Guest Information

Azim Khamisa
Azim N. Khamisa, President and Founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, has over 27 years of successful experience in domestic and international investment banking, both in the corporate and real estate sectors of the world economy. Mr. Khamisa is the CEO of Sovereign Capital Markets, Inc., an investment banking firm that has associates and correspondent relationships in most major capitals of the world. Mr. Khamisa has conducted successful ventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, and the United States; for his professional work he has been recognized with several awards, including Who's Who in Finance and Industry (26th Edition), Who's Who in the World (10th Edition), and Who's Who in Emerging Leaders of America (3rd Edition).

The Tariq Khamisa Foundation was founded by Mr. Khamisa in memory of his 20-year old son Tariq, who was murdered in January of 1995. In an amazing act of forgiveness, the foundation was started along with the grandfather and guardian of his son's killer. The Tariq Khamisa Foundation is dedicated to the stopping the cycle of youth violence in our communities. In addition to his relentless work with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, Mr. Khamisa has served as a special coordinator for the Aga Khan Foundation. Moreover, Mr. Khamisa serves as an active Board member for several philanthropic organizations: the Take Action ReAct Awards, a national teen recognition program, the Center for Safe Urban School Communities project at the University of Louisville, and the Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation. For his philanthropic work, he has been recognized with awards by countless local, regional, and national agencies. Most notably, Mr. Khamisa received the Highest Victim Service Award presented by Attorney General Janet Reno and President Clinton in April of 1997. Finally, for his service to America's children, he received the National Award in March of 1997 from Marion Wright Edelman, the Founder of the Children's Defense Fund.

Mr. Khamisa delivers keynote addresses at a variety of national and international venues. In June of 1996, he spoke at the Stand for Children Rally held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., an event that attracted nearly 300,000 delegates. Mr. Khamisa has had the privilege of meeting with honorable leaders at the White House such as President Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno, Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and Vice President Al Gore to discuss the concern for youth safety and policy development to curb the increasing rise in youth violence. Mr. Khamisa is also the author of the award winning book: Azim's Bardo: A Fathers Journey From Murder to Forgiveness".

Mr. Khamisa's work has been highlighted in various local, regional, and national printed media, including the New York Times, Parade Magazine, People Magazine, U.S.A. Today, and the Washington Post. In addition, he has conducted numerous local, regional, and national television and radio interviews, including NBC's Today Show, C-Span, NBC's Real Life, and KPBS's Fresh Air.

Mr. Khamisa was born in Kenya, as well as educated in Kenya and the United Kingdom in mathematics and finance. He is a naturalized, multi-lingual U.S. citizen, and has resided in the United States since 1974. Mr. Khamisa has committed his life to defeating the continuing cycle of violence amongst the youth in our society.

Tasreen Khamisa
"When someone angers you or calls you a name or pressures you to do something that's violent or wrong, think of Tony and Tariq, then make a choice about how you want to handle it," says Tasreen Khamisa, Tariq's older sister and executive director of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation.
"I will never see my little brother again. Imagine how that would feel. That can happen when people make the wrong choices."
Excerpt from North County Times
Article by Erin Walsh

Ples Felix
As an Executive Board Member and Vice President of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, Mr. Felix is active in the community's efforts to stop youth violence. With a degree in Political Science & Economics and a masters in Administration in Urban Affairs & Policy Analysis, he has worked in the community development field for over 25 years both in New York City and San Diego. Presently, he is Project Manager for San Diego's Community and Neighborhood Development Department.

He is the recipient of a Special Community Service Award from Janet Reno and the U.S. Department of Justice. Locally he has been honored with the Peace Maker Award and the Blue Knight Award for his efforts to steer today's youth toward non-violent choices.

His straightforward approach and years of experience combine to produce an effective and disciplined leadership style that reaches into the hearts and minds of the children who receive The Tariq Khamisa Foundation's message of peace and non-violent choices.

Sal Giacalone
He was standing there for milliseconds, understanding that the guy he shot was dying, he knew he had done the worst thing he could ever do. He really wanted to help Tariq. I mean, the person that he is, wanted to help this person he had just shot. And he could hear in the distance his friends telling him: "Run! Run! Run! Don't drop the gun!"

Kit Goldman
"I've never seen a human being shattered, as disintegrated, as Azim and subsequently his family was as they began to arrive. He was a person completely apart the only way I can put it. It was amazing to me that he was walking around because he was in pieces."

Tony Hicks
On Saturday night, January 21st, 1995, fourteen-year-old Tony Hicks shot and killed twenty year old Tariq Khamisa in the course of stealing two pizzas.
Azim Khamisa would not let his son's death remain just a tragedy. He decided to reach out to the family of Tony Hicks in forgiveness. And with the help of Ples Felix, Hicks's grandfather and guardian, he founded the Khamisa Foundation to spread awareness about violence and to honor those who took the non-violent road.