First Joint Masjid Table Tennis Tournament, February 4, 2012


[Garden Grove, CA] – Almost one hundred So Cal community ‘ping pong players’ gathered on February 4, 2012 at ISOC from across 22 various mosques to attend the first ever tournament titled, “First Joint Masaajid Table Tennis Tournament”. This tournament was organized by the Southern California Muslim Community Organization (SCMCO) as a collaborative initiative to widen the Muslim community’s sphere and to strengthen the bonds within. SCMCO’s mission is to organize activities and mobilize the community in such a manner in order to experience cross-pollination between the various and distinct Masaajid ‘territorial’ boundaries as was stated by a few of the tournaments committee organizers, Nadia Hassan, Ayaz Kaleemullah and Samina Haq.

The tournament was held at Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove, where competitors began swinging their paddles at 10:00 AM sharp and the ping pong balls continued flying back and forth between players until 10pm that night. Event spokesman Alam Akthar opened with a heart-felt welcome to the players and explained the rules of engagement and the layout of the event.
“This tournament, clearly, was not about a Ping-Pong game or being entertained, it was about coming together as a community”, as was stated by event organizers, Mohammad Qazi from Islamic Center of Irvine and Annan Aboul-Nasr from Islamic Institute of Orange County.

Online live-streaming was available during the tournament. Lunch and dinner was served.
The tournament was the second event to be put on by SCMCO since its inception; aiming to bring the Muslim community closer together through social integration and activities. Earlier this year, SCMCO hosted an intra-Masjid Eid Festival with over 5000 visitors joining the celebration at Irvine Regional Park. It was a collaborative effort amid six local So Cal Masaajid; ICYL, ICOI, ISCN, IIOC, CIVIC and ISOC. SCMCO plans to continue to organize such an event annually with the hopes of increasing the number of local Masaajid participation in the future, said event organizers Arif Hyder and Shahid Rahmatullah.

One week preceding the tournament, several mosques hosted the Ping-Pong matches locally and sent their community’s best Ping-Pong player to compete on the day of the tournament. There was much excitement and anticipation during the semi-final competitions and leading up to final matches. The first Semi-Final match was played between Ali Basit, representing Torrance Islamic Institute, and Eyad Aljaal, representing the Islamic Institute of Orange County; with Eyad Aljaal defeating his opponent. In the second Semi-Final match, Syed Amjad Naqvi, representing Orange County Islamic Foundation, took on Salman Nasir, representing Chino Valley Islamic Center (CIVIC), who was defeated in an intense and exciting match by his opponent Syed Amjad Naqvi. The Final match was played between Eyad Aljaal (IIOC) and Syed Amjad Naqvi (OCIF), with Eyad Aljaal claiming the championship.

Chairman Islamic Society of North America, Chairman Fiqh Council of North America and Director of Religious ISOC, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi was there during Semi Finals.
Prizes were presented ISOC President, Hasan Siddiqui, and SCMCO Organization Committee members Ayaz Kallemullah and Dawar Naqvi. Umra tickets were presented to the winners of both genders. Spokesperson Alam Akthar honored the late Table Tennis Champion Sayeeda Sultana, who was a national table tennis titleholder in India and Pakistan and was the youngest contender to compete in the World Cup. SCMCO Chairperson Dawar Naqvi memorialized the late Sayeeda Sultana by presenting a Life Time Achievement Certificate to her son Ali Basit. Brother Dawar closed by thanking all the players, the organizers and the community members for all their contribution and collaboration towards making this event happen. He also thanked ALLAH (s) for making this event a success.

The evening concluded with a prayer shared by Dr. Ahmed Soboh from the Chino Valley Islamic Center as he expressed his sentiments for the tournament; “I have no words to describe my feelings. May Allah always gather us all for the benefit of this Ummah.”
Asmaa Shawky, organizing committee member, representing OCIF expressed her thoughts, “my entire family enjoyed the day. We ask Allah (s) to provide us more opportunities to bring our hearts closer towards one another in his path.”


SCMCO Congratulates Table Tennis Champions:

Men Women
1stPlace: Brother Eyad AljaalIslamic Institute of Orange County, Anaheim 1sPlace: Sister Vaidehi MajmundarIslamic Center of Irvine, Irvine
2nd Place: Brother Syed Amjad NaqviOrange County Islamic Foundation, Mission Viejo 2nd Place: Sister Nadia ShabanaOrange County Islamic Foundation, Mission Viejo
3rd Place: Brother Salman NasirChino Valley Islamic Center, Chino 3rd Place: Sister Julia AboulhosnOrange County Islamic Foundation, Mission Viejo

Name of Masaajid Participated:

Garden Grove Irvine Corona Yorba Linda Anaheim LAMirada Lomita San Gabriel Valley Torrance Chino Hills Hawthorne
Masjid Al Sharif OCIF ICC ICIE Masjid Al Ittehad Jamat-e-Masjid ul Islam UCSC Dar ul Falah MIC PL/YL Masjid of Riverside
Long Beach Mission Viejo Cypress Inland Empire San Diego Englewood Santa Clarita Tustin Norwalk Placentia Riverside

Some Photos: