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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fast-a-thon ‘amazing’

    Mechanical engineering junior Kamal Alhamidi and mechanical engineering sophomore Saber Al-alshaikh partake in the festivities that ended the Muslim fast. Hundreds of people showed up for the breaking of the fast last night at the Highland Commons.
    Mechanical engineering junior Kamal Alhamidi and mechanical engineering sophomore Saber Al-alshaikh partake in the festivities that ended the Muslim fast. Hundreds of people showed up for the breaking of the fast last night at the Highland Commons.

    The UA Muslim Students Association pulled in $1,500 for the Tucson Community Food Bank last night at the club’s fifth annual Fast-a-thon.

    As in previous years, the event encouraged non-Muslim students to abstain from food, drink, tobacco and sex between sunrise and sunset – as Muslims do during the holy month of Ramadan – to promote understanding of the Islamic faith in the greater community.

    This year’s Fast-a-thon, however, focused more on raising awareness about world hunger and soliciting donations for the food bank, said Ehab Tamimi, a chemical engineering junior and president of MSA.

    “”Now it’s become more of an emphasis on the fundraising aspect, more of an emphasis on being aware of the local community, of the situation of the local hungry in the local community,”” Tamimi said.

    More than 200 students participated in a feast at Highland Commons after sundown, where Muslim and non-Muslim students broke their fast and enjoyed traditional recipes from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt “”and Subway,”” said Sarah Dehaybi, a physiology and Near Eastern studies senior and MSA outreach coordinator.

    “”Not only do we learn about Islam, we also learn about the poor in our own city,”” Dehaybi said. “”More than anything, I think it’s about awareness – people coming together for a good cause.””

    Food bank representatives were at the event with petitions and donation boxes.

    The goal of the CFB is to build community food security, said Kitty Ufford-Chase, CFB faith community coordinator.

    “”Community food security means everybody knowing where their next meal’s coming from,”” Ufford-Chase said.

    Every dollar donated to the food bank buys $10 worth of food, because the food bank is able to buy in bulk, she said.

    Scott Lucas, a UA Near Eastern studies professor, said fasting is a way of acknowledging one’s creator, and is a form of charity, according to the teachings of the Koran.

    History freshman Elizabeth Dake said she heard about the Fast-a-thon through one of her classes.

    “”It was all right. I had classes most of the day so I didn’t notice ’til like half an hour ago,”” Dake said. “”I was really thirsty, but not hungry so much.””

    Political science sophomore Natasha Campos said, “”It’s hard because you watch everybody else eat and you can’t eat.””

    Tamimi said the event was a success.

    “”The outcome was amazing,”” he said. “”People in general are good. That’s my belief and today was a demonstration of that.””

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