MSA is an organization that provides both a religious/spiritual component, which strengthens the Imam of our community, and a social component, providing a network for fellow Muslims to connect with one another. Coming to UNC, not knowing anyone, MSA helped me adjust to my new surroundings by: providing a way to meet new people who I have now made long-lasting relationships with, bringing me closer to Allah and my faith, and has showed me that togetherness provides the greatest comfort. As your development chair, I plan on continuing to bring back events that have brought MSA great success such as MSA Live, Sportsfest, and group iftars, while also allocating funds to go towards creating new events that’ll bring us closer together and invite those who may be hesitant about approaching our community. Among these new events, a few would include bringing back interclass sports tournaments and other athletic-related events that would be both co-ed and non-co-ed, monthly cookouts after Jummah, and fundraising activities to raise money for refugees and families affected by crises. Another goal of mine is to begin planning on the development of a campus Muslim center for us. InshAllah, a center like this will provide us a space where we can freely practice our religion while providing a resource for people with questions. With your vote, I hope to have the chance to conduct this long-term plan that will put this idea into works in order to, with the help of Allah (swt), become a reality.
Position(s) Interested in: Development, Publicity, Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
About: Throughout this year, I was able to become apart of the MSA community and see the vision of MSA come to life. It created a passion in me to want to do more to carry out the vision and goals of MSA. This lead me to get more involved in MSA, from taking advantage of the many volunteer opportunities and being on the community service committee, to helping set up for events. Through this, I found a sense of togetherness, and it made me have a greater understanding and respect for everything MSA does while continuing to grow my passion. As a Shurah member, I want to take my involvement in MSA to a greater level. Specifically, I hope to serve as the events coordinator. As events coordinator, my goal is to continue to make our events successful and even better in order to further establish our presence on campus and continue to create an environment where we can feel united and have our voice heard. I hope to work with all of you and the Shurah members to help fulfill our goals and vision for MSA. Most importantly, I want everyone to feel just as close, comfortable, and united in MSA as I did this year.
Position(s) Interested in: Development, Publicity, Community Service, Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
Salam, My name is Lara Mohammad, and I’m a rising sophomore. I would like to help move MSA’s community forward by not only planning events to connect Muslims and non-Muslims, but to also encourage our communities to have a call to action. My central goal will be to foster that call to action by emphasizing the importance of having an active role in our community. In addition to the events MSA already does a great job of planning, I would like to organize visits to community centers, senior centers, local high schools, and more to show ourselves and others what a powerful force of good Muslims can be if we work together. In order to strengthen the MSA, we have to make sure everyone in our community is being represented and supported, and I believe I can work together with the other Shurah members to make that a reality.
Position(s) Interested in: Development, Publicity, Community Service, Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
Salam everyone! I am currently a rising sophomore interested in holding a Shurah position for the 2019-2020 school year. I believe I can be an asset on a team of individuals with a common goal that is improving the overall community of Muslims on UNC’s campus. I was inspired by this years current group of shurah members, witnessing the effort and determination behind every activity, meeting, and event. I too believe that as a part of the shurah team I can introduce new ideas as well as continue the traditions that have become a part of the MSA’s identity. I am specifically interested in the permanent prayer room for students, alumni network, mentorship program, and finances behind each MSA event. My intrinsic motivation for bettering the Muslim community at large, coupled with my experience with Shurah in the past (at the highschool level) instill a bit of confidence in my running for a shurah position. The Muslim Student Association is very personal to me as I was heavily involved with MSA in high school. I founded the club in an area where Muslims were scarce and served as the president for every year following until graduation. I went to school in Rolesville, a town with a population of 7000, with even less Muslims. Establishing a Muslim presence was met with a lot of backlash and came with many challenges. Although many people had a religiously bias vendetta against the establishment of the MSA, we were able to overcome and create a successful environment for Muslims to practice their religion and for non-muslims to learn about Islam. A few of the events/projects we worked on were a schoolwide fast-a-thon, international festival, movie nights, weekly Jumuah prayer, permanent prayer space on campus, and general body meetings twice a month that included fishbowl discussions concerning various Islamic topics. On the contrary, this past year I was able to take on a more outward perspective of the MSA without knowledge of the inner workings and behind the scenes processes that occur during every respective MSA event. I have always been interested in how the shurah members collaborate and discuss topics as a group. It is the cohesiveness and togetherness of the group of individuals in shurah that excites me the most. If you’ll have me, I hope to incorporate my ideas and discuss with other board members how I believe the MSA can improve and continue the many successes we have experienced in the past.
