Anwar Khalifa is an East Texas home builder, owning Pyramid Homes for Over 25 years. He specializes in green home building and is a Certified Green Professional. Over the years, he has received designations such as Master Certified Green Professional of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He is heavily involved in the religious and political community in the region and has been awarded for his services.
Early Life and Education:
Anwar Khalifa was born in Alexandria, Egypt on March 28, 1961. He immigrated to Dallas, Texas with his parents Ahmed Khalifa and Aida Geumei when he was only eight years old. Khalifa later relocated to East Texas where he attended Kilgore College and attained an Associate of Science degree. Following his associates, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. His academic career ended after attending the University of South Carolina and achieving a master’s degree in International Business. He worked as a sales engineer and a project engineer upon graduating with his masters.
Khalifa ventured into the home building business in 1993 after difficulties finding work in the area of chemical engineering. He founded Pyramid Homes in September 1993, specializing in new construction and remodeling. In 1998, the National Association of Home Builders awarded Khalifa with the Graduate Master Builder award. Khalifa was the first builder in East Texas to achieve this award.
Khalifa began green building in 2008 when the University of Texas at Tyler requested he build two research homes for the university. The UT Tyler Engineering Department received a U.S. Department of Energy Grant to research indoor air quality and energy efficiency in order to discover new ways to build efficient homes. Following the request, Khalifa took classes and became a master certified green professional. [https://www.nahb.org/learn/designations/certified-green-professional.aspx].
In April 2008, he began implementing the NAHB green building standards in his homes. The NAHB has a system in which builders get points for different categories: design and impact, energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, resource efficiency, global impact, customer education [https://www.epa.gov/].
In each category there are checklists. There are four point-achievement levels: bronze, silver, gold, and emerald. The majority of Pyramid Homes houses rank at a gold level as per the green building standards. They rank emerald in energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
In 2011, construction of the TxAire (Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment, and Energy Institute) houses began. The houses were a collaboration between the Texas government, industry professionals such as Khalifa, and academia. Khalifa worked with TxAire staff as well as students during the construction process. The end products featured high reflectivity roofing shingles, reflective barrier wraps, geothermal ground-loop cooling systems, advanced framing, high-performance windows, air-source heat pumps, energy storage, and hydronic distribution. They also included solar photo-voltaic cells that convert sunlight to electricity, solar thermal water heating, and solar light tubes.
In 2015, Khalifa received the Master Certified Green Professional of the year award.
He received his Graduate Master Builder designation from the National Association of Home Builders in 1998. In 2005, Khalifa was one of the first 50 builders to receive the Texas Star Builder award from the Texas Residential Construction Commission. He was also designated as a Certified Green Professional in May 2008, the first in East Texas to receive this title. He was the first in the nation to receive the Master Certified Green Professional award. [https://www.nahb.org/find/award-programs/education-awards/past-honorees.aspx]. Khalifa is also a Certified Aging Place Specialist.
Khalifa is a donor to the University of Texas at Tyler. He sponsors the Khalifa Scholarship for Construction Management. [https://www.uttyler.edu/scholarships/files/UT_Tyler_Scholarship_Information_and_Donor_Contact_List.pdf].
Khalifa is the spokesperson and outreach coordinator for the East Texas Islamic Society. He is frequently asked by local media to comment on occurrences all over the world, such as the New Zealand Attacks [https://www.kltv.com/2019/03/15/islamic-leader-tyler-condemns-new-zealand-attack-may-god-not-show-us-such-horror/], as well as local events like the mosque’s annual open house [https://www.cbs19.tv/article/news/local/east-texas-islamic-society-to-hold-annual-open-house-share-knowledge-of-islam/501-559218017] [https://www.cbs19.tv/article/news/local/hundreds-gather-in-unity-with-east-texas-muslim-community/396286234] [https://tylerpaper.com/lifestyle/faith/east-texas-islamic-society-invites-community-in-to-learn-more/article_e392c426-3d24-5d84-a02c-c4fda8950880.html] [https://tylerpaper.com/news/local/east-texas-muslims-share-their-faith-cultures-with-hundreds-at/article_5d89fd32-541d-520b-a924-baa37230c45d.html].
Alongside Rabbi Neal Katz of Congregation Beth El in Tyler, TX, Khalifa received the T. B. Butler Award Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce in 2005. The two were bestowed this award for their service in uniting their houses of worship to build a Habitat for Humanity House for a Christian family. The house was nicknamed the “Abraham House.” [https://www.kltv.com/story/2355049/muslim-rabbi-sending-message-of-tolerance-in-tyler/]. Khalifa is currently on the board of the Tyler Ministerial Alliance.
Khalifa formerly sat on the Keep Tyler Beautiful board, a local subsect of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful. He has been a member of several builders’ associations, councils, chambers of commerce, business bureaus, associations of Realtors, etc. He has also received various awards including the Businessman of the Year Award in 2003. He is currently president of the board for the East Texas Crisis Center. He chairs the committee for the Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas and is on the board for Art of Peace.
Khalifa is a member of the Smith Country Republican Club. However, he has advocated for Neal Katz’s Independent political campaign for representative in the Texas House District 6. He has also campaigned for Kevin Eltife [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Eltife], Robert Nichols [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Nichols_(politician)], Brian Hughes [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Hughes_(politician)], Cole Hefner [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cole_Hefner], and more.
Khalifa also campaigns for bonds and other actions, including the Tyler Independent School District’s bond to renovate two local high schools [https://tylerpaper.com/news/local/religious-leaders-gather-to-endorse-tyler-isd-bond-proposal/article_de2cff20-9f3b-5713-87d9-193d8bc09941.html]. He has also been featured in a Buzzfeed article about his difficulties affiliating with the Republican party following the election of Donald Trump [https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hannahallam/republican-muslims-gop-party-texas-anwar-khalifa] [https://tylerpaper.com/news/local/tyler-muslim-lifelong-republican-grapples-with-anti-muslim-rhetoric-within/article_9e968f00-b5f0-11e8-9471-37156a453646.html].