Muslim Student Associations Kick Off the School Year

On Sept. 18, Muslim Student Associations from high schools across Loudoun County gathered for an Inter-MSA Kickoff at the ADAMS Muslim Community Center in Sterling, Va. Muslim students enjoyed meeting with friends, eating tasty treats, and engaging in a renewed sense of community. 

The MSA chapter at Stone Bridge, which has been active for 15 years, has coordinated various events, such as fundraiser dinners in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and prayers for Muslim students every week. This year, they got off to an energetic start with the MSA Kickoff, which hosted over 100 students. Before the events began, Hicham Hall, the Youth Events Coordinator of ADAMS Center, gave a short speech about the importance of groups like MSA.

“Our religion is based around community,” Mr. Hall said, quoting a popular Islamic saying: “The community is one body. When any limb aches, the entire body responds. The MSA is made up of many individuals, but we’re all one body.” 

After the event’s opening remarks, members enjoyed an evening of fun. Stone Bridge’s MSA coordinated American football and cricket games and offered henna. Students especially enjoyed gathering with friends from other schools and meeting many new people.

The MSA is made up of many individuals, but we’re all one body.”

— Hicham Hall

“It’s a really great way to kick off the school year [and get] introduced to the community,” Briar Woods senior Ayah Ali said. “It’s a really great way to get to know other members of the MSAs.” 

Of course, no celebration would be complete without food. Virginia Grill provided rice bowls, wraps, and snacks. Qahwa Café, which is located in the ADAMS Center and run by its young members, was also open to Kickoff attendees. 

“This café is really awesome. There’s a lot of opportunities to meet new people, and the drinks are really good,” Ali said. “Food is always a great way to bring everyone together.”

All in all, the Kickoff was a bright, energizing opportunity for Loudoun County’s teen Muslim community. MSA members anticipate that the Kickoff will be the first inter-school event of many. 

“Connecting with other MSAs is definitely something we’d like to do in the future,” Safiyah Fatima, senior and co-president of Stone Bridge’s MSA, said. “It helps us do so much more for our community.”