There’s something special about meeting complete strangers from across America and having a love for each other for the sake of Allah swt. SLS, for me, was like a MYNA camp without the few campers that didn’t want to be there. Everyone wanted to be there. Everyone was eager and excited to learn. Everyone was there because of his or her love for MYNA and Allah swt. I am still shocked at how far along I have gotten in my MYNA “career” in such a short time. It has been less than a year since my first camp and I got the opportunity to attend SLS and become the Ansar Chair for the Midatlantic region. Entering high school, I was lost and didn’t really know who I was and got in a lot of trouble because of it. Through MYNA I have had a complete 360 in my attitude and purpose in general. SLS has only cemented my love for MYNA and the people that make it run smoothly. It is hard to explain in words the emotions and love I have for the other REC and EC members who made my SLS experience amazing.
When I first arrived in Flint after spending around 4 hours in a stranger’s car (who turned out to be a past MYNA president), I came in knowing only my brother and barely anything about my own REC. As SLS passed, I got to know REC members from north central and south central very well. From staying up all night and sleeping at 6 am in the auditorium so we wouldn’t be late to breakfast to sitting in a room telling embarrassing stories about ourselves, I created a bond with these great men that will last a lifetime. I know it sounds cheesy but there really isn’t any other way to explain it. I really believe that 20 and 30 years from now, we can still get together and laugh like we did at SLS.
Now SLS is not only about making friends and having fun, I learn a whole lot as well. I actually appreciated many of the lectures that we had the opportunity to listen to. More specifically, Br. Fiyyaz’s 5 hour Q and A sessions because he taught us about things that we would never be able to learn or ask about at camp because it was Fiq or the campers wouldn’t be mature enough to appreciate it. I also enjoyed the business and work ethic lectures that Dr. Jawaad Shah gave as it gave us applicable and useful information especially as we are going to be the leaders of MYNA this next term. Finally, I also learned from the great peers I was surrounded by. I am now confident I have a support base to ask questions and review over my own work because of the experience of REC members from other regions. I also got to bond with my own REC by inside jokes and roasting each other. Having a REC that that is cooperative and works together is key for a smooth and successful term which I definitely think we will have iA.