Muslim Student Association hosts conference to discuss ‘faith behind our actions’


Kernel Lifestyle Sig

Sydney Carter

UK’s Muslim Student Association is hosting the Midwest Conference in Lexington for the second year in a row. This year the lectures and workshops will be hosted on UK’s campus at the Gatton Student Center, with the theme being “the faith behind our actions.”

UK Muslim Student Association President, Junior Saadia Akhtar, said that that the conference is a weekend-long event, with a focus on the Islamic faith. 

“Islam encompasses your whole life… this conference is really about understanding the role that it plays in our lives,” said Akhtar.

Last year’s conference was held at the Rupp Arena Convention Center in downtown Lexington.

In the past, the conference has been “like a typical conference,” according to Akhtar, but this year, the committee has tried to highlight the social and bonding aspects. 

“It’s going to be super fun! We have students from the entire Midwest coming, there are workshops planned as well for more one-on-one experiences, so students have an opportunity to create better bonds,” Akhtar said. “It will not only be Muslim students. Anyone is welcome.”

Because it is focused around the Islamic faith, the schedule was created to function with prayer breaks throughout the day.  

Having the conference hosted on campus is meaningful to the MSA, according to Akhtar. 

“We are showcasing the Muslim community to people from all over the Midwest,” she said.

The theme, “the faith behind our actions,” was created by the conference committee. Akhtar said that this choice was made “in order to keep us grounded in our faith and remind us why we are here.” 

Recently graduated Conference Chair Kareem Hassan said the theme allows people “to understand why they do what they do and why they believe what they believe.”

Hassan said the leaders of the conference want to “encourage that everything we do has a reason, and without that there is a gap in what your purpose is.” Girls who wear a hijab is an example, he said.

“This year it is all about uncomfortable questions,” said Hassan. “The speakers are all preparing for it; this year will be the most impactful yet. There is an emphasis on the social aspect and we planned it that way, so people can be more comfortable asking questions and ultimately be beneficial for everyone.”

The conference begins on Friday, Jan. 18, and continues until Sunday, Jan. 20.  Tickets are $25 for the entire weekend. Anyone of any background or faith is welcome and encouraged to attend.