Have you ever wondered why Muslims fast for a month at seemingly arbitrary times of the year? And what happens when they stop fasting? The Tulane Arabic Club and the Moroccan reading group are hosting an event on Friday (Sept. 10) at 6 p.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center Race Conference Room (201) to celebrate Eid al-Fitr for those who would like to learn more about this Islamic holiday.
“Actually, one of the Five Pillars of Islam is to fast during the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, known as Ramadan,” says Anna Chang, president of the Arabic Club. “Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting, and is also called the 'Festival of Breaking Fast.' While traditions in each region and culture may vary slightly, the event is full of celebration and lots of eating.”
Some typical and general practices to celebrate Eid al-Fitr include waking up early to eat a small breakfast before sunrise, showering and wearing new clothes, Chang says. People often attend a special prayer service before spending the rest of the day visiting friends and family.
Guests are invited to a traditional Moroccan Eid al-Fitr, for a taste of Moroccan soup (harira) and a Moroccan sweet (as close as possible to chebakyia), says Bouchaib Gadir, professor of practice in Arabic in the Department of French and Italian.
The tasting will be followed by a showing of the film, Le Grand Voyage, a reflection on Islam across Southern Europe and the Middle East. The film is about a French student who drives his Moroccan father to Mecca. The film will be shown with English subtitles.
“This event gives everyone an opportunity to learn more about another culture and will include an informal discussion,” Chang says. “So practice saying 'Eid mubarak!' ('Blessed festival!') and come celebrate with us!”