Meet the Spring 2017 Executive Board below!
A junior at Franklin & Marshall College in her hometown of Lancaster, PA, Sarah's interests in how medicine intersects with policy and access to health care drew her to pursue a Public Health major. After being highly involved with organizing MYNA (Muslim Youth of North America) retreats along with other Islamic organizations, Sarah was eager to help strengthen the Muslim community at F&M by joining the MSA, where she is currently president. Last summer, Sarah had the opportunity to serve as the Public Relations Chair for MSA National's inaugural National Leadership Retreat and became more involved with InterMSA initiatives in efforts to build bridges with other colleges and universities. She is currently serving as chair for the MSA National Continental Conference in Chicago to take place this summer. Outside of MSA, Sarah is involved with the Ware Institute's Squash ACES program and campus diversity initiatives. Sarah also enjoys working on a research project in a neuroscience lab at F&M and playing the viola. In addition, Sarah got to spend some time this past summer in Jordan, where she worked with Helping Hands for Relief and Development to provide aid to the Syrian and Palestinian refugees seeking asylum. Last but not least, Sarah looks forward to working collaboratively in allowing the MSA to grow at F&M again this semester. Please feel free to contact her regarding the MSA or if you would like a student's perspective of life at F&M! :) <3
Sonia Hafiz is a first year at F&M. Exploring her love for medicine, she has spent her summers conducting research and shadowing at Hershey Medical Center and plans on continuing this work in her time at F&M. Sonia embraces her passion for working with children by volunteering and being a mentor for various organizations that help support and educate children of low-income families in Lancaster, including refugees. Sonia took her work a step further this summer through her trip to Jordan with an organization called Helping Hands for Relief and Development to give aid to Syrian and Palestinian orphans and refugees. To further her work in the community, Sonia plans to join Squash Aces and continue working at Mathnasium. Having spent her middle and high school years being highly involved with organizing national and regional MYNA retreats, Sonia looks forward to serving as the F&M MSA VP! :)
Sameer Surti is a sophomore majoring in Government. Sameer was born in Chicago but raised in Rhode Island, which has a very close Muslim community. He has worked/volunteered with his local mosque, as well as working in multi-faith groups like the Brown Interfaith Exchange. He also has been involved in programs such as MIST (Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament). In addition, Sameer has been learning Arabic in hopes of getting closer to his religion. Sameer has also worked for the Governor of Rhode Island during the Summer of 2016. Being from an Indian and Pakistani background always made him want to reach out to all different groups and try to bring them together, regardless of their differences. Some of his hobbies include: watching and playing basketball and other sports, playing video games, debating almost anything, and traveling. One thing that Sameer really hopes to do as the Social/Events Chair is to have events that can bring not only the MSA closer but the campus as a whole. Please feel free to contact Sameer with any questions!
My name is Arun Ramkissoon. I am currently the Co-Public Relations Coordinator. I joined the MSA my freshman year, a non-Muslim student of Hindu faith, I was, and still am, excited to learn all that I can about the Muslim religion. A freshman HA on my dormitory floor, Fatoumata Keita, the president at the time, introduced me to the club. I was quick to gain a family from the MSA members. I love the interesting discussions we have as a group and all the delicious food we enjoy together :). As Public Relations Chair for F&M's Muslim Students Association, one of my main personal aim is to expand the club's presence on campus, not only to Muslim students but also to people of other faiths and backgrounds like myself. There is so much we can learn about each other from stepping into another person's religions, and in my case, I have become more open-minded, aware and educated and got to know some amazing people. I am currently a bio major, classics minor junior here at F&M and I do henna/mehndi on my spare time. Apart from MSA, I am a Posse Scholar, Special Projects Intern for OMCA, Squash ACES mentor, and a Hackman scholarship where I was able to partake in summer research with an F&M professor. Please reach out to me if you have any questions, ideas, concerns!
