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Mahnaz Shabbir

Summary Biography, 2015

1. Brief bio
3. from The Star   January 9, 2002
4. from the Heartland Muslim Council 
5. Shabbir honored at  23d Annual  CRES Interfaith Thanksgiving Sunday Ritual Meal 2007 Nov 18
6. Family Circle article (cover + 2 pages) 
Muslim in the Metro -- KCPT


Mahnaz Shabbir is the president of Shabbir Advisors, an integrated management consulting company focusing on strategic planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, public relations and diversity training. She received her BBA and MBA from UMKC.  She serves on the boards of Truman Medical Centers, Chancellor's Advisory Board to the UMKC Women's Center, Crescent Peace Society, CRES, Kansas City Interfaith Council, Boys Scouts of America, Kansas University Academic Center Advancement Board; Overland Park Police Chief’s Independent Citizens Advisory Board Regarding Racial Profiling (chair), a precinct chair in Stilwell, Kansas and is past president of the Heartland Muslim Council.   In 2005, then Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Mahnaz to the REACH Health Care Foundation, community advisory committee, a $100 million foundation. Ingram’s Magazine identified her as one of the 50 Kansans You Should Know in 2014.

Prior to forming her own company, Shabbir was the V.P for Strategic Planning and Business Development at Carondelet Health, a Catholic health care system in Kansas City. She had been with the organization for over 18 years. In this capacity, Shabbir planned $40 million projects like the four story medical mall at Saint Joseph Health Center. She has a BBA and a MBA from the University of Missouri- KC.

Shabbir is also on the faculty at Park University teaching classes in health care administration and at Avila University teaching diversity classes. She has been a lecturer at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She has been the subject of articles in local and national publications; she has spoken widely about diversity issues facing the Asian community. She was featured in the CBS-TV national religion special, “Open Hearts, Open Minds”, Family Circle Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. 

Shabbir co-authored the chapter on Islam in The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health Care Providers published in 2013. It is an extraordinary compendium of religious traditions as an invaluable resource to all healthcare providers. The user-friendly resource contains specific and detailed information on faith traditions vital for providing optimal spiritual care in a clinical setting.

More information can be found at

Mahnaz Shabbir

"Mahnaz is an extraordinary visionary who has already made key contributions in building interfaith community. With her business skills, personal charm, and spiritual commitment, she makes hope for a better future palpable, and enables other to join in the process of mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation." - Vern Barnet

Mahnaz Shabbir has been subject of over a dozen articles in local and national publications; she has spoken widely about diversity issues facing the Asian community. She was featured in the CBS-TV national religion special, “Open Hearts, Open Minds” and in the April 19, 2005 issue of Family Circle Magazine and the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine.   She serves on the boards of Crescent Peace Society, CRES, Kansas City Interfaith Council, Boys Scouts of America and is past president of the Heartland Muslim Council.   She is the president of Shabbir Advisors, which offers strategic planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, public relations, diversity training, and website design. In March 2005, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Mahnaz to the REACH Health Care Foundation, a $100 million foundation.


Noteworthy: Mahnaz Shabbir

I am an American Muslim Woman
Mahnaz Shabbir

With that simple, honest declaration, Mahnaz Shabbir provided a unique voice in the chaotic aftermath of 9/11. She also launched herself into the world of syndicated news and national speaking engagements, and became a crusader for the cause of tolerance and cultural understanding.

Those six words, heartfelt and direct, formed the title of a creative writing workshop essay she wrote in October 2001. She had no idea her words would be the dawn of a new career for herself, and an expression of strength for thousands of  “silent” Americans who felt they, too, needed advocacy.

Shabbir, a UMKC alumna (B.A. ’82, M.B.A. ‘84) was horrified by the terrorist attacks of that September, and hoped the attackers were not Muslims. But as she sadly discovered that they had laid claim to her beloved Islamic religion, she also thought of her four sons (themselves second-generation Americans), who would soon be fending off prejudicial comments and bullying from some classmates.

