Article Op-Ed

Reflecting on MIST 2012

Reflecting on MIST 2012

Author Reem Al-Atassi by

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Image Credit: MIST Team

AtlantaMuslim was a sponsor for MIST 2012. The winner of the essay competition will have the opportunity to work with the AtlantaMuslim Team. More pictures from the event are below.

The task of writing about Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament (MIST) is more than daunting.

Technically, its definition is simple enough: an annual Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament for high school students, offering 35 competitions focused on a different theme each year, whose 2012 Atlanta Regionals took place the second weekend of March at Kennesaw State University.

Simple. Yet this definition doesn't come close to explaining why the tournament's attendees depart on a MIST high, or why they take the time to preserve their experiences forever in myriad YouTube videos, or why they still feel MISTified after four months, or the sheer volume of 'I CAN'T WAIT!!'s as the next MIST approaches. In sum, this definition neglects what makes MIST MIST.

Maybe it's the insane enthusiasm of teams as they roar, stomp, and clap to impress others with rehearsed chants, each determined to prove that it has the most spirit.

Maybe it's the late nights and early mornings, the sleep deprivation, the sight of people dozing off.

Maybe it's recognizing vaguely familiar faces, or maybe it's the number of Facebook friend requests, picture tags, and MIST-related wall posts that follow every tournament.

Maybe it's the competitions that teach and broaden horizons. Maybe it's the incredible talent that enthralls as it appears via art, memory, athletics, language, acuity, and even comicality.

Maybe it's the ridiculous fact that every MIST's backdrop is blue skies, cool breezes, and sunlight.

Maybe it's waiting around for specific competitions, or lunch or short film screenings, and meeting beautiful, unforgettable people in the process.

Maybe it's praying together.

Maybe it's the camaraderie, the acceptance, the belonging, the love.

Maybe it's the workshops that re-open eyes. Maybe it's the visible wisdom, the gentle reminder, the resolutions. The renewal.

Maybe it's the appreciation of ability, of volunteers' phenomenal dedication, of blessings, of personalities, of people, of life.

Maybe it's the 4-hour award ceremony that never for a moment becomes tedious, the one that bursts the MISTificationmeters, or maybe it's the slideshow whose background music and pictures manage to evoke the exact emotions that have defined the weekend and will define the memory.

Maybe it's the warm embraces and poignant good-byes as the weekend draws to a close.

Maybe it's going to bed with hoarse voices, sore palms, and full hearts.

Maybe it's the smiles all around; maybe it's the laughter; maybe it's the happiness.

Perhaps, it's everything personal yet collective.

One thing, though, is clear: MIST is a blessing. And we thank Allah for the cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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