About Us

Our History

In 1885, the statue of liberty became a symbol for freedom that could be found on American soil. Fast forward over 150 years, when Houston, TX becomes the most diverse, and rapidly growing major U.S. metropolitan area.

In 2008, a group of students from the University of Houston sought out to address the unmet needs of Houston refugee families, mothers, and children. In our early days, the focus of our efforts was mainly in distributing food, clothes, and funds. However, as we rapidly grow and expand, we’ve shifted our business model to a solution-based organization.

Amaanah Refugee Services, now with 15 years of experience in helping families find their home in the states, we take a more holistic approach by offering long-term programs to help immigrants become fully acclimated to life in America.




Jida joins Amaanah Refugee Services with over a decade of strategic marketing experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently as a Senior Analyst at Exterran in Houston. There, she was forecasting trends, managing budgetary tasks, and spearheading company-wide goals and initiatives. Jida has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of St. Thomas and is certified in marketing strategy from Cornell University. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Texas A&M University.


A Certified Public Accountant by trade, Nazif has been an active volunteer with Amaanah since its early days. Nazif received his bachelor’s degree of Accounting and Economics from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He has over 14 years of experience in public accounting, business development, and consulting services. Currently, Nazif serves as a partner at RSM.
Amanda Olson is a Texas attorney who has focused her practice on Houston’s oil and gas industry. After her family’s repatriation to the States Amanda sought out to improve the lives of refugees.
Ahmed Megahed currently works for Salesforce and has both a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and an MBA from The University of Houston. He has a passion for technology and is constantly looking for ways to leverage technology for the better good. He’s an advocate for refugee resettlement and dedicates his time assisting refugees with their integration into society. Ahmed is currently on the board of Ethaar (a non-profit focused on refugee services in Atlanta) and is excited to join Amaanah’s board.
Richard Spragg is the CEO of Houston based creative agency Hirebrand. A London native, he has a master’s degree in Journalism & Communications from the University of Westminster and an honors degree from the University of Essex. He moved to the United States in 2006 and became a US citizen in 2017. A long term Amaanah Refugee Services volunteer, he has worked on the Amaanah Lions sports program for the last six years, alongside its long serving team of coaches. He lives near the Galleria with his wife Rima and their dog Socrates. He’s an obsessive soccer fan and a lifelong follower of Watford FC.
Ahsan Mukhtar has been working in the Oil & Gas industry for over 15 years and is currently the Vice President of Corporate Development and Treasury at DistributionNOW. Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates and a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Finance and International Business, Ahsan now calls Houston his home and lives with his wife and three kids. He was introduced to the challenges faced by the refugee community by Amaanah and became extremely passionate about the need to empower refugees with the necessary tools to be successful and thrive in our community.