Flickering candles, balloons and silver tinsel transformed the Student Union into a festive dance floor Friday night. The event, dubbed Winter Sisters’ Gala, mirrored the glamour of a typical prom—but with a twist.
As a mix of Arabic music and pop-hits boomed from behind a closed door, members from UMKC’s Muslim Students’ Organization (MSA) monitored the incoming guest list. They let in attendees based on just one stipulation: The celebration could include only women.
Noha Betrow, a sophomore and one of the dance’s organizers, reflected on this decision as she posed in front of a glittery photo backdrop. She paired her green velvet dress with a sequin choker and heels, but one article of clothing stood out as notably absent.
“We’re hijabis, so we don’t get to party—at least, not without our scarves,” Betrow explained. “We thought a female-only event would be a good idea, so Muslim girls can take off their scarves, have fun and feel comfortable.”
Senior and MSA member Mental Abdulaziz connected with this message. The night marked an opportunity to be truly unfiltered with some of her best friends.
“When I first came to UMKC, MSA was the organization where I met most of my friends, who I’ve had for the last four years,” Abdulaziz said. “Some of the most fun times I’ve had were with MSA.”
Both Betrow and Abdulaziz emphasized that more students can share in building these memories.
“We’re not just for Muslims,” Betrow said of the group. “Everyone is open.”
To learn more about MSA and view future events, visit the club’s page on RooGroups.