On Monday evening, about 75 students attended Muslim Creatives Collect hosted by the University of Michigan’s Muslim Students’ Association at the Kerrytown Concert House. The program marked the beginning of the Islamic Engagement Week, which is a week-long initiative aimed at highlighting the narratives, history and culture of Muslims.
The event consisted of performances involving music, poetry and dance as well as a panel discussing the current and future status of Muslim creatives in the country.
Along with the Muslims Creatives Collect event, the Islamic Engagement Week will also include a Muslims in Astronomy event Tuesday night, a Meet a Muslim event on Wednesday and a Muslims in the Arts event Friday afternoon.
Rackham student Bedar Noor participated as part of a step performance during the event. He spoke about his appreciation for step and the way in which it has allowed him to express himself.
“Step is a great way to show that you can join an organization that is rooted in different cultures and histories and I wanted to show to everyone that there is a different medium to express yourself,” Noor said.
Noor also spoke about his admiration for the panel, saying it touched on a number of important topics.
“I love the panel,” Noor said. “Really being able to show not just that (the panelists) are artists but why they became artists is really a great thing and really is eye-opening. A lot of the times, you think that it’s just STEM, but there’s other things that you can do too, especially if you have that creativity.”
During the panel discussion, LSA sophomore Basil Alsubee spoke about his views on the state of Muslim artists in the U.S. Alsubee expressed appreciation for the opportunity to speak on the panel in an interview with The Daily following the event.
“I’ve just been really looking for a platform to speak to the Muslim community, which is my own community, about the work that I do and art and culture and media of Islam as it pertains to the Muslim community,” Alsubee said.
Alsubee told The Daily the panel members’ ideas complemented each other.
“We think about a lot of similar things, but I think we fill each other’s gaps,” Alsubee said. “I was really struck by the insightful processing of art and media that they’ve had — their own experiences, both the similarities and differences.”
Alsubee also expressed his personal interest in Islamic history and desire to go to other events in the Islamic Engagement Week.
“I really want to go to the under-represented perspectives (event),” he said. “I’ve become interested in the topic as someone who studies history. I’m really interested in historical silences and things that are just generally difficult to come by, both the historical record and contemporary culture.”
After the event, Art & Design freshman Gabriel Consiglio told The Daily he appreciated the program.
“I heard it through word-of-mouth,” Consiglio said. “In terms of organization for the event, I think this is a perfect venue for what it is. I’ve never been to something like this before, so the format of this is pretty interesting. I like the blend of discussion and art.”
Consiglio also appreciated the association’s decision to pause the event at 8 p.m. to allow everyone time to pray.
“I think it’s very cool that they’re taking out the time to pray,” Consiglio said. “Being someone who is not entirely in this religion, I think this is really important, especially since not all of the events are about Islam.”