Raa’id Khan reaches out to youth with inspiring poetry

Guyanese-American poet, Raa’id Khan, 27, found new fame in Guyana when he captivated his audience with his powerful words at the three-day National Islamic Convention hosted by the Guyana Islamic Trust at the International Conference Centre at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

He has also performed at various public places and Inter-faith events as well as festivals organised by the mayor of Florida.

Raa’id, of South Florida discovered his natural talent at age 15 and is using it to spread positive messages especially to young people.

It all started when he attended a two-week camp and “saw two brothers doing rap and it intrigued me enough to pick it up and start writing. I just ended up calling my work poetry.”

Since then, there has been no turning back and he has published a book, Inside My Mind featuring a collection of over 100 poems. His writings highlight issues facing youth and provide inspiring solutions.
He has since written hundreds more.

Among his other work is a three-part poem called “Epic Story”, based on the life of a dedicated Muslim brother (now deceased), that he plans to put together in a single book.

Raa’id said his writing began as a personal journal and at first he had no intentions of sharing it with anyone. But as it “started to evolve” he picked up the pen-name, ‘Silent K,’ which aptly describes his “quiet and shy” personality.

He began to share his poems with family members and recognizing his gift, they encouraged him to go public.

Five years later, Raa’id, still using the same name ‘Silent K’ commands attention on stage when he releases the power of his “spoken word”, proving to be anything but silent.

Growing up as an “introverted person,” Raa’id’s skills have “forced me to kind of step outside of my shell, outside of my box… That is when you learn how to do public speaking and communicate and interact with people on social settings.”

His studies had nothing to do with poetry. In fact, he has earned a degree in Small Business Management/ Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Florida Atlantic University.

Raa’id who is employed as an office manager, information technology coordinator and computer teacher, was just 11 months old when he moved to the US.

He is a member and former president of the Florida Association of Young Muslims and enjoys working with youth.

His writings range from personal to “specific occasions where I highlight different things like injustices, wars or current events that have been happening or I would write specific pieces for the stage.”

He stressed too that “if I want to share a message or to get this concept across then I would sit and do different researches and put them into an artistic form.”

Thankfully, Raa’id does not keep his talents to himself and would be invited to share them with youth groups and high school students.

He would also conduct workshop sessions “with the youth to motivate and encourage them to take up writing or any kind of artistic expression like painting, drawing, poetry, essays or creative writing… so they can have a well-balanced education.

“I always encourage them to find that talent, that gift that God has blessed them with, maybe it is being a great debater, public speaker or journalist and they need to bring it to light… They have to try to figure out what is it that they have, what is special about them and how they can use that to contribute.”

The youth would also be given the opportunity to perform at poetry events at cafes and even be inspired to do their own writings.

Meanwhile, he is happy that when he shares his poetry “from different angles” and at certain venues he would get comments from the majority of the people in the audience like, ‘there are good Muslims’ or ‘Islam isn’t bad’.”

According to him, “Their perception of Islam changes when they see me and interact with me at these forums…”

While his work is “geared mostly to the youth” he is surprised that many adults are also interested in the “poetry and the spoken word….”

Latest in The Scene

20160625Royden Sealey2

Royden Sealey expresses himself through his art

Royden Sealey has always had a passion for art and as a child had expressed this in ways which landed him in hot water.

Lystra Adams and friends at the Royal Ascot

The value of craftsmanship

Those who know me well are aware of my deep appreciation for millinery and the craftsmanship that surrounds it. I think this interest stems from being completely fascinated by the women I admire and find interesting.

20160625Fit

Fit closes Spectrum 12

Painting the Spectrum 12, SASOD’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film festival comes to a close next week with Spectrum Night, screening of Fit and the customary painting the spectrum.

20160625Rukatuks

Rukatuks for Rodney at NCC tonight

Rukatuks, billed as a benefit show for actor, poet, comedian and folklorist, Henry Rodney, will blasty off this evening from 8 at the National Cultural Centre.

T’shanna Cort

T’shanna Cort has hope in her music

“I Have Hope” is the name of the song with which T’shanna Cort won this year’s Junior Calypso Competition and today, nearly six months later, fans from all across Guyana greet her with those words and praise her performance.

Fashion forecasters (that’s a career too) predicted that 2016’s fashion trends will involve pantone colours, androgyny, romanticism, 70's fashionborn x chictopia

Looking at the bigger picture

Following up on last’s week column, fashion careers, this week I wanted to share with you my general response to the commonly asked question, can the Caribbean actually have a thriving fashion industry?

20160618Antiman

Caribbean short films, Canadian documentary for Spectrum next week

Painting the Spectrum 12, SASOD’s annual film festival continues next Tuesday, June 21, at the Dutch Bottle Café, located at 10 North Road, Bourda in Georgetown, with two short films, Transgender: Back to Jamaica and Antiman.

Scene from Me Before You

The romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for: Me Before You

If you have already grown tired of 2016’s endless parade of comic book adaptations and superheroes, Me Before You is the romantic comedy that promises a breath of fresh air.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: