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ICNA MAS Convention Enjoys a 15% Growth


06 5 10

 

 

 
By Rida Fozi
 
As Iqbal Shariff glanced around the Youth Conference hall, he noted something new. This year, the first two rows were reserved exclusively for a group of deaf Muslims. Shariff’s response first took the form of inspiration, quickly followed by emotion. He says, “As tears poured from my eyes, I asked myself, ‘How do they believe in Allah (SWT)?’”

Through the length of the conference, an American Sign Language interpreter translated lectures for deaf Muslims in attendance.

Through the length of the conference, an American Sign Language interpreter translated lectures for deaf Muslims in attendance.

Shariff is not alone in his admiration for his deaf brothers and sisters and Global Deaf Muslim, the organization dedicated to bringing deaf Muslims the knowledge of and love for Islam. The 35th Annual ICNA-MAS Convention marked the first time GDM made an appearance at a major Muslim event.

Through ICNA’s live webcast, Muslims worldwide were granted a window through which to view the American Muslim community. ICNA IT team behind the scene (above).

Through ICNA’s live webcast, Muslims worldwide were granted a window through which to view the American Muslim community. ICNA IT team behind the scene (above).

For the organizers, this year’s ICNA-MAS Convention was all about new horizons. Not only was this the first time any Muslim organization catered to the needs of the deaf Muslim community, it was also the first time an American Muslim organization broadcast its main sessions across the web free of cost.

More bazaar booths were added due to high demand but were again sold out within hours.

More bazaar booths were added due to high demand but were again sold out within hours.

While convention publicity generally consists of flyer distribution and TV/print advertisements, ICNA Live was publicized only one day prior to the convention chiefly through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In spite of this, nearly 8,000 people logged on to ICNA’s website over the course of the weekend and nearly 4,000 viewed the live feed.

Waqas Ahmed, Assistant Secretary General and Chair of the ICNA IT Department expressed his thanks to “volunteers for working round the clock to develop, test and launch the ICNA Live feature.” Along with viewing main hall and selected youth sessions, individuals also participated in the Twitter/Facebook/AIM based chat embedded on the live feed page, marking yet another milestone for ICNA.

ICNA President Dr. Bukhari at the parallel Youth Conference "Happily Ever Here-After?" by YM.

ICNA President Dr. Bukhari at the parallel Youth Conference Happily Ever Here-After? by YM.


Nearly 13,000 attendees were treated to lectures, workshops and panel discussions on topics ranging from raising teens to finding a spouse to combating domestic abuse.

Nearly 14,000 attendees were treated to lectures, workshops and panel discussions on topics ranging from raising teens to finding a spouse to combating domestic abuse.

The convention core team began planning months in advance, inviting nearly 100 prominent scholars, leaders, and academics to speak at this year’s conference. The weekend’s lectures were framed around the “Save Family, Save Society,” theme, part of ICNA’s ongoing campaign to reform society through empowering the family.

Sh. Maghraoui in one of the nearly 100 sessions held over 3 days.

Sh. Maghraoui in one of the nearly 100 sessions held over 3 days.

Sunday night, Twitter user seebs08 echoed a sentiment that seemed to be bouncing around the Connecticut Convention Center up through Monday morning. “So sad this weekend at ICNA is almost over.” User issMEzahweee’s take? “Some things never change regardless of whether you’re 6 or 56… and one of them is the sadness you feel when ICNA is over.”

One of the four rooms where children's programs were held.

One of the four rooms where children's programs were held.

ICNA Business Networking & Career Fair was a first this year.

ICNA Business Networking & Career Fair was a first this year.

Overflow audience at the entertainment session.

Overflow audience at the entertainment session.

Nearly 200 participated in Midnight Basketball for Youth Boys

Nearly 200 participated in Midnight Basketball for Youth Boys

A well equipped prayer area was designated throughout the convention.

A well equipped prayer area was designated throughout the convention.

Indoor rock climbing and bungee jumping in the children's area.

Indoor rock climbing and bungee jumping in the children's area.

A large play area catered to thousands of children.

A large play area catered to thousands of children.

Children's favorite characters have become familiar and popular attractions.

Children's favorite characters have become familiar and popular attractions.

