Before the main event of the celebration commences, a table of refreshments of Turkish coffee and dates welcome all those who enter the social hall. Filled with persons from all walks of life, the social hall’s atmosphere turned from that of a large universal space to a Middle Eastern auzuma, which is Arabic for an “invitation to food,” similar to that of a gathering or party. And opposite to that of the weather, the celebration was a warming event that created a family-like environment.
This celebration of Eid Al-Adha was held on November 7th and hosted by the Saudi Club and ELS students with the support of the Saudi Cultural Mission in Washington D.C and DU’s Interfaith Cooperation Committee. It was held not only to mark the end of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca (the Holy Land of Islam), but also to observe the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) [SAW] to obey God’s command by the intended sacrifice of his son. Eid al-Adha means “Day of Sacrifice,” which represents Prophet Ibrahim [SAW] and God’s message of sacrifice.
Food arrived from a restaurant called, “Middle Eastern Flair” and was served by the people who brought the event to life. People were able to choose the food they wanted to try, sit down at a table where they could then intermingle and socialize in small groups that they probably wouldn’t interact with everyday, take in their surroundings, and inquire about the reason for the special occasion. Eating dishes that are not traditionally of our home cooked meals allowed for the opportunity for everyone to try different and new foods and experience another world unlike the ones we are usually exposed to.
The event was one of the Interfaith Engagement Series which permitted the Dominican University community to celebrate key holy days from various religious traditions. Through this celebration and the many others it has to offer, the community of different faiths Dominican embodies represents the commitment to respecting and cooperating with those around us of various faith traditions. Dominican exemplifies these differences through the lessons it has to teach us and mission it wills to instill in us. Because Dominican is open to everyone’s beliefs and backgrounds, it’s no wonder the University suggests and operates in a way where everyone is exposed to another’s traditions of faith in a constructive and hospitable manner.
To taste the foods of another culture is my favorite pastime and to talk with others about religion is my other favorite. To have this come together and celebrate Eid al-Adha for the first time fully, lifted my spirit to a level that increased my Iman (faith).
By Lauren Tocik, class of 2012
The Interfaith Engagement Series continues in the spring semester. Open to the public. All are welcome.
An Interfaith Break-Fast, February 29, 6-8pm in the East Dining Hall of the Priory Campus. What does fasting have to do with creating a more just and humane world? Join us as we explore this question from multiple faith perspectives. Hear from a panel, dialogue with others, and share in a simple meal of Haitian food with those who will be completing their 3 day Fast for Haiti. Free and open to the public. Donations welcome and will go to support Dominican’s on-going relief efforts in Haiti. Hosted by DU’s theology club and Interfaith Cooperation Committee. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 22
March 21, 5:30p.m. – an experience of the Jewish Seder at Dominican University hosted by Rabbi Robyn Damsky of the West Suburban Temple Har Zion and DU’s Interfaith Cooperation Committee. Location TBD. RSVP to email@example.com by March 14.
Contact Matt Palkert (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the Interfaith Engagement Series