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Arabesque VOLUME 18 - ISSUE 13 - MARCH 2012

Family Travels pg. 7 What can traveling with family do for you?

MSA Community Service Extravaganza pg. 4

Special Feature pg. 10 Find out what youth are saying about this month’s theme: Family-Reconnecting Our Hearts to Home

Islamic Finance Takes Center Stage By Nadia Salim

Islamic financial experts recently discussed a number of pressing issues with the local Muslim community, hoping to reach them by discussing topics that hit home and their wallets. On Sunday, March 11, 2012, the University of Maryland hosted the Islamic Finance Conference (IFC), an all-day event held in the Stamp Student Union. When the Islamic Finance Conference marketing Dr. Umar Moghul expands on the concept of team began planning for their aninterest after illustrating it. Photo by Layth Yasin nual event, they expected a small turnout of less than 50 people. They ended up accommodating ment in the Treasury of the World a local Islamic scholar, delivered more than 100 guests. Bank in Washington, D.C., started a powerful speech that stood out the program off by explaining to as a highlight of the event. His Hanifah Dasti, the head of the the audience the definition of Is- personal approach to Islamic fiproject, had grand plans for this lamic finance. nance had some in the crowd in event, and she was pleased to deep thought as the event came host the large audience. Following that, the program split to a close. into three main sessions: “The “It is important that others who Impact of Current Events and “I came late to the event,” said are interested in finance learn Islamic Finance,” “Full Range of Salimatu Jalloh, a junior at Marabout this topic – students and Islamic Financial Products and yland, “but I’m really glad I witfaculty alike,” she said. Instruments” and “Islamic Innova- nessed Mr. Eberle’s speech. It tion and The Role of Institutions In was extremely empowering.” Many Muslims nowadays are un- Socially-Responsible Investing.” familiar with the rules of Islamic fi- Within each session, a speaker After an astounding day filled nance, and those who are familiar took hold of the conversation, in- with many lessons, dinner was remain entrenched in a highly de- troducing their own served – halal Chinese food from bated field. Many rulings related personal involvement and sharing Indochine. Conference attendees to Islamic finance are hotly con- several take home messages. enjoyed the delicious food and tested and disputed. The conferalso spent their dinner break at a ence aimed to supply local Mus- “There [are] so many topics to networking session, which showlims with basic financial advice discuss, but we had to focus cased businesses and in great and provide a forum for its critical on the ones that affected us the detail. examination. most,” Dasti said. “Our audience was large, so general topics were -Continues on page 5 Zamir Iqbal, a lead investment of- a better fit.” ficer with the Quantitative Strategies, Risk and Analytics depart- Abu Salman Diya ud Deen Eberle,

2 Recent Events



MSA Meeting 3:30 PM


7 MSA “Brown Bag It” 3:30 PM

14 MSA Meeting 3:30 PM

Start of Cherry Blossom Festival Washington, D.C


21 27










MSA Thrive DC Visit 3:30 PM


Brother’s Night of Fun - 9:30 PM

24 30



MSA Family Day FHF Washington, D.C










MARCH 2012 S





upcoming events & programs

4 MIST Team Meeting UMD - 2:30 PM

11 Daylight Savings Set Clocks FWD 1H

18 MIST Team Meeting UMD - 2:30 PM


MSA Meeting 3:30 PM

Cut Along Dotted Line


Upcoming Events

Community Servic Putting the Unity In Community By Nadia Salim The students of the Raider High School Muslim Student’s Association (RHS MSA) have continued to portray their dedication in helping the community through various projects and initiatives that they have partaken in. The MSA members have been involved in many projects including Breast Cancer Awareness, Walk Now for Autism Speaks, SHARE, Can Madness, and many more in order to encourage community activism, build a stronger sense of social responsibility and to installleadership qualities.

