By Sumaya Ahmed ‘18
The Halal Hornets arrived at Columbia University for the annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST) on March 18, 19, and 26. The competition included top high schools, guest speakers, and a variety of contests.
“It’s amazing to see students all around New York participating in so many competitions,” said Ms. Maysoun Mansour, the coach for the team. “It allowed me to connect with the students and experience something new.”
The team, still in its infancy, made its way to the quarterfinals of debate, the top 15 in photography, graphic design, and fashion design, but was unable to place in the top three in any category.
“Mist has truly been a great experience, however being a small team of 8 put us at a great disadvantage,” said participant Hebah Jihad ‘18 in 2D art. “Many other schools had teams as large as 60 or even more. They had been prepping for mist since the beginning of the year participating for years which gave them the upper hand.”
Because Midwood was such a small team, larger teams such as Brooklyn Tech and Stuyvesant High School chanted for Midwood.
“The chanting from other schools for us definitely made my day,” said Aysheh Barqawi ‘18. “They gave plenty of buttons, ribbons, and wristbands that represented their team name, and in exchange, they made sure Midwood was represented.”
The theme: Striving for Perfection in an Imperfect World inspired many different artworks and interesting ideas. Jihad’s 2D art project was of a child playing soccer trying to find the light in a war struck land.
Hafsa Fatima ‘18 competed in fashion design and created a modest yet unique line of clothing that represented beauty in clothing. She describes that she used certain patterns and colors that would be striking to the eye but pleasing to the body.
Although the competition is aimed for people of the Islamic faith, an award for the most diverse team was given out.
“One of the best parts about the competition is its religious and ethnic diversity,” said Huda Khalil ‘18, a competitor in prepared essay. “I expected to only see muslims there but there were plenty of non-muslims too, and it made me smile a bit more.”
Last year, the Halal Hornets made its debut with six people and represented a hornet with the colors yellow and black on the first day.
“I hope we have a larger team next year,” said Barqawi. “It didn’t feel good to be inferior. We need to show them what Midwood really is.”