FEB. 1: WEB CHAT WITH AMERICAN MUSLIM HIP HOP GROUP
Date: Thursday, 1 February 2007
Time: 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT)
Founded in 2000, the American hip-hop group Native Deen has become known for its positive energy, traditional percussions, and lyrics focused on the topics of tolerance and the teachings of Islam. The group is composed of Muslim-American hip-hop artists Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad and Naeem Muhammad, who together have performed throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In the fall of 2006, Native Deen traveled to Turkey, Dubai, the Palestinian Territories and Israel on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. The group's members say although they were moved deeply by the holiness of Jerusalem when they took their music there, even that experience did not come close to the connection they felt to their faith during the Middle East tour. Join the members of Native Deen for a webchat about their recent trip, and how they use their talents to inspire others to maintain faith in Islam and to understand and respect the faiths of others.
Joshua Salaam began performing rap songs at the age of 10, and was performing at Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) youth camps by the age of 12 as a member of Muslims Steppin UP. Salaam has won several rap competitions. His other interests include coaching youth basketball and practicing martial arts.
Abdul-Malik Ahmad visited the Middle East while attending Georgetown University and became fluent in the Arabic language. His writing talent has put him in the top tier of Muslim song writers, but his passion for a better society leads him to address issues that affect non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Ahmad owns his own web development company, Kufic Graphics, and has produced numerous songs and raps for the "MYNA Raps" album series.
Naeem Muhammad has been working with Muslim youth organizations such as the Muslim Youth Council of D.C., Muslim Kids Club of Baltimore and MYNA since he was 13. Muhammad has written and performed several songs for the "MYNA Raps" album series. His other interests include assisting victims of natural disasters, and he has volunteered his time to assist people affected by Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami that ravaged Indonesia.