Two weeks ago, Islam Awareness Series 2017 ended with a beautiful talk by one of our speakers, Ustaz Muhsin about Healing Relationships. And ever since then, I began to slowly miss the team that I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with.
Islam Awareness Series 2017 (IAS) was my first ever project in NUS that I’d embarked on. It was a project aimed to bring Islam to the masses, to introduce the beauty, serenity and clarity to what Muslims actually do and believe in.
This will be a story of my journey in IAS2017.
In retrospect, I’ve always been driven to have the chance to explain and clarify misconceptions people had about Islam. It began from commenting on Youtube to giving bite-sized information about Islam to my friends. I guess that interest stems from my annoyance with sometimes, the complete nonsense some people believe about Islam.
However, my journey in IAS began long after that.
It was through a sign-up list that my friend had sent me on the different projects that NUSMS offered. Being a freshmen in NUS, I didn’t understand any of the projects and what they entailed. Furthermore, it was the last night before the deadline and thus, I had to make a decision, fast. By taking a leap of faith, I decided to join IAS. Looking back, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m glad I did.
One day, I was contacted through a text from an exco member saying that they would want to have a small chit-chat session with me. I guess it was more of an interview. Well, during that ‘interview’, they asked about my motivations, interests and such and to be honest, one thing that I’m glad I brought up was my love for photography (which ultimately led me to be the Head of Publicity for IAS).
However, it was the first meeting that I was really nervous about. Being a bloody hell of an introvert, meeting new people scares the hell out of me (though I think I’d improved a lot since then). It was a meeting that I could remember bits and pieces of. I still remember meeting so many nice people and the atmosphere (and I guess the culture) that they brought to the meeting. It was a cool experience. After introducing ourselves and played some ice-breakers, which is typical of new projects, I had to speak. I talked about my motivations for joining IAS and the goals that I hoped to achieve at the end of it. Looking back, I was glad I didn’t say anything dumb or plain boring.
Well, the project started with a few formal meetings and being the Head of Publicity, I felt a heavy burden on my shoulders. Even more so with the expectations that I’ve placed on myself on what IAS Publicity must achieve. Thus, I set a goal to bring IAS publicity to new heights.
My team was made up of Kamalia (she’s very extroverted, knowing who I am, you should know why that’s a big deal), Ain (our Chief Designer, gosh she’s that good) and I. We made a great team and that can never be an overstatement. They exceeded my expectations and that of the NUSMS exco. Without them, I wouldn’t know if we could even have succeeded.
We worked well, Kamalia being our main speaker and anything that has to do with words, Ain being our poster designer and most things creative, and me, in-charge of the videos.
I’m surprised we worked so well with each other and I’m glad I was able to hold the reins of leadership. But I guess, it was all thanks to both of them for guiding me. Being the inexperienced one, I’m happy they showed me the way, teaching me skills and proper ways to do things. I guess they were the ones who set me right in NUS before I was independent enough to go about my own.
The team was nothing less than amazing. Throughout the time we had spent together to plan, build and create the things needed for the events, we had slowly developed a strong bond, one that I’m sure will last a long time. I realised that each of the committee members have their own strengths that they had blessed the team with. Things like enthusiasm, helpfulness, selflessness and even knowledge. But the most important thing that everyone did was to give IAS their all.
We worked long hours mind you. From the Wah! Dakwah! workshop until the last event, we had spent several late nights together until our advisors began to grow really worried about us. However, I will never regret staying.
I guess, if you could say one pleasure that I can take away from IAS, it would be the recognition for the hard work that we’ve put in. Even though that was not an intention of ours, we’ve gained numerous commendations from people from all ranks, from the students who walked passed our exhibition at the CLB walkway to the Deans that saw our exhibition at Diversity Fest. We were even featured in Berita Harian in an article. It was all truly through the blood (thank God there wasn’t any), sweat and tears of the committee members who had really worked tirelessly. Nothing could be better than that.
Except, there was.
It was the friendships made. I swear, it was a wonderful experience working with them, smooth sailing and all that jazz and I’m honestly glad that it was a good start to my journey in ad hocs in NUS.
There were so many great memories made and to be honest, most of them cannot be expressed in mere words. Thus, I believe photographs would be a great substitute.
Finally, as parting words, I believe that IAS2017 will always have a special place in my heart and that will never change. May Allah SWT bless all my committee members with all that is good in this world and the hereafter. Amin.
As I write this, I can’t help but feel a sense of happiness, knowing that I have made the right choice. 🙂 My life would have been really different if not for IAS2017.