By Nargis Hakim Rahman, MMNS
|Native Deen invited kids onstage, while the audience sang along to their new single, â€œIâ€™m not afraid to stand aloneâ€ and â€œMUSLIMâ€ Photo courtesy Zasia Chowdhury.
|Zain Shamoon, MSU senior, is a local artist from Novi. He shared his poetry piece â€œVoices For Change (Get Up)â€ and many others at COA. Photo courtesy WSU-MSA.
The crowd screamed, clapped and sang along with the artists brought in by Wayne State University last Friday, for the Celebration of Arts.
COA was a free Islamic entertainment event hosted by MSA to give back to the community, for Muslims and non-Muslims, Treasurer of Muslim Students Association, Mansoor Siddiqui, said.
â€œWe hope people enjoyed themselves and realized, there is such a thing as Islamic entertainment,â€ Vice-President of MSA, senior Tazeen Ayub, said.
The show was different from two years ago â€“ with performers, including local talent Zain Shamoon from Novi.
Shamoon, senior at Michigan State University, shared a poem â€œVoices For Change (Get Up)â€, as the crowd cheered him on.
He recited this piece during the â€œVoice For Changeâ€ competition, an effort for youth to convey their views on society, religion, growing up, and education in positive-messaged entertainment, â€œThrough poetry, hip-hop, or comedyâ€¦to create awareness about issues among a general audience,â€ MAS Youth Detroitâ€™s, Fatima Younus said.
It was sponsored by the Muslim American Society last summer.
Beating local performers in six major cities in the U.S., Shamoon did an opening piece â€“ and several other pieces – for the grand finale of VFC, an Outlandish concert tour.
Outlandish is a trio of singers with different religious backgrounds but one common interest â€“ creating musical narratives to â€œmake a difference,â€ according to their website, www.outlandmoro.com.
â€œOutlandish was chosen as the tourâ€™s headliner because the group has used their music to reflect the value of religious faith and equality,â€ Leslie Wade, Public Relations officer for MAS Youth Detroit said.
According to Native Deenâ€™s official website, www.nativedeen.com, the hip-hop and R&B group are searching for, â€œcreative ways to educate and inspire Muslim youth,â€ as well.
At COA, they allowed kids onstage for a lively performance. The audience sang along to familiar songs, including their new single, â€œIâ€™m not afraid to stand alone,â€ and â€œMUSLIM.â€
Rosa Hassen, junior at Wayne State and MSA member, said Native Deen was awesome, and had a lot of energy.
â€œThey tried to get everyone rowdy. They started their chorus and people sang along,â€ Hassen said.
They are not the only ones.
The Muslim Funnymentalists came from different backgrounds and professions to share their common interest in stand-up comedy to help break cultural and religious differences.
Aman Ali, a journalist, Asif Ali, a comedy contest winner, and Baba Ali, a YouTube blogger make-up the Funnymentalists.
A few students said they would have attended if they knew Baba Ali was coming. Aliâ€™s blogs about controversial issues in Islam, using humor.
Hassen said she liked, â€˜the Muslim family in Americaâ€™ and the â€˜go to the bathroom with the bottleâ€™ jokes.
Everyone enjoyed themselves, Siddiqui said.
â€œWe were able to put the diversity of MSA and Islam on display,â€ he said.
â€œInsha`Allah we will work to build on this success in the future.â€
WSU-MSA put on this yearâ€™s Islamic entertainment show with the help of Wayne Stateâ€™s Dean of Students Office. DOSO paid for the guestsâ€™ tickets, arrangements and food.
â€œIâ€™m happy with Wayne State (DOSO) and how they treat Muslim students,â€ he said.
The program was not a fundraiser. Flyers were handed out to various Masjids and campus dorms.
Artists were chosen through suggestions from MSA members.
People can attend weekly MSA meetings (Mondays 3:30 in the student center) or visit www.wsu-msa.com, for more information about WSU-MSA.