Article Op-Ed

What You Missed at the AMYP Event [pictures]

What You Missed at the AMYP Event [pictures]

Author Yasmin Amer by

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Photo Credit: Noha Hamid

Young Muslim men and women from various professional backgrounds gathered to celebrate Eid al-Adha at a first-annual Eid formal meeting. The Atlanta Muslim Young Professionals (AMYP) group hosted the November 12th event, which is their second since the group was formed in June, 2011.

"We started it because there's nothing currently in place in terms of a networking group that celebrates Islamic heritage or Muslim heritage", AMYP President Sharukh Arif said.

The event began with a talk by Johns Creek City Council Representative Ivan Figueroa, who spoke about how minority groups should be more politically active. Figueroa shared his own experiences as a Latino politician and encouraged members of the Muslim community to vote and meet their representatives as a way of increasing their political visibility. Arif said the Muslim community usually feels politically ignored but he thought this is one way to address the issue proactively.

"This was so everyone can leave a little more informed about how to get the Muslim voice heard in Atlanta", Arif added.

As part of the Eid celebration, young Muslim artists showcased their talents at the gathering. And attendees had a chance to bid on some of the artwork, including photographs and Islamic calligraphy on brightly-painted canvases. The program also featured a spoken word performance by Poet and Radio show host Khalfani Adair.

Perhaps one of the most important features of the evening was a chance for young professionals to network with their peers. Many were able to chat and exchange contacts while listening to Arabic music by a live oud and keyboard duo.

"I'm new to Atlanta and it s an opportunity to meet similar people who are professionals, said Anita Husen, who is a visiting Arabic professor at Georgia State University. It's always important to find communities of like-minded people based on your interests."

AMYP is currently organizing their next event, which focuses on financial planning within an Islamic framework. Organizers see it as part of a bigger mission that helps to provide opportunities for personal enrichment to Muslim professionals in addition to helping them network.

"Our long-term goal is not just to be an established group in the community, but also an established resource within the community", Arif said.

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