Muslim Student Association focuses on community at 50th fundraising gala
The University of Maryland Muslim Student Association hosted its 50th annual fundraising gala on Sunday, March 3. The theme of the night was community.
The annual fundraising dinner, which is one of the biggest MSA events of the year, took place in the Colony Ballroom in Adele H. Stamp Student Union.
Throughout the year, MSA also hosts a variety of other events, including guest speakers, game nights and service projects. Every Friday, MSA has a group prayer in Nyumburu Cultural Center.
Students, teachers, alumni and family members were all in attendance for the gala. UMD alumnus Naeem Baig served as the emcee for the night. Baig started off the event by introducing fellow alumnus, Haris Ansari, to recite Quran.
The event was organized and run by student volunteers. Afnan Abdella, a junior information science major, was one of them. She also works as MSA’s co-head of the marketing committee.
“My favorite part of the gala was not only being able to dress up with friends but being able to bring alumni, friends and families [together] to successfully raise money for the MSA,” Abdella said.
Alumni speakers included construction engineer Hareesa Mohammed ‘17 and full-stack software engineer Abraham Darwish ‘18.
MSA secretary Anisah Ingram, a junior education and public policy double major, said the funds raised would be used for things like hosting MSA events and Ramadan expenses, such as food preparations.
Ingram said this year’s gala was special because they were celebrating 50 years of the organization.
“We wanted to try to get everyone, from every generation there to celebrate with us,” she said.
Tarif Shraim, a UMD Muslim chaplain, ended the night talking about the importance of fostering relationships within the community and giving back.
Sponsors of the event included Helping Hand for Relief and Development, Tarbiyah Academy and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“It was rewarding being able to look around and know that you helped with the success of the night,” Abdella said. “The whole event turned out better than we expected and we couldn’t be happier.