Meet the Writers

Our wonderful writers have inspirational souls filled with words meant to soothe your heart, soul, and mind. Read more below about our lovely team.



Dear Chereen was created by me, Chereen, a Therapist and a Life Coach. After obtaining a master's of science in Counseling and Certification in Life Coaching, I realized that words offered immense healing and motivation. I enjoy writing to inspire, because I truly believe that words are the gateway to our hearts, souls, and minds. I want you to remember that you are wonderful. Stay blessed.

For Inquiries, email:

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Nadrah Mustafa

I have always wanted to major in Psychology since I was 15 in between my passion for writing poetry and short stories throughout my teenage life. Little did I know that not only these writings have helped me to reflect but they have helped me grow. After completing my Masters in Psychotherapy Studies, I have been working in the mental health field since. I also venture into Expressive Art (which I stumbled by a twist of fate) as part of intervention. I strongly believe that Expressive Art facilitates growth in individuals of all ages. We are, after all, a lifetime of work in progress.



While I play many roles- daughter, sister, wife, designer, traveler- my most prominent role is being a student of life. Throughout the years I have developed a deep interest in personal development and understanding how the mind & body connection works. It fascinates me how simple life can be once we stop complicating it with our own perceptions. I look forward to sharing my views with you on everyday matters and the path to self development.


Seada Karalic

Seada has a background in Counselling Psychology. Her focus in Counselling is in several areas of therapy, more specifically working with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, anger management, and trauma. She volunteered her time presenting on Adolescent Depression, Anxiety and Self-Esteem.  For 2017, she will begin teaching workshops on couples communication and marriage preparation. Lastly, Seada is working on bridging the gap on mental with the Muslim community by exploring the services in need.

She's enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge of the psyche world and integrates her practice with Islamic guidance.



After living in the UK for the majority of my life, I moved to the the Middle East 10 years ago, and am currently based in Doha. I married at the age of 20 and I am now a mother to two girls; Aaya (4) and Sama (3).  

When I moved to the Middle East, the new environment, coupled with being newly married and creating new friendships was extremely overwhelming.  Being away from those who know you well can mean that no-one checks in you, resulting in a feeling of isolation and loneliness. Many a time, I've come across those who hibernate in real life, whilst the allures of social media lull them into a false pretense that all is okay.  

I've made a resolve to help those battling with depression and isolation. You're not alone, and you are strong. Remember, that this too shall pass and verily with hardship comes ease. I'd be honoured to hold your hand and walk with you. 


Zeina Alturk

Zeina is a Palestinian American living in NYC. She recently graduated with her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and is currently working as a College Persistence Advisor and Advocate. Zeina has a wealth of research and counseling experience, including working with Muslim women to determine the barriers and facilitators to breast and cervical cancer screenings. She briefly worked as a domestic abuse counselor and as a career counselor within the higher education field. Her interests include social justice, diversity, and dismantling patriarchy. Zeina believes in the importance of incorporating faith into mental health based discussions in the Muslim community as well as the recognition of diverse viewpoints.


Jen Fannoun

Editor in Chief

Jen Fannoun is a freelance writer and editor.
Her writing background includes a minor in journalism during college, a brief stint as a columnist and editorial board member at a newspaper, and article writing for several online publications.
She developed an interest in editing as a way to help other writers--especially ESL writers--bring their ideas to life and express them with clarity and eloquence.
In this space, Jen primarily provides editing guidance to other contributors. She may occasionally contribute her own writing on the topics she is passionate about. These include raising awareness about environmental issues, addressing problems faced by the American Muslim community, and promoting mindfulness and healthy living.
When not online, Jen can be found reading, weight-lifting, or scoping out new coffee shops.

Barah Ahmad

The name is Barah, and writing is what I love! It's not only my major but it's my passion; I'm blessed to be one of the few lucky people out there who got to study what they love. I write about it all; I don't like to confine myself to one subject because beauty can be found in anything. Coffee is life, and so are books. Reading, just like coffee, are the food to my soul. I don't think I'm a great writer, but i do my best and enjoy doing it; so that's all that really matters.


Sofiyya Hassanali

There's a saying many mothers use; "little girls should be seen but not heard."  Sofiyya has broken that rule time and time again.  She's an Optometrist in the Caribbean, believing strongly that caring for the public is the best form of Dawah.  She has been very vocal in in her community and is best known as the host of the children's TV show on the Islamic Broadcasting Network, Story Time with Sofiyya, where she teaches the stories of the Prophets and Companions to viewers of all ages.

Sofiyya's biggest goals in life are to show people the beauty of Islam, fight stereotypes and empower women to use their voice.  Join her as she shares inspiration from the stories of the women in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s.w.s).

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Marissa Ranahan

Since she was a child, Marissa has always had a humanitarian heart . As she entered into her early 20's, she decided to pursue this passion fully. Marissa teaches mindfulness meditation and yoga to those in need of calmness. Most recently, Marissa started Karmic Flow – a brand dedicated to helping those find balance through mindfulness practices. Marissa's passion for meditation and humanitarian work has taken her all over the world. She recently implemented a meditation and yoga project for Syrian refugees in the North of Lebanon. She has also traveled to Istanbul, Turkey where she studied other various meditation techniques. She has a deep love for people all over the world. She believes in helping to promote spiritual solidarity and unity amongst others.


Marissa's love for writing has been prevalent throughout her life. She believes words have the power to make the soul feel at ease. She hopes her articles on Dear Chereen provide a soothing voice for those who need it most. In her spare time, you'll find her discovering new coffee shops, enjoying nature and getting lost in Sufi poetry.


Ibtasem Poetry

If I had written
about lost lovers
my poetry would've
spoken a language of pain.
But I wanted
the reader to learn
how true love is spelled
and so I choose
to talk about

Abeeda Khatoon

I am an Optometrist by profession, residing in Scotland. I am one of ten siblings, and very much a family-orientated person.
I was honoured to have co-authored the book "Return to Him: A Journey through Grief with the 99 Names of Allah" for the child loss charity, Children of Jannah.
I love to try bring a sense of connection and healing through words, recognizing them as a gift that Allah has placed in our hands.