The University of California hosted on Tuesday its first-ever Ramadan iftar meal for all students to celebrate the diverse and vibrant Muslim community as well as to build fellowship with the entire campus, Berkeley News reported.
“We really wanted this to be a campus-wide event with people from all different backgrounds attending,” Imran Khan, an ASUC senator and organizer of the campus-wide meal, said.
“It was a very special time.”
The idea of holding iftar came to Khan as Ramadan overlapped with the academic year.
The event, which took place in the Foothill student housing complex’s Assembly Room, exceeded expectations as 120 people signed up within days of announcing it, while organizers had only place for 100.
“I didn’t expect for it to be so popular,” Khan said. “The room was filled with a sense of community, we were celebrating diversity, and we were all having a great time together.”
Thanks to the success of the Iftar, Khan hopes to make it an annual affair.
“In this climate, there’s a lot of rhetoric being thrown around,” he said.
“It’s very, very important to have these spaces to hold events like this. I do hope this will continue and expand.”
Muslims are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan which started on May 6.
During fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, and good deeds.
Joined iftar meals have become a basic part of the holy month, during which people come together.
On the first day of Ramadan, a group of students at Utah State University (USU) gathered at a pavilion for a unity iftar meal.
In Illinois, more than 150 Muslim and non-Muslim students gathered for iftar in Parkes Hall in Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, on the first day of Ramadan to break the fast together and share a unity message.