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Midwest AKYSB Honorary Secretary Amyna Visram congratulating all the athletes for their sportsmanship at the  Closing Ceremonies.

“Having team members from different Jamatkhanas and ages allowed me to learn from and interact with people that I usually wouldn’t,” said Arisha Keshwani, an athlete playing co-ed volleyball for the first time. This year’s tournament was especially unique for the diversity among the athletes, who ranged in age from 7 to 65, and experienced or novice. Similar to last year’s format, volleyball was offered as individual registrations so athletes of all skill levels and age groups could play together.

Murad Abdullah, President of the Ismaili Council for the Southeast, and Gulzar Ajani, Community Building member for the Ismaili Council, pose with panelists and volunteers who organized the Ivy League Connect.

For most, education is still a foundation of future success hence the emphasis on a quality education and excellence by Mawlana Hazar Imam. For those who can gain admission and afford the tuition, the group of eight prestigious institutions comprising the Ivy League represent some of the oldest and highest quality targets for higher education in America. Although many other colleges also offer excellent education and academic rigor at substantially less cost, many families consider an Ivy League education an unparalleled opportunity to be surrounded by some of the most academically gifted students and professors.

Group picture of the Lock-In participants and staff

Over 80 participants and staff from the Midwest converged in the Chicago Jamatkhana Social Hall for a Lock-In, on February 9, 2019, an all-night event that started after evening Jamatkhana ceremonies and ended in the morning. With a primary goal of community-building, the night comprised of interactive activities, competitions, discussion sessions and much more to keep all participants and staff engaged and energetic.

Midwest Ismaili Council leadership and Communications & Publications team with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

The Chicago Jamatkhana Social Hall was filled with the songs and scriptures of many faiths that came together on November 13, 2018. The annual Thanksgiving service is a longstanding tradition of the Edgewater Community Religious Association (ECRA), an alliance of about 20 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations in the diverse neighborhood in northern Chicago. The celebration is hosted by a different congregation every November, and this year was the first time the local Jamat had hosted since 2012.

Special needs game had during lunch.

The Midwest Youth and Sports Board hosted its annual Midwest Regional Sports Tournament at the Libertyville Sports Complex on Saturday, November 24. Shaifali Lalani, Co-Project Manager of this year’s tournament, said she was most excited about the number of athletes this year. “We had originally planned for 100 to 150 at most, given the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We ended up doubling that with over 300 participants!” Additionally, over 100 volunteers and 300 spectators were in attendance making it one of the largest regional sports tournaments held in the region.

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