By Alyssa Kornacki
On Thursday, March 23, the ALANA Student Center, in collaboration with Latin American Students and Friends (LASAF), hosted an Iftar dinner after sundown in the Grupp Fireside Lounge (on the second floor of the Student Center).
The Iftar dinner was hosted in celebration of Ramadan, which began on March 23. Muslims who are observing Ramadan month will fast from sunrise to sundown. This can range from 11 to 16 hours, depending on where in the world they live. This means no water, as many often ask "even no water?" Individuals refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and intimate contact from dawn to sunset. They increase their focus on personal restraint, proper conduct and empathy with the less fortunate through giving to charity and engagement in local projects.
One of the undergraduate students who organized the event, Elnara Karadzhayeva, shared, “We thought it would be necessary to celebrate the diversity on our campus and host a dinner where Muslim students, especially those who are often away from home, can have a family-style dinner,” said Karadzhayeva.
This event was open to everyone on campus who wanted to learn more about Ramadan and have the opportunity to attend the dinner and try new foods as well.
There was authentic halal food as well as many traditional foods, like dates and baklava.
“This event is for all: you do not have to be Muslim and you do not have to be fasting. It is an experience that we believe everyone should endure,” said Karadzhayeva.
In addition to the Iftar dinner, the ALANA Student Center along with the Diversity Committee of the Undergraduate Student Association will be sponsoring “Ramadan Snack Packs” throughout the month.
Individuals may stop by the ALANA Student Center (located in the lower level of the Student Center, room 003) to pick one up. Canisius dining will also be preparing meals to be picked up by request. To request a meal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meals will be available for pick up from the cashier station in the dining hall between 4:30-7 p.m.