Positions Interested In: Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
Why am I running for shurah? I think that MSA is a family, as cliché as that may be. Many of us came to UNC trying to figure out who we are, and trying to find a group that we can be a part of and feel like we can belong to. Like many of you I have had the experience of being the only Muslim in my school, but MSA has really been somewhere that I can meet new people and form friendships. Many of us this year have found great friends and witnessed great leadership with our current shurah. I want incoming students to feel the same way I do about MSA. Thanks to great upperclassmen who are both on and not on shurah who are great leaders in our community they inspired me to do the same for others coming in and have them feel like they are included. I want to be able to help that transition to UNC be easy. I want to be able to make more connections through MSA and try my best to have MSA’s voice heard throughout the community and campus. One way that I can do this is by being events coordinator, and offering the student body more chances to connect. I have had experience planning events with NHS, more specifically I have helped with the planning of multiple blood drives, clothing drives, and toy drives. I want to bring more events and more class gatherings so that we get a chance to de-stress from school. I want MSA to represent the many strong Muslim voices that we have in the room and accomplish great goals like the many shurah’s before us.
Positions Interested In: Events Coordinator
I am running for Shura 2019-2020 because I appreciate how much MSA has contributed to building my character, while strengthening my spirituality as a young women navigating through college. In return, I want to support the continuing success of this community by providing a safe space to connect socially, mentally, and spiritually. As an Events Coordinator, organizing events that encourage young Muslims to incorporate Islam as they actively seek out their ambitions, is what I hope to deliver with this platform.
Nazneen Begum Khan
Positions Interested In: Social
About: I’ve never held a formal position with shurah. Though I’ve always been more than happy to volunteer my time and services, and help the association achieve success in anyway I could. This coming year, I hope to take more of an active role helping to contribute to a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere which the organization foster. Coming from a background of not being around many Muslims, I was warmed to have found a home in MSA so quick. Home can mean different things to different people. To me, home was in the friends that turned into sisters through this organization. Home is the sense of togetherness I feel every time I walk into the prayer room, and home is what I felt standing amongst you all during the vigil last week. Home is what I want you all to feel when you think about UNC. I hope to continue in building my home by bringing people together through different events such as more interclass activities, soccer classic and chill events like movie nights and games nights. I hope you can take a chance on me in helping to make UNC and MSA a home with you all next year, my final year. I hope you can put your faith in me to continue on the legacy of MSA.
Positions Interested In: Publicity, Events Coordinator, Social
A year ago, as a freshman, I thought what made MSA special to me was the organization as a unit itself, a working body that felt as one big family. While it is true, MSA is a faimily to me, my second year at UNC has shown me that what makes MSA truly special are the people within it. Each individual member carries something unique that allows for this great body to operate as a strong community. With this epiphany, I have come to value our members' opinions, goals, and desires regarding the future of MSA dearly, and I want to be a force on shurah that can raise members' voices to create an MSA that reflects the very people that make it great. I want to reflect your spirit when you see each other on campus; I want to celebrate the strides you make in strengthening your faith, however big or small; and I want to elevate the inspiring sense of community you all promote during times of joy, and times of grief. As Dr. Maya Angelou wisely said, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The words we use, the actions we do, the impressions we mark, often times last longer in our memories than the events itself. So, as a shurah member, I will not only ensure that the events MSA does are inclusive, fun, and mindful of our faith, but that we act in the most kind, respectful, and productive ways. Insha'Allah, with the guidance of Allah SWT, this upcoming year we will make more memories and connections with each other, and use our differences to join together as one, the best way we know how.
Positions Interested In: Development, Outreach
About: Salam! I am running for the Outreach/Development positions on Shurah because I believe in the impact of the Muslim community on campus and the importance of our voices being heard. I hope that my position on Shurah will allow me to connect with campus organizations and leaders to expand the reach of Muslim voices on campus, continue building upon the foundations set for long-term projects that support our community, and ensure that all Muslims on our campus feel safe, respected, and represented by the MSA. Whether it's through the maintenance of MSA's financial health, partnerships across campus and the broader community, or facilitating events to amplify Muslim voices, I aim to serve UNC's Muslim students to the best of my ability, alongside a spectacular Shurah and in tandem to the goals of our Muslim community.
