Bushra Kanawati and Amr Moussa are high school students who are paving the way for future young leaders to combat Islamophobia with their involvement in interfaith projects and school activities.
Bushra, a Syrian American who is a Sophomore at Santiago High School in the city of Corona, plays tennis on her girls’ tennis team and is part of her school choir. She is involved with her MSA and has participated in many fundraisers and events raising awareness of the plight in Syria.
Amr, who is also a Syrian American, is a junior attending Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills is actively involved with Model United Nations, participating in conferences world-wide and is also a board member of his school orchestra. Playing the violin is his specialty.
“I always see myself as an ambassador of Islam,” says Amr. “I feel people will judge Islam based on my personal actions. That's why I strive to make the right choices and to be a good Muslim for Allah (SWT) and to promote Islam in the best way.”
Bushra also wishes for people to reach out to her if they have questions about Islam and encourages them to “go visit a local mosque.”
In addition to being engaging members of their communities, Bushra and Amr got a unique opportunity to help combat Islamophobia and promote tolerance through an interfaith project with the MiC (Music in Common) Immersion Program.
This project involved Muslim, Christian and Jewish teens in Orange County coming together to compose and record a song about peace and acceptance in light of the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment after the San Bernardino Shooting.
Through this project, the participants of different backgrounds got to know each other, ask questions, discuss fears and share laughs.
By the end of the weekend, with the coaching and support of MiC, they had written a song, recorded it at a local studio, made a video and performed for their families, friends, and even the mayor of Laguna Beach to spread the message of hope, peace and understanding!
You can watch the video here.
Orange County Register: Students of different faiths find common ground in music
Amr says: “I hope people will listen and understand the lyrics of this song. There may be a situation in which you can relate to. I love participating in this interfaith project because it helped me recognize the small details in different ethnic background that I could connect to.”
“I really have hope for a world where everyone loves and understands one another. My experiences with Islamophobia and this program made me want to really step out and spread positivity about my religion,” says Bushra. “Islam is not a burden. It is my way of life. Terrorism has no religion. I really hope people get that message through this song.”