Last Friday, Sept. 12, the Intercultural Affairs Center was overflowing with members of the HWS community who came together to celebrate an important Ramadan ritual. More than 100 faculty, staff and students gathered for Iftar, the evening meal that breaks a day-long fast.
The event began with words and songs performed by Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Etin Anwar, who explained the importance of Iftar during Ramadan. In specific, Anwar noted how the times to eat, before sunrise and after sunset, or maghrib, are calculated during these days of fasting.
As the filled center fell into respectful silence afterward, Hobart first-year Syed Zaidi of Bayside, N.Y., rendered adhan, what he described as “the call to prayer which precedes prayer time and then the breaking of the fast. Essentially in adhan, you are thanking God for the food you are about to consume.”
Thankful, attendees enjoyed a wide variety of foods, from traditional dates to a wide variety of dishes, including sushi, freshly made Bangali samosas, curry chicken, a Jordanese tabouli salad along and rabandas, a traditional Portuguese dessert, rabanadas.
“I thought people wouldn’t understand Ramadan but they do,” said Zaidi. “There is this big event with so many, supportive people attending. A big plus for the Colleges,” says Zaidi.
Echoing Zaidi’s sentiment, ISA board members Yeasmine Khalique ‘10 and Prabighya Basnet ’09 along with Intercultural Affairs Director Alejandra Molina agreed in saying that, “Iftar was a huge success.”
The event was organized by Anwar, the Intercultural Affairs Center, the International Student Association and the Asian Student Union.