After confronting her feelings and writing of her experience, she read the piece out loud to her writing class.  “Everybody was crying, including me,” she said. “It was so personal, and seemed in many ways to be a universal story. There have been other minorities in our country’s history that have faced similar discrimination.”

Urged by her teacher, Shabbir sent the essay to the Kansas City Star, which responded immediately. After it was published, it was circulated quickly throughout the country’s newspapers and printed many times over. She was called by dozens of interfaith and community organizations to speak on issues of tolerance and diversity, and realized that the new links she was forging could perhaps help to strengthen the fragile infrastructure of America’s pluralist cultural identity.

Having been a hospital administrator for more than 18 years, Shabbir oversaw big-picture projects, including long-term strategic planning and marketing for several area health facilities. However, after so many years in the business, she recognized that her executive-level duties were no longer “lighting the fire.”

 “So I had a little talk with myself,” she says with a smile. “And that’s when I knew I needed to do this work, so I started my own company.”

 Shabbir has been profiled recently in Entrepreneur magazine for her consulting business, Shabbir Advisors, which specializes in diversity training and strategic and marketing planning for corporate clients (

 Her work with a dual Muslim/Jewish children’s choir was spotlighted in the CBS documentary, Open Hearts/Open Minds, and she is working on a book.

 Currently, she says that some of her most gratifying work is as a diversity facilitator for the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

 “When I speak to these students, who are among the very best the U.S. military has to offer, I’m speaking to the future,” Shabbir says. “I hope to give them a better, more compassionate understanding of the cultural complexities of Islam.  Maybe somewhere, while on their missions, this will make a difference.

“I am interested in creating an environment where people can learn from each other in a way that doesn’t make one person right and the other wrong. My hope is that we can create a place where fear and hatred will be replaced by friendship and peace,” she says.

Shabbir sometimes wears the hijab, or traditional headscarf, to class, and invites female students to do so. So far, none have turned her down, as they find wearing it widens their perception of cultural expectations. “And they are surprised to find that it is not too hot or uncomfortable,” Shabbir points out.

Born in Philadelphia to hard-working Indian immigrants, Shabbir remembers as a teenager trying to assimilate into so-called “American” culture by re-naming herself Mona. Her parents did not approve. After all, they named their daughter Mahnaz, which in Farsi means “beauty of the moon.”

It’s a fitting name for this American Muslim woman, who exudes a strong and peaceful magnetism, and whose vocation is to illuminate the darkness in order to gain understanding.

Click Here  [ ] to read the original essay “I am an American Muslim Woman.”

 – Donna Mennona Dilks

I am an American Muslim woman
Special to The Star   January 9, 2002

I am an American Muslim woman. These words are very powerful for me. Words I would never have said out loud, yet unquestionably that is who I am. Why would this be so difficult you ask? Would you have difficulty saying that you were an American Christian or Jewish woman? Probably not. Yet my identification as a first-generation American Muslim woman has been a struggle.

The events of Sept. 11 have caused more concern – but the need to share and disperse misunderstandings is far greater.

I didn't realize I was different from other 4-year-olds growing up in New Jersey until the kids in my nursery school teased me with whooping noises (similar to the 1960's television version of American Indians). Suddenly, I realized I was not like the other children.

Later in 1971, while in sixth grade, something happened that altered how I thought of myself. My cousins had just immigrated from India. One of my cousins was in the same grade. Finally, there was someone like me.

It was the month of Ramadan, and my cousin's teacher wanted to know why he wasn't eating. His teacher wasn't satisfied with the explanation of the Islamic fasting month, so he came to question me in my classroom. He demanded to know, "why isn't your cousin eating?" I tried to explain Ramadan as best as I could while also wishing my cousin didn't go to my school. I was also hoping I would disappear. It was at that moment that a sentence was handed down to me, a sentence that said, I Am Different.

