Chuck-E-Cheese Fest! – Friday, April 19, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) readers,

Well it has come to that sad moment yet again; another concluding event to an amazing program for the IYG. We have enjoyed a wide-range of events this semester from our first-ever Ultimate Frisbee showdown to writing letters for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy to building mini-generators to building a Box of Love for our parents. Alhamdulillah, along the way, our youth have learned about the keys to gaining inner peace, how to deal with tragedy, and the importance of thanking our family members for all that they do for us. Tonight we concluded our IYG Spring 2013 Program with a celebration at the place where everyone can be a kid again…CHUCK-E-CHEESE!!! Our youth enjoyed a plethora of challenging games, yummy pizza, delicious kunafah dessert (thank you Ata!) and a special treat next door at Coldstone Creamery.  Our Chuck-E-Cheese fest was an awesome ending to an awesome semester; don’t take our word for it, check out the evidence below for proof!

Let's get this show started! Nabeel, Raad, and Mustafa are ready to go.

Let’s get this show started! Nabeel, Raad, and Mustafa are ready to go.

This table looks rather festive...sadly it is not for us. Where is our table?!?

This table looks rather festive…sadly it is not for us. Where is our table?!?

We found our table alhamdulillah! Mujtaba proudly shows off his shiny gold tokens.

We found our table alhamdulillah! Mujtaba proudly shows off his shiny gold tokens.

Onto the games! Hamza goes bowling...

Onto the games! Hamza goes bowling…

...meanwhile Ata and Muhammad go fishing...

…meanwhile Ata and Muhammad go fishing…

...and Abdelrahman shoots free throws. Raad patiently awaits his turn.

…and Abdelrahman shoots free throws. Raad patiently awaits his turn.

Hamza posing with his winning tickets. Ata investigates how Mujtaba plays the game for tips.

Hamza posing with his winning tickets. Ata investigates how Mujtaba plays the game for tips.

PIZZA BREAK!!! Abdelrahman enjoys a delicious bite of cheesy cheese pizza.

PIZZA BREAK!!! Abdelrahman enjoys a delicious bite of cheesy cheese pizza.

Danyal and Murtaza trade guesses for what lies underneath the aluminum foil...go ahead we dare you to guess what's underneath the foil.

Danyal and Murtaza trade guesses for what lies underneath the aluminum foil…go ahead we dare you to guess what’s underneath the foil.

Salah tries to re-live his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot...we are sad to report he was unsuccessful in getting his pilot's license.

Salah tries to re-live his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot…we are sad to report he was unsuccessful in getting his pilot’s license.

Muhammad, Shujath, and Ata carefully study the  treasure chest for gifts to exchange for their hard-earned tickets.

Muhammad, Shujath, and Ata carefully study the treasure chest for gifts to exchange for their hard-earned tickets.

ICE CREEEEEAAAMMM!!! Br. Ihsan helps Nabeel select a flavor as Mustafa poses for the camera. What a great way to end a great evening!

ICE CREEEEEAAAMMM!!! Br. Ihsan helps Nabeel select a flavor as Mustafa poses for the camera. What a great way to end a great evening!

Jazakum Allahu Khairan to all of our youth, families, mentors, and community partners who helped to make this semester of events possible. Though our mentors must take a small break for final exams, we look forward to the start of another exciting youth program in June in shaa Allah!

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Indoor Soccer – Friday, April 12, 2013

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

Did you know – the National Association for Sport and Physical Education determined that only 1 out of every 3 children is physically active every day (minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day recommended)? Even more of a concern is a recent finding published by researchers with the Kaiser Family Foundation that the average child now spends 7.5 hours daily in front of a screen (such as a TV screen or computer screen). While some of this time may be for reasons related to completing an assignment for school or working on a project for an extracurricular club, part of this time is spent playing video games, checking Facebook, viewing YouTube clips, and tweeting about what’s going on in our own little world. Yet if we study the life of the final human messenger Allah, azza wa jal, sent to mankind (Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), we find that he was quite fit and lived an active lifestyle (how can we forget that he raced his wife Aisha, radi Allahu anha, for fun?). He, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, encouraged us to engage in sport and exercise as it strengthens the body and re-energizes the mind.

