Stable Families

By Touré, Halima | Islamic Horizons, July/August 2008 | Go to article overview

Stable Families


Touré, Halima, Islamic Horizons


A strong support system after the wedding, as well pre-nuptial preparation and counseling, can prevent marital problems.

Her husband says that "Prevention" is her middle name. For Dr. Aneesah Nadir, prevention represents a guiding light for the Islamic Social Service Association's Sakinah Healthy Marriage Initiative and the Muslim Alliance of North America's (MANA) Healthy Marriage Initiative. She believes that a strong support system after the wedding, as well as some marriage preparation and counseling before the wedding, can prevent some serious marital problems. For almost half of her career, Nadir has addressed family and marital problems, prepared others to do so, and sought to prevent teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and family violence.

An educator since 1994, Nadir (BSW, Adelphi University) earned her MSW and Ph.D. in social work from Arizona State University (ASU). Currently an assistant professor at ASU's (Glendale campus) Department of Social Work focusing on individuals and families, groups and communities, and skills and techniques in human services, she has developed the first Muslim-specific elective course: "The Muslim Reality: Living in America." She entered this field because "it's something that Allah has called me to... it seems to be a really natural fit for me."

While serving as the family advocacy outreach program manager at Glendale's Luke Air Force Base, she coordinated family maltreatment prevention programs for military personnel and their families and provided parenting education training for para-professionals, school personnel, and USAF supervisors. She has also engaged in coalition development and prevention work for HIV/AIDS. As a training specialist for Phoenix's Community Organization for Drug Abuse, Mental Health, and Alcohol (CODAMA) Services, she dispensed behavioral health and substance abuse prevention services, in-service training, and education to professionals, teachers, and youth leadership.

Throughout her career, Nadir has sought to develop and enrich the Muslim American community. In 1995, she helped establish AlMu'minah (the Young Muslim Women's Association) and continues to serve as an advisor. Over 400 women and girls attend its annual reception to honor the scholarly achievements of female Muslim graduates. From 1996 to 2002 she wrote a monthly column on marriage, family, and youth issues for the Phoenixbased "Arizona Muslim Voice" newspaper. A regular guest on Soundvision's web-based "Radio Islam" talk show (www.radioislam.com), she talks about social service issues facing Muslims. Before entering ASU's doctoral program in 1996, she maintained a private practice in individual, marriage, and family counseling. As a volunteer social services director for Arizona Muslim Family Health and Social Services (1996-99), she dealt with premarital counseling, family life skills education, group counseling and coordinated social services. …

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