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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Muslim Students Break from Class to Celebrate Eid-al-Fitr

Muslims worldwide celebrated the end of Ramadan on Sunday November 14th. Many Muslims call the holy day, Eid-al-Fitr, a sad and happy occasion-sad because it marks the closure of Ramadan, and happy because Muslims celebrate all day long among friends and family. The Interfaith Chapel brought the end of Ramadan celebration to campus for UMass Boston’s Muslim students on Monday November 15. At 2:30 p.m., approximately 25 members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) trickled into the chapel to share in an activity they had abstained from for an entire month: eating during the daylight hours.

Students playfully commented about the unusual feeling of eating during the day, but proceeded with the joyous occasion regardless, filling their plates with food and taking a break from their busy school schedules to sit and chat on the chapel pews catching up with one another. Reverend Adrienne Berry-Burton and Sister Dorothy Castles, of the Interfaith Chapel, organized the lunch. “The Interfaith Chapel started working with the MSA in 2000 to do a community event during Ramadan,” stated Berry-Burton. “The celebration of Eid is a great opportunity to share in the joy of the season of prayer and learn about a holiday that isn’t my own but has some familiar biblical and religious roots. It’s an opportunity to get to know more UMB students and to reconnect with students I have known for a few years.” Berry-Burton and Castles ordered a pasta lunch from an Italian restaurant in Medford. Pasta Pisa caters to Muslim clients making their meat dishes, like Chicken Alfredo, halal (similar to Kosher) upon order.

Castles enthusiastically commented that the “Eid celebration was great, especially the manner in which the students participated. They weren’t too busy to come. They are a joyful, friendly, and faithful people. A lightheartedness filled the air as occasioned by their spirits.”

“The event was nice because it was based on socializing,” said Suhair Saeed, a member of the MSA. “Sister Dorothy and Reverend Adrienne took the opportunity to ask us questions about ourselves which was a good chance for them to get to know us better.”

“It was nice for them to acknowledge our holiday,” stated Subhan Haq, another member of the MSA, and Pakistani Student Association (PSA) President. “We were asked by Reverend Adrienne and Sister Dorothy about what Ramadan means to us which gave us the opportunity to exchange information about ourselves and share our feelings about the special month.”

Members of the MSA appeared to feel positively about the event. “I think it was successful,” said Saeed. Later, Haq pleasantly announced, “I would like to say thanks to the Interfaith Chapel and the MSA and everyone who came to make this gathering special for us.”

Berry-Burton valued the experience as well. “If we are to become one community, it is important to slow down, sit down and have lots of face to face conversations,” she stated.

Castles also revealed that she had benefited from the opportunity: “they speak of their fasting and prayer as something they look forward to, not as something from which they shrink. I felt privileged to be among them.”

“I’d like to invite them to come again to the Interfaith Chapel,” concluded Castles. “We all have the potential to learn so much when we share our faiths, and we’ll all be positively enriched by the fullness of that sharing.”