In an effort to promote exercise and good nutrition in the lives of our youth (in accordance with the teachings and practices of our role model Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), IYG includes multiple physical activities throughout our semester programs. Tonight was one such event in which our youth took a moment to have fun playing 60 minutes of soccer. As the weather was a bit chilly and rainy outdoors, we went indoor to the Purdue Co-Rec MAC. What transpired over those 60 minutes can only be described visually; so we’ll leave you today with snapshots of what took place earlier tonight. Enjoy!

So who will be the first pick in the 2013 IYG Soccer League Draft? Well don't leave us hanging Murtaza and Muhammad!

So who will be the first pick in the 2013 IYG Soccer League Draft? Well don’t leave us hanging Murtaza and Muhammad!

Muhammad leads our youth through a series of stretches to get our muscles warmed up. I wonder why everyone looks green?

Muhammad leads our youth through a series of stretches to get our muscles warmed up. I wonder why everyone looks green?

Arriving at the arena where memories will be made. Pssst Mujtaba, Ata is looking at you! Let's gooooooooo!

Arriving at the arena where memories will be made. Pssst Mujtaba, Ata is looking at you! Let’s gooooooooo!

Ata takes a moment to lace up his sneakers. Umm Ata, LOOK UP! There is a mass of human bodies all coming in your direction.

Ata takes a moment to lace up his sneakers. Umm Ata, LOOK UP! There is a mass of human bodies all coming in your direction.

Mujtaba, Raad, and Muhammad lead an offensive attack. Nurideen flies down the field to thwart their plan.

Mujtaba, Raad, and Muhammad lead an offensive attack. Nurideen flies down the field to thwart their plan.

Incoming! Raad prepares for a header while Hamza and Ata search around for the location of the  hidden soccer ball.

Incoming! Raad prepares for a header while Hamza and Ata search around for the location of the hidden soccer ball.

Log jam in the corner. Mujtaba cuts off Ahmed's shot angle. Abdelrahman provides a safe place for Ahmed to pass the ball.

Log jam in the corner. Mujtaba cuts off Ahmed’s shot angle. Abdelrahman provides a safe place for Ahmed to pass the ball.

Nabeel says, "Look there is a handball, get your mitts off the ball!" To which Mustafa responds, "I know dude. I was just walking the soccer ball back to the scene of the crime."

Nabeel says, “Look there is a handball, get your mitts off the ball!” To which Mustafa responds, “I know dude. I was just walking the soccer ball back to the scene of the crime.”

Abdelrahman and Nurideen about to collide. Mujtaba calls a timeout to remind us that GEICO can save you hundreds of dollars in insurance by switching to them. Wait, what?

Abdelrahman and Nurideen about to collide. Mujtaba calls a timeout to remind us that GEICO can save you hundreds of dollars in insurance by switching to them. Wait, what?

After 10 minutes of intense action, game 2 ended in a 1-1 tie. You know what happens next...

After 10 minutes of intense action, game 2 ended in a 1-1 tie. You know what happens next…

PENALTY SHOOTOUT!!! Captain Murtaza powers a shot towards the right corner of the goal. Mujtaba deftly deflects the ball away. No goal!

PENALTY SHOOTOUT!!! Captain Murtaza powers a shot towards the right corner of the goal. Mujtaba deftly deflects the ball away. No goal!

Abdelrahman aims for the left corner. Murtaza dives to his right to protect his team's goal. Abdelrahman, Raad, and Muhammad can't bear to take their eyes away from the action. Things are getting so intense, spectators are gathering behind the glass window to the gym.

Abdelrahman aims for the left corner. Murtaza dives to his right to protect his team’s goal. Abdelrahman, Raad, and Muhammad can’t bear to take their eyes away from the action. Things are getting so intense, spectators are gathering behind the glass window of the gym.

Our 60 minutes of soccer concludes with a nice dose of sportsmanship and handshakes between Mustafa, Hamza, Raad, Mohamed, and Abdelrahman. Nice work gentlemen!

