Club Spotlight: A Q&A with SPFHS’ Brand New Muslim Student Association


The Muslim Student Association, a brand new club at Scotch-Plains Fanwood High School, had their first ever meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. MSA is excited to make their mark.  Here are a few words from MSA President, sophomore Saman Zeb.

What prompted you to start MSA?

For me, I wanted to have a sense of community. I wanted to have a connection with the people at my school other than basic talk. Religion is an essential part of my life and I want to be able to cherish my religion with others. As there are not many Muslims at my school, sometimes I feel disconnected from being able to talk about my religion and my way of life. In MSA, I have the chance to have deeper and more meaningful conversations about religion with the people in my club. I wanted to have that nice warm feeling you get when you have people of the same thoughts and beliefs as you. I also want to have a conversation with people of different beliefs on what their beliefs are like and some similarities. MSA would give me the opportunity to do these things while being an essential part of the process.


What are your goals for the club? 

My goals for the club are to create a better sense of community for the Muslims of SPFHS, and for them to feel more welcomed and included—like they can be proud of their identity. I also want this club to educate the non-Muslims of SPFHS and have them learn more about a religion that they may have been ignorant of in the past. The goal is to make SPFHS more inclusive and diverse in different ways of life. SPFHS should be a welcoming and accepting community for everyone no matter their lifestyle or religion. I want the members of the club to feel more connected, spiritual and fulfilled knowing that they can and will make great changes in their communities and in their futures. 


Do you have any events planned?

Some events I have planned are volunteering events in which anyone willing to help their community can serve and help the town. We will most likely be connecting to Local mosques to volunteer there and help people in need within our community. I also want to have a possible event soon where people can come and meet with members of the club and share their thoughts and ideas! 


What do you want members to gain from the club?

Many Muslims may not feel comfortable about their Muslim identity or just are disassociated with them, something that no human should have to experience. This club will reconnect Muslims with their identity and help them find their sense of community, because the traits developed in these critical teenage years of a person will carry on throughout their whole life. I also want members to gain the feelings of wholeness. Wholeness that not only have they taken the extra step of joining the club, but being engaged in it as well—feeling content with the fact that they have helped their community with their time and effort. I want members to also feel the fulfillment of learning and connecting with different faiths or rediscovering their own faith. To gain a sense of identity and belonging to a kind and spiritual community willing to accept everyone, making SPFHS’s community a greater one along the way. 


Any last words?

I want everyone to gain a sense of comfort and happiness knowing that SPFHS is a welcoming and friendly community to Muslims and that Muslims are welcoming and friendly to the community of SPFHS. Everyone of different faiths and lifestyles should be free to express their opinions and beliefs. You don’t need a shared religion to connect with people of different faiths—but you do need the understanding and willingness to explore them!