Thursday, September 08, 2005

History of MYNA - Part 14 2003-the future

Jan. 2003 - (continuation of description of MYNA Canada events outlined in 2002 Annual Report) MYNA Canada (meaning Toronto) had their first brothers’ recreational event for the year in January 2003. Nearly 70 players showed up with 9 teams (like the Olympics which continues in Florida).

February 2003 - The Tampa United Muslims announces that they will revive the MYNA Region 7 Olympics. “After lots of demand from so many of our youths and from cities closer to Tampa, the Muslim Youth Club of Tampa Bay is planning a new MYNA Olympics on the style of the old Olympics that we used to have.” They set the time and place. They also launch a website for the event which they also call the MYC tournament (presumably their local youth group is called MYC). “The MYC tournament in Tampa Website has been launched! For all information on teams, rules, tournaments, hotels, registration and directions, be sure to check out the website” It’s $250 per team. Ages 12-15, 16-18, and then MSA, as well.

March 10-11, 2003 - ISNA holds strategic planning retreat with Youth listed as the number 2 priority. Subsequently one of the Strategic Planning subcommittees is the Youth committee with Monem Salam as the chair and Rizwan Jaka as vice-chair (Rizwan soon takes over the leadership of the committee), other members of the committee include Hamid Omar (whose son is the MYNA Summer Conference/ISNA Annual Convention MYNA Program chair this year), ex-ISNA fellow Shamma Farooq, Abadalla Idris Ali (a former President and MYNA patron, but completely inactive in the committee).

March 15-16, 2003 - MYNA Olympics in Tampa successfully held at the Temple Terrace Recreational Center. A total of 36 teams gathered from all over the Southeastern region of the United States. Boys competed in basketball and football, and girls in soccer and volleyball. Participants say it was “very well-organized,” in a positive write up in the Tampa United Muslims newsletter online.

End of March/Start of April 2003 – Taneeza Islam inquires about the “ISNA/MYNA Youth Coordinator” position on and is invited by the Secretary General and head of the Community Development Dept. for a few-days visit to ISNA Headquarters which goes well for her.

April 2003 - MYNA (in Canada, probably of Toronto) produced a new brand of clothing targeted for Muslim Youth which was available at the MYNA booth during the ISNA Canada Convention. (Continued from the description of MYNA Canada events outlined in 2002 Annual Report)

April, 2003 - Representatives of the new MYNA board Monem Salam and Asad Siddiqui make a presentation at the ISNA bi-annual Majlis meeting to update on progress of their effort to reorganize MYNA and inform the Majlis that Inayat Sahin and Iman Ibrahim have been hired to jointly fill the advertised position on the ISNA website for a “MYNA Coordinator” and that the responsibilities have been divided between them. The process and the hirings are called in to question by the Majlis members present and Dr. Syeed, who forget the last meetings decisions and attack the committee members personally. Syeed is adamant that the MYNA director was supposed to have been chosen to work at ISNA Headquarters.

May 23-25, 2003 - The ISNA Central Zone Conference takes place in Kansas City, MO, with a record 3,000 person attendance. It features a well-attended MYNA program with an entertainment session. The MYNA program is organized by local youth and MSA members. New MYNA Advisory Board Chair Monem Salam attends and is marginally involved or at least recognized amidst the MYNA organizers, though mostly because he is the ISNA Central Zone rep.

June 7-8, 2003 - Third Annual ISNA Upstate Regional conference held with a lot of youth elements organized by their local youth group, including a youth art exhibit and play, but not MYNA in name. There is only an ISNA and MSA program by name.

July 4, 2003 - The first ISNA South Central Zonal Conference takes place in Dallas Texas with MSA and MYNA programs. The MYNA program is entitled “Pure Soul, Clear Vision.” It is organized by MSA students. Omar Durani is co-chair. [MYNA has a history of existence in Dallas.] Again, Monem Salam is present and recognized by the organizers, but only in a marginal way and mostly just as the ISNA Central Zone rep.

Aug. 2003 - (continuation of description of MYNA Canada events outlined in 2002 Annual Report) MYNA Canada’s main event was again the summer camp held in August 2003.

