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The Full Story

About the Founder

             Nadira Abdul-Karim graduated from the City University of New York at York College in 1998 with degree in Communications and Theatre Arts. In 1999, after traveling the world, she joined the New York City Department of Education. Teaching for over a decade, Nadira stepped out of the classroom and into a managerial role, directing and managing programs within the Board of Education and The City University of New York.

Nadira started her love for mentoring and teaching when she was a teen. She started a youth organization call Y.M.S.T (Young Muslim Sisters Training) at her local masjid where she would teach basketball, have group discussions and step & dance classes with the local youth.

Nadira grew up watching her father mentor and train young boys in architectural studies and marital arts. Her father, founder of Camp Touch the Earth, would host a boys sleep away camp on his land in South Carolina. There he would have manhood training, giving these boys the tools needed to survive in this world as black men. Nadira and her older sister would be the only girls allowed at the camp site and Nadira took it all in. "Seeing my father's dedication to the youth inspired me to do the same" she said. 

In 2005, ISMAH was conceived. In 2013, ISMAH held their first sleep away camp. Celebrating over a decade of Camp ISMAH, Nadira said she is most proud of the alumni paying it forward by coming back home to give back to the next generation.💕

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