When a large number of youth get together in the same place, it’s usually because there’s a party, concert or dance going on.
So when over 400 young Muslims gathered on a Saturday afternoon, you knew something special was happening.
Youth of all ages descended upon the University of Alberta for Generation Muslim, Edmonton’s largest Islamic conference this year. The two-day conference explored a variety of topics, all centered on themes young Muslims face today such as identity and pop culture.
As diverse as the topics were, the speakers invited to talk at the conference were equally as diverse. William “Abdullah” Chappelle (brother of comedian Dave Chappelle) gave a unique perspective of becoming Muslim under the backdrop of the entertainment industry and Hollywood culture. Dr. Reda Bedeir gave inspiring talks on youth leadership in Canadian society, as well as society’s fixation with chasing materialism at the expense of the afterlife. And Sheikh Islam Ali brought over 30 years of dawah experience to bear as he expounded on unity in the face of contradictory cultural identities.
The mood was energetic and lively throughout the two-days, as the Conference also played host to a bazaar with clothing stalls, food booths and informational displays. NYM Clothing made an appearance with their unique brand of Islam-inspired, modern clothing, and other stalls featured a plethora of hijabs, perfumes and miscellaneous Islamic Gifts. Some of the most popular stalls were the NYM iNK informational booths, as attendees flocked to find out more information on upcoming events (such as Camp Sunnah) and check out some of the dawah material NYM iNK produces and supplies to many dawah organizations and student groups across Western Canada.
One of the highlights of the conference was the Adam’s (AS) Family Poetry Contest, an event designed to encourage the creativity of Muslim children. Boys and girls aged 7 to 12 competed for over $450 in cash prizes, with Mahmoud Ammar (1st) and Timiro Mohamed (2nd) winning the age 10-12 category and Nadia Ammar (1st), Ayan Said (2nd) and Aminah Kadry (3rd) winning the ages 7-9 category. Thanks go to the Sara Folard Gift store, the El-Jabel Food and Gift store, Edmonton Islamic School and various other donors for donating the prizes.
Other highlights included spoken-word poetry by Abdullah Chappelle, highlight videos from the previous Camp Sunnah, sneak previews to upcoming workshops, an interview with Mutah Beale (formerly Napoleon of Tupac Shakur’s Outlawz) and the Chappelle Show, a Late Show style interview with Abdullah Chappelle.
The volunteers, youth from across Western Canada, worked hard to put on this unique event for Edmonton, and through their efforts Edmonton saw one of its most successful Islamic events of the year – good job volunteers!
Be sure to check out the gallery pictures and highlight reel if you missed the Conference. You’ll definitely agree that it was the experience of a life time!