©2019 by The Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington. 

2018-2019 BOARD

DUA ABUDIAB

President

Dua M. Abudiab is a Public Defender at the

King County Department of Public Defense –

The Defender Association (TDA). Prior to her

joining TDA, she worked as a public

defender at the Colorado State Public

Defender’s Office. Ms. Abudiab serves on

the Lawyer’s Helping Hungry Children (LHHC)

board to help fight against child hunger. She is

the co-vice president of Diversity on the Washington Women’s Lawyers’ Board. She serves on the University of Washington Heart Health Campaign board. She volunteers at Seattle Children’s Hospital in their Child Life division where she gets to play with patients and siblings to minimize the impact of hospitalization. She also volunteers with North East Seattle Together (NEST) to help community members stay independent, active, and connected. She holds a B.S. from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi in Biochemistry and received her J.D. from South Texas College of Law.

SHAWN SHARIATI

President-Elect

JAJEC Chair

Shawn is an attorney at the King

County Department of Public Defense’s

ACA Division representing clients

charged with criminal offenses. Before

law school, Shawn worked at several

community-based legal non-profits

that helped bridge those communities’

access to justice. Shawn lives in Seattle and is pretty good at Street Fighter and Tetris. Shawn is a graduate of Columbia Law School, the London School of Economics, and CUNY Queens College.

SAFA PEERA

Secretary

Safa Peera is a Public Defender at the

 King County Department of Public

Defense – Northwest Defenders Division

(NDD). She graduated from the

University of Texas College of Law in

Austin in 2017 and obtained her

bachelor’s degree from Southern

Methodist University in Dallas. She enjoys

her job, working on behalf of wonderful

clients by challenging a system designed

to silence them. She considers herself a global citizen, having grown up

overseas and with parents of different nationalities. 

OMAR NUR

Treasurer

Omar Nur is an Attorney and Managing

Partner at Nur Law PLLC, where him

and his staff represent people with claims

stemming from car crashes,criminal

charges, and traffic tickets. Mr. Nur is very

active in the legal community having

previously served on the  Young Lawyers

Committees for the Washington State Bar

Association and Snohomish County Bar

Association, the Washington State

Association for Justice Board of Governors, and the MELAW board (of which he was President in 2014) to name a few. MR.When he is not working or volunteering, Mr. Nur enjoys spending his time outdoors with his wife and daughter. 

ALICE NOMAN

Publicity Chair

Alice Noman is an attorney with the

Department of Public Defense in the

Northwest Defender's Division. Prior

to becoming a public defender,

Alice practiced as an eviction defense

attorney for a year, providing on-going

representation for indigent clients

facing homelessness. She graduated

cum laude in 2017 from the Seattle

University School of Law. Alice is also an active member of her legal community and serves as the Publicity Chair for the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington. She has also spent many hours volunteering with the Housing Justice Project, providing day of representation for clients with eviction hearings. In her free time, Alice enjoys hiking and camping with her friends, family, and beloved dog, Riley. 

KEREM LEVITAS

Legal Clinic Co-Chair

Kerem Levitas serves as a Policy

Analyst at Seattle’s Office of Labor

Standards (OLS).  In that role, he

provides policy guidance to OLS

through ordinance and administrative

rule drafting and development as well

as interpretive analysis.  In addition, he

provides guidance on wage and hour

and employment issues to the office. Prior to joining OLS, Kerem was an attorney in private practice at a plaintiff’s firm where he focused his practice on individual employment matters and wage and hour class actions. Previously, he spent nearly four years as in-house employment counsel at a publicly-traded Washington corporation.  While there, he advised on all manner of employment and wage and hour risk. Kerem has experience managing employment matters, risk mitigation strategy, and compliance issues. He is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and Wesleyan University. Kerem is Turkish-American and lives in Beacon Hill with his wife and two children. He travels frequently to Turkey where he enjoys visiting family and friends, eating kumru, and attending Beşiktaş games.