Our 60 minutes of soccer concludes with a nice dose of sportsmanship and handshakes between Mustafa, Hamza, Raad, Mohamed, and Abdelrahman. Nice work gentlemen!

Box of Love for Mom – Friday, April 5, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) avid blogger visitor,

If you think back in time to the people who had the greatest impact in your life, whom would you list? An elementary school teacher who taught you the basic fundamentals of reading, writing, or arithmetic? A coach who taught you how to kick a soccer ball, shoot a basketball, throw a football, or swim? A local religious leader or speaker who provided words of inspiration and guidance in a time of need? A close friend who was there to listen when nobody else seemed too interested to listen to your problems?

How about your mother and father?

In the 17th surah (chapter) of the Qur’an, in the middle of the 23rd verse, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, teaches us a valuable lesson as stated in close translation to the meaning:

And your Lord has commanded that you do not worship (anyone or anything) except Him, and to (your) parents, (He has commanded that you show) good treatment. If one or both of them reach old age (while) with you, do not (even) say to them “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

Br. Ihsan recites Verse 23 from Surat Al-Isra (Chapter 17) as our youth listen attentively.

Br. Ihsan recites Verse 23 from Surat Al-Isra (Chapter 17) as our youth listen attentively.

Many times when the topic of the relationship between parents and children is brought up, this verse is recited; and as this verse is being recited, in the background, you’ll see some youth rolling their eyes thinking, “here we go again…” Undoubtedly the relationship between parents and their children is a complicated one involving many different factors. Though no parent is perfect, there is a degree of respect, honor, and concern which we, as children, are expected to exhibit. After all, how many diapers did our parents change for us when we were helpless babies (we did the math, it is a lot!)? How many times did our mothers sacrifice sleep and their personal well-being in order to feed us in the early hours of the morning when everyone else was asleep? How many times did our parents drop us off to school or a sports practice or team meeting when we didn’t have a set of wheels to take us to our destination? How many times were they our best friend, mentor, and confidant when we needed someone to talk to and nobody else would give us a few minutes to listen? We are reminded in the Qur’an in multiple instances the sacrifices our parents have made for us because far too often we forget about these sacrifices and focus on other factors (allowing our relationship with our parents to deteriorate).

Though we can never thank our parents enough for all that they have done for us or ask for forgiveness for the many times we may have hurt them, we can at least take a moment every now and then to make them a box of love. What is a box of love you ask? A box of love is a goody bag or box full of your parents’ favorite homemade treats (cookies, brownies, cake, candy, etc.) plus a small note to let them know you appreciate them and keep them in your du’aas (supplications/prayers). On Friday night, our young men put together such a box for their families with a little bit of assistance from our mentors. As you can see from the pictures below, making a box of love can be quite fun!

Basim, Mustafa, Ahmed, and Raad divvy up captain responsibilities and cooking tasks. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!

Basim, Mustafa, Ahmed, and Raad divvy up captain responsibilities and cooking tasks. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!

Ahmed breaks open a bag of cookie mix and dumps it into the mixing bowl with help from his pal Mohammed.

Ahmed breaks open a bag of cookie mix and dumps it into the mixing bowl with help from his pal Mohammed.

 

Mustafa cracks open an egg causing a mini-earthquake in the ISGL kitchens. Ahmed holds onto the mixing bowl for dear life...

Mustafa cracks open an egg causing a mini-earthquake in the ISGL kitchens. Ahmed holds onto the mixing bowl for dear life…

 

Shujath climbs the ladder to warm up some butter...

Shujath climbs the ladder to warm up some butter…

 

Abdelrahman pours the butter into the cookie batter...

Abdelrahman pours the butter into the cookie batter…

 

Abdelrahman stirs the ingredients together under the watchful eye of captain Mohamed...

Abdelrahman stirs the ingredients together under the watchful eye of captain Mohamed…

 

Look at our wonderful product! It is a muy magnifico!

Look at our wonderful product! It is a muy magnifico!

 

Mustafa, Raad, and Ahmed roll their dough into 1 inch balls and gently place them on the baking sheet. Wise-guy Basim provides quality assurance that the cookie dough is good to go.