ryone agreed that the event was a my expectations for both clubs.” major success. NHS and MSA both came to“I wasn’t able to help with the gether for a common cause. All packaging, but I made sure that agreed that the event was a very I shared my contribution to those enlightening and humbling expewho are less fortunate than us rience. One contributor says, “I by donating $20,” admitted Jess didn’t partake in this event for the Bifferson, event contributor. In service hours; rather, it was about Bifferson’s eyes, “a little goes a putting a smile to one’s face.” long way.” The events coordinator for the The MSA’s goal of 200 bags was MSA, Ahsan Nawwaz, organized exceeded when students broke a separate day to distribute the the record by packaging more snack bags. Many MSA members than 500 bags, all due to the nu- followed though and attended merous helping hands. Victoria this part of this tri-part project by According to Troy Bradbury, the Aline, head coordinator of NHS, visiting Thrive DC, the shelter for sponsor of the MSA club, the remarks, “I can‘t believe how suc- homeless women and children, to students are “very motivated” to cessful we were! It was well over put their hard efforts to use. make a difference in their community. He comments, “In a time where Muslims are looked down upon, these excellent students define what a true Muslim actually is: one who is giving and fulfilling.” This year, the RHS MSA partnered with The National Honor Society (NHS) for “Brown Bag It,” the charity project that they went on to organizing and co-sponsoring, in which students collected and then packed snacks that were later to be distributed to less fortunate kids. Many contributed to the event in some way, and eve-


MSA Extravaganza

Students eagerly pack snack bags on a Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Layth Yasin

ce Extravaganza! Happiness and joy filled the air as members personally handed out snack bags to the young and the old. “This particular project was my favorite because it further gave us an opportunity to give back to the community,” says Maryam Haji, president of the MSA. It was absolutely apparent that day that the RHS MSA came together as a family and supported those who

Children of all ages pose for a group picture on Family Game Day at FHF. Photo by Layth Yasin were experiencing rough times.

MSA member Yusra Gimie applies face paint to Yasmin Marhah. Photo by Layth Yasin

-Finance-continued from page 2

After both successful events, the RHS MSA joined the First Hijrah families for a day of fun at First Hijrah Foundation in Washington, D.C. Not only did the members reward themselves for their hard work and for their commitment to give back to the community, the event was also intended to raise $1000 for Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a Muslim women’s homeless shel-

the practicalities of living interestAccording to the organizers, the free,” said Omari Sefu, the head event was a great success. Sev- of the IFC marketing team. eral people expressed their extreme satisfaction after the event. Attendees were astounded by the huge push for knowledge by the “When I got the opportunity to Muslim youth. work with the Islamic Finance Conference, I took it because I “It is amazing to see the capacrealized that I have no idea about ity of what the Muslim youth can

ter in Baltimore. Activities such as board games, face paint, and balloon toss were held. 87 people attended, one of which being Samiha Islam. “All three of this year’s events that the MSA engaged in really bonded us closely, both as an MSA and as a community,” she said. And it did.

do,” said Batul Alzaki, a mother of four. “It is great minds like these that build upon a better future, insha’Allah.”


MSA Extravaganza

Family Travels

By Nadia Salim

Imagine what it might be like to travel the world, to any destination you felt like visiting? Where would you go? One thing is for sure, traveling is fun, whether alone or in a group.

The students first discussed the best methods of travel, such as airplanes, trains, and cars.. Alice, an 11th grade student, said she would rather go by plane.

“I like the feeling of taking off and landing,” Usually, when people travel with their fami- she said. But apart from that, it makes her lies, it brings them closer together. Take the family closer. When they get tired, “we just trip of Hajj as a major example. Millions of put our heads on one another’s shoulders people go, usually in a big group with at to fall asleep.” least a family member or two. The spiritual journey itself is amazing, and the physical This sweet little idea is one of many reajourney remains memorable. When people sons Alice loves flying through the air, she come back from their trips, they always said. Because plane rides are very tough to remember how someone helped them get through when they are long, it’s always through some obstacle during the journey. good to have a family member’s shoulder Even if may not have been direct family to lean on. members helping each other, such assistance builds a family vibe, and excellent However, another student, Alexander, said they prefer the car ride.“That way I have all camaraderie. of my electronics,” he said. While having all How does traveling make families come of that is fun, the car ride involves everyone closer? Students who travel frequently with being patient. “It’s hard not to get on each other’s nerves, but we all enjoy it!” their parents weighed in on the issue.

