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F&M’s MSA Hosts Eid Al-Adha Dinner

Photo by Binhui Wang

17th September 2016. F&M’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) hosted an Eid Al-Adha Dinner at the Druker Commons at Barshinger Life Sciences and Philosophy Building. Around 30 to 40 people with diverse faith backgrounds attended the dinner. Eid Al-Adha is an Islamic celebration also known as “Sacrifice Feast.” Normally, on this holy day, Muslims sacrifice an animal in commemoration for Abraham. The meat is then shared with friends and family and then a portion is donated to the less fortunate. The idea of sacrifice is common in Islam because it allows Muslims to purify themselves and to show obedience to Allah. It is also to share one’s blessings with those around and strengthen relationships with others.

At the dinner, Sarah Hafiz, the President of F&M’s MSA, briefed about MSA. Then, Ibrahim Souadda, a senior with a film studies major as well as the President of MSA at Temple University, talked about some of the background of Islamic faith. The event was then followed by a prayer service of Muslim students, which other attendants observed.

F&M’s MSA is an all-inclusive spiritual, social, and academic network that seeks to educate the student body about Islam, foster a supportive environment for Muslim students and build a strong campus community. MSA also intends to provide a safe space for all students and encourage interfaith activity. Tanzima Ummi, the treasurer at F&M’s MSA, mentioned: “With Islam being the minority religion on campus, it is important to us that our peers have access to credible information relating to Islam and people who are available to answer any questions.” She also said that MSA decided to host a campus-wide Eid-Al-Adha dinner to bring students together for a very significant holy celebration in Islam. Tanzima commented: “Some of us couldn’t go back home and spend Eid with our families, and classes were still in session. Therefore, this event seeks to provide Muslim students an opportunity to share a meal with people who share the same faith as them.”

She also explained why she has joined MSA: “Personally, I decided to join the executive board for this semester as Treasurer because it was important to me to have a leading role in creating a safe space for all students who are curious about Islam.” Arun Ramkissoon, the Public Relations Chair and a non-Muslim student of Hindu faith, joined since his freshman year. He recalled his decision: “I learned about MSA because my HA was a part of the club and I said I would go check it out. At the meeting we had riveting conversations about current events relating to Muslims.” With an exclamation, he added, “we had amazing food there too!” He further mentioned: “I especially loved the people there who were very open, smart and kind. As a non-Muslim of Hindu faith, I felt welcomed and continued the club.” As a Public Relations Chair, he aims to expand the club’s presence on campus not only to Muslim students but also to people of other faiths and backgrounds like himself. He highlights: “There is so much we can learn about each other from stepping into another person’s religions, and in my case, I have become more open-minded, aware and educated and got to know some amazing people.”

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