McSA hosts Eid Al-Fitr banquet to celebrate end of Ramadan


Jay Dugar/Daily Senior Staffer

A banquet hosted by the Muslim-cultural Students Association to celebrate Eid. Guests ate dinner catered from local business Habibi In during the event.

Kaavya Butaney and Jay Dugar

The Muslim-cultural Students Association hosted an Eid Al-Fitr banquet Sunday night to celebrate the end of Ramadan in Norris University Center’s Louis Room.

McSA organized events throughout Ramadan, which was from March 22 to April 21, including iftar banquets to celebrate breaking the fast at sunset and Kahoot night.

The Eid celebration included a Quran recitation and translation, and speeches from Associate University Chaplain Tahera Ahmad and University of Illinois Chicago chaplain Ariz Saleem.

“I’m really proud … of being a part of this community because of the students here,” Ahmad said. “It’s not just about being woke, right? It’s about consistently sustaining each other through the hard times.”

Weinberg sophomore and McSA co-President Ayman Hayat said the association’s banquet came more than a week following Eid, which took place April 21. This delayed schedule allowed students who traveled home for Eid to celebrate with the on-campus community as well.

“We all had this shared struggle, and then you come together to celebrate that,” Hayat said. “It’s just so joyous.”

Hayat said McSA wanted to give back to the community by catering from local business Habibi In, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. Members of McSA visit the restaurant so often that the workers know them, Hayat said.

In addition to celebrating Eid, Hayat said he was also looking forward to hearing NU senior speakers reflect on their time at Northwestern and in McSA.

Weinberg senior Sara Muttar, a senior speaker, said McSA was instrumental to her NU experience because members of the organization helped make her feel welcome. 

Muttar said before arriving at NU, she was unsure how she felt about her religious identity as a Muslim and was afraid McSA would not accept her. But, she said, McSA welcomes both cultural and religious Muslim people.

“Everyone can come as they are,” Muttar said. “I think it’s super beautiful, and it doesn’t matter how you are, or how you resonate with your religious identity.” 

Senior speaker and McCormick senior Fardeem Munir was excited for what he described as a “Sunday evening with the boys.” While Eid feels different on campus than at home, he said both center on community, joy and celebration.

Munir added that McSA has given him some of his closest friends on campus.

For Weinberg freshman and McSA Public Relations Director Jannah Issa, Eid is a time to be around people. She said she always goes to prayer for Eid and often spends the holiday seeing family and friends.

“It’s a time for family and dedication,” Issa said. “(It’s) a time to ground yourself and to think about how far you’ve come or where you are with the people around you.”

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Twitter: @kaavya_butaney

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