End-of-Semester Party – Saturday, November 30, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) IYG youth, parents, and avid readers around the globe,

Today marks a sad day…it is yet the final event to another wonderful ISGL Youth Group program. In the past 12 weeks our young men visited the Imagination Station to learn more about amazing science inventions, designed and constructed amazing bridges (from Popsicle sticks mind you), re-opened the doors to Restaurant Hope (to feed less fortunate members of our community) for one special night, put their culinary taste buds to good use concocting homemade ice cream, enjoyed a feast during Eid-ul-Adha, learned how to make play dough, and enjoyed 60 minutes of physical activity through multiple games of dodgeball. Looking back, alhamdulillah our youth and mentors enjoyed many wonderful memories together; but as they say, all good things must eventually come to an end. Tonight we capped off our semester with one final get-together before taking a short break (to go find warm blankets and jackets for the upcoming Winter!). We hope you enjoy the memories made during this afternoon’s End-of-Semester party:

Mujtaba bravely stands in front of his fellow youth-mates to explain the rules of Hand(bouncy)ball. It is a real game...we kid not!

Mujtaba bravely stands in front of his fellow youth-mates to explain the rules of Hand(bouncy)ball. It is a real game…we kid not!

Muhammad and Ata go back and forth in an intense game of ping-pong. Behind them, Abdelrahman serves as the official scorekeeper.

Muhammad and Ata go back and forth in an intense game of ping-pong. Behind them, Abdelrahman serves as the official scorekeeper.

Ali goes for a smash as Baha plays defense!

Ali goes for a smash as Baha plays defense!

Meanwhile Mohammed and Karim find a quiet spot to play a game of foosball.

Meanwhile Mohammed and Karim find a quiet spot to play a game of foosball.

Ahmed and Muhammad join the fun!

Ahmed and Muhammad join the fun!

The Siddiqui and Waheed clan take a break from all of the fun to watch a football game. Is it just me or are Murtaza, Danyal, and Hamza all sitting in the same position?

The Siddiqui and Waheed clan take a break from all of the fun to watch a football game. Is it just me or are Murtaza, Danyal, and Hamza all sitting in the same position?

Foooooooodddd!!! Our hungry youngins' gleefully devour slices of pizza and cake.

Foooooooodddd!!! Our hungry youngins’ gleefully devour slices of pizza and cake.

Excuse us, we're too busy eating to pose for a group photo right now.

Excuse us, we’re too busy eating to pose for a group photo right now.

Until next time, we wish all of our youth and their families an excellent end to their school semester and a well-deserved break until the Spring 2014 semester!

Assalamu-alaikum,

IYG Mentors

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Board Game (Pictionary) Night – Friday, November 22, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum youth, parents, IYG alum, and readers around the world,

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you could not communicate using words? We are quite used to verbal communication (or texting/email nowadays) that we often forget to thank Allah, azza wa jal, for the great blessing of speech which has been given to us. Tonight, our youth experienced for a short time the challenge we face when we have to communicate in a manner other than verbal speech (courtesy of the board game Pictionary). Pictionary is a straight-forward, family-friendly game involving a game board, cards with clues, and a couple stick figures…well you need players too, of course! Two teams of youth were formed. Each team took turns picking a card with 5 different categories (or clues) on them. One teammate would select a card and have to communicate to their other teammates what item they had selected from the card. Here’s the catch though (we know, we know…there has to always be a catch)! You can’t speak! That’s right…using a white board and black marker, our youth had to communicate the item selected from the card using a drawing! Sounds pretty easy, right? Well as the pictures below point out…it’s not as easy as one would like to think:

What on earth has Hamza drawn? Mohamed and Abdelrahman appear to know the answer!

What on earth has Hamza drawn? Mohamed and Abdelrahman appear to know the answer!

 

Basim has selected his card...what will he be drawing?

Basim has selected his card…what will he be drawing?

 

It's raining cats and dogs! We're not joking, he's seriosuly drawing the phrase "it's raining cats and dogs." See we told you it wasn't easy!

It’s raining cats and dogs! We’re not joking, he’s seriously drawing the phrase “it’s raining cats and dogs.” See we told you it wasn’t easy!

 

Mujtaba shows off his fashion sense with a drawing of a dress shirt...sadly his team failed to correctly guess the answer.

Mujtaba shows off his fashion sense with a drawing of a dress shirt…sadly his team failed to correctly guess the answer.

 

Baha picks a card from our giant card stack...I wonder what he chose to draw?

Baha picks a card from our giant card stack…I wonder what he chose to draw?

 

Team Oguz in deep thought...

Team Oguz in deep thought…

 

Correct! Mustafa gleefully points to his teammate who guessed what he was drawing.

Correct! Mustafa gleefully points to his teammate who guessed what he was drawing.

