"Art is a message from the soul, wrapped in an envelope of beauty." ~ Dr. Hathout.
Part of MPAC's Convention, "Celebrating 25 Years on the Road Less Traveled," the first session of the day began with some performances. Art conveys an understanding about Islam and Muslims in ways that academic papers and lectures never will. Using the arts to express a message is not a revolutionary idea; Muslims, throughout the centuries, have contributed significantly to various forms such as architecture, literature and music.
Three performers, Omar Offendum, Aja Black and Big Samir of the hip-hop duo The ReMINDers, spoke about their journey in the arts, and how they have been able to influence others' perceptions about Islam and spirituality through their music. Moderated by Ahmed Younis, the session featured performances and a fascinating conversation where they were joined by Shaikh Yassir Fazaga of the Orange County Islamic Foundation.