Teens on Deen, a Sydney based program for female teenagers about finding, creating, and developing their identity was hosted by the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA) on Sunday 20 March 2022 at the Mercure Hotel in Hoxton Park. 

Project managers, Baseerah Khalil and Toreen Sulaiman created this event to help female teenagers feel comfortable with their identity and give them a chance to relate to one another.

The girls were allocated to tables that had workbooks containing the event schedule and activities. Each table had a mentor to guide the girls through the different activities.

The event started off with a welcome note by Aisha Elmir, the MC, followed by a Quran recitation by Zahra Toufaili.

The first talk was given by Ameena Hijazi, called The 3 Who’s which focused on the Islamic, ethnic and Australian identity within a Muslim’s life. She talked about how to embrace and differentiate them. In groups, the girls discussed and solved cultural, religious, and socially challenging scenarios that they might have experienced.

The girls then had a tea break with snacks offered by the hotel. They also used this time to socialise with each other and the mentors.

The second activity was about giving the girls an opportunity to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns about social, physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual issues. They were given time to discuss amongst themselves and when they finished a microphone went around the room so that they could share their thoughts.

 

After that, there was a recitation of a poem by Asmaa Elmir about the strength of women.

The second talk called the ‘Invisible Influencer’ by Mobinah Ahmad was about how to manage and balance the use of social media. She explained that social media was the invisible influencer in the girls’ lives, and instead of it controlling the girls, they could control it by turning off notifications and only opening it when they wanted to.

The girls did an activity where they wrote a problem in their life on a piece of paper and a box went around the room for them to put their folded up paper anonymously. Mobinah went through some problems explaining how they could deal with them.

Lunch was provided by the hotel followed by Dhuhr prayer.

Then there was a poetry workshop that produced creative and beautifully written poems.

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Following the recitation of some poems, the event finished with a closing note from Baseerah and Toreen, and reflections from the girls.  One of the participant said that she felt very included and many girls were thankful for the opportunity that Baseerah and Toreen had created.