Mustafa, Raad, and Ahmed roll their dough into 1 inch balls and gently place them on the baking sheet. Wise-guy Basim provides quality assurance that the cookie dough is good to go.

 

Bake cookies, bake! Anyone getting hungry yet?

Bake cookies, bake! Anyone getting hungry yet? Yes, that is a peace sign near the oven..what it is doing there, we honestly have no clue…

 

Our youth working hard to create cards and letters for their parents as their cookies bake in the ovens.

Our youth working hard to create cards and letters for their parents as their cookies bake in the ovens.

 

Shujath proudly displays his awesome work of art!

Shujath proudly displays his awesome work of art!

 

A beautiful storybook for mom and dad from the Siddiqui brothers...

A beautiful storybook for mom and dad from the Siddiqui brothers…

 

Ahmed flashes his million dollar smile ma shaa Allah as he proudly shows off his box of love for mom and dad!

Ahmed flashes his million dollar smile ma shaa Allah as he proudly shows off his box of love for mom and dad!

Homemade Mini-Generators – Friday, March 29, 2013

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

The most important team decision...deciding a captain! So who wants to be the leader of this team? Hamza? Ata? Basim? I guess we have to resort to eenie-meanie-miney-moe...

The most important team decision…deciding a captain! So who wants to be the leader of this team? Hamza? Ata? Basim? I guess we have to resort to eenie-meanie-miney-moe…

Sadly the month of March is coming to an end yet Spring has not yet arrived. As we patiently await the warm southern breeze, bright sunshine, and green grass our youth went indoors to generate a little bit of homemade sunshine. Every single day we are constantly surrounded by devices and machines – computers, TVs,  iPods, tablets, e-readers, electric shavers, blenders and other kitchen equipment, and the age-old washer and dryer. Yet how often do we stop and realize the power source that fuels all of these devices and where this power comes from? When we asked our youth what is the power source for charging their computers, phones, and other handy gadgets, many of them pointed out electricity. None of them though knew how the electricity they use everyday is created and distributed out to their homes – that source being a generator. A generator helps convert mechanical energy (typically) to electrical energy. Electrical current generated by the generator is carried through a series of wires to our homes. As we plug our electric devices into the outlets in the walls, they come into contact with these wires carrying electric current. This helps fuel up our electric devices to ensure they have enough juice to perform!

To help our youth better grasp the importance of the generator (while learning skills required to work effectively in teams), we gave them the challenge of making their very own mini-generators to light up a 2.2 amp light bulb. How did they go about constructing their generators? Check out the pictures below to find out:

Let us begin! Murtaza draws an outline of the box for his team's generator. Ahmed keeps a close eye in the distance while Raad reads the directions out loud. Nice work team!

Let us begin! Murtaza draws an outline of the box for his team’s generator. Ahmed keeps a close eye in the distance while Raad reads the directions out loud. Nice work team!

 

Basim uses the handy-dandy box cutter to cut out his generator box. Ata inspects Basim's work closely...Salah can't bear to watch so he turns his eyes away from the cutting board.

Basim uses the handy-dandy box cutter to cut out his generator box. Ata inspects Basim’s work closely…Salah can’t bear to watch so he turns his eyes away from the cutting board.

 

Hamza creeps out the cameraman as Ahmed carefully cuts out his team's generator box...

Hamza creeps out the cameraman as Ahmed carefully cuts out his team’s generator box…

Ata tapes his team's box together and voila! We have the first part of our mini-generators done!

Ata tapes his team’s box together with assistance from Nabeel and voila! We have the first part of our mini-generator done!

 

X marks the treasure! Danyal pokes a hole through his treasure (ahem generator) box with a nail. We have a box cutter, a nail, and a cardboard box all in play...this is about to get exciting!

X marks the treasure! Danyal pokes a hole through his treasure (ahem generator) box with a nail. We have a box cutter, a nail, and a cardboard box all in play…this is about to get exciting!

 

Murtaza and Raad unwind the spool of magnetic wire around their generator box. Almost finished...

Murtaza and Raad unwind the spool of magnetic wire around their generator box. Almost finished…

 

We're done! Nurideen and Mustafa are ready to test out their team's generator. Let's go guys!

We’re done! Nurideen and Mustafa are ready to test out their team’s generator. Let’s go guys!

 

We connected each end of the magnetic wire to the ends of the filament tip of a 2 amp light bulb. After using muscle power to spin the nail around and around, enough electricity was generated to light up the bulb. Yureka, we have homemade sunshine!

We connected each end of the magnetic wire to the ends of the filament tip of a 2 amp light bulb. After using muscle power to spin the nail around and around, enough electricity was generated to light up the bulb. Yureka, we have homemade sunshine!

If you would like to make your very own mini generator, click on the link below for a set of equipment and instructions. Most items needed for the generator can be found lying around your house.

Homemade Mini Generator Procedure

Hot Air Balloon Fun-Fest – Friday, March 22, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) youth, parents, and readers world-wide,

After a two week break from youth group, our young men were eagerly anticipating Friday evening’s activity. What made the anticipation even more unbearable was that this week’s activity was a surprise event. Not only did our members have to wait two weeks for their next activity but they had to spend two weeks dreaming of all of the possibilities for what this event would be! The surprise was finally unveiled at 6 PM on Friday as we told our excited youth we were going to construct our very own mini hot air balloons!

Using items one can find around the house (straws, small trash bag, candles, aluminum foil, and matches), you too can build your very own hot air balloon (please make sure you don’t actually try to ride in it though!). Hot air balloons rise as follows. Fire is used to heat air directly beneath the balloon. As the gas molecules in the air are heated, they get excited and start to move faster, bumping into each other. Air begins to expand (becoming less dense/heavy) such that the air trapped inside the balloon becomes lighter than the air outside the balloon. The balloon begins to rise and a fun ride soon follows!

If you would like to spend a couple hours building and testing your very own mini hot air balloon, click on the link below (Word document) for instructions:

Hot Air Balloon Guide

To see how the young men of the ISGL Youth Group succeeded in constructing their own hot air balloon contraptions, check out the pictures below:

Mini-men race our older youth to our construction site. Don't trip!

Mini-men race our older youth to our construction site. Don’t trip!

 

YouTube providing important advice regarding building our very own hot air balloons. Apparently a member of the Indianapolis Colts decided to join us!

YouTube providing important advice regarding building our very own hot air balloons. Apparently a member of the Indianapolis Colts decided to join us!

 

Hamza carefully reviews the directions while Murtaza gleefully stretches out his bag. Meanwhile Danyal and Mujtaba appear distracted...

Hamza carefully reviews the directions while Murtaza gleefully stretches out his bag. Meanwhile Danyal and Mujtaba appear distracted…

 

Salah lends a hand to Muhammad to glue his candles to the aluminum foil.

Salah lends a hand to Muhammad to glue his candles to the aluminum foil.

 

Basim and Abdelrahman excitedly watch to see if Basim's balloon will rise. Abdelrahman stands shocked in the background, mouth wide open.

Basim and Abdelrahman excitedly watch to see if Basim’s balloon will rise. Abdelrahman stands shocked in the background, mouth wide open.

 

Danyal is ready to launch! Someone please take the lighter from his hand (please do it quickly!).

Danyal is ready to launch! Someone please take the lighter from his hand (please do it quickly!).

 

All eyes (incuding the ones on Mujtaba's phone) await for the balloon to rise. Rise, rise, RISE!!!

All eyes (including the ones on Mujtaba’s phone) await for the balloon to rise. Rise, rise, RISE!!!

 

The night concluded with a mini-quiz and snack break after Maghrib prayer. Ata knows the answer Salah!

The night concludes with a mini-quiz and snack break after Maghrib prayer. Ata knows the answer Salah!

