film side of things, the intention was and still is to utilize the visual medium for da’wah purposes. To that goal he has worked on several projects, and he has a few projects for iERA in the works.
He’s a cofounder of the Muslim Community Center of Utah, and was an imam and an assistant imam for several years in Utah before moving to Memphis, TN, putting his bilingual tongue to more use.