 

Shhhh! It's Pictionary! W're not allowed to speak!

Shhhh! It’s Pictionary! We’re not allowed to speak!

 

Mohammed goes to work drawing three bears...Basim can't bear to watch as the excitement of the game is too much for him!

Mohammed goes to work drawing three bears…Basim can’t bear to watch as the excitement of the game is too much for him!

 

A tiger + woods = Tiger Woods! Yes Oguz, we too are confused by the amazing brilliance of young Danyal.

A tiger + woods = Tiger Woods! Yes Oguz, we too are confused by the amazing brilliance of young Danyal.

 

Team Oguz emerges victorious! Thank you Muhammad for blocking Mujtaba's face with your fist pump. Put the fist pump away!!! Ahmed, Ata, and Murtaza cannot hide their joy. Look at those big, beaming smiles ma shaa Allah!

Team Oguz emerges victorious! Thank you Muhammad for blocking Mujtaba’s face with your fist pump. Put the fist pump away!!! Ahmed, Ata, and Murtaza cannot hide their joy. Look at those big, beaming smiles ma shaa Allah!

 

Br. Sabir and Mujtaba help our youth re-charge their batteries with a small early-evening snack.

Br. Sabir and Mujtaba help our youth re-charge their batteries with a small early-evening snack.

Ultimate Dodgeball – Friday, November 15, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) IYGers and readers,

Grab a hat and coat and bundle up! It is getting cold around West Lafayette as winter slowly creeps in and Fall departs. Ahhh how we miss those wonderful days of sunshine and warm weather to go run around outside and enjoy the gentle breeze of a warm June day…but we digress. Tonight’s chilly weather provided the perfect excuse to move indoors and warm-up our chilled fingers and toes with a hearty game of DODGEBALL! We’ve played this sport on quite a few occasions but it never seems to lose its charm or appeal (no matter how old our youth get) alhamdulillah. Somehow the joy of tossing a 6-inch soft ball delicately through the air into the waiting arms of an opposing team member is the epitome of fun on a Friday night. Don’t believe us…we offer the pictures below as proof. Enjoy!

Mohamed and Ahmed take a moment to explain the game of Ultimate Dodgeball. Gentlemen, Mujtaba has an ultimate question for you!

Mohamed and Ahmed take a moment to explain the game of Ultimate Dodgeball. Gentlemen, Mujtaba has an ultimate question for you!

 

The look of intensity (or fear, we're not quite sure) on the faces of your young men as they prepare for 73 minutes of intense game action. Someone has decided to throw down their sweatshirt as a challenge to whomever is willing to accept it.

The look of intensity (or fear, we’re not quite sure) on the faces of your young men as they prepare for 73 minutes of intense game action. Someone has decided to throw down their sweatshirt as a challenge to whomever is willing to accept it.

 

On your mark...get set...look a red ball!

On your mark…get set…look a red ball!

 

And their off to the races! Danyal grabs whatever appears in his path.

And their off to the races! Danyal grabs whatever appears in his path.

 

Mohamed takes aim with a ball as Nurideen surveys the field.

Mohamed takes aim with a ball as Nurideen surveys the field.

 

Karim and Ata stare at the ball so close to them yet so far away...meanwhile Ahmed jumps on top of the table to try and catch a ball.

Karim and Ata stare at the ball so close to them yet so far away…meanwhile Ahmed jumps on top of the table to try and catch a ball.

 

Bulle-eye! Omar successfully tags out a leaping Mujtaba. Nice throw!

Bulle-eye! Omar successfully tags out a leaping Mujtaba. Nice throw!

 

Basim hides for dear life as Danyal goes hunting.

Basim hides for dear life as Danyal goes hunting.

 

"Medic" Abdelrahman saves his teammate Mohammed.

“Medic” Abdelrahman saves his teammate Mohammed.

 

Br. Oguz and Br. Ihsan provide assistance to our young men as they clean-up the multipurpose room.

Br. Oguz and Br. Ihsan provide assistance to our young men as they clean-up the multipurpose room.

 

Crazy Science II: IYG (Play) Dough – Friday, November 8, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) dear youth, parents, former IYGers, and all who read and enjoy this post,

As a child one of the earliest toys (if you can call it that) many of our mentors recall playing with is the ooey-gooey, shape-in-your-hands, strange-colored Play-Doh. One could spend hours constructing unique shapes, cut-outs, and objects from a simple container of Play-Doh. Ahhh the memories…but we digress! One of the coolest aspects of science is figuring out the inner mechanics of how to make a particular item. Many of us have probably played with Play-Doh before, but how many of us could actually think of a way to make our very own Play-Doh using items found in the kitchen? We did! Using a simple recipe of water, flour, and salt, you too can enjoy making your very own Play-Doh (or as our youth aptly named our concoction – IYG Dough!). It is a great activity for families (just be ready for a mess!) and a nice, quiet way to spend a Friday evening. A personal spin can be added to your creation through simple food dyes, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, or Kool-Aid/juice powder packets. Our youth appeared to enjoy this activity (some went a bit too crazy with the food coloring) as you’ll see from the pictures below. We’ve included a Word file with four different recipes (hat tip to wikiHow) for making your very own play dough (yes it is dough you can play with but please don’t eat it). Try it out and see what you come up with! Perhaps leave us a picture of your creative end-product in the comments section below!

