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.





In Yo Face!

25 02 2009

I’ve been trying to kick up my portrait game, take it to the next level nah’mean.  Anyways, here are some portraits of people I’ve been collecting over the past few weeks.

P.S. Please pray for my camera.  I dropped it and it broke.  It is in need of repair, pray for its speedy recovery.  Thanks.

 

Late Christmas

Under the Lights

Sarwar stands on a sidewalk, waiting to cross the street in Fairfax Corner.

 

Fresh To Death

Fresh To Death

I got this shot of Wali while we were waiting with our Youth Group to leave from a standup comedy performance by Dean Obeidallah, at American University.

 

Rouge

Rouge

Chillin at Fairfax Corner, with some green tea.

 

Daddio Coolio

Daddio

At my uncle’s house.  My dad was sippin on some chai.

 

Elegeance

Elegance

It was extremely cold that night, and my mom was very layered.  Here she is, enjoying the comedy show at AU.

 

Study Buddy

Study Buddy

My brother was supposed to be studying.  I’m pretty positive he was really just using Facebook…or Wikipedia.

 

Warm Reflections

Warm Reflections

Sami was over at our house, getting pwnd in Madden.  I managed to get a picture of him while beating him simultaneously.  Skillz.

 

Cold sarWAR

Cold sarWAR

At Borders, chillin wit Zightai.

 

The Dean

The Dean

Standup comedian, Dean Obeidallah, visits AU in DC for a show, following a screening of a film about Muslims Standup Comics.  

 

Iris Divine

Iris Divine

Farhaad and I hit up a local metal concert, organized by Iris Divine.  Check out their music, it’s great stuff.

 

Test

Test

I was trying to demonstrate to Mufti how the aperture works on the camera.  Looks like it worked out aright.

 

Antipatico(cake)

Antipatico(cake)

A little girl refusing to play patty cake…unheard of.  Seeing is believing my friends.

 

Happy Bday Pops

Happy Bday Pops

We celebrated my dad’s birthday at home a few weeks ago.  That cake rocked.

 

Jughead

Jughead

Kani was trying to shield himself from having his picture taken.  This only made the shot more entertaining.  Nice try.

 

Ohhh, Dwight.

Ohhh, Dwight.

Best show ever.





The Return of Sawa

25 02 2009

The Night of Sawa event had it’s second installment in January.  This was a night full of poetry, spoken word, singing, and “hip-hop” performances from Muslims in the Northern VA area.  This is probably the first event I was able to use my DSLR to shoot.  I came up with some shots I really like, holler.

 

Capture That Moment!

Capture That Moment!

Everyone was desperately trying to record someone…doing something…I don’t quite remember what it was anymore.  

Latte or Frappucino?

Latte or Frappucino?

As deeply contemplative as this seems, my cousin was really just trying to figure out what to order off the menu at the Daily Grind Cafe, where the event was held.

Cafe Style

Cafe Style

Rockstar, Raef, orders some hot chocolate.  He’s got a new comic blog up too, check it out.

 

The Debut

The Debut

Ayyaz makes his Sawa debut with some poems he read off of his iPod.  This was before the Jim Jones’, “Ballin”, parody.

 

Peekaboo

Peekaboo

I think this girl’s name was Fatima.  She was my favorite performer from the entire event.  I really enjoyed her poetry.  Rock on 🙂





A New Approach

7 02 2009

I was finally able to upgrade to a DSLR.  One of the reasons I haven’t been posting up too many new pictures is because I’ve mostly just been trying to get better with it.  Alot of the shots that I have so far are like…whatever, but there are some that I liked alot.  I’ve been collecting them over the past few weeks, and I think I have enough to start making some more posts.  So, check it out, these are with the Pentax K10D.

 

 

Ba Ba Shop

Ba Ba Shop

My cousin came over, and my brother gave him a haircut.  

 

 

Stand Tall

Stand Tall

My brother and I went to visit my cousins.  Here we are in their basement, before gettin into some Madden.

