Article Op-Ed

Sana, Sarah, Reem and other High School students organize MuslimFest

Sana, Sarah, Reem and other High School students organize MuslimFest

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Muslims of all ages attended MuslimFest, a family festival, on November 12th to mingle and have fun.

Held at Sweetwater Park in Lawrenceville, the event boasted a moonwalk, face painting, t-shirt decorating, friendship-bracelet tutorials, sack racing, hijab-styling sessions, cookie decorating, a cupcake walk, a book sale, a scavenger hunt, football, basketball, soccer, and many other activities like crafts for children. A vendor also sold toys and other knick-knacks.

Hungry attendees could purchase gyros, hamburgers, or chicken tenders and select from a variety of candy and chips as well as popcorn and cotton candy. The purpose of MuslimFest was to fundraise for MSA events such as the Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament (MIST) in the spring.

This year, MuslimFest replaced a picnic organized first in 2009 and again in 2010 by local high school MSAs. 'We felt that it needed to become more family-involved rather than have a target audience of just high schoolers,' Sarah Dossani, Peachtree Ridge MSA president and a principal organizer of the event, said. 'We wanted to reach out to the whole community.'

To put together a successful festival, the MSA presidents of Collins Hill High School; Grayson High School; the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST); and Peachtree Ridge High School contributed untold hours.

'We had to rent out the park and moonwalk, pick out vendors, buy and price food, advertise, create activities, get materials for those activities, assign volunteers to those activities, buy prizes, design a brochure . . .' Dossani explained. Including myriad late nights with Reem Al-Atassi, Grayson High School's MSA president, the entire process mandated over three months.

However, all the planners agree that it was worth it. 'It was a great way of uniting all the local high schoolers and showing them what a great community we are,' Collins Hill MSA co-president Sana Javed said.

And, in the end, bringing together Atlanta Muslims to meet, socialize, and engrave lasting relationships is more than a worthy outcome.

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