Daoud Abudiab is President and Founder of Faith & Culture Center. He is a veteran healthcare executive with more than 20-years in physician group management. Daoud received his Masters of Health Services Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2010, Daoud was recognized by the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition with the Johnny Hayes American Dream Award, and in 2012 received the Rising Advocate Award by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. Additionally, Daoud is involved in several Middle Tennessee community organizations.
Bernard Werthan (deceased in 2017) was a founding member of Faith & Culture Center. He was a long-standing community member in Nashville and in Middle Tennessee. He received a Bachelor of Science, Business and Engineering Administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined the Army in the 1950s and then returned to Tennessee, where he was employed by Werthan Packaging and eventually became the President and Chairman of the Board. Bernard married Betty Kornman, also of Nashville. They had four children, Betsy, Kay, Tim and Tony, and five grandchildren. Bernard was an active member and past president of The Temple in Nashville. He was also involved in many other Jewish organizations, including Nashville and Middle Tennessee Jewish Welfare Fund and the State of Israel Bonds.
John Kiser has advanced degrees in European History and Business Administration, is author of two books on Algeria, The Monks of Tibhirine and Commander of the Faithful, Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader ; founder of technology search company, Kiser Research Inc (1980-94); board of directors of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy; Honorary Doctor of Political Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Chairman of the William and Mary Greve Foundation. Contributor to The Marine Corps Gazette; The Cistercian Studies Quarterly and author of numerous Op Ed pieces johnwkiser.com
Dr. Josh Graves is preaching and teaching minister for the Otter Creek Church in Nashville, Tennessee and adjunct professor in the Doctor of Ministry program at Lipscomb University. He holds a D.Min. from Columbia Seminary where he studied the relationship of postmodernism and Christianity. He has written several books including The Feast: How to Serve Jesus in a Famished World, Heaven on Earth, and How Not to Kill a Muslim: A Manifesto of Hope for Christianity and Islam in North America. Both he and his writings have been featured on Fox News online, Pathos, PBS Religion and Ethics, Church Leaders, The Tennessean, Missio Dei, The Contributor, and Christian Standard. Josh is married to Kara – the daily source of joy in his life and the real theologian in the family – and they have three life-giving sons: Lucas, Finn, and Oliver.
Dr. Amir Arain attended medical school at the Dow Medical College of the University of Karachi in Karachi, Pakistan and received his M.D. in 1994.
After graduating, he moved to the United States and completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, MI, in 1995. He completed a residency in Neurology at Vanderbilt in 1998, after which he completed a fellowship in Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology with Dr. Abou-Khalil.
In 2000, he joined the Vanderbilt faculty as clinical instructor and then in 2001 he became assistant professor of Neurology. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of EEG laboratory at Vanderbilt. Among the honors that Dr. Arain has accrued while at Vanderbilt are election by medical students to membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha medical education fraternity and election by Neurology faculty to be chief resident in the Neurology Training Program.
Dr. Arain is Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), Diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology (ABCN), Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in Subspecialty of Clinical Neurophysiology, and Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in the Subspecialty of Epilepsy.
Danna Owen is a Nashville native who became involved with FCC through its A Seat at the Table program. Danna has spent most of her professional career in dental office administration and real estate, though she recently went back to school to get her MS in “restorative practice” from the International Institute for Restorative Practice. She is also active with the Davidson County Juvenile Court, serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and serves as a member of the Davidson County Juvenile Court Probation System Review Team.
Issam Eido is a former Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic in the University of Chicago Divinity School during the 2013-2015 academic year. Eido’s research focuses on the Qur’an in late antiquity, Hadith Studies, Sufism, and Arabic language. His teaching interests focus on Modern and Classical Arabic language, Arabic Literature, Islamic Studies, and Qur’anic Arabic. Prior to the Syrian uprising, Eido served as a lecturer in the faculty of Islamic Studies in the Department of Qur’anic and Hadith Studies at the University of Damascus. His doctoral work, ‘Early Hadith Scholars and their Methodology of Hadith Criticism,’ presented a new understanding of the criteria used by Muslim scholars in accepting or rejecting traditions attributed to Muhammad and the transformations of that criteria from the classical to the modern period. While undertaking his doctoral work in the mid-2000s, Eido solidified an international reputation among Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies experts across disciplines by working closely with visiting researchers and Fulbright scholars in Damascus through an Arabic and Islamic studies institute he founded, named the Dalalah Institute. In 2012 he was a Fellow of the “Europe in the Middle East/Middle East in Europe” Research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin affiliated with Corpus Coranicum, and worked with Angelika Neuwirth. Currently, his research focuses on the question of Authenticity and the shaping of authoritative Islamic texts among Muslim scholars in the Islamic formative period.
Dr. Eido has also become active locally in the arts since moving to Nashville. Most significantly, he worked closely with Nashville Ballet to produce the world premier of Layla and the Majnun. “Because Nashville is Music City, I was excited when the director of Nashville Ballet contacted me about helping him with the show. Layla and the Majnun is the Arab equivalent of Romeo and Juliet and it’s great to see people in Nashville take an interest in Middle Eastern arts and history.”
In addition to these projects, Eido has enjoyed teaching Arabic to Vanderbilt students over the last year. “The students here are very dedicated,” he says. “Most start the semester with no knowledge of Arabic, but they have aspirations watching the outcome of their studies is like watching a child grow.” In addition to continuing to teach Arabic language classes, this fall Dr. Eido looks forward to offering a course on Qur’anic Arabic for undergraduate and graduate students.
Advisory Council – Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative, Nashville
Commissioner – Metro Human Relations Commission
Founder and Chair – Muslim Women’s Council
Amir Arain M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology – Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Past President and Active Member – The Temple
Past President and Chairman of the Board – Werthan Packaging
Nashville Educator and Administrator of over 18 years
Executive Director – Tennessee Human Rights Commission
Pastor – Church of Scientology of Nashville
President – Religion Communicators Council Nashville chapter
Professor of Human and Organizational Development – Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Executive Director – American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee
Chairman – William and Mary Greve Foundation
Author: The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria and Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd El-Kader
Preaching & Teaching Minister – Otter Creek Church
Adjunct Professor – Lipscomb University
Author: The Feast: How to Serve Jesus in a Famished World, Heaven on Earth, and How Not to Kill a Muslim: A Manifesto of Hope for Christianity and Islam in North America
Executive Director – Metro Human Relations Commission
Financial Advisor – Henderson Financial Group, Inc.
Board of Trustees – Congregation Micah
Board of Trustees – The Temple: Congregation Ohabai Sholom
Community Relations Manager – Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition