Oct 242004
 
Authors: Clarke Reader

The month of Ramadan is one of the most important times of the

year for Muslims.

Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.

It is during this time that Muhammad the Prophet was visited by the

Angel Gabriel and given what would eventually become the Qur’an,

according to Muslim beliefs.

Muslims across the world celebrate Ramadan by fasting: they do

not eat, drink or have sexual relations during the day.

In honor of this holiday, the 13th Annual Ramadan Awareness

Dinner was held on Saturday night, offering participants a chance

not only to learn about Ramadan, but the Islamic faith as well.

“We make use of a certain occasion to highlight the culture,”

said Hosam-Aldeen Ahmad complex manager of the University Village.

“The main idea is cultural and global awareness.”

The event, hosted at the University Village Center, included a

video presentation, a speaker, educational readings and an Islamic

dinner homemade by people in the community.

“Any opportunity to learn about Islam should be taken,” said

Kurt Pattison, a student at Arapahoe Community College. “It’s so

foreign to me, I almost feel obligated to understand it.”

Participants came for classes, personal education and simply to

experience the Islamic culture.

“I’m here for a class, but I’ve always been interested and

willing to learn,” said Jaclyn Fensky, a freshmen interior design

major.

Volunteers for the event came from Fort Collins and around the

world.

“The program won’t happen without student and community

volunteers,” Ahmad said. “It gives people an opportunity to show

their culture.”

After a brief introduction, an Academy Award-winning documentary

called “Islam: Empire of Faith” was shown, detailing the early

history of the religion.

The film was followed by dinner and a presentation on the

meaning of Ramadan.

“Fasting during Ramadan is about learning,” said Ammar, the

event’s speaker. “Its real purpose is not to focus on bodily needs

but rather on spiritual.”

After his presentation, the audience asked questions ranging

from traditions about dress codes to terrorism.

“You want to make a political statement with terrorism; it has

nothing to do with religion,” Ammar said.

Education was the main theme of the evening.

“We’re taking the education from the class to the community,”

Ahmad said. “Here everyone is a teacher and everyone is a

student.”

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