Assalamu-alaikum readers,

Strategizing before the big game

Our July 2011 Halalapalooza competition resumed today with a heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping game of soccer. For some reason, soccer (or futbol for our international friends) seems to be the most popular youth group activity. Regardless of the day, time, or location of the game, youth show up in droves. Maybe we should transform our young lads into the ISGL Youth Soccer Club (someone please come up with a more clever name); who knows with enough training and coaching, our youth can become the Manchester United/Barcelona of Indiana (yeah I agree it is a long-shot but we can dream big, right?).

At 7:00 PM, we began the activity with a re-cap of the memories and lessons learned by youth who had attended the recent Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) camp in Kentucky. Essa, Omar, Sheriff, and Tassawar each shared cool experiences they enjoyed while at the camp. Stories included the double-cross water gun fight by camp counselors, Sheriff providing instructions to a blind-folded Tassawar while he tried to make chocolate milk, and something about not touching someone’s giant jar of peanut butter.

After the discussion, we drove to the soccer fields by the Purdue Airport. Team captains were chosen for each game.

Friendly trash-talking between two rivals

Games would end after ten minutes or after one team scored two goals. The rules were modified a bit for the first game. This was due to the fact that literally within the first minute of the game, each team scored a goal. After 10 minutes, the first game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Game 2 featured plenty of drama. Each team had multiple chances to score a goal but kept missing. Finally in the 9th minute of competition, Tassawar managed to score a goal from distance to lead his team to victory. The third game was non-dramatic 2-0 game. Ali and Tassawar each scored beautiful goals in leading their team to victory.

The pass that would lead to the winning goal by Ali

The fourth, and final, game was an entertaining back-and-forth affair. Tassawar made a ridiculous goal from the middle of the field. Khalifah threw the ball from the sidelines (a throw-in); Tassawar used his head to pop the soccer ball in the air and with his left foot kicked a laser into the top right corner of the goal. Our poor goalkeeper, Sultan, was unable to react fast enough to stop the ball. The opposing team, led by Yacoub, quickly responded off a penalty kick (due to a handball near the goal) to tie the game up. Several minutes passed by with each team playing great defense. Finally, around the nine-minute mark, Ali broke through and scored what would end up being the winning goal for his team. is brother, Amr, would follow-up with a third goal to dash any hope of a comeback by Yacoub’s team.

To determine today’s top athlete, we awarded a “soccer point” for each of the following:

  • A goal scored
  • An assist (that led directly to a goal being scored)
  • Blocking a shot from going into the goal while on defense
  • Every game won

Omar (3 goals prevented and 2 team wins) and Amr (1 goal scored, 1 assist, 1 goal prevented, and 2 team wins) finished in a tie for third-place with 5 “soccer points.” Coming in second-place were the duo of Yacoub (2 goals scored, 1 assist, and 3 goals prevented) and Amir (4 goals prevented and 2 team wins). Ali (3 goals scored, 1 assist, and 3 team wins) and Tassawar (4 goals scored and 3 team wins) tied for the most “soccer points” with 7; so for today’s activity, both will share the top athlete award.

We hope you enjoy the pictures from the soccer activity below:

Folks, I would like to formally introduce you to "The Intimidator"


"The Intimidator" intimidating his opponent

"You cant throw that ball in" says the tall one to the young lad

Hey everyone, look there is the ball!

Tassawar and Yacoub fight for possession of the soccer ball

Muhammad on the break

Salah on the break tries to evade Yacoubs defense; Sultan is in goal to save the day

Look a ball! Excuse the cameraman but he needs to run in the oppsite direction of the kids

Ninja Omar blocks the ball from going into the goal

This is my soccer ball and I'm taking it home