WCHS MSA Participates in MIST


Photo courtesy of Amir Pourmand.

By Nur Yavuz, Staff Writer

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) is reaching out to WCHS students to join and participate in the 2019 Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST), an educational competition about the religion of Islam, including interesting workshops for students to participate in.

As the WCHS community grows in diversity, learning about different cultures is crucial. The MSA, a club at WCHS that offers students in depth learning opportunities to learn about the beliefs and practices of Islam, contributes to the education of various cultures.

“We are not a club exclusively for Muslims, but rather a haven for anyone who wants to learn more about Islam and the Islamic culture,” junior and secretary Amir Pourmand said.

It is important for students to appreciate and learn about the Islamic culture for purposes of being able to understand and relate to a wider variety of students and peers.

At a recent MSA meeting, members looked at mosques with modern architecture and compared them to the traditional mosques around the world. They also discussed places of worship and discussed what would and would not be considered a mosque based on it’s architectural design.

“We’ve expanded our club to both Muslims and non-Muslims and have worked on familiarizing our members with the Islamic culture,” junior and event planner Nura Dhar said. “We hope to have different workshops that showcase traditions like henna and Arabic calligraphy.”

Henna is consisted of small flowering shrubs which is later turned into a paste to tattoo the skin temporarily. According to Soft Schools, people in many countries believe that henna protects against evil spirit and ensures good luck.

MSA meetings occur during the first half of lunch on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. During the meetings, the MSA board members prepare for the MIST by reviewing the practices, facts and beliefs of Islam and registering for the competition.

“[MIST] is aimed towards bringing high school students together from different communities and backgrounds,” Pourmand said. “We competed with a small team under WCHS last year and hope to perform better with our larger team.”

MIST is a two day tournament which has competitions for students in the DMV area to compete in various competitions under their high schools. The WCHS team has been preparing for the event which will take place on Apr. 13 and 14 at the Universities of Maryland at Shady Grove.

“The MSA’s main goal is to unite both Muslim and non-Muslim students while learning about the Islamic culture through our programs, whether it be through competing in MIST or in group discussions about contemporary topics,” Pourmand said.