Students of all religious affiliations gathered together for the celebration of Eid Al-Adha in the Marvin Center Continental Ballroom on Friday night. Sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, the banquet featured food, a blessing constellation and photo booth for the many students in attendance. MSA President Farah Albani was pleased with the turnout.
“With most of our banquets, it’s just a really great opportunity to get people to come together to enjoy great food and great company, and really build a sense of community, Muslim and non-Muslim, food brings everyone out, to have that cohesiveness,” she said.
Chaplain Br. Meraj Allahrakha spoke at the event about the meaning of the tradition.
“The root word Eid comes from returning, so we stop a couple times a year to celebrate these holidays, so we can stop these ritualistic, blank movements, and actually return to our pure, natural selves, which is something bigger than us,” said the Chaplain.
For Albani, the event is a reminder of the importance of family. “This event is so great because it brings so many people together,” she said. “You have school and so many commitments, if nothing else, it just brings people together for one day. You get dressed up, and honestly, everyone just feels like family on Eid. It’s a really good sense of unity in the community.”
And it is exactly this sense of community that the Muslim Student Association seeks to foster throughout the year through their various programming. “All of our events are open to everyone, you don’t have to be Muslim to join. We really strive to create that sense of community, especially on campus here at GW. We do have a really wide range of events, from social events like banquet and board game nights, to weekly circles where our Chaplain sits down and breaks down parts of the Quran,” Albani concluded. “So if I had a message for the GW community at large, I would say, Eid Mubarak, or Happy Eid or Happy Feast, and I hope that you also return to why you’re here and think about that as something greater than yourself.”
The community welcomed many at Friday night’s event, and looks forward to welcoming many more in the events yet to come. “There’s a place for everyone that is interested, and if they would like to attend or reach out to us, they can reach us at www.facebook.com/gwmsa or join our listserve at www.gwmsa.com.”