The sponsors that helped make this dinner possible included Islamic Relief, Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Muslim Legal Fund of America, and many others.
The keynote speaker for the event was Rami Nashashibi. He holds a PhD in Sociology and has been a professor at various universities. His lectures are normally centered on American Muslim identity, community activism, and social justice issues. This seemed to fit the theme of the event very well, as it was encouraging the youth to get engaged in the community and rise up as leaders.
According to Rami, to become worthy leaders, we must be cognizant of the times we live in, just as the Prophet (pbuh) was during his time. In fact, this isn’t only necessary to become a good leader; it is also our duty as Muslims. However, there is one basic concept Islam teaches us that is the most essential in becoming a good leader and a Muslim. This concept is love. As Rami stated in the conclusion of his speech, “We must be able to lead with love.”
Following soon after Rami, was light-hearted and hilarious entertainment by comedian Preacher Moss. Preacher Moss is known for having worked with The Damon Wayans Show, Saturday Night Live, and George Lopez. In addition to all this, he was also one of the organizers of the comedy tour, Allah Made Me Funny. These accomplishments already hint at what a great comedian this man is. This was proven during the dinner when he had the entire room filled with laughter throughout his performance.
Preacher Moss incorporates his background as a Muslim convert into his comedy, which makes it even more enjoyable for the Muslim audience. He constantly came up with spontaneous jokes that fit very well with the current situation and setting. Preacher Moss had a unique way of interacting with his audience, which was one of the things that made his act unforgettable. This being my first time listening to Preacher Moss, I found it to be an exceptional performance.
The last item on the agenda was the presentation of a couple of videos put together by MSA members. The brothers and sisters separately filmed their own videos showcasing different aspects of student life and had a friendly competition to decide which was better. The audience voted on their way out at the end of the night. The sisters’ video took a humorous approach, while the brothers’ video had more of a serious tone. Regardless, I found both to be very enjoyable and a great ending to a wonderful evening.
During the night, we also got to hear from some of the MSA board members. These members worked very hard and did an amazing job putting together this extraordinary evening. Lots of thanks also went out to the volunteers who helped make the evening possible. I, for one, loved the event and will be looking forward to attending the next one as well.