Meet Our Staff

We are the people running this project with the goals of bettering our community through education and art. Learn about where we come from, who we are, why we started this project, and what we do beyond it.

Hamzah Faiyaaz Jhaveri
Project Founder and President

Hamzah Jhaveri has lived in Orlando for the majority of his life. He conceptualized Islamic Artists of Orlando after the Paris shootings of 2015 to recast a positive image of Islam throughout his community. After the Pulse Massacre, Hamzah's fledgling organization assumed a greater significance in his wounded community. Aside from running IAO, Hamzah is a student at Lake Highland Preparatory School. He works part time as a biophysics researcher at the University of Central Florida. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, and volunteering.

I was raised with values of hospitality, and because Islam has always been my home, I’ve tried all my life to invite people to step inside. I want them to see my religion in the same light in which I see it. After all, our homes are in the same neighborhood.

Muhammad Yusuf Khattak
Project Vice President and Chief of Media

Muhammad Khattak has been Vice President of Islamic Artists of Orlando ever since its establishment. His passion for philosophy and cultural studies sparked into an authentic appreciation for the arts that he uses everyday in working on the project. Outside of IAO, Muhammad is currently a student at Lake Highland Preparatory School. Beyond working for the project, he enjoys participating on his school’s speech and debate team, writing music, and reading.

Islam is like many other religions, in that it provides individuals a unique perspective with which to orient towards their surroundings. However, the different intersections of culture it is seen in makes it irreducible to any single mode of thought, something I find to be beautiful.

Mike Levin
Project Manager

Michael Levin has been project manager for Islamic Artists of Orlando since its third month of operation and feels very thankful to be participating in such a relevant and meaningful community based project. Other than helping to organize events and exhibitions for IAO, he splits his time between teaching art history at Lake Highland Preparatory School and English at Valencia College, and playing music in various rock projects. 

It is important to me to shine a light on the peaceful, creative endeavors of the Muslim American community I have come to know. My highest goal is to share the beauty of Islamic Art and educate Central Floridians about the vital and positive contributions of our Muslim friends and neighbors.

Joseph Ziad Khoury
Chief Artistic Consultant

Joseph Khoury is the Chief Artistic Consultant for Islamic Artists of Orlando, and began working with the group in early 2017 when hearing about their potential Faith Arts Village of Orlando show. As an Arab-American lover of the arts, he immediately felt connected to the cause and decided to make a film for the show which visually interpreted classic Sufi literature. He is currently a student at Lake Highland Preparatory School. His passions include filmmaking, music, reading, history, and philosophy. 

Islamic people are one of the largest religious groups on the planet, and, unfortunately, many people pay attention to the infinitesimal but very loud minority that bastardize the name and teachings of Islam through violence and hate. This leaves some people completely unaware of the transcendental messages of Islam’s greatest philosophers, the gorgeous art produced by Islam’s many talented artists, and the messages of brotherhood and purity that lie at the heart of the religion. I want to take any step I can in building a bridge to those people, to let them in, welcome them, and offer them a renewed perspective on any preconceived notions that they may have had about Islam.

Jewel Posniak
Chief of Finances and Marketing

Jewel Posniak has been with Islamic Artists of Orlando since the fifth month of its establishment. She is involved in IAO because she believes in fighting for religion and fighting against the stereotypes that it is associated with. She is currently a student at The First Academy, and in her free time enjoys writing music and reading.

Religion is something that has altered the course of my life; it is part of my identity, and it fulfills me. When I see others being discriminated against for their religion—especially Islam, as it is tied to my family, city, and circle of friends—I feel the need to defend their right to religion because of the role that it has in my life. There’s no better way to do this than a means that transcends language and time: art.

Interested in Contributing?

If you think you have the time, skills, and resources to regularly contribute to our project as a staff member, please press the button below and write us an email. We would love to have you working on our staff!