Community News (V10-I23)

Voices for Change concert in Tampa

TAMPA,FL– Outlandish (Sony/BMG), a popular award-winning European hip-hop band that promotes positive messages to youth in their music will headline the MAS Youth (Muslim American Society) concert tour in Tampa, on June 6.

The concert, which is billed as the ‘Voices For Change’ tour, will make a stop at the Sun Dome at the University of Southern Florida. The tour is scheduled to visit six cities across the United States including Tampa, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

According to Omar Atia, Vice President of MAS Youth, “Our goal with this tour is to promote positive messaging to American youth while empowering them with the knowledge that they have options of making good choices and that they can be instrumental in making positive changes in their lives as well as others in their communities.”

Headlining the concert will be Outlandish, a European hip-hop trio consisting of three longtime friends, two Muslims and one Christian. The content and lyrics of their songs are written to remind people of their potential and convey positive messages about life and self-fulfillment.

“We selected Outlandish to headline the tour due to the band’s amazing live energy, positive messaging in their music and ability to reach out to fans of all ages and backgrounds,” said Atia.

Outlandish, which is signed to the Sony/BMG label, has gained a reputation in the music industry as a group which creates music with a positive message, motivating lyrics and clean music/videos devoid of any references to sex, drugs or negative language. Outlandish’s hip-hop/R&B/soul music sound takes influences from their various backgrounds (Moroccan/Arab/Amazigh, Pakistani/Punjabi and Latin American), and although their songs are primarily in English, they usually feature lyrics in Spanish, Urdu/Punjabi, Danish, and Arabic.

According to Outlandish band member Waqas Ali Qadri, “This concert tour is one which we genuinely believe will make a great impact on those in attendance. We love playing live and equally love sharing our message of understanding and equality.”

Opening for Outlandish will be D-Clique, a Tampa group that won the honour through a regional competition that was staged earlier in the Spring.

D-Clique beat out 9 other local bands for the opener spot. They were selected based on several criteria including positive and inspirational messaging and live performance.

“Although we are a Muslim youth organization, our goal is to help young people no matter what their religious background, achieve their goals and create opportunities that they can feel inspired and proud to share with others. We believe this concert is a step in the right direction,” said Atia.

Sara Khan receives Elon School’s Headmaster’s Award

Freshman Sara Khan at the prestigious Elon School has been named as one of the recipients of the Headmaster’s Award. The awards recognize excellence in areas including academics, the arts, leadership, athletics and community service. They may be renewed each year based on a student’s performance at the independent high school and range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Samira Hussein wins Fulbright Scholarship

Samira Hussein, associate professor of business administration at Johnson County Community College (JCCC), Kansas, has been named the 2008 Fulbright Scholar.

Prof. Samira Hussein looks forward to participating and co-directing the Fulbright Program to Morocco. She will be taking several area educators with her, who will participate in five-week summer seminars in various universities in Morocco. They will travel to Morocco in June-July 2008 to study the influence of Islam in shaping the artistic, cultural, social, and religious fabric of the society.

A native of Pakistan, Samira Hussein earned two master’s degrees from University of Central Missouri – a master of science in clinical psychology in 1983 and a master of business administration in marketing in 1986.She has been the recipient of the Midwest Region’s International Teaching Excellence Award. In October 2007 she received the Distinguished International Alumni Award from the University of Central Missouri and has achieved several distinctions in the field of teaching.

Hussein has fostered academic relations with business programs in several countries – the Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, Mexico and especially Pakistan, where she has lectured at Preston University, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, and the College of Business
Management in Karachi. She has authored six new courses as part of the international business curriculum at JCCC.

Dream of Building Mosque eludes Guelph Muslims

GUELPH– The dream of establishing a new mosque continues to elude the Muslim Society of Guelph, but the latest failure seems to be one that can still be overcome.

Discussions between the Muslim Society and the Guelph branch of the Royal Canadian Legion fell apart recently after the two sides apparently failed to agree on a sale price. Legion representatives have declined to discuss the particulars of the matter, but Muslim Society spokesperson Mohamed Chaarani says the society’s offer of $2.5 million fell short of the Legion’s asking price of $2.8 million. A difference of $300,000, to our mind, doesn’t seem insurmountable, and if the legion is agreeable to lowering the price to match the Muslim Society’s offer, this should be a win-win for everyone involved.

Both groups have long-standing dreams of their own, and it seems this may be the best opportunity to finally fulfil them.

Halal food stand at Univ. of Waterloo

WATERLOO-Visitors to the cafeteria at University of Waterloo’s were in for a pleasant surprise last week.  They were treated to a whole array of Indian meals including the famous curry dishes and all of them were Halal. The cafetaria’s new Indian and Halal food stand came as a result of a survey last year which asked students what kinds of foods they wanted to see more of on campus.

The food if prepared by Vijay’s Restaurant in Kitchener, cooked on campus and then brought to the sale location. The business is currently in testing phase and is expected to be fully running by September, 2008.

It currently offers halal, meat, and vegetarian options as well as a daily changing menu. Popular items such as their butter chicken are kept on the menu unchangingly.

The University of Waterloo is a top rated university in Canada and has a large Muslim student and faculty population.



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