Samia Omar is an Egyptian American who completed her bachelor's degree in social work and has pursued a master's degree at SMU in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Islamic Studies. She holds an advanced certificate in Islamic Studies as well as a general ijaaza in Islamic sciences. She worked in New York City from 2001 - 2005 as an Islamic Studies school teacher in an Islamic school. She also worked as a residential manager for many years overseeing service to adults with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. She relocated to Dallas, Texas to help her husband establish the Arabic language and Islamic studies program at TAQWA Seminary. She later became co-founder of the Islamic Seminary of America and managed the Islamic studies and Arabic language programs there, with over 200 students in attendance.
After losing her oldest daughter to cancer, she devoted herself to serving her local community, especially women and youth in their journey to overcome life’s challenges. In this regard she developed youth programs while in Dallas, Texas designed to instill better understanding in middle and high school Muslim students about their faith and to counter online extremist teachings about Islam. These programs provided both in-class and outside field experiences to educate youth about matters of faith and life, to expand their horizons, and to teach them the importance of volunteering and giving back to their community. She is now a lead organizer and developer of the Hadara Program, a study abroad program for Arabic language and Islamic civilization. Chaplain Samia has also served for several years as a group leader for Umrah for numerous different Umrah groups and was delighted to accompany Harvard Muslim students and to serve as an official chaplain and group leader for the Harvard Umrah trip as part of the programs of the Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University. She has served for several years as the first Muslim woman chaplain at Harvard University, alongside more than 40 other Harvard Chaplains from a variety of backgrounds and religious traditions. She currently hosts a weekly women’s-only study circle as well as regular monthly Harvard Muslim women’s community gatherings on campus. In these gatherings, she holds a communal space for Muslim women to share their feelings and life experiences to foster a stronger sense of sisterhood and belonging.