Mr. Salam S. Al-Marayati was born on September 2, 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq. His family left Iraq and immigrated to the United States in 1964. He is now an American citizen.
Mr. Al-Marayati earned a bachelors of science degree in Bio-Chemistry from the University of California (UCLA). He then received an executive masters degree in Business Administration from the University of California-Irvine (UCI).
Mr. Al-Marayati worked as a process chemical engineer in the semiconductor industry for two years. He later changed careers and served as a liaison to the Muslim community for Los Angeles City Councilman Robert Farrel.
Mr. Al-Marayati is the director and one of the founders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a public service agency aimed at disseminating accurate information about Islam to the American public. He has been director of MPAC for the past ten years. At his present position, Mr. Al-Marayati has had the opportunity to speak to congregations at community-sponsored events, temples, synagogues, churches, high schools, and college campuses. Also, Mr. Al-Marayati served as a Board member of the American committee to Save Bosnia, a committee formed to lobby Congress and the Administration to end the genocide in Bosnia. Mr. Al-Marayati serves as a commissioner of the Human Relations Commission in Los Angeles, a commission formed to improve access to city government, reduce discrimination, and promote respect, tolerance and justice.
He has written extensively on Islam, human rights, democracy, Middle East politics, the Balkan Crisis, and the Transcaucus conflict. His articles and interviews have appeared on such prominent newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The LA Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle and USA Today. He has appeared on radio and TV talk shows including C-SPAN and NBC.
Mr. Al-Marayati has been a member of the Executive Committee of the California Democratic Party. He was a delegate of the 1992 and 1996 Democratic National Convention. He attends Republican conventions as a reporter for The Minaret, a nation-wide Islamic magazine.
Mr. Al-Marayati has also been deeply involved in interfaith activities. He served as co-chair of the Interfaith Coalition to Heal Los Angeles which formed as a result of the Los Angeles uprising in the Summer of 1992. He also was one of three religious activists who journeyed to Rome on a trip to understand the dynamics of the Vatican. Finally, he works as an advisor to several political, civic and academic institutions seeking to understand the role of Islam and Muslims in America and throughout the world.
Mr. Al-Marayati has organized several forums in Washington, DC, to provide decision-makers and opinion-makers an awareness of trends in the Muslim world. He organized Emerging Trends in Islamic MovementsӔ at the State Department in 1997 and The Development of Islamic DemocracyӔ on Capitol Hill, where Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) sponsored this meeting along with Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI). Mr. Al-Marayati also hosted a meeting between American Muslim staff and interns on Capitol Hill and Mr. Ted Koppel, the anchor for ABC News Nightline.
Mr. Al-Marayati is married to Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, the founder of the Muslim Womens League and a member of the Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom for the Secretary of State. In January 1998, they both organized an Eid celebration at the White House upon the request of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. The commemoration marked the end of the month-long fast, Ramadan, for AmericaҒs Muslims.
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