Several multicultural and religious clubs on campus assembled to host an event for the Islamic holiday Eid-al-Adha.
Clubs, students and members of the community gathered to celebrate and learn with games, movies, activities and information booths at Sneaky Park on Wednesday.
Eid-al-Adha is the celebration of the Prophet Abraham’s obedience to Allah.
Allah told Abraham to sacrifice his only son and when Allah saw that Abraham would obey, he intervened and had him sacrifice a ram instead.
The event helped to reestablish the Saudi Student Association club, which is the largest cultural organization on campus.
“This event is a group effort,” said Isaac Loera, member of the Office of Multicultural Services. “It is sponsored by Interfaith Student Council, Muslim Students Association, Multicultural Club Council, and Saudi Students Association.”
At the Eid-al-Adha event, students could participate in several activities to celebrate and learn more about the holiday and Muslim culture.
Before guests entered the event, they were given nametags, written in Arabic calligraphy. They were also given a guide to Islamic prayer.
Students could make their own subha, or prayer, bead necklaces that are used for concentration during personal prayers of praise to Allah.
They could also enjoy Arabic food such as dates, nuts and basbousa, a Middle Eastern sweet cake.
At another table, students waited in a long line to get authentic henna tattoos and also learn about henna’s cultural importance and its ability to heal headaches and work as an antibacterial.
To learn more about Eid-al-Adha, guests could watch educational videos and participate in a trivia game to win prizes from the bookstore.
They also were able to try on traditional Middle abaya, which is a dress women wear when they go out of the house, a hijab a keffiyeh, which is the red and white checkered head scarf that men wear.
Several Muslim families from the community also came to the event to share their celebration with La Verne.
They all come from several different regions of the Middle East.
“Eid-al-Adha is celebrated differently across many cultures but it all has the same meaning,” said Nawal Atoura, one of the founders of the Muslim Student Association.
“It’s about honoring the prophet and being loyal to God as well as marking when you come back from the pilgrimage (to Mecca).”
While some students came to enjoy the festivities, others came for more specific purposes.
“One of the biggest things I want to do is broaden my horizons,” said Carolina Chavez, junior psychology major.
“I want to learn about other cultures besides my own. This was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself and to see other people’s experiences,” Chavez said.
The event organizers, including MSA President Rasha Dubuni, were happy to share the Eid-al-Adha holiday and Muslim culture with the La Verne campus.
“We wanted to bring Muslim students here to share with the community,” Dubuni said. “This event is about joy, education, celebration, and raising awareness.”
“We want to show a different side of Muslims that you don’t see in the media,” Dubuni said.
Katie Madden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.