Last week, the UTM MSA held Islam Awareness Week, featuring informative booths, motivational events, and the opportunity to try on a hijab.

Throughout the week, booths were set up in the CCT atrium, including a popular henna booth.

Nadia Fakhry, second-year criminology major and sociology minor and the sisters’ event coordinator at the UTM MSA, mentioned that many people came out to clear misconceptions and to try on the hijab, with some even wanting to try it on for the day.

“The ‘Try on the hijab’ booth opened up the understanding that it’s really just a piece of cloth. It’s not something to be fearful of, and anyone can try it on and see how it feels,” said Hamza Alikhan, second-year psychology and criminology double major and external relations executive at the UTM MSA.

There was a booth showcasing the Qur’an and different pieces of Islamic texts. There were also booths offering coffee and hot chocolate, where participants could take part in a casual conversation with any of the members of the MSA.

The evenings featured lecture-style events, such as an open mic night, a convert panel, and other discussion-based lectures.

The theme of this year’s IAW was “Building Bridges” in society and in the university environment.

“I’m really happy about the positive feedback we received and it was really nice to know that people support us,” said Fakhry.

Muslim Talks was the closing event of the week, where six speakers from diverse backgrounds were invited to share their experiences. There were around 100 attendees.

“It’s mainly to inspire students in university who are going to be pursuing a career sooner or later,” said Fakhry. “Whether you know it or not, you look up to people who you can relate to and they’re all successful Muslims. It’s a great way for Muslims and non-Muslims to get inspired in a less expensive and more local way.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed Muslim talks” says Sana Usman, second-year biology and psychology double major. “Each speaker brought a unique perspective on topics that are relevant for today’s Muslim youth. I thought the topic of the night was refreshing as it focused more on positivity, success, and Muslim unity rather than hatred, extremism, and aggression as the media thinks. Overall, I thought the night was a success and I will definitely be going again next year!”