 

 

Daddio

Daddio

Me and my parents went to Newport News to visit a family friend at his new restaurant.  I don’t really know what my dad was doing here…but I’m told he looks very Italian in this picture.

 

 

Supa Cru

Supa Cru

My cousin was representing, either his favorite dance crew, or his favorite gang sign.  

 

 

Line It Up

Line It Up

More haircuttin’ action.

 

 

Backstage Inspection

Backstage Inspection

My mother was in the kitchen at the restaurant we visited, checking out all of their equipment and watching closely how they were running things behind the scenes.

 

 

1, 2, 3...

1, 2, 3...

I was just messing around one day and took a picture of my hand.  I guess I had the number 4 in mind, no clue as to why.  I like the way the picture turned out though.





Obama Nation!

7 02 2009

Ok, so this is old news now, I’ve been delayed in putting up some pictures that I’ve been collecting over the past few weeks.  I had the opportunity of going to the Inauguration of President Obama in D.C., with some friends and family.  It was quite the experience.  Here are some pictures from that morning.

 

 

Representin'

Representin'

At the metro station, waiting for the train to get into D.C., Amer and Z were getting hyped up.  They were giving away free papers commemorating the inauguration, and Amer was happy to show his off.

 

 

The Long Run

The Long Run

I’ve never seen so many people in D.C., it was unreal.  The amazing thing was that, even though it was so cold and people were packed so tight together, we never saw anyone losing their cool.  Everyone was just happy to be there and was excited to see the man himself.  Here we are walking along Independence Ave I think, trying to find an opening into the Mall, so we can hop in front of  a Jumbotron.  We ended up getting stuck right after this, and everyone stopped moving for like 15 mins.  Eventually, we spotted people hopping over the barrier and getting through on one side, so we made our way over and got out into the Mall.  Finally 🙂

 

 

Welcome To The Capitol

Welcome To The Capitol

As you can see, we were pretty far back.  We were maybe like a mile away from the Capitol, and the entire space in front of us was jam-packed with people, huddled closely togther, waiting for the event to begin.

 

 

That's Him!

That's Him!

Whenever Obama came on screen, people went nuts!  You could hear the whole area erupt into cheers.  Similarly, whenever Bush would come on screen, everyone would start booing and yelling out insults.  Being able to publicly boo Bush, with a few million other people, at his last official appearance as President was so utterly satisfying.  As soon as Obama finished speaking, we had to dart our way out of the Mall to find a faster way out of the city.  It took us about 4 hours to get into the city, when it normally takes only 40 mins.  On the way out, we decided to just walk along the freeway, since they had closed it down, to the next nearest metro stop, outside of the city.





Take 2

7 02 2009

I just recently learned how to edit pictures, so I wanted to see what I could do to some of my older shots.  I went back and messed around with a few of them, and actually ended up with some pictures I thought were pretty nice.  Here’s  a look at some re-done older pictures.  See if you can figure out which post they’re from 😉

 

 

Superstar

Superstar

Nikki Jean and Bishop G on stage at a Lupe Fiasco concert in Richmond.  I find that turning up the contrast on pictures makes them look much more dramatic, as is the case with this one.  

 

 

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

My uncle at Maymont Park in Richmond.  I think this looks like something freaky is about to happen…like the leaves are about to attack…

 

 

Strikeout

Strikeout

My brother, bowling.  This definitely looks way more dramatic.  I like it.

 

 

Winterfresh

Winterfresh

Tayeeb at a BBQ.  This looks like something that could be in a gum commercial.

 

 

Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Z, being contemplative in a gathering.  I basically just turned up the contrast, it makes Z’s head pop out much more.  I really like this one too.

 

Spot On

Spot On

Sarwar playing pool in Richmond.  I really like this picture as well.





Wintery Retreat

19 01 2009

I spent the week after Christmas as a counselor at a MYNA retreat, on a campsite near Dallas, TX.  It was my first time in Texas, but not much really to report on how things are different.  It seemed just like any other midwest state.  The weather was pretty amazing though.  The first day we were there, it was like 80 degrees.  The entire week it stayed pretty warm.  

