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The Muslim Link
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VA Student Wins at National Islamic School Essay Contest PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Muslim Link Staff   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 14:37

A 3rd grader from Springfield, VA won the first prize in the UIF National Islamic School Essay Competition.

essay-contest

Eight-year-old Anusha Khurram of the Iqra Elementary School won $500 for herself and a matching amount for her school. The topic was to write about "If you could be anything you wanted, what would you be and why??"


Anusha was awarded her prize at a recognition ceremony at the Iqra Elementary School on June 7, 2014.


The contest was open to all students of Islamic schools located in the USA and was hosted by United Islamic Finance (UIF). Based in Ann Arbor, MI the company is provides three lines of financing.


UIF is the nation?s first Islamic banking subsidiary run entirely on Shariah principles. According to their website they serve the needs of the Muslim community by offering Shariah-compliant savings accounts through University Bank and Mortgage Alternative (MALT?) products, as well as Shariah-compliant commercial real-estate financing and home financing through their Murabaha and Ijara programs.

The bank had a huge response from their first essay competition?4000 entries in three categories: elementary, middle, high school. The winner won cash prizes and matching gifts from UIF to their schools. ?We are giving back to the community that we do business with,? says Fadey Samhan, the area manager for UIF in Northern Virginia.

What made this competition special, according to Samhan, was that this was the first of its kind for Islamic Schools all over the country.

?UIF firmly believes that investing in education is an important investment in our community.  Keeping this in mind, our essay competition seeks to partner with Islamic schools to recognize excellence in education by encouraging students to be creative and expressive.  The competition also rewards schools that produce winning students.?

UIF?s essay competition committee determined winners of the competition.  The company had an internal judging system and based the decisions on grammar, clarity, and originality and looked at how the ambition and the passion of the student came through, says Samhan.


?All of us at UIF did [a] collective effort and divvied up the [essays] and criteria and conducted {three] rounds until we identified the winner. We were very hands on with the competition,? says Samhan.

Anusha?s essay had  ?deep interest and thought? and she wanted to be a teacher and educate others, not something that one really thinks about in elementary school. ?I think is outstanding,? says Samhan.

UIF was part of the AMJA conference of Imams held in Dallas, TX where Islamic financing was discussed in depth. ?We were very active at the conference and interacted with committee there,? shares Samhan.

This competition will be an annual event from the company.

?We learned some thing new things [and] will fine-tune and tweak it next year,?Samhan comments.  While the competition is in the form of an essay, in coming years UIF envisions the competition to include video, poetry, art and science.

Other local students also placed as finalists: Jena Musmar and Sarah Al Mutawa of Saudi Academy won honorable mentions. Aisha Qureshi of Al Fatih Academy was a finalist in the high school category.

Teaching Is My Aim by Anusha Khurram (3rd Grade)


I want to be a teacher because I want to share my knowledge with the children. Teaching is a very respectable profession. Our Islam has shown great importance of teachers. Teachers bring an effective change as they have almost the same sense of duty and love that parents feel. Guiding the students is a part of religion.


Teachers are the best people as they play a great role in our life. Their reward is great but so is the responsibility. A good teacher has a good observation of behavior. Teachers have to make sure that students get the right knowledge.

Teachers have always been more important than books. They mold the character of young help them to be a good person.

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