I told my parents what had happened, and my dad met with the principal and teachers. Logically, I said, "My dad took care of them!" However, 24 years later, I realized what my sentence cost me. It cost me my silence and my identity.

From then on, I did whatever I could to blend in. My name and my skin color would always give me away. I would try to be the best student, the one the teachers would like. I was a friend to all. I remember being told that I didn't seem different. I felt I had succeeded.

I would open myself to people only when I could trust them – only when I felt it was safe to disclose that I was a Muslim. One day a trusted colleague told me she was surprised that I was fun to be with. I thought about her statement. Surprised? I then saw the cost of my silence. The cost of withholding my self-expression.

That was six years ago. Since then, I have led interfaith prayer services and given talks to schools, churches and hospitals. I have been the emcee for the annual Ramadan Eid dinners where Muslims and non-Muslims celebrate the ending of the Muslim holy days.

The chaplains at Saint Joseph Health Center have called on me to help them in their ministry of Muslim women in the emergency room. I found myself with Muslim women I never knew during the last minutes of their lives. All of these incidents would never have occurred if I had not seen the price of my sentence. My sentence that I was gloriously different.

On Sept. 11, 2001, another life-altering moment arrived. Oh, how I prayed, like many American Muslims, that the attackers weren't Muslims. Nevertheless, they called themselves Muslims. I was out of town on a business trip when it happened. My fear was for my children. Will people treat them with malice?

I found out that both my older boys had experienced negative comments. Can you imagine a 14-year-old telling another 14-year-old he was responsible for the terrorists' attacks?

I initially became the sixth-grader from 30 years ago. I wanted to hide. However, there has been so much negative information about Muslims and Islam, I knew I couldn't remain silent. Thank God for people who want to know the truth.

I've spoken on a radio talk show and continue to speak to various groups about my faith. Last November, the Central Exchange in Kansas City asked two other American Muslim women and myself to participate in a forum called "The Truth about Islam: Dispelling the Myths." A second forum is scheduled for noon Thursday at the Central Exchange.

The silent moderate Muslim community can no longer be silent. We have to share ourselves with others so our children won't face discrimination and racism. I cannot say I have lost my inhibitions and fears. They remain, but what is stronger is my identity. I am an American Muslim woman!

Mahnaz Shabbir lives in Stilwell, Kan. Her parents immigrated to the United States in the 1950s from India. Born in Philadelphia, she has lived in the Kansas City area for 21 years. She is the vice president for strategic planning and business development at Carondelet Health in Kansas City.

Heartland Muslim Council Congratulates Mahnaz Shabbir on her accomplishments and wishes her a lot more success in the leadership role.


Mahnaz Shabbir Mahnaz Shabbir, M.B.A.

Mahnaz has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. She is currently President of Shabbir Advisors, an integrated strategic management consulting company focusing on planning, marketing, public relations, diversity transformation and website design. In March 2005, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Mahnaz to the REACH Health Care Foundation, a $100 million foundation. Prior to forming her own company, Mahnaz was the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Business Development at Carondelet Health, a Catholic health care system in Kansas City. She had been with the organization for over 18 years. In this capacity, Mahnaz planned $40 million projects liked the four story medical mall at Saint Joseph Health Center.  She was also responsible for developing an employer-driven health promotion program to assist businesses in reducing their health care costs by encouraging health promotion for their employees.  She has served as a Diplomat for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) since 1984.

2007 Nov 18 
Text of Response:

The text from the printed program:

We give  thanks for MAHNAZ SHABBIR, a Muslim leader who has brought better understanding of her faith to us and to the nation. 

     Mahnaz has been speaking and writing about her faith since 1995. After September 11, 2001, she resigned her position  as vicepresident for strategic planning at Carondelet Health in order to give more time to interfaith work. Here are a  few examples of the range of her activities: she is a lecturer in Middle East Studies at the US Army Command and General Staff College;  she consults for the US State Department; she co-chaired the Salam-Shalom Dinners; she serves on the Interfaith Council and has twice chaired its annual luncheon; she has been president of the Heartland Muslim Council; for several years she was program chair for the Crescent Peace Society. She also is a valued member of the CRES Board.

