USF’s oft-stated mission is to “educate hearts and minds to change the world.” The Muslim Student Association (MSA) joined in on that mission last Thursday when they hosted Eid Bazaar, a night of music, food and festivities. The bazaar celebrated the end of Ramadan, a holy holiday where Muslims fast for a month.The event took place in UC 4th Floor.
Beginning on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims have to fast from sunrise until sunset. MSA member and biology major Arbell Afridi said, “Ramadan is all about self-control. It’s not just about fasting, but also to practice good morals.”
Likewise, Nadeaja Shaheed, a psychology major, said, “Ramadan is an understanding process that allows me to be humble.” The end of Ramadan brings about celebration of what feels like a new life.
MSA offered activities that allowed guests to experience Islamic culture. Students learned to write their names in Arabic calligraphy and decorate their skin with henna tattoos. MSA members were dressed in traditional garments while ethnic music played in the background. The Golden Gate Bhangra also performed a dance, while attendees cheered along with the music.
Bon Appetit catered the event with Pakistani food. The night’s menu included chicken tikka kebab, kheer (rice pudding) and naan bread.
Nursing major Grace Todd said she enjoyed the mango lassi, a sweet mango drink with a yogurt base. With tables set up low for people to sit on the ground, the meal was a new kind of eating experience.
Ultimately, Ramadan is all about helping others who are less fortunate.
Junior and MSA President Sahar Bala said, “our primary focus is to raise funds for people who suffered from the flood [in Pakistan] . USF is not raising awareness on this disaster, so MSA is taking action.”
More than 20 million Pakistanis have been affected by the flood, which is more than those affected by the tsunami in the Philippines and the earthquake in Haiti combined.
Voluntary donations of $5 were kindly requested at the door. The proceeds collected will be donated to Developments in Literacy (DIL), a non-profit organization that provides education to underprivileged children in Pakistan. DIL has been running for 14 years now, providing young people with quality education.
In light of the disaster, DIL Representatives informed attendees that school has become the only normal routine kids can rely on. With schools devastated by the flood, resources are scarce.
Freshman Sarah White was “shocked that the illiteracy rate in Pakistan is 6% and what’s considered literate is being able to write your name.” With over 15,000 students, DIL reaches out to impoverished regions of Pakistan aiming to break the illiteracy rate.
The bazaar raised over $450 to send to DIL. With these funds MSA hopes to give young people in Pakistan the chance to continue their education.
The bazaar was sponsored by multiple USF departments, including the International Studies Department, the Politics Department, the Intercultural Department and the McCarthy Center.
For more information on Developments in Literacy (DIL), visit www.dil.org.
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