Stuyvesant Muslim Student Association Wins First Place at MIST For Two Consecutive Years

Stuyvesant MSA wins first place at the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament for the second consecutive year.

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By syed tajrian

This past April, Stuyvesant’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) won first place at New York’s annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST), hosted at Stuyvesant. After placing first last year as well, MSA’s victory marked the first time a team has won first place for two consecutive years in MIST New York history—a testament to the dedication and passion of MSA members. 

Following their victory last year, MSA was determined to continue their streak. Senior and MSA President Sadat Ahmed worked individually with each competitor to ensure that they were on track for victory. “I worked with each and every one of the competitors, which is what I think we lacked last year—there was a big disconnect, but this year we really pressured everyone to do their part,” Ahmed said.   

Each year, MIST offers a variety of competitions that are meant to develop students’ leadership skills and inspire creativity, all while giving them an environment to connect and gain a deeper understanding of Islam. However, despite being an Islamic-oriented competition, non-Muslims are welcome to compete in MIST’s more secular events. “It’s a series of competitions such as humanitarian [service]—where you make a [campaign plan] based on what’s happening around the world—entrepreneurship, business, culinary, 3D art, Quran recitations, fashion design, and more. There’s a lot,” sophomore and MSA member Aasha Zamir said.

The main goal of MIST is to develop a sense of community—something felt strongly by MSA members, especially those participating in MIST for the first time. Teams spend time together not only during the competitions, but also during breaks and free time. “You’re all eating lunch together, you’re all going to competitions together, you’re all watching, and so it’s a really good way to have a stronger sense of community here at Stuy, which I know is something a lot of people struggle with,” Zamir said. 

  MIST also provided an opportunity for competitors to meet new people and strengthen pre-existing bonds. “I would say my favorite part was bonding with the people in MSA because MIST brought our whole team together,” junior and MSA social media manager Fabiha Khan said. “A lot of the seniors this year, I wouldn’t have known them if I didn’t do MIST, as well as the underclassmen. Even with some of my friends—I got closer to them through this experience.” 

Since MSAs of various high schools across New York come together for MIST, participants were also able to meet students from other schools. “We made a lot of friendships too, with different teams,” senior and MSA Vice President Mehruba Tithi said. “So it was really fun to cheer for them, and they cheered for us.” 

Overall, the Stuyvesant MSA’s community has grown tremendously since the COVID-19 pandemic, as reflected by the drastic increase in the number of MIST participants. “In 2022, [Stuy had] like 10 competitors only, and it was completely demoralizing,” Ahmed said. “Seeing Stuy at such a low place was super devastating. This year, [...] we had a 65-player cap, [but] we actually recruited around 80 people, so we had to cut people down.”

This growth was especially sentimental for seniors, as this year marked their last time competing in MIST. “It’s actually really emotional, especially after the awards ceremony—all the juniors and the seniors were crying,” Tithi said. “It is very bittersweet because […] we are family and it will be really sad to see everyone go apart and go on their own ways.” 

This July, Stuyvesant’s MSA plans to further its momentum, Members who placed in the top five of their respective competitions are eligible to compete in Atlanta, Georgia for MIST Nationals. Above all, however, MSA members hope to maintain their close-knit community. “What stood out to most people was the fact that they felt like a family. I look at these people, and I’m so grateful I met all of them and we work together so well and hopefully everyone comes to nationals as well,” Ahmed said.