Aug. 17, 2003 - Taneeza Islam is officially hired by ISNA Headquarters to fill the Youth Coordinator position. She is first told she will be the head of a new “ISNA Youth Department,” but then placed in the Community Development Department. Then it’s said it is only for training until she is oriented and has built up enough steam, and then she can build her own Youth Department. Shariq Siddiqui and Taneeza spend the next couple of months working on an action plan for the next year. Meanwhile the Strategic Planning Youth Committee has been left in the dark about the position and is updated and ask for input on the process.

Aug. 28-Sept.1, 2003 - ISNA Annual Convention takes place with MYNA Conference program taking place again. The conference chair is Saad Omar, a formerly MYNA and local youth-work active high school student from Indianapolis (chosen by last year’s chair, Esa Syeed), his program chair is a local Chicago kid from the MYNA active youth there (he was chosen by last year’s program chair, Najeeba Bade, Sameer’s little sister). They pick other committee members and are advised by ex-MYNA-active (now local-MSA-active) youth Saad Quadri and Kazm Muhammad [of the Quardi-centered Chicago MYNA-active group], both really running the convention. Kazm ends up being the main MYNA program organizer. He runs the joint ISNA/MYNA Entertainment sessions along with Mamoon Syed for the ISNA side. The ISNA Entertainment session also features a number of MYNA graduate bands including Native Deen and Sonz of the Crescent. If there is interaction between MYNA and ISNA it is on the local level through the steering committee and volunteers. Very little oversight on program, the ISNA Convention Dept. is the primary one that interacts with the MYNA Conference committee, and only if the program is delayed or if something goes exceptionally wrong with regard to the program. At the convention the new MYNA committee members meet with the MYNA Conference organizing committee members and agree that the Advisory committee will take over authority on the convention program as of 2004. Taneeza meets some of the committee members for the first time. Meanwhile, Hanaa Unus meets with Sheikh Nur and complains about a lack of youth involvement in the new committee and that she has been left out.

Late Sept. 2003 - New MYNA Committee organizational meetings at ISNA Headquarters planned and canceled by Sheikh Nur due to his discussion with Hanaa Unus at the convention.

Sept.-Oct. 2003 - The Sept.-Oct. 2003 issue of Islamic Horizons features a story on the MYNA advisory committee’s efforts to reorganize the organization and some other youth articles. The MYNA article written by Mariam Mohiuddin (who wrote another article on MYNA for Horizons years ago)-a journalist and ex-MYNA youth from Texas-and it is very basic, mostly nostalgic and optimistic, mentions some history-at times very conveniently sketchy and free of controversy. It mentions that MYNA had “15 past presidents, several representatives, dozens of conferences, hundreds of members, and thousands of participants” and MYNA raps and some of the camp experiences. It says that MYNA declined “at the end of 2002.” It offers the explanation for the decline that “MYNA, a youth run organization, had a high turnover rate. During the first years…ISNA members advised the MYNA youth, but as MYNA youth grew older, they became the advisers. Unfortunately, those former MYNA youth were in college, and they turned their attention to MSA and campus life. A pattern arose in which, as youth moved past the MYNA 18-year age-limit, younger members, who were not adequately trained, took hold of the reigns. The American Muslim landscape was, also, changing. The need for a big youth organization had evolved into a need for a more local structure. Unfortunately, MYNA was not able to keep up with those demands.” It also says “MYNA is still around, but over the past years, there has been a decrease in activities and interest. MYNA still holds an annual conference at the ISNA National Convention, and there are still some MYNA youth groups across the country.” It identifies the current board, Monem Salam, chair, Asim Muhammad, Asad Siddiqui, in charge of strategic direction for MYNA, Hassan Siddiqi, serves as MYNA chief information and technology officer, Ayesha Kazmi and Riyad Shamma, “who has served with MYNA since its inception and serves as its chief fundraiser.” It mentions Hanaa Unus as the “most recent past president,” also says that “In 2003, ISNA and several MYNA advisers realized that the zealousness for MYNA was waning. They set out to revitalize MYNA by appointing a board with members who had expressed an interest in MYNA. Graduates and advisers were asked to join, and additional members, who the board felt would help to reformat MYNA were also invited. The board’s goal was to create a plan that would revitalize MYNA. After analyzing MYNA’s past, the board decided that the best course for MYNA to ensure a long future, was to hire an executive director.” It says that “instead of hiring one full-time director, the boar decided on two part-time directors. Iman Ibrahim as Director of Public Relations, and Inayet Sahin as Director of Operations. “These two positions were chosen to ensure continuity and to ensure achievement and longevity. The organization has been restructured and has outlined a 50-year plan and goals.” It says MYNA is “still in the planning stage,” and that a “leadership camp is being planned for December 2003.” MYNA is also said to have a mailing list to be managed by Iman (209-346-6015). “for many youth growing up in North America, MYNA was the only avenue for establishing connections with Muslims across the country.” “A possible revitalization of MYNA may cause many to reflect on past conferences, camps, FYLTP’s, MYNA@ISNA conferences and road trips…To bring all these back to life and to let the new MYNA youth experience the joys of yesterday, MYNA is asking for help. Look at your community and help bring the spirit of MYNA back. Join the mailing list, donate to MYNA, and establish a youth group in your local masjid or community.”

