Ohio University students and Athens residents will have the opportunity to learn about sacrifice and one of the holiest Muslim celebrations.
The Muslim Students Association is hosting a celebration for Eid Al-Adha, or the “feast of the sacrifice,” Saturday at the Islamic Center of Athens to commemorate Ibrahim’s commitment to sacrifice his only son to show his devotion to God.
Mohamed Amira, the president of Muslim Students Association, said Eid Al-Adha is connected to the fifth pillar of Islam, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and represents the importance of sacrifices.
If you go:
What: Eid Al-Adha Celebration
When: 5 p.m., Saturday
Where: Islamic Center of Athens, 13 Stewart St.
What is Eid Al-Adha?
Eid Al-Adha is a festival commemorating Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his only son as an act of devotion to God. The festival marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and is one of the holiest celebrations in Islam.
“It’s a symbol for what sacrifices a human being might make to make the lives of others better and easier,” Amira, a graduate student studying teacher education, said.
During the first day of the celebration, which typically lasts between four to five days, an animal is usually sacrificed and given to the poor.
At the event, however, no animal will be sacrificed, and instead a professor will give a short presentation about the meaning of sacrifice.
Food such as lamb, chicken and Middle Eastern desserts like baklava will also be served at the event, Amira said.
Amira, who is from Egypt, said the best part about Eid Al-Adha is spending time with family and giving gifts to children.
He and the Muslim Students Association invited OU students and Athens residents to celebrate with them. Amira said that in the past, the association’s events tended to be unintentionally secluded.
“But here, I think of Athens as my family now, whether they’re my fellow Muslims or Athens residents or OU students in general,” Amira said. “I want to have a greater feeling of the larger community that we are living in.”
Waqar Sadiq, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said that in his home country of Oman, he loves getting together with his family and having dinner.
“Back home, the whole family gets together,” Sadiq said. “We have more fun. At home, it can last maybe one or two weeks.”
Joe Godinez, a senior pursuing a degree in specialized studies, said he would go to the event.
“I work with the college Christian campus ministry, and I like learning about other religions,” he said.