Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, IYGers, and readers of this blog worldwide,

Indiana is a place full of blessings alhamdulillah and one of those blessings is the fact that residents get the opportunity to see four weather seasons…sometimes all four in the same day! Currently Indianaers (we don’t refer to ourselves as Hoosiers in Boilermaker country!) are experiencing a brutally cold winter combined with lots of snow and slick roads. It seems children this semester have had more days off from school due to the bad weather than actual time spent in the classroom. Fortunately, this weather has given our mentors more time to plan our super-duper Spring 2014 IYG Program. Tonight was our kick-off event where we revealed the complete event and discussion schedule to our youth and their parents (all appeared to be in a state of sheer giddiness at the sight of all of the unique events planned). Events this semester vary from our traditional cooking lesson to sports activities to our annual IYG Cinema Night event to an event to thank our families for all that they do for us.

Parents and youth attend the kick-off meeting...someone please wake up Ahmed! Poor guy is missing out on all of the fun and excitement!

Parents and youth attend the kick-off meeting…someone please wake up Ahmed! Poor guy is missing out on all of the fun and excitement!

After the presenttaion was over, the real fun began! Our youth were divided into four teams. Each team was given $1000…of fake money (our mentors aren’t that rich c’mon!). Teams competed against one another in an array of different mini-competitions to win money from one another. The winner of each mini-competition would earn $100 from the losing team (thus the name of the game – “$100 Bill Exchange”). In the end one team emerged victorious after earning a grand total of $1400, narrowly defeating the second-place team by $100. What mini-competitions took place on this Friday evening you may be wondering. Take a glance below at the pictures and find out:

Our youth work with Br. Oguz to get our room ready for action for the $100 Bill Exchange.

Our youth work with Br. Oguz to get our room ready for action for the $100 Bill Exchange.

 

Meanwhile Br. Ihsan starts dividing up the cash. Is it just me or do those $100 bills look real?

Meanwhile Br. Ihsan starts dividing up the cash. Is it just me or do those $100 bills look real?

 

Round 1 - Islamic trivia...Mustafa and Hasan duel one vs. one. Mustafa thinks he knows the answer!

Round 1 – Islamic trivia…Mustafa and Hasan duel one vs. one. Mustafa thinks he knows the answer!

 

Round 2 - Rock, paper, scissors...a classic game. Baha and Abdelrahman square off for the right to earn $100.

Round 2 – Rock, paper, scissors…a classic game. Baha and Abdelrahman square off for the right to earn $100.

 

Round 3 - Guess that capital. Quick, what is the name of the capital city for Colombia? Anyone? Our youth were stumped...all except Mohamed. he correctly guessed...BOGOTA!

Round 3 – Guess that capital. Quick, what is the name of the capital city for Colombia? Anyone? Our youth were stumped…all except Mohamed. he correctly guessed…BOGOTA!

 

Round 4 - push-ups...Siddiqui brothers challenge one another's biceps to a grueling match to determine who could perform the most push-ups. Br. Oguz intently judges the competition to ensure no cheating is allowed.

Round 4 – Push-ups…Siddiqui brothers challenge one another’s biceps to a grueling match to determine who could perform the most push-ups. Br. Oguz intently judges the competition to ensure no cheating is allowed.

 

Round 5 - Which card is it? Br. Ihsan deftly shuffles the UNO cards as Ata, Abdelrahman, Hasan, and Ahmed try to guess what card our mentor holds in his hand. They all guessed incorrectly!

Round 5 – Which card is it? Br. Ihsan deftly shuffles the UNO cards as Ata, Abdelrahman, Hasan, and Ahmed try to guess what card our mentor holds in his hand. They all guessed incorrectly!

 

Round 6 - An arm-wrestling match. Murtaza quickly emerrges victorious and earns his team (a fake) $100.

Round 6 – An arm-wrestling match. Murtaza quickly emerrges victorious and earns his team (a fake) $100.

 

Final round - Ahmed and Mustafa close our series of mini-competitions with an arm-wrestling competition. While both young men competed valiantly, Mustafa would emerge victorious.

Final round – Ahmed and Mustafa close our series of mini-competitions with an arm-wrestling competition. While both young men competed valiantly, Mustafa would emerge victorious.

 

After sitting pretty and watching his teammates work hard the whole night, Danyal finally goes to work by counting how much money his team has earned. His team woud finish in second-place, $100 behind Mujtaba's champions. Hamza has had so much fun he can't even bear to stand up.

After sitting pretty and watching his teammates work hard the whole night, Danyal finally goes to work by counting how much money his team has earned. His team woud finish in second-place, $100 behind Mujtaba’s champions. Hamza has had so much fun he can’t even bear to stand up.

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