Making Homemade Play Dough

How did our IYG dough turn out? We’ll let you decide based upon the pictures below…

Nurideen gets a free ride courtesy of Mujtaba's leg...poor Mujtaba!

Nurideen gets a free ride courtesy of Mujtaba’s leg…poor Mujtaba!

 

Teach us how to make this IYG dough oh mentors of the IYG!

Teach us how to make this IYG dough oh mentors of the IYG!

 

Hasan, Baha, and Karim look excited and ready to begin! Danyal may need a nap to get his batteries re-charged.

Hasan, Baha, and Karim look excited and ready to begin! Danyal may need a nap to get his batteries re-charged.

 

West Lafayette's very own leaning tower of...corn starch!

West Lafayette’s very own leaning tower of…corn starch!

 

Br. Oguz lends some helpful advice to Mohamed and Baha as they make Kool-Aid Play Dough.

Br. Oguz lends some helpful advice to Mohamed and Baha as they make Kool-Aid Play Dough.

 

Br. Abdel Rahman whisks a batter of corn starch-based IYG dough into shape...Nurideen and Hasan are paying close attention. Poor Hamza took this teaching moment to catch up on lost sleep.

Br. Abdel Rahman whisks a batter of corn starch-based IYG dough into shape…Nurideen and Hasan are paying close attention. Poor Hamza took this teaching moment to catch up on lost sleep.

 

Our group of elders work over the hot stove to prepare IYG Dough. Mustafa somehow managed to sneak into the photo...

Our group of elders work over the hot stove to prepare IYG Dough. Mustafa somehow managed to sneak into the photo…

 

Muhammad and Abdelrahman mold gooey goop into play dough...at least we hope that's what they're trying to do.

Muhammad and Abdelrahman mold gooey goop into play dough…at least we hope that’s what they’re trying to do.

 

Mohamed's hands got a little sticky as he made his Kool-Aid dough...he became quite blue!

Mohamed’s hands got a little sticky as he made his Kool-Aid dough…he became quite blue!

Look! Mujtaba just found an asteroid!

Look! Mujtaba just found an asteroid!

 

 

Omar poses with what appears to be play dough on his head...Danyal appears to be working at a pizza shop (his shirt is covered in flour!).

Omar poses with what appears to be play dough on his head…Danyal appears to be working at a pizza shop (his shirt is covered in flour!).

 

Mustafa cleverly builds a tomato-like IYG Dough product. Look for this to hit your local grocery store soon!

Mustafa cleverly builds a tomato-like IYG Dough product. Look for this to hit your local grocery store soon!

King of the Hill Tournament – Friday, November 1, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) IYG members, parents, and blogger fans around the globe,

We hope your week has been enjoyable and productive thus far! The calendar has turned another page as we leave behind October and enter the chilly month of November. It seemed just like yesterday we were being greeted by the pleasant rays of sunshine and warm weather of summer; now we have a cold (and perhaps wet) winter to look forward to alhamdulillah. Outdoor activities are becoming harder to conduct given the weather so we must look for creative activities to keep our youth engaged through the fall and winter months. Tonight we introduced a sporting event not tried before in the ISGL Youth Group. The activity was called “King of the Hill.” Sadly no hill was actually involved…so how does this game work then you may be wondering. Good question! We organized our youth in order of eldest to youngest. Two individuals were selected to be kings in charge of guarding their kingdom and freeing their comrades from the terrible confines of the neighboring kingdom’s garrison. To free their comrades, each king would have to throw a shiny red ball to one of their teammates. If the teammate caught the ball, he could join his king and help defend his kingdom by deftly blocking tosses made by the opposing king (to free his own friends). Everyone had the chance to be king during the first round. If you lostĀ  your kingdom (i.e. the opposing king was able to free his friends from the garrison before you could) then you would be out of the tournament. The challenges continued (for 12 intense rounds) until one lad emerged as the champion of the tourney and was anointed as the King of the Hill. Enjoy the pictures below of our youth competing for title of King of the Hill champion:

Wait how old are you? Our young men begin the process of lining up so we can create teams. Hurry up folks, we don't have all day here!

Wait how old are you? Our young men begin the process of lining up so we can create teams. Nurideen appears to have gained a few inches in height. Hurry up folks, we don’t have all day here!

