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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Movements” at the State Department in 1997 and
“The Development of Islamic Democracy” 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 Women’s 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