Agnes Scott Muslim Association raises money for Yemen

On Nov. 8 Muslims and allies gathered at an annual unity banquet hosted by the Agnes Scott Muslim Student Association (MSA) and raised money for impoverished Muslims in Yemen. The banquet had speakers from the Muslims of the World organization and the Islamic Speakers Bureau to bring in attendees.

Agnes Scott College Student Government Association President, Zaina Anwer who is Muslim herself, organized the event. She is a big part of the MSA and first attended the banquet in its first year as a freshman.

According to Anwer, the event has grown tremendously with over 300 people in attendance. She attributes it to speakers like spoken poet, Fatima Shendy, and founder of Minder, Sajjad Shah.

Islamic organizations and schools such as Madina Institute set up booths to attract event goers. Pictured (from left to right) are representatives from the school, Sofia Sharif, Maria Khan, and Sara Abdualrub.

The money raised by this event will go to help feed Muslim youth in Yemen via an organization called Pure Hands. Anwer chose Pure Hands to donate to as they are non-profit and “all the money raised will go to Yemen and not sent to a corporate headquarters somewhere.” Due to civil unrest, terrorism and armed tension in Yemen it was hard to find an organization equipped to help out directly. Pure Hands was one of the few places that does this without taking a large cut.

Shendy recited a piece concentrating on the idea that “we’re all connected once we share the same dream.”

Attendees gathered and mingled to talk about current issues involving Islam.

Her words captivated the audience and eloquently explained the point of the unity banquet. As her performance drew to a close, the crowd erupted in applause and gave a standing ovation.

In addition to unifying Muslims and other religions, Shah wants to redefine what it means to be Muslim and how Islam is perceived. He claims that Muslim youth are developing resent towards their religion. The book and events are centered around bringing Muslims and allies together in order to combat this through celebration and communication.

Sajjad Shah concluded the event with a book signing for his title, “Muslims of the World,” with the proceeds also going to Pure Hands.

According to Anwer there was only one hitch, as one speaker missed her flight and couldn’t make the event. Besides that, the night was a success, raking in over $1,000 to send to Yemen and President Anwer is already planning for next year. 


Contact the writer, Ella Talmadge, at [email protected]