 

Mujtaba gets his game face on (and a little paint on his cheeks for some reason). One word can describe this face...INTENSITY!

Mujtaba gets his game face on (and a little paint on his cheeks for some reason). One word can describe this face…INTENSITY!

 

Mujtaba advises King Hamza to calm down. Hamza refuses and begins to try and free his friends from King Mujtaba's grasp.

Mujtaba advises King Hamza to calm down. Hamza refuses and begins to try and free his friends from King Mujtaba’s grasp.

 

Mohamed winds up and lets a ball fly. Meanwhile Ata and Ahmed search for a ball to help King Mujtaba  emerge victorious.

Mohamed winds up and lets a ball fly. Meanwhile Ata and Ahmed search for a ball to help King Mujtaba emerge victorious.

 

Omar goes in search of a ball to throw. Murtaza waves his hands in the air for fun (or maybe to cheer on Omar, we're not quite sure).

Omar goes in search of a ball to throw. Murtaza waves his hands in the air for fun (or maybe to cheer on Omar, we’re not quite sure).

 

Shujath and Mohamed exchange throws as they work to free their teammates.

Shujath and Muhammad exchange throws as they work to free their teammates.

 

The Finals...no not the NBA Fiinals silly! The King of the Hill Final saw King Hamza battle  King Mohamed in a tight battle. In the end Hamza would emerge victorious!

The Finals…no not the NBA Fiinals silly! The King of the Hill Final saw King Hamza battle King Muhammad in a tight battle. In the end Hamza would emerge victorious!

 

We decided to play a game of Ultimate Dodgeball after Isha prayer. The camera took cover after this picture to avoid making physical contact with a flying object.

We decided to play a game of Ultimate Dodgeball after Isha prayer. The camera took cover after this picture to avoid making physical contact with a flying object.

Restaurant Hope Version 2.0 – Friday, October 25, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

After being blessed with really warm weather (for October) for the past few weeks, the temperature has begun to dip south a bit. Fortunately this afternoon, our youth activity involved staying indoors next to a hot stove ensuring that we would stay nice and warm! During our Halalapalooza 2013 Program in June and July, our youth executed a unique community service activity not tried before. We visited guests at the Lafayette Transitional Housing to prepare dinner. However, instead of preparing the standard one-dish meal, we decided to spruce up our dinner service by turning it into a restaurant. Our younger youth transformed into servers taking orders from our guests while our older youth worked hard in the kitchen preparing dishes to send out to the sitting area. As we receive lots of positive feedback, we decided why not open up another restaurant (with a more ambitious menu) tonight? How did our second Restaurant Hope turn out? Well by the pictures below, it was quite successful we think:

Our mentors divvy up car assignments to our excited youngsters.

Our mentors divvy up car assignments to our excited youngsters. Mujtaba has had a long day and needs to sit his tired legs it appears…

Chef Bassim wastes no time as he begins to prepare his famous spaghetti and meatballs dish under the careful watch of head chef, Br. Ihsan!

Chef Bassim wastes no time as he begins to prepare his famous spaghetti and meatballs dish under the careful watch of head chef, Br. Ihsan!

 

Restaurant Hope's updated menu...hmm Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Manchurian, or Fried Chicken, what should we choose?

Restaurant Hope’s updated menu…hmm Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Manchurian, or Fried Chicken, what should we choose?

 

May we take your order?

May we take your order?

 

Muhammad takes an order from one of our Restaurant Hope visitors.

Muhammad takes an order from one of our Restaurant Hope visitors.

 

Nurideen serves fruit punch to a grateful guest.

Nurideen serves fruit punch to a grateful guest.

 

Shujath carries a plate of food to a hungry guest. The garlic bread behind Shujath looks a muy delicoso!

Shujath carries a plate of food to a hungry guest. The garlic bread behind Shujath looks a muy delicoso!

 

Abdelrahman and Mustafa depart the kitchen with food as Bassim provides last minute directions...go HERE!

Abdelrahman and Mustafa depart the kitchen with food as Bassim provides last minute directions…go HERE!

 

After a successful dinner service, our youth take a moment to pray Asr before...

After a successful dinner service, our youth take a moment to pray Asr before…

 

Br. Sohail leads a group of youth on an energy-charging sprint to the finish line. Who do you think won the race?

Br. Sohail leads a group of youth on an energy-charging sprint to the finish line. Who do you think won the race?

After a wonderful dinner service, our hungry youth sit down to enjoy dinner together.

After a wonderful dinner service, our hungry youth sit down to enjoy dinner together.

Extreme Bridge Design – Week 1/2 – October 4, 2013

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Extreme Bridge Design is an activity for increasing awareness of, exposure to and motivation forĀ  some basic engineering and design concepts. This is a 2 week activity. The first week, designing and reporting a bridge design, was completed successfully by our youth last Friday. Here are some of the memories from that day.

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