Recap: ISLA Leadership Retreat 2022

Recap: ISLA Leadership Retreat 2022

Group picture of attendees amidst trees

Over 60 attendees gathered from around the country in Dallas, Texas at the ISLA Leadership Retreat, December 2-4, 2022. This was undoubtedly not just a gathering of bodies and minds, but of our hearts. We tackled the important and timely theme: From Trauma to Transformation: Towards Healing-Centered Schools.

Dr. Leila Kayed and her team at Islamic School of Irving kicked off the weekend by hosting us at their school. We were blown away by their hospitality and the application of so many elements of “healing-centered” Islamic schools, including the many ways the school supports the spiritual, social and academic needs of their staff, students and families.

Dr. Omar Reda and Sr. Nura Magbari were our first scholars-in-residence at the conference center in Dallas. They helped us understand the topic of trauma and the ways in which it can manifest in our lives and that of our students. We had a bonfire where many of us shared the ways in which we ourselves have been affected by trauma and pain over the past year. We pray that in sharing, we were able to relieve ourselves of some of the burden of carrying the weight of this invisible challenge.


Dr. Jihad Saafir joined us on Saturday evening, providing us with insights into how to address conflicts within our school in a manner that is aligned with our religion. He shared the ways to inspire change in our schools by presenting paradigms of transformation grounded in the life of the Prophet.

In addition, other experts also joined us, including Dr. Samar Al-Majaideh who presented on crisis management, and Br. Wadud Hassan, who guided us through a mindfulness practice that reflected on Allah’s most Beautiful Names.


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