6 Family Travels

Finally, the students said they love sightThe one thing most students agree on is seeing with their family members. Seeing that car rides with your whole family are nice scenery by yourself is enjoyable. fun. “What makes it breathtaking is seeing it “There are jokes and games and bothering with your family,” said Jeff, a 10th grader. each other is fun too,” said Buster, a third student. Another popular advantage of family travels is the shopping. It is very fun for a Students not only enjoy the actual travel group of girls to come together to shop. process, but they enjoy unfamiliar and They enjoy teasing each other and choosadventurous destinations just as much. ing what looks nice on one another. Male Sometimes, these new areas require ad- siblings come together to play sports, or justments because of their different norms video games. Something about the intense and ways of living. But to some students, rivalry in competitive sports that makes the this is another fun adventure. males in the family feel closer to each other. “My family is made up of many cultures and Where would you go if you could travel? I love learning about them!” said Kirsten, an Many students said that they would like to eleventh grader. go somewhere warm, such as California. However, others also said London or AusOne special aspect about different cultures tralia because of the sight seeing there. is their delicious food. It’s always fun together to eat a meal but what’s more ex- So if you plan to take a trip anywhere, reciting is making it. Some students recall member that travels with family are the Thanksgiving or Eid with their geographi- most enjoyable travels. cally distant families. Photo by Michael Kriste “What I love most is helping out everyone in the kitchen,” said Naimah, a 9th grader. While making delicious food is important, using teamwork to make only adds to the experience, Naimah said.

7 Family Travels

“ Self portrait by Ayah Belal


Photography is the beauty of capturing God’s creations. With it, I want to give a voice to those without one; a powerful, graphical one that screams at those who neglect even the smaller voices.

Showcasing a Generation of Talent With Motives

Ayah Belal - Photographer

By Rahmah Ahmad

and emotion of any atmosphere effect on people’s conciousness.” she immerses herself in. And with a belief as such, and an But the reason we’ve decided to out-going personality, Ayah wishfeature Ayah isn’t just because es to benefit people using her of her skill of the talent she pos- photography and raises awaresesses, but rather what she does ness of the goings-on of events with it. Ayah believes in the ef- and problems all over the world, fective strength of visual learning starting with local issues first. and puts that belief it in action Ayah Belal, known to the pub- with what she attempts to show In summer of 2011, Ayah headed lic world by her alias, Ayah “Ba- through her work. the Artwork for Charity Competition, an initiative in the DMV area jooka,” shoots with a passion. With her trusty Canon Rebel to “There’s always a meaning or by 8teen13 that brought more be seen in her hand at practically message in most of the photos than fifteen photographers toevery event that sweeps the youth I take. I think that through im- gether in order to raise funds for scene in the Muslim community, agery, people can be emotionally people in need. The top three she’s known for capturing the feel touched and have a long-lasting winners of this competition would You’ll find her in the middle of all the action at peace rallies, on corners of the streets in social gatherings, on the sidelines of major events, in fields of tulips, and in front of just about anything she finds beautiful-which would not be a narrow list of subjects, to say the least.

8 Spotlight

have their work printed out, framed, and sold. All proceeds went to charity. This year, she’s got even more planned.

on the street of Washington, D.C, Facebook for photographs and or simply a warm smile to make how to get in touch! someone’s day, you’ll be sure to find something that screams out at you in Ayah’s photostreams. Whether it’s illustrating poverty Check out Ayah on Flickr and



Ordinary Advice from Unique Perspectives

With Kareema Khan - Guest Adviser

As Told to Rahmah Ahmad


Zainab from Hyattsville My sisters, one younger and the other one older than me always bicker back and forth. As the middle sibling, I always seem to be caught up in their drama. I feel obligated to help since after all we are sisters, but I don’t want it to appear as though I’m taking sides. Unfortunately, that seems to always be the issue but I’m not taking either side. I just want to know how I can help both parties without getting the blunt end of their anger. From Kareema Khan The key here is clear, direct communication between all three of you. Removing yourself from the situation might get you out of their direct line of fire, but it may also cause them to feel deserted or insulted by you. Instead, all three of you gather together at a point when tensions are low, and everyone is calm. The three of you can go out to dinner or grab ice cream. Start the conversation with a few soft-tosses, and then bring up the situation and describe its effects on the entire family. At first, they may not sympathize with each others’ plights, but they will take into consideration the negative effects they are having on the ones who they feel are not deserving of their ire. A clear head always allows someone to look at a situation unbiased, and therefore it is of the utmost importance that you pull this off on a good day.