Positions Interested In: Community Service
About: Salam! When I came to UNC, it was through the MSA that I was able to meet so many amazing people, including the people I now call my friends. The MSA has given me a second family which I am greatly appreciative of. I believe every incoming member should feel the same way I did coming to UNC and so my goal as part of Shurah is to work with the other members of the board to give every current and incoming member a sense of togetherness and the opportunity to let their voices be heard. I am particularly interested in being elected as the community service chair because volunteer work is my passion and what I enjoy doing most. If elected, I look forward to organizing new volunteer opportunities and expanding on the ones already in place. This past year I have participated in multiple MSA volunteer opportunities, including refugee tutoring, pediatric playroom, Project Downtown, and a number of others. I know that many people aren't aware of the many volunteer opportunities out there so I would love to help everyone find something they enjoy doing. I hope that you all consider me for the community service chair inshAllah.
Positions Interested In: Publicity, Outreach, Social
Assalamu Alaikum Everyone! First off, I really want to take the time and thank the upperclassmen and current shurah board. Mashallah, you all have really helped in making my experience, not only here in MSA, but on campus a memorable one, so inshallah I wish all of you guys the absolute best. Before coming to UNC, I knew that upon my acceptance there were 2 organizations that I would want to join and commit to 100% without a doubt in mind, one being MSA. And while my time here has been amazing and filled with joyful and wild activities, like getting locked in Hamza’s trunk, and turning up to Tamer’s strange, albeit catchy songs, I cannot help but feel a little out of place at times. I really do love the community and family we’ve come to be here in MSA. However, I just wish there was a larger output to share this love and support that we have found here in MSA. MSA, to me, was meant to go beyond representing the Muslim Community. It was meant to showcase the various forms muslims all over come in, whether it be Arabs, Desis, Africans, whites, etc. Yet, I feel as if our MSA has yet to make such an output. This is not to say what MSA has done now has been a complete failure, because it has not been, but it has not reached its fullest capabilities. I believe that, because of shurah's strong presence, it should serve as a representation and reflect its membership and the voice of Muslims from all walks of life. As a result, as a member of shurah, I want to be able to work together with all of you guys in combatting this limitation on representation. I don’t want others to see MSA and wonder if its only meant for the stereotypical view of muslims. I want to be able to show the beauty and range that us Muslims come in. I want to show people that no matter what background or family line you come from, MSA will always welcome you with open arms.
Positions Interested In: Publicity
MSA was a family I wanted to join before I even decided on what classes I wanted to take. This was simply because there was inclusivity and a sense of belonging, in a place where I was supposed to be a minority. I remember so vividly that when I first entered the Prayer room, I was addressed by such a familiar and personal saying, where the "asalamu alaikum" was conveyed in such a way that not only greeted me into the room, but also into such a benevolent and accommodating community. The immediate feeling of warmth and overall gratitude is one that I will never forget and am eager to pass on to future members of MSA, because I hope to serve and connect to my Muslim brothers and sisters.
With that being said, I’m especially interested in taking on the position for Publicity, particularly because I have experience in completing similar tasks with other communities (i.e Islamic Center of Greensboro). I can assure you that I am capable of executing related tasks and working cooperatively with fellow members to produce the best outcomes. I hope to build memories and a lasting community for each other and for ourselves!
Positions Interested In: Publicity
Despite having been outside the inner circle of the MSA for my first three years at UNC, I was approached by the Shura to give a speech at the NZ vigil. It was a small gesture that went a big way. I’ve always felt like I couldn’t be part of the MSA because I practice my faith differently, but who doesn’t. Islam is about plurality, inclusivity, and progress. Islam is also about preservation, and at times like these when the community is most vulnerable, we need to mobilize discourse around our place on campus, in Chapel Hill, and beyond. If elected, I will dedicate my time to raising awareness about our community and promoting constructive and necessary dialogue.
Positions Interested In: Development, Publicity, Events Coordinator, Social
To me, being a Muslim is more than just a label. Being Muslim is about being a part of a strong, united community. It is about having a strong bond with one another. And, most importantly, it is about having a positive impact on the lives of those around you .Ever since stepping foot on campus last fall and feeling the warm welcome of the Muslim community on campus, I have been able to be a part of such an amazing and supportive community of Muslims. Since that day, I have wanted to give back and be a part of the Shurah that helped me feel this way. As a Shurah member, I hope to help MSA reach higher and do even more to grow the Muslim community on campus. I hope to be a part of Shurah to give a positive impact on the incoming Freshman class as strongly as I was impacted earlier this year.
