All over campus there are hungry students. Some may have missed breakfast, some might be low on cash, but there are select others who have opted to be hungry.
Muslims have been fasting from sunrise to sunset for more than two weeks now, which means Eid – the day of celebration that marks the end of Ramadan – is near. It also means it’s time for the Muslim Student Association’s annual Fast-A-Thon.
For the past month, MSA members have been recruiting people of all faiths to “Go Hungry For Change.”
“The reasons to fast deal with cleansing the body, acquiring sympathy for others and placing life in perspective,” Fast-A-Thon Director Sabreen Khan said.
According to Jassim Al-Deen, president of MSA, “For each person who pledges to fast for the designated day (today), money will be donated to a local food bank.”
According to Al-Deen, since the beginning of this annual event, MSA has donated all proceeds to a Tampa-based charity, which provides food and supplies to Project Downtown, a community service program that helps feed the poor.
“Last year about $2,100 was raised and donated to a local charity that provides food for the needy; this year we hope to double the proceeds,” Khan said.
The event will provide an opportunity to talk with both Muslims and non-Muslims about the tradition of fasting. MSA plans to begin the event with a Powerpoint presentation that, according to Khan, will briefly educate non-Muslims about fasting. The dinner will include inspirational speaker Ahmed Haweedy. Also on the agenda for dinner entertainment is Nabil Tehan, who will sing Islamic songs.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at Sun Dome Entry 4. Once the sun has set, dinner will be served. MSA will be providing food for all those who attend. Fasts will be broken in a traditional manner, with the serving of dates. Those who are too hungry and anxious to bother with dates will be provided with Chinese food, drinks and cake.