Who is Samina Musa?
An early, spring morning in Maryland, she sits outside on the porch with a copy of “The Kite Runner” in one hand and a warm cup of tea in the other. Her name is Samina Musa, and she is 21 years old.
In the winter and spring 2017-2018 MYNA camps, you may have seen her as a counselor, hoping to be more engaged in Muslim youth programs. Outside of camp, when she isn’t studying for a degree in environmental engineering, Samina is heavily invested in environmental organizations and community service. When she was asked to share one of her favorite memories, she told us the story of a volunteering opportunity that she was a part of. “The Garden”, a club on her college campus, started what they coined a “food waste” dinner in her dorm hall. She explained that “a group of 4-5 students would drive to Mom’s Organic Market to pick up fruits and vegetables that they were going to throw away, and instead cook dinner with them… we would cook stir frys, soups, and different types of desserts.” She told us that she used the event as a way to get to know other students who live in her residence hall and save food that was going to be wasted. The event’s involvement all of her core values, including community, environmental activism, and social activism, made it one of her most cherished memories.
Samina tries her best to wake up early but says she finds herself being the most productive after the sun sets. She says that she believes waking up at noon means half the day is gone, which is understandable, being the busy person she is. Even given an entire day at her disposal, she has an immense amount of things on her daily to-do list - sometimes too much to remember. This is why she found that one of the best pieces of advice she’s ever gotten was to invest in a good planner. Quoting her, “checking off my to-dos as I fill them out in my planner has helped me stay on track with all of the loose ends in my life.” I think a majority of us can relate to this need of a little extra organization. After everything has been marked off as completed, she finds joy in reading and writing poetry. These, along with hiking and filling her passport with stamps, have become hobbies of hers. From this, we have a clear view of the simple, yet brilliant, person Samina is.
All of this adds up to learning more about her as a person. Success to Samina Musa is living one’s truth and sharing the blessings of Allah with others. She defines it as following closely in the footsteps of the Prophet peace be upon him, who was not only an example of generosity and love to his companions and the Muslim Ummah at large but also to his wife and children at home. She says that her aspirations for the future include expanding renewable energy into developing countries, tying into her desire to protect the environment around us. She also hopes to learn the Arabic language in the future so that she can understand the Holy Qur’an as it was originally conveyed. Overall, she is coordinated and composed, with a large impulse to give back to her family and community. We can all learn a little something from Samina, along with everyone else around us.