Positions Interested In: Events Coordinator, Social
About: Salam everyone, hope you’re all doing well. My name is Hana and I would like to be on shurah for the next academic year.
Since moving to America last year in August the MSA has played a huge role in my settling and transition from the UK. At the very beginning of my freshman year I became interested in the MSA and this interest has only grown since. Surrounding myself with people of similar morals and values to myself has helped me feel at home and has further reinforced my identity as a Muslim in the west.
As my friends may know, I am from a town just outside of west London called Slough. Slough is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the UK and is home to a very large Muslim population. As I was born and raised here, I was constantly surrounded by Muslims, particularly those of South Asian descent. Life was very different compared to that of the white American South. The norm for me was to go to school every-day and be surrounded by other south Asian Muslims, no exaggeration this was the demographic for a good 80/90% of my school. I lived a three minute walk from my local Mosque and my neighborhood was predominantly Muslim. I never knew anything different and didn’t question this when I lived in the UK.
Moving to the US changed a lot for my social situation. I had never been part of a predominantly white institution or found it this difficult to run into Muslims where I was living. Therefore, I made a conscious effort to be part of the MSA so I could find people similar to what I was used to. The MSA far surpassed my expectations. The fact that an organization, such as the MSA, can exist in an area where Muslims are really not given the representation they deserve is phenomenal and is a movement I am keen to be a part of. Not only do I appreciate the fact that the MSA can bring together so many different Muslims, I also appreciate the ethnic diversity of the MSA and think this adds to its value as a cultural organization on UNC’S campus.
I feel like my background and different experiences will add to the MSA and I will be able to provide a different insight on shurah. I have found the differences between American Muslims and British Muslims interesting and would want to combine the best of both worlds in moving forward with the MSA. I also feel being a British-Muslim would allow for more diversity of thought on shurah and I would want to allow this to be prominent in the upcoming year.
So in the UK the equivalent to the MSA is the Islamic Society – ISOC. Many of my friends are part of the ISOC at their different unis in the UK and during the breaks I was at home – for fall and part of winter break – I was able to go to a few of the ISOC events at my friends unis. The prominence of the ISOC on their campus is much more prevalent compared to the MSA here and this is definitely something I would like to work on. That being said, I feel the inclusive nature of MSA here trumps that of the UK and this is an organisation I am proud to be part of and would like to take further and grow with during my time in the US.
Positions Interested In: Development, Outreach, Social
My name is Wali Khan, and I want to run for shurah because I believe that UNC MSA is the most welcoming organization of kind-hearted and intelligent individuals on Campus.
With that being said, I have a vision for MSA. A vision that involves faith, awareness, inclusivity, unity, and the overall success of its members. Whether that is physically, spiritually, and mentally.
I like to think big. I also like to think disruptively. Meaning I want to execute my goals with passion. I believe in the importance of reaching out to other organizations so that our presence is felt throughout campus.
I also want to work with others to create events that will bring muslims from all around together with speakers that will likely inspire all of us to succeed. That is why I am interested in running for Outreach.
However, I also believe in goals. Short term goals and long term goals are both important to the success of MSA. Whether that be creating events that will uplift our members or creating facilities on campus that will provide for the basic needs as muslims. That’s why I’m also interested in development. It is obvious that some goals cannot be reached; we don't need to adjust the goals, but rather adjust the steps to attain those goals. And that's what I plan doing.
Finally, I wanted to say that coming to UNC as a freshman, like many of you I was lost. Lost not in the fact of what i wanted to do. I had some idea, BUT lost in the fact that I didn't know why I was doing what I was doing. UNC MSA instilled a foundation of faith and community within me. Whatever I end up doing in my life, I know i’ll be assisting me ummah one way or another. That is why i’m running. To uphold my foundation of creating visible positive change in my community. Not only for me, but so that others in the future can also feel the passion as we do.
Positions Interested In: Development
Assalamualaikum! I am running for shurah because I want to help foster growth and development in our ummah. Growing up, I moved around a lot and was never really part of a stable community. At times, I felt I was lacking the unity and connections that others had. Then, around a year and a half ago, I reverted to Islam and have since met some of the best people I have ever known. This was a significant changing point in my life. I'm not sure what type of person I would be today if I hadn't reverted or met the people that I have, but I know that I am a better person because of it. This community has given me a lot and has helped me greatly along the way. I want to be able to give back in any way I can now and that is being on Shurah where I can return the support that has been given to me by listening to, promoting, and actualizing your ideas. I also want to establish long-term events, projects, or programs to not only help us, but future UNC Muslim students, such as continuing the project for an Islamic center on or close to campus. Furthermore, I want to help deepen the connection between Shurah and the community to ensure a more transparent and collaborative organization.