-Another article in the MSA History piece mentions MYNA second last in “Working Together” an article on the many organizations that the MSA led to. It says MYNA “was incorporated in 1985 as a constituent organization of ISNA to serve Muslim teenagers.”

-Another article is on MIST the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament organized by Shazia Siddiqi out of Houston and spreading around the country. It is a post-MYNA-era High School MSA program co-sponsored by ISNA last year and MSA both years. She seeks to have it join forces with MYNA and MSA programs at the convention over recent years with minimal success, but the events are growing stronger.

Oct. 4, 2003 - MYNA Committee members Asim Muhammad, Asad Siddiqui, Riyad Shamma and Hassan Siddiqi come to Headquarters for ISNA Majlis Meeting and give a presentation on their efforts’ progress. Also, Taneeza Islam and the fledgling ISNA Youth effort under Community Development Department present their plan for youth work as well. Both are brought in line with each other and the MYNA Committee plans on working with the ISNA Strategic Planning Youth committee as well. Taneeza basically becomes the MYNA Youth Coordinator at the headquarters, fulfilling the project set in motion in 1999.

Oct. 29-Nov.1, 2003 - MYNA Advisory Committee weekend meeting with Taneeza Islam in attendance in Virginia. Meeting to plan MYNA activities and the upcoming camps.

Nov./Dec. 2003 - The Islamic Horizons convention report mentions the MYNA program and notes that the ISNA Entertainment Session “allowed fans of MYNA raps to go back in time and hear Sons of the Crescent and Native Deen.”

The Future

2003 - December - MYNA Camps planned for Long Beach California (the rebirth of the Continental Winter Leadership Training camp) and another MYNA camp in Ohio. Iman Ibrahim and Inayat Sahin’s positions will run out (or they will give them up), and MYNA will be reviewed.

April 2004 - The MYNA Advisory committee will be reviewed to see if their work will continue.

2004 - Abdur Rahman Malik and Hussein Hamdani are listed as speakers to come to MYNA Camp 2004 in Canada in a notice online.

Jan. 16-19, 2004 - The “MSA Sportsfest 2004” scheduled to take place at the University of North Carolina at Chappel Hill to be organized by the UNC MSA said an announcement in Nov. 2003 on But don’t be fooled, this is just another form of the “MYNA Region 7 Olympics” under a new identity. The teams that come are still from the same youth groups as cities as the Olympics and it is still structured the same, only with age-limits extended to include MSA-age youth. The reason the event’s name has been changed is because the last MYNA Region 7 Representative, from Georgia, moved to N. C. for school and decided to take the event (and his use of the same contacts and structure) with him. This is the second year it’s been held this far north. Last year it was in N.C., too and before that in Atlanta (or maybe last year’s was in Atlanta). But perhaps Atlanta’s was still called the MYNA Olympics. Its ages are listed as “12-MSA.” Registration opened Oct. 12, 2003. The organizer says he hopes to have “1000 brothers and sisters come out.” Others on the message board where he announced it say it came from MYNA. A younger poster asks a tongue in cheek question about all this MYNA stuff she hears about with “only 80 people from all across the country” and asks “where it all went?” Last year there weren't very many teams but the competition was still pretty good. The hosts were very gracious and may Allah bless them for their efforts. To be honest, it was the sisters who didn't really show up. There were only 3 teams of sisters I think, and one of them was from nearby Raleigh. The Olympics also spawned another regional MSA sports tournament a few years back.

