Brigade Legacy: the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST)


Sazida Marzia

Boy’s MIST Captains, Nasheed Adnan Islam ’20 and Sanjit Guliani ’20, practice for their singing competition.

“Brigade! Assemble!” 

The call rallies Bronx Science students, all clamoring to get in a circle and finish the chant. “Everywhere we go, people wanna know,” the students scream. The annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST) includes students from all over the country, and the New York region boasts schools all over the city, including the Bronx Science Brigade, Tech Taqwa, and Noor al Stuy. 

MIST encompasses a variety of competitions, ranging from Science Fair, Social Media, Short Film, to Graphic Design. The diverse selection of activities allows any interested student to participate. Radia Basher ’21 expresses her nervousness with being in Improv for the first time this year. “With my past competitions, I didn’t have to stand in front of a huge audience. But this year, I’m in front of all the girls! You have to be funny! If I’m not funny, thousands are going to witness that,” said Basher. However, once that bridge has been crossed, it’s easier to perform again. Adnan Islam ’20 credits his ability to sing in front of others to MIST. “Pushing me that day has allowed me to become a better singer. If you took me to the auditorium and the entire school was there, could I sing? Yes, I could,” he said. 

Every Brigade member affirms that preparing for MIST helps the teams form strong familial bonds. Sanjit Guliani ’20 says the inviting nature of the club has made him more confident. “Everyone has been welcoming. Especially since I’m not Muslim, [MSA] is more of an open organization,” he said. Team members range from ninth-graders to seniors, yet the age difference doesn’t affect their closeness. Islam remembers his experiences in his first year. The main thing that stuck out was that everyone became close, regardless of age or background or previous relationships. “The thing about MIST is that because we’re all in this team together, we start to grow an unspoken pact,” Islam said.

The teams have coaches to help with preparation. While being a Bronx Science alumnus isn’t a requirement, five of the six coaches have graduated Bronx Science within the last ten years. Even after leaving Bronx Science, the coaches come back to help their Brigade successors. The help of an experienced coach who has participated in MIST before aids the work in each composition. As captain, Nasheed Islam ’20 credits much of his team’s progress to his coach. Not only do the boys sing in acapella, but their song needs to be completely original, in tune, and complete with lyrics. “Our coach helps us tweak a lot of little things, but in the end, it all adds up and makes us sound better,” said Islam. 

MIST helps the Bronx Science Brigade become a family. The stressful but rewarding environment is what creates this bond; the competition creates a high strung environment in which students anxiously wait their turn to present the product of their hard work. Yet, when the chant starts, everyone rushes to join in. 

“We are Brigade! Mighty mighty Brigade! Go Brigade, go Brigade, go!”

“The thing about MIST is that because we’re all in this team together, we start to grow an unspoken pact,” Islam said.