Back at UMD, the time for evening prayers approaches. Eighteen-year-old Marwa Soliman suggests to Adam Kareem that the female contingent should congregate on the blue carpet of the musallah - a small prayer space tucked into the Union Drive side of the former Cole Fieldhouse. The boys will have to pray outside. “You don’t want people of different genders accidentally touching,” she mock-chastises him.
Soliman is a point guard and small forward for Team Blair, representing Montgomery Blair High School. She also competes in Nasheed - an a capella singing competition, and Tajweed, which showcases her ability to recite the words of the Qur’an. MIST offers her an opportunity to literally let her hair down.
"I did play basketball at school," she says. "My freshman year, I got a lot of . `stuff’ from people, so playing at MIST is so comfortable. Going in, scarves off, we get to wear shorts, t-shirts and basketball shoes. It feels amazing to get the opportunity to play normally and not have to worry about being all covered up and having people staring at you like you’re an outcast."
In public, Soliman dresses conservatively, with arms and legs covered and her hair tucked beneath a hijab scarf. She believes that what’s in her heart matters more than what’s on her head.
"What I’ve learned from MIST is to treat all brothers and sisters - and all people - with love and respect. It’s so much easier to let other people know that it’s not some crazy religion."
12 hours ago
#teamfoe giving back is a must.. Great feeling!
"I think they liked the nets project for a few reasons:
1- It’s fresh and different than anything they’ve done before. It highlights different skills they may already possess.
2- It extends beyond them and their personal psychology, working its way into the community.
3- Once they got the hang of knitting they could use the motion in a meditative way, keeping their hands occupied as we chatted about life, ideas, and everything.
There were opportunities for both private conversations as we worked, as well as exercise and expression when we played on the nets. They saw neighborhood kids run down the street to cheer and play and could see themselves inspiring others, being role models and receiving attention for the positive things they were doing.”