     Her many speaking engagements and publications (including a story in the national Family Circle magazine) are evidence of her extraordinary communication skills. Her articles have appeared in The Kansas City Star, The Jewish Chronicle, The National Catholic Reporter, and many other places. She appeared in the 2002 CBS documentary, Open Hearts Open Minds. Earlier this month, to a large collection of awards, she added an honor from the ACLU.

community resource exploring spirituality

gives thanks for

Mahnaz Shabbir

whose faithfulness 
to her own tradition 
and whose work with others 
is blessing us and the nation.

Thanksgiving Sunday
November 18, 2007


Salaam, Shalom, Namaste, Peace. Thank you Vern for this wonderful honor. I would also like to thank the Cres Board as well. I first met Vern at the first Crescent Peace Society dinner 11 years ago. I was so surprise to find a non-Muslim so familiar about Islam. At one time, I thought perhaps you were a Muslim—but then I have soon learned that is how you are Vern. You take on all the faiths as is if it is your own. You have educated all of us and I am truly grateful for your presence, intellect and being a role model in the area of interfaith understanding.

I am also honored to share this recognition with David Nelson. David is such a wonderful man. So calming, so healing, so direct. I’ve learned a lot watching you as the convener of the Greater Interfaith Council. Thank you so much for our friendship.

I would like to dedicate this award to my American grandparents Kris and Paul Costello and my own parents Inayeth and Meher Ali Khan. I am often asked when I started being involved with interfaith work—and I have to say it began from the time I was born.

You need two parties at the table to do interfaith work. There has to be a give and take. There has to be respect and inclusion. There has to be peace and justice. And that is what these people taught me.

I took these skills to my professional life when I worked at Carondelet Health, a catholic health care system for over 18 years. I totally understood the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. I made sure that my work was consistent with that mission. Three instances that stands out for me was when I was asked by Carol Nash the Clinical Pastoral Educator at the hospital about doing an in-service training for the chaplains [tell story]

Another instance had to do with prayer. All of the meetings at the hospital opened with a prayer. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be asked to open the meeting with a prayer so I memorized Surah Fateh which is the Opening prayer in the Qur’an and the prayer Muslims say each time during the 5 times a day prayer. [tell story]

The third instance had to do with my friend Elizabeth Alex. She was interviewing me for the one-year anniversary of 9/11 and in the conversation she realized that I worked at a hospital and asked me if I could help her with a Palestinian girl, Doa Aldalou who was born with club hands, club feet and dislocated hips. I said I didn’t know, but I would try to see what I could do. Saint Joseph Health Center had stopped doing pediatric inpatient care a few years prior, but I approach Sister Mary Kay Hadican and worked through all the issues of making sure we had the appropriate nursing care, special medical staff privileges for Dr. Ganesh Gupta, a children’s orthopedic surgery. Doa had her surgery. Her mother, Intesaar and Doa are here today. Because of the interfaith work of a catholic reporter, Christian Palestinian, Nick Awad, a Hindu doctor, Ganesh Gupta, a catholic hospital, the Jewish community center for water rehabilitation therapy and many, many other people from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith, Doa is walking today.

I would also like to thank the interfaith community—Cres, The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council and the people involved with the Salaam Shalom Celebration and Festival of Faiths. These organizations are the flame keeper of interfaith understanding. I’m very proud that I have associated myself with these organizations. I have learned more about interfaith work through you all.

I would also like to thank the Muslim community as well. The last few years have not been easy for us, but with leaders like Drs. Shaheen and Iftekhar Ahmed, Dr. Rauf Mir, Rushdy El-Ghussain, Ahmed El-Sheriff, Mohsin Zaidi and Anab and Abdi Nur, we have been able to tear down the negative filters that are out there regarding Islam. You all have been doing this much longer than I have and I want to thank you for being my role models.

