ISNA Canada is always a hub of activity, and last month’s annual Get to Know MYNA Dinner was one of many great experiences hosted at the centre. Founded in 1985, MYNA stands for Muslim Youth of North America, and is a youth program of ISNA US and ISNA Canada, with over 30 regional chapters. The group is run entirely by youth aged 12 to 18 (with the exception of two adult advisors), and organizes regular camps, retreats, sports tournaments, and qiyams.
The event was advertised as a ‘blast from the past’, with organizers seeking to recognize the rich history of MYNA and acknowledge those that came before them. Alumni such as Mohamed El-Mahallawy and Fiyyaz Jaat were in attendance, and spoke about their experiences in MYNA and the impact it had had on their lives.
Sh. Abdalla Idris was the keynote speaker and fundraiser, and his moving talk on the benefits of MYNA and the virtues of investing in youth left a lasting mark on many.
The dinner also featured unique Guyanese cuisine, fudge cake, and a parting favour of chocolate chip cookies.
Yet perhaps the most memorable aspect of the evening was the “pie in the face” segment. Current advisor Mostafa Soliman, recent alumni Hashem Abdi, and (unfortunately) this writer were called up to the stage, starting a bidding war for the right to hit them with a pie container filled with whipped cream. It was a light hearted end to the night, but as one of the victims I can attest that the smell of whipped cream will never again hold the same meaning.
As an organizer, it was inspiring to see such a unique blend of attendees. From the children that will shape MYNA in the near future, to some of the founding mothers and fathers themselves. The mix of commemorating the past, showcasing the present, and investing for the future were all capped suitably with a piece of trademark MYNA fun.
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