This academic year brings many new ideas and prospects to the hallways of Al-Huda School, perhaps the most recent and dramatic one being our community’s very first Drama Club. There have been several other clubs over the past few years: a Basketball Club, Math Club, Cooking Club, and even a Gardening Club–but what sets this Drama Club aside from the others is a very special project its members have been working on.
Over the past couple of months, about fifty students, along with the endless support of their teachers, have been preparing a play for Dar-us-Salaam’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Fundraising Banquet on Sunday, December 1st, which will be held at the Bethesda Marriott in Rockville, Maryland.
Sister Zara Tariq, who teaches elementary school at Al-Huda, was approached by the school’s administration about putting together a play for the fundraiser. She had the option of simply overseeing the presentation, or also starting a Drama Club. After considering both ideas, Tariq leaned towards starting the Drama Club so that more students could be involved long-term.
The Drama Club has been preparing for this event by having weekly meetings after school, where they improve the script, rehearse, and plan out further details. In these meetings, the high schoolers help the middle and elementary schoolers memorize and act out their lines. As for the props and costumes, they are still in the process of ordering and preparing most of them so that everything is ready in time for December 1st. Additionally, the entire club will be leaving the school grounds on November 25th for a final large rehearsal at the Bethesda Marriott.
Al-Huda’s high school students are playing the largest role in the development of the play. Sara Hijazi, a senior at Al-Huda, drafted the entire script with the support of her peers and mentors. An avid writer, Hijazi jumped at the opportunity to compose the script immediately after hearing of the project from her teachers. The whole idea struck her as a writing project she could finish with satisfaction; it was something she wholeheartedly wanted to do.
While explaining how she feels about the upcoming presentation, she expressed anticipation coupled with nervousness–she wants everyone to love the story line as much as she does. In fact, she’s enjoying the entire project so much that she’s willing to mentor students in the Drama Club after she graduates this year.
Sister Zaynab Abdullah, longtime coordinator of the school’s English department, who also has a professional background in theater, is heavily involved in advising, editing, and proofreading Hijazi’s script for the play. Although this club brings Al-Huda’s students to uncharted waters–Abdullah is confident that this will be a beneficial change to the school’s fundraising approach.
“The play is about aligning our friendships to Islamic principles which represent the guidance that Al-Huda wants to give to their students,” said Abdullah. The play will be focused on the ups and downs of friendship and how people can cope by turning to Allah. The title of the play, “Only You,” is short but straight to the point; during our times of need, we turn to Allah before we turn to anyone else.
Abdullah continues to elaborate on the message they are hoping to convey through the play, which is being split into four acts. “We are showcasing an issue of concern to the students and an issue that dominates young people and their relationships with friends, peers, and how those relationships should be aligned with our Islamic principles,” explained Abdullah.
This leaves a few questions hanging in the air: What will happen in the plot? Will it be an emotional roller coaster? What issue will our beloved Al-Huda students confront in this story line?
As for now, we can only wonder, so be sure to show up at Dar-us-Salaam’s banquet to get all the answers! Let’s show Al-Huda’s very first Drama Club the support they need to continue putting together presentations like this in the future.
Photo courtesy of Anam Khatib