MYNA Websites - current website, up and running. - MYNA Miami site, last updated 2002 (going on 2 years old), though the group still functions and does events. The website is still up, though. - An early, very nicely MYNA East Zone site designed by Huma Ahmed in 1999. Still up, though probably not maintained. Has the most information of all the currently extant MYNA websites (except for maybe mynaraps’ links section), including the newest 2003 one by the new committee, which is still very introductory. It contains zonal and regional maps, background about information and other info items. - MYNA East Zone site with fancy flash intro is fun to watch and impressive (last updated 2000 with a lot of incomplete areas), the flash version has more info than the html version, which is mostly all dead links. But the site is still up as are some parts of it.
2000 - flier for the last East Zone conference, still up, as well as the form for the conference. - “The Truth: MYNA Central Zone Newsletter” put up as a link on in Aug. 2001, now defunct. - extant as of 2001 and still up and running, maintained by Abdul-Malik Ahmed of now of Native Deen. Note: The page is probably the most well-upkept Muslim Youth page extant in that it’s links section contains links to many many formerly MYNA youth groups throughout North America. In fact, if it’s listed on the MYNARaps links page, mostly likely, it was originally a MYNA or MYNA-related group, and MYNA’s name is still probably recognized and big there to some extent. - Toronto MYNA’s website, now defunct, though the group still functions in some capacity, and does events. - extant as of 2000-2001, now defunct. - the still-up MYNA region 7 website (the earlier link may just have been an incorrect reference to this one on the Miami MYNA website). Mostly old or incomplete info. Mentions postponed plans for the 2002 MYNA Olympics. - the Muslim Youth of Ottawa page contains current info on the existing youth group there which is the descendant of the MYNA group there. Also it has information about the Long Bay Ottowa Youth Camps, which have run for 19 years and ARE the MYNA Long Bay Camps, still going. - the MYO is so strong that it’s become an umbrella organization that’s created basically a High School MSA program of it’s own.

2001 - The UNC MSA Sportsfest (what used to be the MYNA Olympics - up to date, but with a new name for at least the last two years) Mansoor Kazi was the last official MYNA Region 7 Representative, as appointed by Regional advisors including Asad Siddiqui. [Not true, there have apparently been more Region 7 reps out of traditionally MYNA-strong Panama City in the years since, and they most recently chose a new Region 7 Rep in Tampa who helped organize the redone Olympics in Tampa. Asad Siddiqui has asked him not to appoint a successor and let the Regional structure finally die out, but that is to be seen still.]Amina Qureishi was the old Region 7 rep.
2002 - The Tampa website for the revived MYNA Olympics/MYC Tournament they have. It draws 36 teams its first time redone in 2003.

MYNA alumn Huma Choudhary: and Faisal Baksh are now in the Din Intensive organization.


At 2:54 AM, Anonymous Sa'ad Quadri said...

Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

I am not sure who still reads this blog, but I was recently directed to it regarding my inclusion in one of the posts. It mentions: "They pick other committee members and are advised by ex-MYNA-active (now local-MSA-active) youth Saad Quadri and Kazm Muhammad [of the Quardi-centered Chicago MYNA-active group], both really running the convention." I want to apologize if anyone truly felt that Kazim and I were running the show from behind the scenes or pulling the strings. We never intended to do so. Perhaps it was our nafs, our overzealousness, or any other of our many deficiencies that may have caused us to step beyond our assigned role.

If I did cross any boundaries, please email me privately at and I will do my best to immediately redress them.

Take care.

Wa Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
-Sa'ad Quadri


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