The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Athens Drive MSA club creates inclusive environment

Photos by Rose Luck
The last MSA meeting, before a small activity. The activity was passing out cookies to draw on with frosting.

The Muslim student association (MSA) is a club Athens Drive Magnet High school offered for students to join. MSA is a club any student can join, Muslim or not. The club meets twice a month so the members can strengthen their relationships with fellow students and their religious beliefs. Their goal is to have a safe space at school to feel represented. 

¨I think it’s important for Muslims in Athens to have a safe space to be in and to participate in social activities where they are not meant to feel uncomfortable, ¨ said Edward Burt, staff advisor. 

This club creates an outlet for everyone, especially Muslims, to feel safe, and unjudged and be around people with the same or similar beliefs. 

¨Just like any group of students they have their common beliefs and they talk about the issues that revolve around their religion,” said Burt.

 Such an environment is intriguing to many students at Athens, but some feel that they wouldn’t fit in. So, who can join MSA? 

¨There are no requirements to join MSA, I think some people think you have to be Muslim to join MSA, but you do not; you just must have an open mind, be interested in learning and want to be a part of the community and support the community,” said Jasmine Arikat, club Co-president. 

Meetings are every first and third Wednesday. Students can show up alone or bring a friend to whatever meeting they’d like to attend. There are no fees or applications to join MSA. 

¨We talk about any struggles we face as Muslim students or students in general. [At our last meeting] we went around giving each other advice, we put our favorite quotes on sticky notes and stuff like that, ¨ said Tala Hamadeesa, Co-president. 

Having support at school is crucial for teens and the MSA does its best to show its support for students. They write and post uplifting affirmations and quotes around the school and on social media. 

Along with showing their support for fellow students, MSA helps with charity events to help the community and on top of that, they donate to relevant organizations. 

¨We do a food drive we have a bunch of students at Athens go and donate food to the food drive and we just donate to Muslim organizations,” said Arikat. 

In addition to that, the MSA has social events to keep members engaged and confident in what they do. 

¨Guest speakers from the Raleigh mosques come in and talk about summer camps and educational opportunities, but not every meeting is very serious like this,” said Burt.

Getting to hear the guest speakers talk about the opportunities outside of the club is good for people who would like to do more than just participate in the club. But other meetings in the club are for fun and just to hang out.

 “We play games like kahoots and jeopardies to learn more about our religion; eat snacks and candy and do group activities and talk about our religion,” said Hamadeesa. 

 Not every aspect of this club covers harsh topics, most of the club is having fun with people that have similar views to you. 

¨Muslim student association is a fun club to learn about the religion and socialize with other Muslims at Athens, ¨ said Arikat.


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