Presidents of ICNA and MAS, Dr. Zahid Bukhari and Dr. Ahmad El Bendary presenting award to Prof. Sulayman Nyang for his sevices to Islam and the American Muslim community.

Presidents of ICNA and MAS, Dr. Zahid Bukhari (right) and Dr. Ahmad El Bendary (left) presenting award to Prof. Sulayman Nyang (center) for his sevices to Islam and the American Muslim community.

Naeem Baig, Executive Director for the Washington DC based ICNA Council for Social Justice. Nearly 100 speakers were hosted this year.

Naeem Baig, Executive Director for the Washington DC based ICNA Council for Social Justice. Nearly 100 speakers were hosted this year.

Asim Khan from ICNA NJ performing during the main entertainment session watched by a record live audience world wide.

Asim Khan from ICNA NJ performing during the main entertainment session watched by a record live audience world wide.

Mahbubur Rahman, Editor of The Message International holds up a special convention edition of the magazine.

Mahbubur Rahman, Editor of The Message International holds up a special convention edition of the magazine.

Photo(s) taken by Muhammad Tahir for ICNA

 

  • UAS

    Nice pics! MashAllah

    Great article; short & sweet.

  • Faizan M.

    May Allah accept!

  • Ahmed

    Alhamdulillah.

  • Sheeraz Khan

    ALLAH AKBAR.|

  • http://icna.org Anas

    Agree with Faizan, May Allah accept.

  • tanzeel

    i may be not attened ur fuction . but i pray that it will ge great sucess …

  • abuAbdullah

    Congratulations to ICNA, may Allah accept your efforts. How can someone become ICNA member?

  • farzana hasan

    I am proud to say that me and my family and friends were also a part of this greatest event and one more thing Asim bhai really sings!!!!

  • Monju

    For the first time I watched partial live program thru the Internet, Alhamdulillah.

  • Anonymous. (:

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum.

    It looks like another successful year at ICNA, alhamdulillah. May Allah bless everyone who was involved in putting it all together.

    Oh, I think I see Ashraf in the overflow audience picture!

  • Gulam Mustafa Khan

    Assalamu alaikum,
    Job well done. May Allah (SWT) increase the growth by 15-20% every year. AAMEEN

  • Omar

    I had a great time….they need to put up more pictures. I want to see more BBAL picture. BUT mashallah it was amazing.

  • fatih

    Assalamu alaikum,Congratulations
    i muslim am name fatih frm never turkey :/

  • http://www.unitehere.org Pine

    Dear MAS-ICNA Member:

    We are writing on behalf of our union, UNITE HERE Local 450 and Local 1 in Chicago, the union that represents Chicago hotel workers. We are writing today because the MAS/ICNA Convention is currently scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare beginning December 21st, a hotel where we and our many co-workers have called for a boycott. We are asking you to move the MAS/ICNA Convention to an alternate location. Please do not meet, eat, or sleep at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare until the dispute is resolved.

    Over the last ten years, we have fought to make Chicago hospitality jobs good jobs with livable wages and family health insurance. Now Hyatt is trying to take away what we have fought for. Our contracts expired over a year ago, and since then we have seen our hours cut and endured massive layoffs. Our hotels are understaffed while our co-workers sit at home in need of work. And now Hyatt wants to freeze our wages for years and take away our good insurance.

    That is why we are making the difficult decision of asking customers like you to boycott the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and not support them with your business. We are willing to sacrifice wages and tips now to get respect and dignity in our workplace, and to ensure that our livelihoods continue to support our health and our loved ones.

    As a Muslim and as a moral person, please honor our struggle and our boycott and do not come to the MAS/ICNA Convention if it is held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. As a leader in the Muslim community and as a consumer, you have the power to bring this company to justice and stop it from treating its employees this way. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Leah Pine at Unite Here Local 1 at (312) 986-3945 x226, or at pinelocal450@gmail.com.

    Sincerely,

    Abdul Noorani
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 30 years

    Mohammed I. Sozzer
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 24 years

    Sezair Murati
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 10 years

    Mirsad Okanovic
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 13 years

    Taher Bhatti
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 20 years

    Bouchra Doghmi
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 10 years

    Muhammad Tariq
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 14 years

    Zafar Iqbal
    Hyatt Regency Chicago, 25 years

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  • Monju

    Alhamdulillah