As many of you know, I decided to speak out about my faith because of the events of 9/11 when my two older sons Ali and Adil were verbally abused. I have Abbas and Ahmed here with me today. Last year, Ahmed’s 1st grade teacher asked me if I would come to school and give a presentation to the entire first grade about Islam. I thought how great that Mrs. Jean’s asked me—but then I thought how I could explain our faith to about 60 six year olds. [Tell story].

Finally, I want to thank all of you who have been so helpful to my family and me during the most difficult time in my life.

The chapel at the funeral home was beyond capacity. There were as many people inside as there were outside. There were people of all races, young and old. There were people in suits, saris, yamachas, kufi and turbans of all religions- Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Sufis, Hindus and Native Americans. They were there for my husband, Syed Farrukh Shabbir, M.D.’s funeral on January 23, 2006.

His death the day before was unexpected even though he had suffered from a chronic lung disease. He had just returned from Mecca in Saudi Arabia after completing the Hajj pilgrimage that all Muslims are required to perform some time in their life. While he was away, many of the people who attended the funeral inquired about my husband’s progress during his Hajj. Some communicated to me that they felt closer to this Hajj because of my husband.

Therefore, when they heard that he passed away the day after his return, they came to his funeral—24 hours later. Muslims, like Jews bury by sunset or at least by the next day. So here they all were in the middle of a working day attending a Muslim funeral.  They heard the Imam explain to them that when Muslims come back from the Hajj, all their sins have been forgiven and that they start with a new slate. He explained that since Farrukh had died soon after his Hajj, he literally went to heaven like a newborn—without sin. After the Imam spoke, Muslim, Jewish and Christian friends also shared their feelings about Farrukh. Later at the cemetery, after watching Ali and Adil receive their father in the grave, people of all religions placed a handful of soil into his gravesite. That was an interfaith experience.

In his memory, the first Syed Farrukh Shabbir MD Memorial Scholarship winner was sponsored by the Crescent Peace Society. Approximately 95 letters were sent to public and private high school counselors in the greater Kansas City areas in February. This $500 scholarship contest was open to any college bound graduating senior from a high school located in the greater Kansas City area. This was a blind essay contest judged by Ali and Adil. The Reverend Vern Barnet, minister emeritus of CRES; Bill Tammeus, columnist for The Kansas City Star and Sheila Sonnenschein, freelance writer. The essay  contest winner was Laura Hochman from Sumner Academy for writing the most compelling essay about the importance of peace and understanding in a pluralistic world.  Laura was recognized at the CPS dinner last month and she gave all of us hope for this generation of creating a peaceful world. The essay contest will happen again for the 2008 graduating seniors. If anyone is interested in contributing, please contact me or go to the website.

I would have lost my voice if it wasn’t for my kids and your kids. I always ask myself, “Have I done everything possible when I see an injustice?” If the answer is yes, I say ok, I’m complete. If the answer is no, then I question myself why I hadn’t taken further action and then I do.  Often this leads me to another action I didn’t think of before, but wouldn’t have had access to if I hadn’t taken the first step.

I use the quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “We are the change we wish to see in the world”. I use to say, someone should do something about this, I now say, what I can do, have I done everything possible. It’s this area that gives me courage; it’s this area where I look to my own faith traditions teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the Qur’an where it says,

In the Holy Koran (49:13) it says, “Oh people, We have created you from one male and one female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know one another. Verily, the best amongst you are those who are the most pious”. I hope that my work in the community has caused people to know one another.

