Pitt MSA co-hosted our 5th Annual Fast-A-Thon with Pitt's African Student Organization this year, and the theme was EDUCATION. The event was sold out, with 200 Pitt students, faculty, staff, and community members fasting for Education and making a difference! Hundreds of books were donated toward the Nigeria Kaduna Library Project, and $559 were raised for Nigeria's education!
Sister Suraya Faroqui gave our opening speech, in which she spoke about the history of fasting and its importance in setting the mind to reflect on ourselves and the issues that pertain to our lives, such as education. She noted the cross-cultural value in fasting that has been prevalent in cultures around the world for hundreds of years.
Our keynote speaker this year was Dr. Buba Misawa from Washington & Jefferson College, who started the Kaduna Library Project to bring easier access to education to the students there who work so hard to attain it. He opened the community's eyes to the amount of resources we have that are taken for granted. From books thrown in the dumpster to pens and pencils dropped in hallways, the excessive things we are blessed with in the United States are luxuries for others internationally.
The purpose of this event was to showcase the large-scale impact Islam has had around the world. Muslims from diverse backgrounds staffed booths about the country they are from, the culture and customs of the countries, and how Islam has impacted the development of those countries!
This year, 16 different nations were represented, including Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, and even China! Over 250 people attended the event, bringing along with them the music and food from their native cultures!
Dishes included Basboosa from Libya, Palestine, and Syria (each with its own twist in the recipe!), Kofta from Egypt, Biryani from Pakistan and India, and.... LEMONADE from the United States!
With Halal-A-Palooza, our Spring semester of MSA events started with our best foot forward!
Pitt MSA participated in the university-wide PMADD, where we helped get the weeds out of the gardens at Turtle Creek.
Rush week is our week to get new Muslims on campus acquainted with the MSA at the beginning of every Fall term. How did we do it this year? KAYAKING!
Secret Eidi is an MSA Favorite! Members are assigned a random person to give a present to, and had a couple weeks to come up with something clever before the big day! Members opened presents one-by-one, and everyone cheered for the craziest presents out there! We're looking forward to next year's Secret Eidi!
Pitt MSA had a great time at our Ice Skating social at PPG Place!
This was MSA's first year of the #PittHijabChallenge! We had lots of students around the university own the hijab for a day, seeing how it feels to wear hijab in public in America, like so many American-Muslim women do. This was one of our larger dawah events, with huge success overall! Through this initiative, we spread understanding of Islam and its people to the community at the University of Pittsburgh.
This was the first year that the ICP Food Bank was adopted as an MSA initiative! All MSA members routinely ran distribution every month, and some members directed the activities of the Food Bank site at the ICP! This year's directors were Wasi Mohamed, Mohammad Sajjad, Syed Kaleem, and Mariam Abdelwahab.
The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, with the help of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, has distributed over 144,000 pounds of food since its opening in June 2009. We serve hundreds of families, Muslims and non-Muslims, from all around the Pittsburgh area. Our site serves an average of 45 families every month.
A special thanks to Shahid Madni and Walaa of the ICP for helping to bring together donations and helping activities to run smoothly, and to APO fraternity and other community members for helping at the ICP's distributions!
More information about the ICP Food Bank can be found at:
Pitt MSA held responsibility for keeping a block of the Pittsburgh neighborhood clean by picking litter from the area every month. It's always a good time to get together with a bunch of friends to help the community!
Pitt MSA held a Candlelight Vigil for Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, the victims of the tragic, hate-induced murders at UNC Chapel Hill on Tuesday, February 10 .
On this bitterly cold day, 250 people from all over the Greater Pittsburgh area came together to honor the achievements of these young individuals so early in their lives.
Our vigil was covered by the PittNews in written and video media:
After Jummah prayer that week, Pitt MSA prayed Salat al-Ghaeb and read the Qur'an for the victims at UNC.
inna lillahi wa inna-e-laihi raji'oon
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
Surely we belong to God, and to God we shall surely return.
#ChapelHillShooting #OurThreeWinners #Pitt4ChapelHill