Energy Feed Healthy Eating for Busy Minds By Rahmah Ahmad

Ever notice how energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster tend to give you a crash? It’s because of all the excessive amounts of sugar and artificial chemicals that they’re loaded with. We have

8 Spotlight an alternative for you. Try coconut water! Naturally, coconut pulp contains nutrients that help the production of endorphin molecules in your brain, which in turn help you stay more active and

alert throughout the day. Moreover, coconut water’s sugar is barely processed and is healthiest as it comes. Find yourself a can at your local organic market and endulge after or before an excercise!

9 Mini Features

“Family defines the caring-loving bond you've grown with certain others. The people you've come to develop and grow spiritually and physically with.” -Marlene

“Family is the mirror to my being. In them I see my past, present, and oddly, even my future.” -Anthony


“To me, family is defined by love and community. My family are the individuals that are there in times of sun and rain, famine and plenty, and who know that I am there for them, as well. Those whose lives I touch, and whose lives touch mine.” -Jordan 10 Special Feature

“My family is like the legs to my table, they keep me standing up.” -Wajdy

“My family are people who love me no matter what I do and are there to be my pillars of support when I most need it. Their love is unconditional, and I know that no matter how far apart we may be, that we are connected and I have a place to return.” -Allison

“Family is where life begins and love never ends. It's the people in your life who also want you in theirs, and the ones who accept you for who you are.” -Ify

What does it mean to you? This is the question we asked youth of all sorts. Here are our favorite responses.

“Well, if heaven is under my mother’s feet, and my father’s half the reason I’m alive, I guess it means a whole lot to me!” -Isa

“I’ll feel disconnected at points, but my family is still my driving force behind all my goals and aspirations. It means the world to me.” -Arthur 11

Special Feature


Bringing Forth Characters From Within All of Us

Mr. Bradbury - Teacher

By Rahmah Ahmad Influenced by a wide-reaching system of sound morals, many Muslims have similar views of what a typical family should be, despite being influenced by varying degrees of culture. But how do others in the local community define family? This month, we interviewed Troy Bradbury, an English teacher at Raider High School, to get his thoughts on a series of simple and straightforward family-related questions.

Sometimes, we need to realize that everything be alright in the end, as long as we are part of something greater than just ourselves, and we take care of our family.

Meet Mr. Bradbury- Our Sponsor

Here’s something you might not know! Troy Bradburry, known to students as Mr. Bradbury, is also our MSA club sponsor! Without his continuous help, dedication, and support for our cause, our events and projects wouldn’t be possible.

12 Personas

What does family mean to you? Mr. Bradbury’s response was as straightforward and clear as the question. “Endurance,” he began, bluntly. “Family is about the good and the bad. It is also about taking the good with the bad. Sometimes, we have good days, and then there are the bad days.”

of course there are obligations and responsibilities a husband has to his wife, but that changes when there is a child involved. In the end though, family is just part of something bigger than yourself.” Mr. Bradbury’s take on this question strayed from a traditional path of answers. His experience getting married was vastly different than one might hear from a Muslim family. What made you want to get married? It is common for people to get married for love, money or some other reason. Not Mr. Bradbury

“My wife ‘made me’ realize that a marriage could work. Of course, there was love involved in there too, but marriage was not one of my early goals in life, but she showed What are the ups and downs of me that it could be okay. being a parent and a husband? Sure, there are going to be “The hardest part is time good days, bad days, joyful management. It gets difficult, days and sad days, but in the managing a child and work all end, it will all be okay.” the while being a good husband to my wife. As for be- Mr. Bradbury believes that ing a husband, one thing that life, even in its most natural, should always be maintained raw form, is a truly beautiful is communication. It’s alright journey in and of itself. Someto disagree but we should times, he said, we need to reboth be on the same team alize that everything be alright and be able to disagree. An- in the end, as long as we are other thing which is hard is part of something and we responsibility. As a husband take care of our family.

