MIST has come to a close with another successful year of the youth competing, bonding, and growing their ambition for Islam. MIST Nationals was held in Baltimore this year on July 25th-28th. Youth from all over the country and even parts of Canada came to compete in various competitions like basketball, spoken word, nasheed, improv and many more. High schools joined together to form regions like Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, etc.
All these competitions revolved around a different theme every year and this year’s theme was “The Honor of Humility: Discovering Dignity in Challenging Pride”.
It was a very busy weekend for competitors from the start of orientation in the meeting hall to the very end where all the regions collected together for the awards ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of our brothers and sisters. It all started on Friday, July 26th when all the regions collected together for orientation in the meeting hall for the agenda and rules. Regions couldn’t stay quiet as they chanted their region’s name in limericks with joy already competing about which region can be louder and better. New Jersey competitors chanted, “Go Jersey! Go Jersey! Go!” as
Detroit chanted even louder, “D-Town hold it down!” and the other regions fired back with their own creative chants. The scene of the hall echoing with chants from different regions just translated into brothers and sisters bonding and having fun together. That’s what MIST is all about: chants, competitions, bonding, and coming back to faith. After orientation people assembled for Jumma. It was peaceful as hundreds of brothers and sisters listened to the khutbah and learned about humility and pride in a Muslim.
After Jumma people headed to the basketball tournament which was held in a recreation center in Loyola, Maryland. Over 12 teams, representing their region, competed in this ruthless tournament. The tournament ended with DC winning first, Chicago second, and Houston third.
Next day was a full day of competitions starting at 8 AM with Quran and Knowledge competition and continuing on with spoken word extended essay and brackets. Regions competed and others watched performances of wonderful nasheeds and moving spoken words. At the end of the day, everyone came together to explore the Baltimore boardwalk and downtown. Sunday was another full day of competitions from arts to bracket finals. Regions brought inventions and ideas for the science fair and answered difficult questions in MIST Bowl (trivia game including questions about seerah).
Finally, after all the competitions, everyone knew everyone. People from different regions were chatting and joking with other people in other regions. Everyone was getting together, making new friends, talking about competitions, and overall enjoying the whole MIST experience. The awards ceremony came around and competitors were seated with their regions to see who came out on top. Competitors cheered for their brothers and sisters who accepted trophies and medals. All the regions, more than 400 competitors, exited the award ceremony hall chanting, “MIST, MIST! MIST, MIST, MIST! Everybody!”. There were no regions now. Everyone came together to be one youth body of the ummah. MIST isn’t just about the competitions or awards, it’s all about coming together and becoming one.
MIST came to a reluctant end as competitors teared up and hugged other competitors before getting on their buses. Everyone was outside the conference building, jumping together to the beat of the table. With their last goodbyes, everyone hopped on their buses and were happy for such a memorable event. Competitors all learned about the humility, pride, the togetherness of the ummah, and they left excited for next year. All that we can ask now is the longing question, where will the next MIST nationals be held in 2020?