Friday, March 03, 2006

Speak Up... Write

A few days ago, I received an email from Roheet Shah of the American Islamic Congress, letting me know about a unique and fascinating project called HAMSA (Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance).

I write to inform you about a new essay contest launched by the American Islamic Congress on civil rights in the Middle East. Anyone under the age of 26 can enter, and finalists can win up to $2,000 in cash prizes.

The "Dream Deferred Essay Contest" (see*/) challenges young Americans and young Middle Easterners to express constructive ideas for individual rights in the world's least-free region.Judges for the essay contest include Gloria Steinem (founder of Ms. Magazine), the Cato Institute's Tom Palmer, Azar Nafisi (author of Reading Lolita in Tehran), as well as noted Middle Eastern bloggers Ammar Abdulhamid of Syria and Mahmoud Al-Yousif from Bahrain.

We are hoping to awaken young Americans to the reform efforts of indigenous Middle Eastern progressives and to engage them in this discussion. Several hundred Americans have already submitted essays, but we would like to reach out to students on campus so you can enter before our deadline, on March 31st, 2006.We hope you consider submitting an essay, and please feel free contact me at with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,--Roheet Shah

I think this is a unique opportunity for youths out there to make their voices be heard, to speak their minds and share their opinions with the rest of the world, on a very very important topic. It’s also a great way of showcasing your writing abilities. This is, after all, in essence, a writing contest. So get them keyboards clickin’!

Also, take a moment to visit the website and learn more about the project, the essay contest and the organization’s various activities.

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