aalia rahmanYusra Ali, a student at St. Louis Community College, was a shy child, and took to drawing and painting at an early age as a way to express herself.

As a young adult, and practicing Muslim, she hopes to harness that communicative power of art to help people better understand the nuanced identities of Muslims.

Concerned that people in the larger community tend to lump all Muslims together, Ali organized an exhibit she hopes will help others see people who are Muslim as individuals. Creativity and Identity: A Muslim American Art Exhibition takes place tonight at Third Degree Glassworks.   

“I wanted to show this STL community that there are Muslims here who are more than just the ritualistic practices that is usually taught in schools. That Muslims pray five times a day and do the Haj pilgrimage. No,” Ali said. “We have our own lives and our own identifies and unique things that make us different from each other.”

Read Full Article: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/cair-missouri-organizes-first-muslim-american-art-exhibit#stream/0

yusra ali in search of blissYusra Ali decided to organize an art exhibition after making the rounds at local galleries. Her ceramics teacher at St. Louis Community College-Meramec required students to regularly attend other artists' exhibitions, which the aspiring art therapist found inspiring — in more ways than one.

The 22-year-old St. Louis native noticed the paucity of Muslim artists who were actively showing their work. It surprised her. It also got her thinking about the possibility of creating a group show to fill that gap. "I thought, other minorities have art shows, why don't we? We have our own ambitions, our own inspirations."

Read Full Article: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/artsblog/2017/04/06/opening-this-weekend-st-louis-first-ever-muslim-art-show

They called the event "Make America Whole Again," and specifically invited Trump supporters and Republican voters. Visitors from many backgrounds and political leanings came to the Dar-Al-Jalal Islamic Center off Dunn Road in Hazelwood late Sunday afternoon.

“America has become very divisive over the last year,” said Faizan Syed, the Executive Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Missouri.

“We believe it’s time to make America whole again, and bring people of different backgrounds together so we can all live together as one group of people in one country.”

Dozens of people came to the open-house. CAIR-Missouri offered tours of the building, explanations about Muslim teachings, and a chance to meet several members of the Islamic faith. Visitors learned how to wrap a scarf in a hijab, some got a henna tattoo, and others sampled international food.

Read Full Article: http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/islamic-leaders-host-open-house-at-mosque/425881512

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