Said Bilani is a first-year hailing from Miami, Florida. Said’s love for science stems from his beloved grandfather’s passing due to osteoarthritis. Said was determine to cement his grandfather’s legacy by pursuing research where Said discovered a correlation between dental stem cells and osteoarthritis. Said published his scientific research in Harvard’s Journal of Emerging Investigators, The National High School Journal of Science, The International High School Journal of Science and the United States National Library of Medicine. To enlighten the public awareness, Said recently founded the “Stand Up 2 Osteoarthritis” (SU2OA) organization.
Said hopes to continue breaking through in the medical field and provide opportunities for others through his by double majoring in Public Health and International Studies and minoring in Arabic and Islamic Studies to broaden his understanding of the unique relationship of Islam and Arabic. Born a Sunni Muslim in Lebanon, Said represents the unrepresented nationality and belief at F&M.
As Public Relations Chair, Said looks forward to working to expand MSA’s presence within the Franklin & Marshall campus and the local community, and to engage MSA in important political and social justice discussions in ways that align with Islamic values. Said pledges it his duty to ensure that there is a warm spiritual environment for all members of the community and that everyone feels welcome. Apart from MSA, Said is on the board of the WEIS Assembly of Peers, is a Posse Scholar, Gates Millennium Scholar, and former research intern at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Miami.
Spring Semester 2017: Line Up of Events
- Day of Light: Honoring #OurThreeWinners, Friday, February 10, 2017
- Avi Shabbat with Hillel, mid-February, 2017
- Princeton University InterMSA Summit, Friday-Saturday, February 24-25, 2017
- Henna Booth at Spring Arts, April 2017
Henna booth at Spring Arts 2015
Other Past Events!
Click on the arrows to scan pictures from the 2015-2016 academic year!
Facebook Feed (Check us out and 'LIKE' us, please!)
F&M MSA at Princeton's 2nd annual InterMSA Summit Report
Asalamualaikum F&M MSA & friends,
From February 26-27 2016, seven fellow Franklin and Marshall MSA-ers, Asfiyan Amin ‘16, Sarah Hafiz ‘18, Sonia Hafiz ’20, Ammar Hamid (previous F&M student), Yara Ibrahim ‘19, Arun Ramkissoon ‘18, and Tanzima Ummi ‘19 took advantage of the opportunity to spend the weekend at the second inaugural InterMSA Summit hosted by the Princeton University Muslim Students Association (PUMSA) and Princeton University’s Muslim Life Program (MLP). The theme for this year’s summit was “On Being Muslim in the New Millennium.” This assembly of 300 Muslims attending universities across the East Coast consisted of small group discussions, prayers, and talks led by three luminaries in American Muslim public life--Imam Suhaib Webb, Dalia Mogahed (check out her amazing recent TED talk here!), and Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans--as well as others who spoke about what it means to be Muslim in America today. This experience not only allowed us to network with Muslim students (as a result of the trip, many students are now more aware of the Franklin and Marshall Muslim Students Association!), but we were able to engage in meaningful conversations relevant to navigating Muslim youth identity, social justice and engagement, and tradition in the current American sociopolitical arena. In addition to the Summit’s spiritual and social components, we were able to discuss what it means to be a part of an underrepresented religion on campus as Muslim millennials and how we can respond to the stigma around it.
One argument that is prevalent within the Muslim community arises from the diversity between the different traditions and ways of practicing Islam. However, the most important lesson we learned is that while Islam is not a monolith, the ultimate goal for any Islamic organization--such as the MSA-- should be to serve Allah. Understanding this can help us overcome the various differences. As such, coming to terms with these points will enable the MSA in mediating issues that may arise and inspires us to take leadership in our communities--such as in the MSA--in order to, for example, counter any Islamophobia that exists and better serve those around us as Muslims.
Hope to have you join what we would like to make an annual trip next year inshaAllah! In the meantime, we have included some pictures we wanted to share with you all. Check out the Facebook album here!
-Sarah Hafiz, March 2016