I organized the “Community Praying for Peace” in 2002. The event was to mark the six-month anniversary of 9/11. I was compelled to do this after Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street reporter was killed.  People from various faiths come together and pray for peace. We pray in silence in our own faith for peace. We put aside our opinions, assessments, and conclusions and ask ourselves, “What can we do for our Community? What can we create that is EXTRAORDINARY?” We know the place to begin was with prayer. We pray for all who suffer from injustice and oppression, so that revenge will give way to compassion, that fear and hatred will be replaced by friendship and peace.

Last month, I read an article that was in the Washington Post written by the Dalai Lama “Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged, and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivations -- and engaging the world with a compassion-tempered heart and mind”.

So here is a human movement—interfaith.

On this day as we observe an interfaith Thanksgiving, I say this prayer in the memory of the Native American Tribe that was present with the Pilgrims in 1621, later persecuted and now non-extistant, the Wampanoag (Wam pa NO ag) Indians. Let us pray that as a global Community, we want people to demand the extraordinary of themselves and of others. That we want to participate fully with each other so that the conversation shifts in this world from one of punishment, revenge and hatred to one of inventive thinking, bold leadership and a world transformed through Peace.

Thank you again to Vern and the Cres Board for this honor and for this wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. May you have continued success in years to come in supporting interfaith activities in the Greater Kansas City area.

Printed on Sun, Dec. 05, 2010

Muslim's pilgrimage to Mecca puts questions to rest
The Kansas City Star

The questions no longer need answers.

Mahnaz Shabbir has experienced the pilgrimage to Mecca. So the queries she never made to her husband before he died have faded.

Muslims are expected to complete Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, once in their lifetime if they are able.

Shabbir’s husband, Syed Farrukh Shabbir, returned from his journey in January 2006. The trip was physically and emotionally exhausting. Husband and wife spoke about some of his experiences. But she assumed there would be time for conversation later, after he had rested. Twenty-four hours later, the longtime area physician was dead.

Shabbir became a single mother to four sons.

Since that mournful day, she has long wondered what her husband felt at various parts of the journey. Such as the portion where Muslims ask God for forgiveness at the spot where Adam and Eve asked for forgiveness after being banished. Angels are said to have arrived at that moment.

The question she never asked: “How did you know you were forgiven?”

The answer is an indescribable sense of calm, like nothing Shabbir had ever experienced.

On Sunday, she celebrated her return with family and friends in her Stilwell home. The most tangible difference for guests was her physical transformation.

Kansas Citians who know the former hospital administrator will see that at least for now, she is covering her head.

Wearing the hajib was not entirely a conscious decision. Rather, when Shabbir could take it off after the journey, she simply didn’t.

She’s taking the commitment one day at a time, still absorbing the effects of her pilgrimage.

So far, public reactions have been uplifting, although she braced for negative. One woman told her she had beautiful eyes. Others engage her, curious to learn more. Many assume she is foreign-born. She’s from Philadelphia.

“For that two seconds that I have them, I’ll probably say more than they will want to hear about Islam,” she laughed.

Shabbir is a thoughtful businesswoman active in local political circles, her son’s educations, and efforts to encourage understanding between faiths. She does good work.

While she was away, her two youngest sons’ Boy Scout troop held its annual Thanksgiving campout. The leaders took it upon themselves to ensure that her sons could follow the rules of their faith and not feel left out. They bought a halal turkey to be shared by all.

Half a globe away, their mother was taking pictures of the many faces she encountered among the 3.5 million people who make Hajj every year. She was amazed by the diversity.

“The humanity of it all,” she said. “That is what I took away.”

To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send e-mail to



Click on the CRES tree to return to the CRES home page.

