Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Eid: A celebration of unity and breaking the fast

The warmth of the sun peeked through the clouds of a vibrant blue sky on Apr. 10. Muslim students and students from a variety of different backgrounds could be spotted all throughout the bright green gardens of Augustana, as they took pictures with their cultural clothing which gleamed brightly beneath the rays of the sun.

Students were cheerful as they eagerly awaited for the Eid celebration to arrive. Eid takes place once a year after Muslims end their month-long fasting, which lasts from sunrise to sunset. 

Aya Cherkaoui, a First-Year student who is a practicing Muslim, said that this is a very special holiday for her because back at home, she would usually have the opportunity to see all of her extended family for three days and also because she would buy and wear new clothes. 

“The food and the music made me feel like I was home,” Cherkaoui said. “I’m very appreciative of the efforts that Augustana puts towards supporting the Muslim community.”

As soon as people entered the lobby of Lindberg where the feast took place, the rich smells of the food caused stomachs to rumble and prompted guests to have table conversations about the feast. 

Sophomore Graham Hunt said that he really enjoys these kinds of opportunities because they allow him to be a part of his friends’ cultural and religious celebrations, which are important to them and also adds to his own intercultural knowledge. 

“What I enjoyed the most about Eid was probably the food,” Hunt said. “You do not get to eat a lot of Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern food at Gerber. But I think that overall my favorite thing was just being able to share a meal with my friends.”

The Moroccan Student Union and the Muslim Student Association put a lot of work into capturing the true essence of the Muslim celebration. 

Soulaima Ben Ismail, a First-Year student, said this day was very busy for her because she did not have the day off as she would have back home. However, this time she had to find a way of balancing school while also honoring her religion. 

“My favorite part was seeing that they had the authentic traditional plates with the handmade designs because they reminded me a lot of home,” Ismail said. “Also, it was really cool to see the teapot, which they had also brought from Morocco.”

This Eid at Augustana is memorable, not only because a lot of the desserts were brought from Morocco, but also because for many of the Muslim students, it was their first time celebrating Eid away from home. 

Americus Mahatshahi, a senior and one of the event planners, said that her favorite thing about being able to help with these sorts of festivals is being able to come together with the people who do celebrate them and also watching other students enjoy as they experience different cultures for the first time. 

“I hope that everybody who came enjoyed the event,” Mahatshahi said.

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