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The Tiyya Foundation is an award-winning 501 (c)(3) known for transforming the refugee living experience in the Greater Los Angeles & surrounding areas. Since 2010, Tiyya has led the charge for impacting thousands of families through innovative education, arts, and recreation programs. Founded by Owliya Dima and her daughter Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, the Mayor of Los Angeles recently awarded the organization’s leaders acknowledging its positive impact on society.

The story for Tiyya began in 1984 when co-founders Owliya and her daughter Meymuna settled in Southern California as refugees. In the early ’90s, Owliya began volunteering. Coming from Ethiopia, Owliya knew first-hand the challenges refugees face in resettlement. Taking matters into her own hands, she started efforts to help others find stability and navigate the same complex challenges. In 2010, Tiyya was formally established.

Today, Tiyya serves more than 250 families annually in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Core programs include the Family Mentoring program, Friends of Tiyya and the Youth All-Star.  Our social enterprise component is Flavors from Afar, where we hire former clients to pursue the culinary arts + fine dining. To learn more please visit our other site: www.flavorsfromafar.co



Board Chair          Ellen Mainthow         Darlene & Walter Gerken Trust

Co-Vice Chair       Ahmed Khalil            Partner/ Co-Founder at Distinct Law Group, APC

Co-Vice Chair       Tarek Shawky           Law Office of Tarek Shawky

Treasurer               Robert Mainthow     Darlene & Walter Gerken Trust

Secretary               Lila Seif                   Attorney at Vorzimer Masserman

Board Member      Shukry Cattan          The UCLA Labor Center

Board Member Adja Buyi Buyi Founder of Sahara Beans

Board Member Maham Rahman Finance Manager at Harvest

Board Member      Aisha Sabadia          Philanthropist  



Shabana Ahmad - Senior Underwriting Analyst at Precept

Farah Bajwa - Engineering Manager at Dynamic Air Engineering, Inc.

DeAnna Colglazier - Disneyland & Orange County Community Foundation

Christina Ong - Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh

Tu-Quyen Pham - Associate in Crowell & Moring's Orange County office

Lucia Tran - Publicist at Lucia Tran Public Relations



Bridgette Blebu 

Robbie Fox

Salah Haggag

Hannah Haakenson 

Kinda Hibrawi

Laura Leslie

meet the team

| click on an image to learn more about each member |