 Shabbir, a first generation American Muslim woman and mother of four boys, found her life changed by 9/11. Subject of over a dozen articles in local publications, including major stories in The Kansas City Star and a cover story in eKC, she has spoken widely for groups ranging from churches to the Kansas City Press Club, and appears on the CBS-TV national religion special, "Open Hearts, Open Minds." She has been interviewed on radio repeatedly, including on the Voice of America. Her own writing has been published in many journals, sometimes jointly with her Jewish friend, Shiela Sonnenschein. She was vice president for Strategic Planning and Business Development at Carondelet Health, the parent company of Saint Joseph Health Center and St. Mary’s Hospital until this spring when she left to devote more time to helping people understand her faith. After the murder of Daniel Pearl, the Jewish journalist, she organized interfaith prayer events. She serves on the board of the Crescent Peace Society and CRES, and has been  president of the American Muslim Council-Heartland Chapter.  She has recently started Shabbir Advisors which offers strategic planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, public relations, and diversity training.

Mahnaz Shabbir

Mahnaz Shabbir is a nationally-known educator and spokesperson for the Muslim community. She is a first generation American-Muslim woman whose parents immigrated to the United States in the 1950's from India. She was born in Philadelphia and has lived in the Kansas City area for the last 22 years. She is married and the mother of four boys. Over the last year and half, Mahnaz has givenover100 talks locally and nationally to organizations interested in knowing more about Islam.

Mahnaz was the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Business Development at Carondelet Health, the parent company of Saint Joseph Health Center and St. Mary's Hospital. She had been with the organization for over 18 years. Since June 30, 2003, Mahnaz has been developing her own organization to support the needs of various communities to build bridges of understanding. She is also president of Shabbir Advisors, an integrated strategic management consulting company.

Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Mahnaz is also very involved in community activities. She works with activities that range from the Central Exchange and the Boy Scouts of America, to being a leader among the Muslim community in the greater Kansas City. Mahnaz is a board member of the BoyScouts of America,Crescent Peace Society, the American Muslim Council - Heartland Chapter, and Cres (Interfaith Council).

Her article, "I am an American Muslim Woman" appeared in the Kansas City Star and was syndicated around the country. She has also written articles for the "Kansas City Jewish Chronicle" and "Ingrams" Magazine.Her articles can also be found in national publicationssuch as the"New Light" and the "National Catholic Reporter." Mahnaz is also the founder of Community Praying for Peace.

Mahnaz has received a number of awards over the last few months. She is the Kansas City Press Club "Journalist of the Year" for 2003, and she was recently recognized by the The Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City in "A Celebration of Women" June 2003. In March 2004, she will receive the YWCA award for the Honoree for 2004 in the category of Racial Justice. In addition, Mahnaz was interviewed on Voice of America and has been heard around the world where Voice of America is broadcast.


Learn first-hand and share the experiences of a United States citizen who is a member of a religious minority. In her presentation, Mahnaz explores how many Americans confuse cultural practices with the Muslim faith, such as expelling the myth that Islam is oppressive to women. For example, Muslim women were the first women in the world given the right to divorce and own property in their own name over 1,400 years ago! Mahnaz often wears a hijab (traditional scarf) while presenting and draws upon her real-world experiences to break down barriers and educate audiences on the true meaning of more than 7 million Muslims in the United States.

Mahnaz knows how to tell her story in a way that invites other people to think about their own stories. She uses techniques that enable the audience to learn more about other people and their cultures. She challenges them as Gandhi would, saying, "We are the change we wish to see in the world."

An interactive presentation specially designed for corporate managers, which focuses on Muslims and their religious practices that might impact the workplace. With over 7 million Muslims living in the United States, most of whom are professionals in corporations, this seminar provides valuable insight into their beliefs and practices.

The key factor to cultural competency in this and other sectors is education. To this end, this two-hour presentation for health care providers that not only covers the basics of Islam and Muslim cultural practices, but also includes issues specific to health care providers, such as diet, gender issues, birth and death considerations, and the Islamic view on blood transfusions, abortions, autopsies, and other common procedures.

The training is highly interactive, with questions and answers addressed throughout.
Benefits of the training include, improved community policing through better understanding of Muslim culture, more effective interaction with Muslims as potential victims of hate crimes or as witnesses, and a safer environment for officers as they do their job.

- Strategic Planning
- Marketing
- Women Oriented programs
- General Management