Attendees at the launching of Studio Kalam event were greeted and welcomed by the smiling faces of WNYMuslims staff and volunteers. The participants eagerly signed in to register and to quickly avail the chance to have their voices heard. The evening began with uplifting and positive videos of one of today’s most inspiring Islamic artists and performers, Native Deen. The event welcomed a diverse crowd of around 75 men, women and children, and from the crowd over twenty stood up at the podium to have their poetry, lyrics, speeches and skits heard by a friendly and receptive audience.
Imam Mohammad Hanin Zaman of Masjid At-Taqwa opened the event with Qur’an recitation. Faizan Haq, the founder of WNYMuslims began the event by explaining the nature of Studio Kalam to the audience and what the expectations were for the evening. Julie Boody, Executive Director of WNYMuslims was the host of the event and she carried our the event smoothly making sure everyone was able to participate in the event. The opening act by Abraham Mohtadi, set the tone of the event which was a humorous speech about the social awkwardness of Muslims in the American community. Other participants, such as Bushra Ehsan, performed a small act expressing the freedom of choice that women have in wearing Hijab and in life. Creative expression heightened in the event as Habib Sultan, a convert, took the audience on a journey of mystic poetry. Akrim Shibly also shared some favorited lyrics as well.
Among the particularly notable participants was the esteemed Father John Paul Boyer, from the Episcopal Diocese of WNY who spoke against the troubling and negative portrayal of Muslims and the rising trend of prejudice that causes so many Muslim families fear and uncertainty. He delivered the message of love and unity which was echoed by other worthies, such as the President of the Islamic Society of the Niagara Frontier /Masjid An-Noor, Ghous Yasin and Hussam Ghanim, the President of the Sunday school of the same mosque.
It was a night that truly exemplified the spirit of the word Kalam, encouraging discussions of positivity and creating the unity so desperately needed in these troubled times. Studio Kalam was able to bring together all the diverse people of this great city of different ethnicities , religions and ages. This event being able to bring people together from the community is a priceless gift that we can all be proud to pass onto our own children and grandchildren.
The event was filled with laughter and fun throughout and there was food provided by Zaiqa restaurant of Buffalo NY. There were age appropriate games and art activities for the children to enjoy while the adults were participating.in the fun filled gathering. There was an exceptional turn to the event, when one of the attendees embraced Islam and took Shahdah, the first step in becoming a Muslim.
The next Studio Kalam will be held on June 11th, 2015 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Boys & Girls Club. WNYMuslims is welcoming you and your families to join us as together we step forward into a brighter, happier future for all.
For more information about the next Studio Kalam, please click here.
Keep a lookout for video of the event coming soon!