MOHAMED KHALIL

Legal Clinic Co-Chair

Mohamed is a first generation Libyan

American. He graduated from Seattle

University School of Law in 2012, where

he focused on employment and labor

law. Mohamed currently serves as a

contracts compliance specialist for an

IT company based out of Seattle, WA.

He also consults/works part-time as

corporate counsel for a healthcare IT

company. Mohamed is an active member in the Libyan and Muslim community. He enjoys traveling, playing sports,  and spending time with his family and friends. 

SHAMIM MOHANDESSI

Immediate Past President

Shamim Mohandessi is a corporate

and securities attorney primarily

serving emerging growth and

mid-market companies in mergers

and acquisitions, venture capital

financing, and strategic capital

formation. His clients include internet

services providers, telecommunications

firms, and software companies in a number of different industries. Prior to this role, Shamim Mohandessi worked briefly as an energy policy analyst, managing and administering energy management pilot projects between large corporations and energy utilities and administering large federal grants. In addition to his practice, Mr. Mohandessi lectures at the University of Washington and Seattle University to on the strategy and needs of emerging growth and devotes time to a number of non-profit organizations, addressing needs of the community in the Pacific Northwest.

SAMY DANESH

UW MESALSA Liason

Samy Danesh is a current second-year

student at the University of Washington

School of Law. Previous to law school,

Samy completed his bachelors in

philosophy at UC Irvine, and then

worked as part of Amazon’s in-house

team. Samy is currently the

Co-President of MESALSA, the KCBA

student-representative and is an editor for the Washington Journal of Law, Technology and Arts. Upon graduation from law schoolSamy hopes to work in the bio-tech industry with a focus on regulatory compliance and general corporate law.”

SULAF AL-SAIF

UW MESALSA Liason

Sulaf is a second year law student at the

University of Washington who is interested

primarily in corporate, privacy, and

intellectual property law. She earned her

undergraduate degree in chemistry from

the University of Washington in 2010. Sulaf

is the communications lead at the

Middle Eastern South Asian Law Student

Association (MESALSA). She is also on the board for the International Law Society and the Technology Law Society as well as the editorial board of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology, and Arts (WJLTA),

ARTHUR DELONG

Member At-Large

Arthur DeLong is a corporate

transactions attorney, and focuses

the majority of his practice on

securities offerings and mergers and

acquisitions.  Arthur counsels 

companies from a range of industries,

and is especially involved in advising

technology and start-up companies. 

Arthur’s practice also includes

cross-border transactions, 

intellectual property, and real estate transactions.  Arthur has served on the board of the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington for the past two years.  In addition to his law degree, Arthur holds a Master’s degree in International Business, speaks Spanish, and enjoys cooking, travel, and learning languages.

AHMAD KHALAF

Member At-Large

Ahmad Khalaf is a Palestinian 

American Muslim Attorney, who owns a

Solo-Practice law firm (Khalaf Law,

PLLC) that focuses primarily on

Plaintiff's personal injury representation,

as well as providing estate and

business planning for clients, with a

primary focus on assisting members of

the local Muslim community in 

achieving estate plans and/or

business structures that are both compliant with State and Federal law, as well as with Islamic principles and rules regarding inheritance and business transactions. During his free time, Ahmad loves spending time with his wife and his family members, especially going outside and enjoying the many wonderful attributes of the Pacific Northwest.

TANYA FEKRI

Member At-Large

Tanya Fekri was born in Tehran, Iran and she

and her family immigrated to the United States

in hopes to pursue the American dream. 

Tanya personally experienced the immigration

process first-hand and that is why she became

interested in immigration law. She attended

UW as an undergraduate student receiving

a double degree in Political Science and Law,

Societies, and Justice; and a minor in

Diversity studies. She went on to become an

ESL teacher and citizenship instructor for the Refugee Resettlement Office in Seattle. Tanya is the Co-Directing Attorney of the Student Legal

Services at the University of Washington and she manages her own solo immigration practice in Kent.