About: As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi ta3la wa barakatu. When I first came here, many upperclassmen helped their fellow ummah including me with the transition from high school to college. In turn, by running for shurah, I want give back by guiding next year’s freshman class in the same way the upperclassmen did for me. We have to recognize that our ummah is the collective community of us - the Muslim people. I have a couple ideas for events next year, including setting up an event to showcase the diversity of the Muslim ummah to the rest of campus. How can we be collective if we don’t interact with each other? We need to have a sense of togetherness which is why I would also like to incorporate a dedicated monthly get-together where each month we have a different event, like sports night, game night, and movie night. I believe that we need a diversity of thought on shurah and that is why I am running for Developmental, Events Coordinator, Outreach, and Publicity to make UNC's MSA even better.
Hey everyone! My name’s Fehmi and I’m a sophomore running for shurah. Whether I feel in despair after a midterm or want to share my happiness after not failing that same midterm, I can always walk into the prayer room and interact with the varying smiles I’m greeted with and automatically feel better.
I want to be more involved within the community that has the ability to uplift emotions and bring friendships together. The best way to bring these qualities is to create a close-knit atmosphere within MSA by greater involvement with the general members. One way this can be done is to form committees in shurah to appeal for different interests for our diverse family. Moreover, these committees can develop better programs that would ultimately increase involvement.
Currently, I’m both a barista and on the executive board for the Meantime Coffee Co. Im on the operations team, which involves everything from coffee shop cleanliness to keeping in contact with vendors. Ultimately, I’d love to benefit MSA with the experiences from a student-run, non-profit perspective of the Meantime.
Positions Interested In: Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
Salaam! I am running for Shurah because MSA is an organization that has a wide-spread influence and I believe I can contribute to it's purpose. I have a two-prolonged goal- to assist local high school Muslims in admissions and work on Muslim relations on campus. Alhamdulillah, we have already become a home for so many people but I believe we could do more. If elected, I plan to target Muslim youths through hosting events specifically geared towards High School Muslims. I believe we should show the Muslim youth our MSA community by hosting events, religious lectures, and socials specifically geared towards them. Moreover, I would like to create outreach programs to help assist with FAFSA, college applications, and other forms of guidance. Moreover, as a member of Campus Y, I realize there is a lack of Muslim Representation and awareness of Muslim issues and hope to link the two organizations. I also hope to work on events to build interfaith relationships across campus as I believe that will help spread our message more effectively in the community. I strive to help teenagers feel more comfortable with their faith and normalize our Islamic practices.
Positions Interested In: Events Coordinator, Social
Salam! My name is Zakia and I will be running for shurah next year, with hopes of becoming your future events coordinator! Coming in as a first year student who did not have a large Muslim community back at home, I have been very fortunate to have served as your first year representative this year! This position provided with experience and great insight on how to work MSA events, such as MSA Live or Sportsfest.
Positions Interested In: Publicity, Events Coordinator, Outreach, Social
So I want you guys to take a second and think about what MSA means to you. MSA is both personal, and impersonal. MSA is transcending, it sets the foundation for impact- and impact is the reason we are all here. That’s because all of us in this room share the most important aspect of our identity- Islam. It’s the reason I’m standing before you all today, ready and driven to serve you as a member of Shurah for the 2019-2020 year.
Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The best of people are those who benefit people.” In my time on Shurah, I have seen many faces that work intensely to provide resources, events, and a community to Muslim students at UNC. With that being said, Each of our Shurah members have worked hard, day and night, to make sure Muslims are not only able to practice their religion freely on campus, but also create a safe haven for you all and for myself — You all and for myself. MSA stands the purpose of serving their general body and that is why I stand here before you all today.
I can tell you all the things I helped contribute to this year as 1/2 of your first year rep, but I would rather shift gears of this conversation onto you all who I would serve over, and a thousand times over. For the shoulder to cry & helping hand this organization has been for me, I am ready to be that for you. I am ready to put smiles on everyone’s faces when they walk into the prayer room; I am ready for MSA to be a place where people come together and hold hands during times of solidarity and lift people’s heads up at times where anxiety takes over our minds.
I promise to you all to continue on the legacy of MSA and to make your voices heard. And so I will finish this off with saying, voting for me as part of your Shurah board next year will be a duty dedicated to you all before myself.