Update: Live Webcast here!
I have been going to the ICNA conventions during July 4th weekend for the past couple of years. I’ve been to more ICNAs than ISNAs and RIS’s. The best part of ICNA is the parallel Youth Conference organized by Young Muslims. I am proud member and was former active youth coordinator. I love helping out with the YM Security and ushering people to each session. It was my favorite part greeting everyone coming into the lecture hall. I am not sure who replaced me this year as head, but I’m really depressed that I’m not there this weekend.
The lectures were always amazing and inspired me, but what made my day were to see so many young Muslims, especially the high school age group, coming. I give them a lot of respect and props for even coming to the convention even if their parents forced them. High school years for any young Muslim is probably the most “fitnatic” time of their life. At ICNA they get to hang out with their Muslim friends and walk around the bazaar looking at Muslim media, food and other Muslim vendors. Although they might be up to mischief (the typical teenager) they are in a pretty Islamic environment. Unlike ISNA with their notorious late night lobby clubs, the YM youth, especially the security, would completely shut down any type of late night fitna within the convention boundaries. Of course we couldn’t stop anything outside in the public streets or a few blocks away.
Another aspect is the Midnight Basketball Tournament that is the highlight of many young brothers coming to the YM Youth Conference. Although there are many controversies, it is still better than what other conventions plan for the Youth. It is simply the most spontaneous on-the-spot organized basketball tournament. It’s amazing what YM puts together for over 40 teams.
The YM brothers only entertainment session and the family entertainment session was another highlight during the conventions. I was usually part of the YM skit and was the MC for one of them. The YM skit was always fun to be in especially in the brother’s only one. See when it’s just brothers, we go crazy. Halal crazy of course, but it’s halal for the brothers. When it’s with everyone, the brothers and sisters are limited to their fun and also maintain a shyness (hayaa), mashaAllah, which is good. When the sisters have their own and the brothers have their own, it’s a more relaxed environment for eachother. The family entertainment sessions were always good too and it has become more conservative than ICNA or RIS in terms of music.
For all those who are at ICNA this year, please comment and let me know how everything is going. Also I heard that they will have a live feed for free (Yes FREE!) for the Youth Conference. Please post any details on this so I can update this post.
May Allah (swt) bless YM. May Allah (swt) continue to guide them. May Allah (swt) give all their efforts, projects and events successful. May Allah (swt) increase their donations. Ameen!