On 11 to 13 March 2017, twenty-five students from MGCI participated in MIST Toronto, held at the St. George Campus of the University of Toronto. MIST (Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament) is an annual event that includes many competitions and workshops for high-school students. Its goal is to encourage them to learn more about Islam and develop their leadership, communication, and creative skills. In addition to these academic competitions, the event also includes athletic competitions, which will be held separately on 18 to 19 March. MIST is not limited to Muslim students; any high-school student in a participating school can choose to join.

The regional events are held in several US states, as well as in Canada and the UK. MIST Toronto, as the only MIST event in Canada, brought together many schools from all over Ontario. The various competitions of MIST fall in one of six categories: Knowledge and Qur’an; Arts, Writing and Oratory; Bracket Competitions; Group Projects; and Sports. Top competitors from regional events will have the chance to compete in the national competition, which will be held in Detroit in July.

Some of the girls who competed at the MIST Toronto event on 11 to 13 March. Photo: Gabeena Ahmad

The students from MGCI who participated were part of the school’s Muslim Students’ Association, the president of which is Gabeena Ahmad. She, along with Zain Rashid, were the ambassadors of MIST for MGCI. They were in charge of registering and helping the students. In regards to preparation, the students put in their own initiative and trained on their own for the event. Coaches Raees Ahmad and Safiya Lulat provided help and support for students during the event. This year, the event went quite smoothly, and students were able to build long-lasting relationships through this unique opportunity.

The Reckoner would like to congratulate the following students on their outstanding performance at MIST Toronto:

Captain Gabeena Ahmad, Khoula Jawwad, Maira Kabli, Ammara Najam, Aya Shanti, Dana Shanti – Girl’s Basketball: 3rd place

Choreographer Gabeena Ahmad, Barooj Ahmed, Azra Alavi, Khoshbo Habibullah, Khoula Jawwad, Mariam Jawwad, Syeda Khadijah – Girls Nasheed: 3rd place

Ayman Arik Kazi – Math Olympics: 3rd place, Spoken Word: Finalist

Shamin Syed – Extemporaneous Essay: 3rd place

Ruknoon Dinder, Mohammad Dawaghreh, Syed Rahman, Zain Rashid, Hussam Sheikh, Wadood Syed – Boys Improvised Performance Team: Finalist

Faizan Malik, Shamin Syed, Hajar Yousuf – MIST Bowl: Finalist

Ruknoon Dinder, Zain Rashid, Hussam Sheikh – Science Fair: Finalist

Hussam Sheikh – Extemporaneous Speech: Finalist

Twenty-five students from MGCI participated in MIST Toronto, many of whom placed as finalists in their competitions. Photo: Gabeena Ahmad

In addition, the MGCI Team won the award for Best Banner at MIST Toronto. All of the above students have qualified for the nationals competition; however, the Science Fair team has decided to boycott the nationals competition due to what they felt were injustices at MIST Toronto. The team believes the judges had assessed the projects with biases for particular schools.

In reference to next year, Coach Raees Ahmad said, “I suggest we start practicing from September instead of December, and previous MIST winners of the school should mentor competitors.” Gabeena Ahmad was very pleased with the MGCI MIST team and their results. “We try to show students that MIST is not only for Muslim students but for everyone,” she said. “If this misconception was cleared, we would have even more smart students participating from our school, and we would win even more awards!”