To celebrate Islam and Muslim culture, the Student Events and Activities Board will hold a Fastathon, a day-long retreat from consuming food or water, on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a feast in the Flight Deck backyard at 6:30 p.m.

SEA Board Multi-Cultural and Diversity Chair Jeevana Pakanati, sophomore biology major, said that the purpose of the event is to bring awareness and take away misconceptions about the Muslim culture.

“I had to plan all these events last year for SEA Board, being the Multi-Cultural and Diversity Chair, and I realized we never really focused on the Middle East and what Muslim culture and lifestyle really is about,” she said.

Part of Islam is celebrating Ramadan – a month referred to as the holy month. According to history.com, Ramadan focuses on fasting, introspection and prayer – fasting being a fundamental principle of the religion. During this time, there is no eating between dawn and sunset. This includes consuming food and water, chewing gum, taking medication and smoking. The two main meals for this holiday consist of suhur, which takes place before sunrise, and iftar, which takes place immediately after the sun goes down. These meals are connected with two of the five main prayers that are performed every day as part of the Islamic religion. Ramadan is said to present spiritual peace and during this time, acts of worship are expected to be stronger than on any other time of the year.

For more information on fasting and the month of Ramadan, there will be a table set up in the Don Taft University Center spine to explain what fasting is and to inform students about the culture. There will also be a photo booth with Arabic and other cultural attire students can wear and take pictures to commemorate this event.

Along with the fastand the holiday season, there will also be a food drive during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods for donation to Feeding South Florida to help families in need.

For more information, contact Pakanati at jp2277@nova.edu.

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