By Waleed Vaid, Skyline High School junior
Over the weekend of March 28-29, 700 high schoolers from across Michigan gathered at the 8th Annual Detroit MIST competitions.
Held at Wayne State University, high schools formed teams to compete in the large array of group and individual competitions.
MIST, which stands for the Muslim-Interscholastic Tournament, is open to Muslim and non-Muslim high school students who want to compete in a variety of categories.
With over 15 different competitions, every person has something that fits their interests. Among them were: culinary (cupcake baking); knowledge tests (multiple-choice/essay test based on pre-determined books); 2D/3D art; photography; original oratory; prepared essay; math Olympics; debate; quiz bowl; community service; short film; basketball; poetry; and improv.
This year’s competition included two teams from the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Skyline and Huron high schools both participated for the first time.
The theme for this year’s competition was: “The Clarity of Sincerity: From Outer Perceptions to Inner Reflections.” It focused on unnecessary pressures, stereotypes, and labels that youth face today, and how they can use the concept of sincerity to find clarity in their lives.
“MIST is a great opportunity for students all over Michigan to get into a competitive spirit and participate in a wide variety of competitions,” said Skyline junior Waleed Vaid, who participated in poetry and took second place in the knowledge test.
Huron senior Muneebah Vaid came in third for her research on clinical depression. She competed with members from Washtenaw International High School through a coalition team.
Mohammad Shaikh, also a senior at Huron, competed in the Math Olympics.
The competition is open to all students, no matter their faith, religion, or beliefs. In fact, some of the top winners in the past have been non-Muslims.
The program lasted from early morning Saturday to Sunday night, and was packed with competitions, food, and workshops. Some notable speakers included Rashida Tlaib, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives and Tayssir Safi, a chaplain at the University of Michigan and a Pioneer High School graduate.
“Every year MIST has grown, we started with just a few teams and look at us now; this room is packed!” said an organizer at the awards ceremony Sunday night.
The top team overall was WIHI of Ypsilanti, with PCEP (Plymouth-Canton Educational Park) coming in a close second. Prizes included medals, trophies, and scholarships.
Both Waleed and Muneebah are now eligible to compete in MIST Nationals in Houston on the weekend of August 7-9.
Preparations have already begun to take place for next year’s event. For more information, visit: getmistified.com/detroit.