I had the opportunity to meet alot of really amazing people through the camp.  Of course, I had my camera along with me, so I put together some shots to share the experience.  Also, I just recently learned how to edit pictures, so I’ve been trying to touch up some of my shots to try and improve them.  I didn’t do it as much with these, but you’ll probably see it with even newer work.

 

Sparking A Movement

Sparking A Movement

Twice during the camp, we had bonfires.  It was alot of fun, everyone huddled around the fire and we sang songs and ate smores.  Nader was roasting some marshmallows early on in the bonfire in this pic.  Kudos to him for sitting so still so I could get this picture to come out right.

 

Canadian Moose

Canadian Moose

Yes.  The infamous Musa Syeed.  Musa was a counselor for the older group of campers.  Here, he’s with one of the campers from Canada.  And, of course, there’s the Germ-X…one of the staples of our week, lovely.

 

The Genius Gene

The Genius Gene

Zaki Barzinji, former president of MYNA, stands with his uncle, Musa, in the back of the room at one of the workshops during the retreat.  The program was focused around leadership building and training.  The workshops were a great way for the kids to learn useful ways to help them develop as leaders and community organizers.

 

Lighted

Lighted

Adam Soliman, current VP of MYNA, hangs out in the back of the classroom during workshops.  It looks like we caught him texting…I’m sure it’s official MYNA bidness.

 

The Real Cameraman

The Real Cameraman

Asif was definitely the real photographer this week.  I was just a baby amateur compared to him.  Here he is, showin off his skillz.

 

Drawing Inspiration

Drawing Inspiration

The one and only, Raef.  He joined the group halfway through the week and was kind enough to share his musical talents and to give some talks to the campers.  The back of the room is a popular place.

 

Star Studded Crowd

Star-Studded Crowd

Ok, the real star in this picture is actually Nouman Ali Khan, not the 11 yr. old child/soccer-prodigy wearing the Ronaldinho jersey.  Nouman came and blew the kids away with his knowledge and teaching style.  If anyone ever has an opportunity to hear him, you should take advantage of it 🙂

 

007...ish

007...ish

Riz!!  Riz was part of a small group that attended the camp from England.  The kids won a competition hosted by the Muslim Youth Helpline, and got the opportunity to come to this camp.  Also check out the link for Muslim Youth.net, they’re doing some pretty amazing things for youth development too.  Hopefully, this interaction with other groups increases our own scope.

So, I should explain the picture, too…There were different recreational activities at the camp.  This was from the BB gun range.  There was also archery, wall-climbing, boating, sports, hiking, and of course…napping.

 

Face of the Future

Face of the Future

This is Na’eel.  I like to consider myself Na’eel’s unofficial co-counselor.  Our groups shared the same cabin, and had some very memorable experiences.  Na’eel was amazing all though, all throughout the week.  Very inspirational and hecka cool.  I didn’t realize how G he was at first, but as the days went by, I’d learn more and more about the awesomeness of Na’eel 🙂

 

The Good Book

The Good Book

I actually did not realize, until I started writing this post, that Monem Salam was in On A Wing And A Prayer.  He visited the camp for a day to speak to the campers and teach them a little bit.  I wish more mention would have been made of some of the amazing figures in attendance.  We also had Zarqa Nawaz, I don’t have any pictures of her, the creator of the Canadian sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie.  She came for a few days and spoke at the end about her experiences.  

 

Lemme Learn Ya

Lemme Learn Ya

Na’eel explains something to one of his campers before the workshops start.  I have no clue what they were talking about, but it looks pretty heavy.

 

Music Making

Music Making

Raef was putting the finishing touches on a song he wrote with Na’eem Muhammad of Native Deen, who visited at the beginning of the camp.  The song, about Gaza,  was performed at the entertainment session at the end of the camp.

 

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

All throughout the Dining Hall, there were quotes posted, reinforcing concepts of living peacably with nature and the benefits of being connected to the great outdoors.  This was my personal favorite.