Weekend in G-Town

26 03 2009

It’s official.  The DSLR has expired and passed on to the other side.  It was with us only for a short while, but it opened up doors of great excitement and wonderful visions.  What sucks most about this is that I have to go back to my old point and shoot, which feels like a children’s toy in comparison.  So, maybe you can imagine, I’ve lacked the desire to really take many pictures for some time.  I’m slowly starting to get back into it.  To kick things back into gear, I’m posting up the last of the pictures I have from the DSLR before it died.  Thanks to Bash Bizzle for giving me that push to update this piece.

I spent a good part of this particular week at Georgetown University.  They had two really amazing conferences that I tried to capture.  The first was a conference on the American Mosque in the 21st Century and the second was on the World of Deaf Muslims.  Look out for the captions to see which event the pictures are from.

 

My New Friend

My New Friend

The Global Deaf Muslim (GDM) conference was sponsored by the very generous volunteers at Georgetown University, like Imam Yahya Hendi (top right) and Sarah Kalimullah (bottom center), and also by volunteers from around the region, like Taqwa Mahdi (bottom left).  Here, the organizers share a moment with each other while taking a break in the back of the room.  

 

Bright Lights, Brighter Smiles

Bright Lights, Brighter Smiles

Volunteers relax after setting up the lunch table for the GDM conference.

 

What Do You See In My Future?

Life and Death

For those who have never visited the Georgetown campus, you may be as surprised as I was to find a cemetary right in the center of campus.  It’s surrounded on all sides by tall dorm buildings.  The contrast is unreal, I wish I could explain how strong this image was for me.  Maybe this picture can help you to get an idea.

 

All Poised

Silent Anticipation

The volunteers set out lunch and patiently wait for the attendees to start getting food at the GDM conference.  The volunteers were both deaf and hearing, seeing them try to interact as naturally as possible was really heartwarming, especially since most hearing attendees didn’t know any sign language.

 

See Me, Hear Me

See Me, Hear Me

Taqwa (right) was speaking during the GDM conference while an interpreter signed for the deaf members of the audience.  

 

Last-Minute Prep

Last-Minute Prep

Taqwa was finishing up her speech before she had to go up and speak at the GDM conference.

 

Def Poetry

Def Poetry

Renato performed some Deaf poetry for the attendees at the GDM conference, alongside one other brother.  They chose not to translate the poem, so I don’t really know what they were saying, but it looked really interesting.  There was alot of movement, so this was the only picture I have that wasn’t completely blurred.

 

a

Asma Attack!

Asma Rehman (Left) is the VP of MSA National.  She, along with other key community figures, made an appearance at the GDM conference to support the Deaf Muslim community.

 

Visual Presentation

Visual Presentation

Deaf student, Bree Weber, gave a presentation about her experiences growing up deaf and her journey to Islam.  An interpreter was on-site to translate for Bree as she signed.  This was part of a panel at the GDM conference that was focused on sharing experiences from deaf and hearing parents and students about growing up or raising children deaf and Muslim.  

 

Fresh to Def

Fresh to Def

Abdullah, a deaf student from Gallaudet University, was hanging out in the back of the room while waiting for lunch to start so he could serve food to attendees of the GDM conference.

 

PhD Bloc

PhD Bloc

Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Professor of African Studies at Howard University,  and Dr. Iqbal Unus, Director of The Fairfax Institute, were part of a panel discussion on the history of the American Mosque, with a glimpse into the future of this growing institution.  

 

G

G

Mufti figured, why not act like a G, when in a garage, in Georgetown?  

 

Dual Action

Dual Action

During the panel discussion at the GDM conference, when a hearing panelist spoke, the deaf students in the room, and on the panel, would look to the interpreter to fill them in on the discussion.  

 

The Two From New Jerus

The Two From New Jerus

An Imam, with a deaf son, visited the GDM conference from New Jersey and was a part of the panel discussion.  Here, as he’s speaking, his son plays with the microphone.  After receiving a cochlear implant, his son’s hearing has been fully restored.

 

Da Imam

Da Imam

Imam Yahya Hendi, Imam of Islamic Society of Frederick, MD and Muslim Chaplain at Georgetown University, was the keynote speaker for the GDM conference.  He supported the deaf community immensely with his committment to helping organize this conference.  Here, he’s pictured watching the lunch line, making sure everyone is being served.

 

Watch Closely

Watch Closely

Bree (center), surrounded by fellow Deaf students from Gallaudet University, communicates with a friend through the use of American Sign Language (ASL).  Bree currently serves as the VP of the Deaf Muslim Student Association at Gallaudet.

 

Networking

Success!

Bader (left) is the current President of the MSA at Gallaudet.  Here, he’s chatting with other deaf students after a successful day at the GDM conference.  

 

The Man Behind It All

The Man Behind It All

Nash is the man who started the whole Deaf Muslim awareness movement.  He’s the President of GDM and a great activist for the causes.  Anyone interested in contributing or volunteering with future projects should email Nash, president@globaldeafmuslim.org.

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