International Engineering Ambassadors
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Monday, 20 April 2015

Celebrating Eid at the University

By: Usman Sami Khan

As Secretary for Pakistan Society at The University of Sheffield, a lot of work is centred around catering to religious celebrations, one of which is Eid. This was our first event of the academic year 2014/2015. Eid has never been celebrated properly, especially not in the Students’ Union where every other cultural occasion has been celebrated, such as Diwali, Christmas, etc.  PakSoc’s Eid Milan was for the first time being celebrated in the Students’ Union at Uni Central in a truly new and inclusive fashion. To encourage inclusivity and diversity in the society, members of The University of Sheffield Islamic Circle, ArabSoc, Bangladesh Society, Indian Society, and Malaysian Student Association were invited, who brought their respective members to the event.  It was a sold out event as the full capacity of Uni Central was reached. 150 individuals attended the event from different cultures and races, marking PakSoc’s biggest event in years.

The night started off with a small introduction along with a slideshow presentation to convey why Eid is celebrated to non-Muslims and the Islamic background behind it. This was a very interesting and captivating talk which gave an insight into the religious background behind the celebration. After the talk was over, attendees were made aware of the other fun activities taking place at the event - a photobooth with various props was set up for attendees to take home pictures as remnants of the event, while a henna stall was set up for females to get henna applied on their hands. This gave attendees a good chance to indulge in the Pakistani culture, furthering the society’s aim of internationalization.  A Nasheed was recited by SMSA on the occasion, which enthralled the audience with its melodious harmonies, while PakSoc Sheffield and the Indian Society collaborated to sing a mashup of Pakistani, Hindi, and English songs to keep everyone in the room entertained. A three course meal was served, which included traditional Pakistani dishes such as qeema, sajji, and sweet dishes such as kheer. ArabSoc engaged the audience in their traditional dance performance, which got everyone up on their feet and whirling about. The night was concluded with a fashion show, with attendees displaying their traditional Eid outfits and romping the catwalk to win the title of the best dressed male and female of the night. A bit of initial pushing was needed for this one, but after a few people had gotten up to walk the stage, we saw quite a few attendees eager to walk the ramp!

The event turned out to be a much bigger success than we had imagined, with people from different races and cultures attending the event; whether Muslims or not. We were able to spread a positive message about Islam while setting a light mood for everyone to socialize and get to know more members of the society. This just goes to show how very welcoming the University is to students from different faiths, and helps out anyone who wishes to try to integrate students. 

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