About us

About the Rohingya
Culture Center

The United Nations lists the Rohingya Muslims of northwestern Burma (Myanmar) among the most persecuted people in the world. Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Law denied the ethnic Muslim minority group legal status, rendering them stateless, and denying them the right to education, work, and travel. Since then, many of the Rohingya have been displaced by genocide and have been forced to flee.

The Rohingya Culture Center was established in 2016, in Chicago’s West Ridge/West Rogers Park neighborhood, to serve the needs of the growing Rohingya refugee community. Over 600 Rohingya families have been resettled in Chicago since 2010.

The need for such a center, which could provide social services for the growing community, was first conceptualized by Nasir Zakaria, RCC’s current Executive Director, and one of the first Rohingya refugees to arrive in Chicago. RCC opened on April 9, 2016. Since then, the number of programs and the number of constituents has only grown.

RCC is partially funded by a grant from the Zakat Foundation.

The Rohingya Culture Center is a community-based social service organization serving the needs of the Rohingya refugee population in Chicago.

Board Members

Nasir Zakaria

Executive Director

Laura Toffeneti

Board Member

Imran Akbar


Mohammed Mian

Board Member

Staff Members

Abdul Jabbar Amanullah

Senior Case Manager

Sarah Pajeau

Assistant Director

Emraan Mohamad Yakub

Case Manager

Rashid Ahmed

IT Manager / After School Program Supervisor

Laila Islam

After School Program Supervisor

Faisal Zafar Ahmed

Community Health Worker