Some members of the Muslim Youth of Maryland pose for a photo before their fundraiser for the Ramadan Ifar Project. The group's board has young men as well as young women. Photo courtesy of MYMD.
Muslim Youth of Maryland (MYMD) is a brand new organization created to fill a void. The first registered Muslim nonprofit youth organization in the state of Maryland, organizers formed MYMD in April of this year to provide a political platform for Muslim youth.
Mohammad Shiraz Ahmed of the University of Baltimore is the founder and President of MYMD. Shiraz Ahmed works with Maryland State Senator Allan Kittleman; as a freshman in college he interned with Governor O’Malley’s office. “I was fortunate enough to be mentored by some great people,” says Ahmed.
The board of MYMD is made up of Vice President Ali Majid of Stevenson University; Secretary Mohsin Majid and Treasurer Sabeen Nayati both of Towson University; and Events Coordinator Sidra Ahmed and Public Relations coordinator Jamal Ali of the University of Baltimore. The Public Relations Coordinator is Talha Ali of Howard Community College.
Because tickets are often very costly, parents usually don't bring their high school or college age children to political fundraisers and other political events. MYMD will help bridge that gap between politicians and the Muslim youth, connecting them with mentorships and internships. MYMD will be holding events for youth where they will have opportunities to network with different people from Maryland, especially elected officials.
The plan is to take the organization statewide by establishing county executives in each county, a male and a female. These county executives will report monthly to the board of directors at MYMD. Opportunities for community service and interfaith outreach are in the works, say board members.
Hoping to work closely with youth groups in the area, MYMD will conduct outreach with area masajid and Islamic Centers.
On May 25, 2013, MYMD members hosted a Meet a Muslim event at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore City, showing the public what it means to be practicing Islam in America.
The first major service initiative will be a Ramadan Iftar Project for masajid with a large underprivileged congregation and the three Muslim women shelters in Baltimore City. Four masajid in Baltimore City including Masjid Saffat, Haqq, Tauhid as well as the North Charles Street musalla will be serviced by the MYMD.
MYMD volunteers will purchase groceries and meat for the masajid that have kitchens large enough to cook in. Restaurants is the Baltimore Area will provide at cost iftars. MYMD volunteers will deliver these iftars to the masajid everyday between Asr and Maghrib.
The team has routes and schedules mapped out. More volunteers will be needed on weekends as the amount of people who attend the masjid iftars and suhurs increase. Vehicles for transportation have already been donated for use during the month of Ramadan.
MYMD held a lunch fundraiser on Sunday, July 7, 2013. Shaykh Yaseen Shaikh. the new resident scholar of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, and Senator Kittleman spoke at the event which raised about $25,000 for the Ramadan Iftar project.