Make A Meal, Lend A Hand – Friday, March 8, 2013

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

Friday marked the second and final community service activity for the IYG Spring 2013 semester.  In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture estimated over 50 million people (16 million children specifically) in the United States lived in households where they were unable to receive enough food to eat each day. Though we often connect not having enough food to eat with homelessness/unemployment, the reality is far different. To secure enough food each day, many who fall in this category rely upon food pantries and soup kitchens to secure at least one meal a day. On Friday afternoon (immediately after school finished for the day!), our youth made an effort to increase their awareness about this important community issue by preparing a meal to serve members of our local community who rely upon the Lafayette Transitional Housing (LTH) daily meal service. After preparing a pasta, potato salad, and garlic bread dinner at the ISGL, our youth headed out to the LTH to serve our eager guests. Below are a few photos captured from Friday’s activity:

Br. Ihsan gets teh afternoon started with a breakdown of individual responsibilities...

Br. Ihsan gets the afternoon started with a breakdown of individual responsibilities.

A quick snack break before our young lads get to work. Mujtaba does a great job handing out water bottles...

A quick snack break before our young lads get to work. Mujtaba does a great job handing out water bottles…

Then he tuns his attention to the all important main course - PASTA!

Then he tuns his attention to the all important main course – PASTA!

Hamza and Danyal dice potatoes for our delicious potato salad.

Hamza and Danyal dice potatoes for our delicious potato salad.

At Lafayette Transitional Housing, Mujtaba serves up a healthy meal and a friendly smile to our guests.

At Lafayette Transitional Housing, Mujtaba serves up a healthy meal and a friendly smile to our guests.

Ata hard at work delivering a sweet treat...

Ata hard at work delivering a sweet treat…

Hamza is right behind Ata eager to lend a hand!

Hamza is right behind Ata eager to lend a hand!

Murtaza leads our clean-up efforts before we conclude dinner service for the evening.

Murtaza leads our clean-up efforts before we conclude dinner service for the evening.

Great work gentlemen! See y’all in two weeks in shaa Allah!

Dodgeball – Friday, March 1, 2013

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, youth, and visitors alike,

When you are greeted with this joyful expression each week, why wouldn't you be excited to come?

When you are greeted with this joyful expression each week, why wouldn’t you be excited to come?

Time appears to be flying away; it appears just a few weeks ago we were starting another semester of youth group activities. Tonight marked the halfway point of our IYG Spring 2013 Program. We began the evening with a quick review of our activities this past semester. Each attendee had a chance to let our mentors know what activity/lesson was enjoyed the most. Food appeared to be a popular choice followed closely by Ultimate Frisbee and Lava Lamps. After completing our quick review, our mentors explained the rules for the game of dodgeball. Basically, there are two teams and 10 soft dodgeballs in play. The idea is to use the dodgeballs as a way to take members from the opposing team out of play. Once an entire team has been removed from the playing field, the team that remains emerges victorious. The pictures below tell the story much better:

 

 

We're ready sir! Let the game begin!

We’re ready sir! Let the game begin!

 

Danyal attempts to hold back Mohamed as Ata charges forward with a throw...

Danyal attempts to hold back Mohamed as Ata charges forward with a throw…

 

Danyal, Ata, Abdelrahman, and Nuriddeen quickly get knocked out of the game. Check out Danyal's cool kicks!

Danyal, Ata, Abdelrahman, and Nuriddeen quickly get knocked out of the game. Check out Danyal’s cool kicks!

 

VICTOORRRRYYYY!!!


VICTOORRRRYYYY!!!

 

Mujtaba, Hamza, and Raad try to return the favor in game 2...

Mujtaba, Hamza, and Raad try to return the favor in game 2…

 

The nifty handshake indicates they succeeded!

The nifty handshake indicates they succeeded!

 

Apparently some of our youth wanted to play dodgeball without shoes...

Apparently some of our youth wanted to play dodgeball without shoes…

 

From dodgeball, our youth turned to a creative game called Kingdom. King Hamza appears to be guarding his castle quite well...

From dodgeball, our youth turned to a creative game called Kingdom. King Hamza appears to be guarding his castle quite well…

 

"Help me," says Abdelrahman. "I'm over here." King Danyal meanwhile works to rescue his comrades from King Hamza.

“Help me,” says Abdelrahman. “I’m over here.” King Danyal meanwhile works to rescue his comrades from King Hamza.

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