Randa Kuziez- Co-Founder
Shahd Alasaly- Co-Founder
Randa Kuziez grew up in a small, quiet Midwestern town near St. Louis, MO. She received her M.A. in international relations from Washington University in St. Louis, her B.A. in history and international relations. She is currently working at the Interfaith Youth Core and serving on the board of several local and international humanitarian NGO's. Randa had the humbling experience of travelling the world, where she spent time on malaria eradication in Mali with the Tony Blair Foundation, studying Arabic and Islamic studies in her beloved Syria, as well as working with young civic leaders in various countries in Europe and the Middle East. She delivered various keynotes in these countries and around the US, and was honored to speak at the inaugural World Interfaith Harmony Week in Geneva. In the United States, Randa worked in Washington D.C. at the Malaria Policy Center, spent time consulting various national Muslim non-profit organizations, running a business in Wichita that provided interpreting services for immigrants and refugees, as well as serving as the treasurer and later the Vice President of the Muslim Students’ Association of the US and Canada.
Randa finds inspiration and meaning through the teachings of Islam, and a Hadith resonates with her, “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.”
When she is not at work or in a board meeting, Randa enjoys spending time with family and friends, stressing the importance of recycling and not wasting food or water. You can find her looking for opportunities to be around trees, animals, and anything nature-related as well as exploring Chicago with her husband.
Shahd Alasaly grew up in the desert heat of Phoenix, Arizona. She received her Masters in International Psychology, her Bachelor's in English Literature, and a certificate in professional photography. She is currently working on publishing a book (more on that later!) Shahd had the incredible experience of teaching abroad in Syria for three years, where she taught English at private institutes and schools. Upon returning to the United States, she bid farewell to the Phoenix heat as Chicago engulfed her with its cold -but welcoming arms.
Shahd Alasaly wants to live in a world where her children can grow up with a very strong and proud identity- that is not in crisis. As someone who grew up in America she knows the pressures and confusing messages that children can often be bombarded with. As a parent, it troubles her to feel that there are no resources that are easily available to her (this is where Honeytree comes in).
When she is not writing a children's book, or photographing another spaghetti-face-pose, or starting up a business, you can find her drinking warm cups of espresso (her husband thinks she single-handedly funds the coffee industry) while trying to keep up with her two and four-year-olds.
One Fateful day Randa and Shahd met and realized that they both had very common goals and interests. While drinking delicious espresso at Shahd's house they decided to start up HoneyTree.