The air was festive as the crowds assembled for the inaugural Greater Chicago Muslim Youth Expo at the University of Illinois-Chicago on October 10. Over 300 attendees from a mosaic of different communities across the Chicagoland area were treated to dazzling musical and poetic talent while they explored a range of cultural and civic organizations, one of which was Zakat Foundation of America (ZF). ZF staff were on hand at the event to talk to participants about the organization and its role in fostering humane, sustainable social development.
Organized by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), the youth expo provided a uniquely rich environment for young people to engage with their community and connect with many organizations that are making a difference.
“CIOGC’s First Muslim Youth Expo was a great way for Chicago Muslim youth to experience a dynamic approach to community service, volunteer work, and unity,” said Yara Daoud, who interns with communications and outreach at ZF. “I was extremely happy to be there representing Zakat Foundation of America and also meeting so many amazing organizations that strive for the common good. I’m happy I was able to experience such a fun, united, and beneficial day with such great people.”
While they were treated to socially conscious artistic performances — including a devotional hip-hop group and spoken word poetry by ZF intern Ayah Chehade — convention participants were excited about ZF’s mission, and many signed up to help their brothers and sisters in need through ZF initiatives. The creativity, vision, and moral conscience of today’s youth will be the key to a just and equitable future, and ZF was proud to be represented at an event where these virtues were so clearly on display.