Trivia Quest By Rahmah Ahmad

This month’s Trivia Quest follows the theme of Family: Reconnecting Our Hearts to Home! Some answers to the following questions can be attained right from this issue of Arabesque, while others require you to scour the school! This month, the prize for getting all of the questions right is two tickets to the Chinese Shen Yun performances taking place at the Kennedy Center from March 21-April 1!

7) The vice president of the MSA club comes from a diverse family background. Find out which ethnicities she is mixed of. Specify which family member each part comes into the mix from.

1) Name two members of the RHS MSA that are related and where they were born.

2) The Pyramids in Egypt

Answers to last month’s Trivia Quest: 1) A purple squirrel.

3) Humility 2) Which Calculus teacher enjoys going to China Town with his/her family for Sushi? To which favorite restaurant? 5) Robert Bayer. Goalie for RHS’s soccer team. 3) How many of the 10 counselors of RHS have been to France? Which ones went with family? 4) Find out where any three science teachers got married. 5) Mr. Bradburry loves diversity in culture. Find out which country he baught his wife a dress from last summer.

6) A three-leaf clover 7) Head and Shoulders Shampoo 8) Mos Def

6) At what age did the vice principal of RHS move to the United States with her family?

4947b Marlboro Pike, Capitol Heights, MD 20743 301.456.2623


Trivia Quest

Get to Kn for the 20 Omar Johnson

Mariam Khidr

Ahsan Nawwaz


Vice President

Events Coordinator

Class of 2012 Favorite Color: Pink Favorite Quote: “Don’t argue with an ignorant person. You’ve lost the second you started.” Role Model: Barack “OBeezy” Obama

14 Meet Your MSA Board

Class of 2013 Favorite Color: Purple Favorite Quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Role Model: Sheldon Cooper

Class of 2013 Favorite Color: Teal Favorite Quote: “Bromance: there’s nothing really wrong about it.” Role Model: Mahatma Gandhi

now Your MSA Board 011-2012 School Year Photos by Layth Yasin

Mahmud Jilani

Maryam Haji

Fatima Jilani

PR Representative



Class of 2012 Favorite Color: Green Favorite Quote: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for any thing.” Role Model: Eleanor Roosevelt

Class of 2013 Favorite Color: Maroon Favorite Quote: “We say we love flowers, but we pluck them and still question why we’re afraid of love.” Role Model: Yuri Yasuda

Class of 2014 Favorite Color: Brown Favorite Quote: “A black belt is a white belt that never quit.” Role Model: Genki Sudo

15 Meet Your MSA Board

About Us

Arabesque is a monthly newsletter by our MSA at Raider High School intended to do more than just the usual. On top of informing Muslims and non-Muslims alike about MSA club activities, relevant announcements about the school, officer updates, upcoming and recent events, we also highlight what youth just like us are doing in efforts of inspiring proactive action in our society and respective communities.

is made to be today. Keeping in mind that our audience are young adults, just like ourselves, of the next generation, we wish to combine quality content with visually appealing graphics, with pinches of humor, to draw readers into picking up this stack of papers right from the front page and keeping them here until the very last page where they end up right about where your eyes are right now.

We believe that reading news Enjoy reading this issue of Aracan be fun and beneficial with- besque, and please remember to recycle it or pass it on! out being standardized to sound and look like what most news



Student Clubs Office

Layth Yasin Editor in Chief, Graphics and Layout Nadia Salim Staff, Block Writer

Mr. Bradbury - Room 203 Main Library - Periodicals Desk Online - MSA Website- Facebook

Rahmah Ahmad Staff, Mini Features Writer


Š Arabesque 2012 Raider High School MSA

MSA Newsletter Design 2012  

First place award-winning newsletter for design and content for the DC MIST annual tournament on behalf of Team ERHS (Eleanor Roosevelt High...

MSA Newsletter Design 2012  

First place award-winning newsletter for design and content for the DC MIST annual tournament on behalf of Team ERHS (Eleanor Roosevelt High...