Founder of Connecting Cultures, Inc., President Lobna “Luby” Ismail is a training specialist with over twenty years experience in the areas of cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, Arab and American cultures, Islamic awareness and religious diversity. Her most recent training offer is Disability to Diverse Ability: Building a Disability Friendly Work Environment. Since a young age, Luby has hardly gone a day without bridging barriers between differing religions, cultures, and lifestyles. She provides in-depth, professional training and testimony on the specifics of effective communication across multiple diverse factors.
Accomplished with both academic and practical experience, Luby holds a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a B.A. in International Service from The American University in Washington, DC. Her travels have led her throughout Europe and the Middle East, including the countries of Spain, Bosnia, Croatia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel. After her selection by the U.S National Council for U.S. and Arab Relations, Luby participated in a study visit to Saudi Arabia. She journeyed as both a Peace Fellow forSeeds of Peace, and a Malone Fellow in Middle East and Islamic Studies.
Luby has presented at the Arabian Society for Human Resource Management conference in Bahrain, and annual conferences for the Society for Human Resources’ Workplace Diversity. She professionally lectures and educates on the most recent emerging cultural, Islamic, and religious diversity issues. She has trained hundreds of law enforcement and military officers on both Arab and Muslim Americans.
The multiple books Luby has authored include Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa, Finding Diversity, and The Extraordinary Lives of Muslim Women in America. She is featured in multiple other titles, such as Sherry Mueller’s Working World, and recommends the multi-media programs Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts and Ouch! Your Silence Hurts.
Frequently, Luby is employed as a cultural expert by national media and major international news programs. She has recently received press in the Associated Press, The Washington Post, BBC World News and PBS’ Religion and Ethics News. As an intercultural trainer, Luby recently helped launch America’s Unofficial Ambassadors, as well asChange the Story, a site that offers interactive learning and applicable communication techniques on Islam. She was also fundamental in developing two new dialogue initiatives, intended to break down barriers between faiths. To support her work, visit 20000 Dialogues and Ground Zero Dialogue, a nationwide campaign to stimulate discussion between those of different faiths.