By Laraib Asim
As the Holy month of Ramadan started to end, preparations for Eid ul Fitr, a three day
ceremony that starts at the beginning of the next Islamic month Shawwal began.
In the morning of the first day of Eid, Muslim students gathered at the HUB to perform a special Eid prayer. Dressed in their respective cultural attire and glowing with happiness, they gathered around for Eid Prayer which was lead by Sabit Muderis Abdulahi, followed by a Khutbah, a sermon which was given by Shahidul Islam. The Khutbah highlighted the purpose of fasting during Ramadan and how Muslims should continue the good habits they picked up over the course of the month and work toward strengthening their faith in God.
Students hugged each other and wished each other “Eid Mubarak” which means happy
Eid. Afterward, a culturally diverse breakfast was served, which mainly consisted of home cooked Moroccan themed sweet dishes and cookies from Pakistan, served with steaming hot Moroccan tea which was prepared enthusiastically by Sohayla Erroui.
At 6 p.m. May 2, in Warren Ballroom, an Eid event was hosted by the newly revived
Muslim Student Association in collaboration with the GEO Office, Chartwells and Club International. The event sold out within a day with over 150 seats booked by students and faculty members.
The Muslim Student Association, which organized the morning Eid prayer and the Eid
event in the ballroom, is currently under construction to begin again.
“The [Eid] event was a great way to start off [the MSA],” Saran Kaba, the president of
the unofficial club, said. “We wanted to have some exposure so that next semester we can have people come to the club meetings.”
Since the club could not undergo the formalities needed to become an independent and
active club toward the end of the spring 2022 semester, Michelle St. Onge, the assistant director of the Global Education Office reached out to Club International. Approximately two weeks before Eid, Club International allowed Ebtisam Mohammad to list their name as a sponsor when booking the Warren Ballroom.
Nilay Vaidya, the vice president of Club International talked about the collaboration with
“We were ready to plan the event completely,” Vaidya said. “But we thought that the MSA would be better since they had a [clearer] perspective because we didn’t know [the details] about the Eid celebrations, especially the social customs and what would be appropriate.”
Club International allocated a portion of their financial budget toward this event and
provided the MSA access to order Eid decorations and other items such as henna, and the MSA organized the event and made all the necessary preparations and hosted the event.
Chartwells, the food service provider of SUNY Plattsburgh, stepped in to aid with
food arrangements for the event. This was arranged through a cultural program grant that was applied for through College Auxiliary Services. With a menu and recipes provided by Muslim students, they prepared a feast of cultural dishes such as the famous biryani, kunafeh, shawarma, baklava and other items, which were enjoyed by everyone. These food items are dishes found in different countries mainly Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Egypt and Morocco.
The event’s main events included an informative session presented by board members
of the MSA that explained what Ramadan is, and its details followed by an overview of two different Islamic holidays known as Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha and what they entail. A video was played that consisted of students and the President Alexander Enyedi wishing Muslims a happy Eid. A variety of performances played out from rap music played by Medo and his band Priceless to a melodious song performed by Trudie Boulerice, an employee at Clinton Dining Hall. Mrudangi Purvesh Trivedi danced and captured the attention of the whole crowd. A henna stall was arranged where students could get customized designs on their hands and a calligraphy stall was set up in which students were provided with the Arabic or Urdu calligraphy of their name.
Dua Salem, the secretary of the MSA talked about the event.
”Being an exchange student I joined a club named MSA to get more and more opportunities to represent my culture here,” Salem said.
At first she was skeptical about the arrangements for Eid here in the USA until the
“Then I got the chance to arrange an Eid event at campus,” Saleem said. “My idea was to make a video that included different students from SUNY Plattsburgh wishing Eid Mubarak to everyone and in the end there will be a clip of the president wishing Eid to everyone. This video was an initiative to make the event diverse and inclusive.”
One of the MSA’s goal was to highlight that this event was open for celebration for all
students and an opportunity to explore a religious event that students may not have even heard of before. Overall, the event captured Eid the way it is celebrated in all Islamic cultures wherein
families and friends get together, dressed in their cultural attire with fresh henna designs usually on their hands to get together and enjoy the blessings of life.