ISNA Convention 99:
The Top 10 Sessions You Should Attend

While the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) activities bring together speakers and scholars from North America and abroad, there are always sessions and workshops that are more memorable and/or enlightening.

Below we give you Sound Vision’s top 10 sessions/workshops you should attend at this year’s convention:

From ISNA’s Regular Program

1. Foster Care & Shelters
Speakers: Junaid Afeef, Shamim Ibrahim, Farzana Hamid
Moderator: M. Abdul Hai
Day: Saturday September 4
Time: 11:00 a.m.

The growing number of Muslim children in foster care is a concern for any Muslim who cares about our community’s future. There have been cases of Muslim children being placed in the custody of non-Muslims, and later converted to other religions.

The session will discuss Muslim kids in foster care who are there as a result of family breakdown and the efforts being made to work with foster institutions to place displaced children in Muslim homes.

2. How to Study Quranic Arabic
Speaker: Yusuf Ziya Kavakci
Moderator: T.K. Ibrahim Malabari
Day: Saturday September 4
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Apart from the fact that Muslims of all backgrounds should be striving to learn Quranic Arabic (not the lingo spoken in Arab cultural movies), the speaker at this session is also a reason to go. Yusuf Zia Kavakci is the father of Merve Kavakci, who was kicked out of Turkey’s parliament for wearing Hijab last May. Learn from this Imam from Texas who has faced his share of struggles in Turkey as well.

3. Nuclear Tensions in South Asia – Focus on Kashmir
Speakers: Ayyub Thukar, Nazir Ahmad, George Galloway
Moderator: Ghulam Nabi Fai
Day: Saturday September 4
Time: 2:30p.m.

We brought up the issue of Kashmir following nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan this past spring. You also heard what journalists and pundits had to say at the time. Now get more of the Muslim perspective, and talk to some Kashmiri brothers about the situation. There is nothing more accurate than first-hand information (after Divine revelation, of course! ). Find out about the background, present situation and possible future of this Muslim-majority region that has been the scene of wars and unspeakable oppression.
A special note with regards to first-hand information: a couple of years ago, a speaker at a ISNA session gave a first-hand account of the situation and the atrocities against Muslims in the area. Shortly after the conference, this brother was martyred, his body thrown into a river and his hands cut off.

4. Islam, the Internet, and the New ‘Industrial’ Revolution.
Speakers: Hamed Al-Ansari, Razi Mohiuddin, Mohammed Aleem, Zeb Bhatti, Amir Jafri, Shahid Shah
Moderator: Ashfaq Lodhi
Day: Saturday September 4
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Many Muslims do more than surf, e-mail and do business on the internet: they use it to spread Islam, with beautiful, information-packed websites and pages that have generated hits and discussions. Check this session out to network and share information with those involved in this worthy cause.

5. Workshop on Clarifying the Message of Islam in Public Institutions: Schools, Police, and Corporations
Speakers: Maha ElGenaidi, Ibrahim Hooper, Mamdouh Rezeika
Moderator: Metwalli B. Amer
Date: Sunday September 5
Time: 4: 30 p.m.
Your daughter’s public school teacher claims that Islam allows domestic violence or the boss at the government agency at which you are employed has made some intolerant remarks about Muslims in the office newsletter. Find out how you can provide these individuals and others working in public agencies with the right information about Islam and in the most effective manner.

6. Dawa Workshop
Panel: Muzammil Siddiqi, Ameenah Jandali, Jamal Badawi, Amir Ali
Moderator: Muhammad Zulqarnain
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Date: Sunday September 5

There’s a lot of talk about giving Dawa, but how do you do it? How do you cater the message to an individual or group without watering it down, being apologetic or losing its meaning. Get some practical strategies from experts in the field at this hands-on workshop.

From The MSA Program at ISNA

The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) will be holding parallel sessions at ISNA. Here are our top five picks from their schedule:

7. Workshop on Islam Awareness Week
Speaker: Panel of Presenters
Moderator: Sherrine Eid
Date: Saturday September 4
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Since 1994, many Muslim Students’ Associations across North America have held Islam Awareness Week (IAW) as a way to unite MSAs and spread the message of Islam on university campuses.

Get some practical ideas about what you can do to get more people to attend IAW events at your university. If you’ve run out of ways to attract an audience after hosting this event for years, this is ideal for you. It’s also a great way to come up with ideas for MSA activities in general. Don’t resort to trial and error when planning your MSA’s activities this year. Hear from others who may have already done it and save your time and energy by attending this session.

8. Workshop: The Expanded Breast: A Look at Muslims in Strife Around The World
Speaker: Anwar Khan of Islamic Relief
Date: Saturday September 4
Time: 4:30 p.m.

Too often, Muslims see the slick advertising campaigns of Christian and other non-Muslim charitable organizations in places where Muslims are in trouble (i.e. Kosova, Turkey) and ask ‘Where are the Muslims?’

This session will tell you where they are. Hear it first-hand from someone who’s been in the trenches of Islamic relief work and can show how Muslims have been involved nationally and internationally.

Most importantly, at this session you can find out what you, as a Muslim student of often meager resources, can do to aid in Islamic relief work.

9. Workshop on Dawa
Speaker: Imam Siraj Wahhaj
Date: Sunday September 5
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Get the inside scoop on Dawa from the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Get some practical tips and ideas for spreading Islam with the right approach, but free of apologetics and watering down of the message from an expert in light of the Sunnah. Find out how you can bring the message of Islam to secular or atheist professors, gay activists on campus and spiritually hungry college students.

10.Career Fairs
Date: Sunday September 5
Time: 4:30 p.m.

This workshop is split into two sections: one for careers in the sciences and another for those in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

What dilemmas to Muslim doctors face? How can Islam be incorporated into a busy journalist’s life? Ask those who have made their way in their chosen professions but strived to maintain the Deen at this workshop.

And ofcourse it goes without saying that don't forget to visit Sound Vision and booth at the conventions.

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