Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Break

One of my closest friends, Dania (former VP USA of MSA National) asked me if I fixed my thumb drive. After telling her the entire, dramatic story of how it broke and by some miracle my sister-in-law's cousin was able to get the data off of it, she looked at me and said, "Do you know how it broke? I read it on your blog; that's how I'm keeping up with your life."

We immediately made plans.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Remembering to Smile

Today was one of those days; those days where you wonder if its time to go to bed because you know that after tossing and turning for a few hours it'll be a new day, a new chance to make a difference and most importantly, you'll have a clean slate.

Boom. Boom. Boom. One, two, three. And then at the end of the day punch number four.

Sometimes its like I'm skating in 60 degree weather; all around me the icicles are beginning to drip and my rink is slowly reverting to a pond while the piranhas are waking up.

But whenever I find myself standing on active tectonic plates, all I can do is pray.

Its quite a hard lesson to learn, especially for an activist. You believe you can change the world; you can help society and make the world a better place. You can stay up late nights, answer every question, make plans, begin implementation - but at the end of the day you don't have control. At the end of the day I am limited; only one being is unlimited. So all we can do is our best - and pray.

For me I find comfort in the amazing MSA volunteers. Volunteers like a local MSA sister who balances her pre-med classes with her numerous MSA leadership roles or the MSA National Information Technology Task Force that gets its dream of redoing the website and is working on numerous other projects. Or the MSA National Media and Communications Task Force members who work hard to bring us all news of the amazing things happening in MSA land.

Or the MSA Alumni, who calls her friend to say, "Don't forget what you used to have on your voicemail - Remember to smile!"


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Flash Drive Users Beware

Today I spent the day on my phone, in stores and online trying to fix my MSA / MBA thumb drive. Like many people, I keep my life on a small piece of metal smaller than my index finger. From MSA documents, to my notes from class and my personal reflections; everything from the past three years. Alhamduillah, I had backed it up two months ago, but a lot as happened since November.

According to Best Buy: $400-$500 to recover the memory.

Lets hope the next person I ask has a better idea :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Standing at the MSA National booth at RIS, an old friend and former MSA National officer Sr. Fadwa softly touched my elbow and introduced me to a brother from CAIR-Can.

As I spoke to the brother about organizational messages and his perspective on how to best articulate our message to the larger community, I noticed another volunteer intently listening to our conversation.

As I introduced myself to Br. Ghaleb from the Concordia MSA, he began to tell me his MSA story. We all have them; stories about how we came to be at the school we're at, how we love or don't love our MSA, and stories about our experiences that make us who we are today. Like Congressman Ellison says, we as Muslims need to tell our story. This is one of my favorite parts of my job - understanding other people's stories and learning what I can do to make their campus experience even better.

Br. Ghaleb left his family overseas and first came to Minnesota. When he landed at the airport, MSA members picked him up, helped him get settled, and became his home away from home as for the first time he celebrated Ramadan and Eid away from his family. My eyes nearly teared up as he described this story and told me how his mother received a translation of the Qur’an in 1975 from MSA National, when the organization established one of if not the first Muslim printing presses in America. It is that passion and love for MSA that he carries with him today at Concordia.

As I left RIS, I said a small prayer for Br. Ghaleb and his family; his story was a bigger gift than he may ever know.