Our mission is to bring high school students together from around the nation to develop leadership, promote communication, and inspire creativity while gaining a deeper understanding of Islam and Muslims. We do this through our annual regional and national tournaments.
We are dedicated to empowering high school students by giving them a venue to
- Develop confidence and professionalism by practicing presentation, public speaking, and problem solving skills
- Meet and network with diverse peers who share the same talents and interests
- Express their thoughts and ideas through various creative mediums
- Learn strategies to deal with stereotypes and prejudices against Islam and Muslims
Description of Activities:
The tournament lasts two-three days, ending with the Awards Ceremony on the final night. We currently feature 31 different competitions.
In addition to our competitions, the tournament features an educational program full of workshops and activities. Both our competitions and our workshops concentrate on the year’s theme, which is selected for its timeliness and importance to the masses. For example, in 2008, our theme was titled “Diversity: Piecing Together a Vibrant Community.” Our annual theme and workshops provide students with the necessary tools to excel in their personal lives, to help their after-school educational clubs thrive, and to contribute to their communities.
To be a part of MIST, student must be:
A high school student (private, public, home school)
Of any faith: Since our topics and workshops are geared towards developing critical thinking skills while promoting a greater understanding of Islam and Muslims, MIST is a great educational opportunity for anyone who is interested in broadening their socio-environmental knowledge. Hence, we encourage people of all different faiths and backgrounds to be a part of their high school MIST team. With so much going on in the world today, understanding the faith of over a billion inhabitants of our planet never been more important. Through MIST, we hope to train the future leaders of this world with the right tools to garner a global environment of respect, understanding, and peace.
No previous Islamic knowledge required. MIST is not only for the brainiacs, but for the average joe’s who have little or no information about Islam or Muslims but are willing to learn. All students need to have is a desire to increase their knowledge, develop their talents, exercise their creativity, and have fun! Through our invigorating competitions and engaging workshops, we hope to make learning about Islam and Muslims both easy and fun for everyone!
MIST was founded in 2001 by an eighteen-year-old Muslim girl who saw a need for a program for high school students who:
- Want to use their talents to promote peace and understanding in the world
- Are tired of all the cliques in their high school and wish there was a way to unite everyone
- Want to start an Islamic educational club in their school (and/or keep it active!) but can’t figure out how to attract members
- Want to open doors for their Islamic educational club by giving students the opportunity letter- a privilege many schools give to clubs that take part in regional and national tournaments (students often pick the clubs that give them such opportunities over clubs that don’t)
- Know how much people learn when taking part in high school tournaments due to self-motivated research and studying, and wish people would focus that much on learning about the true peaceful spirit of Islam!
- Know how exciting it is to take part in regional and national high school tournaments…and how cool it is to run into people just like them from different schools at those events
- Are willing to discover how exciting it is to reflect on their faiths and apply what they have reflected to something they already love to do (like writing, art, photography, singing, film-making, etc)…with so many other teenagers from all over the nation doing the same thing, all in their own unique ways!
- Want to bridge the gap between college and high school students
- Want an opportunity to share and hear ideas from their peers and elders on how to deal with day to day problems they are faced with in high school.
- Want all the students in their school who never come to Islamic events to realize how much they can learn about Islam by simply using their talents that make them unique!…and more!
In May 2001, she developed an outline of the idea and presented it to various members of the Houston community, ranging from ages 12 to 70! The first tournament took place in February 2002 with over 100 participants from Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Nine years later, MIST Regional and National Tournaments now take place in nine different regions across North America, and over 5000 youth have been MISTified!
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