Christina Collins Burton
The room smelled of bittersweet Arabic coffee as guests began to arrive for the Eid Al-Fitr celebration hosted by the Muslim Student Association and the Saudi Student Association on Sept. 22.
The celebration marked the end of Ramadan that required one month of fasting while the sun was still up.
“We were hoping to have a lot of fun and to share our celebration with our friends and family,” said Rasha Dybuni, vice president of the MSA.
“The event was a success, I’m happy with the turn out,” Dybuni said, “The amount of people we planned for was 80 to 100 guests and I think we had just under that.”
As the students and families took their seats in Ballroom A of the Campus Center music played in both Arabic and English.
Families and students gathered to learn about the meaning of Eid through a slideshow and participate in the celebratory activities organized by the MSA and the SSA.
Andrea Sotosainz, sophomore anthropology major, won a prayer rug in the Find-a-person bingo, which was the first activity that guests participated in.
The activity required everyone to get up and find people that fit the criteria of something written on a bingo card.
“It wasn’t awkward,” Sotosainz, said. “I just introduced myself and asked questions about their life before asking them the questions on the card.”
Sotosainz was excited for the event because it allowed her to be submerged in a culture that she had always been fascinated by.
The second activity was a Jeopardy game set so participants could select a difficulty in different categories and answer to select a prize.
As the game progressed, the room filled with laughter and chatter as the tension that was once present melted away into enjoyment.
“I like to support my friends,” said Teresa Beardsley, sophomore theater major. Beardsley was one of the selected that answered a question correctly and was able to choose a prize.
“I thought it was fun, and I’m glad that so many people showed up,” Beardsley said.
After the activities were done, the MSA and the SSA opened up a buffet of food made especially for the celebration.
Each dish surpassed the next as guests were invited to feast on carefully prepared dishes of meat, veggies and sweets.
“I was very confident for the event,” said President of the SSA Sami Aldejwi, “I’m very glad that the community joined us for the celebration.”
The event served as the perfect introduction to the traditions of another culture by submerging the students in the laughter and joy of celebration.
Christina Collins Burton can be reached at email@example.com.