The University of St. Thomas is demonstrating its commitment to interfaith dialogue and the common good by holding the Eid Carnival event on June 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lower quad on the John P. Monahan Plaza. Students, staff, alumni and community members are invited to this free event.

The Eid Carnival is the first event being organized by the Center for Campus Ministry’s new Associate Chaplain, Islamic Faith, Sadaf Shier, PhD. Shier is a native of Lahore, Pakistan, and first came to the United States in 2007 on a Fulbright program. She has lived in the Twin Cities since 2009, when she began a doctoral program in second language studies in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, supported by a fellowship from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She completed her doctorate in 2016. She has played a leadership role in the Twin Cities interfaith movement.

The Eid Carnival is supported by the Diversity Activities Board, Saudi Students Club and Muslim Student Association. It caps the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and is the second Ramadan-related event supported this year by the Diversity Activities Board and the Center for Campus Ministry. The first event was an iftar dinner, an activity of the Muslim Student Association that was held in Anderson Student Center to mark the beginning of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the lunar month when Muslims from around the world celebrate the holy month with food and water fasts from predawn until sundown. They break their fasts, known as iftar, by eating dates and drinking water, the way the Prophet Muhammad used to break his fasts long ago. The end of Ramadan, and the month of fasting is Eid al-Fitr, one of the greatest holidays for Muslims. Eid celebrations revive the lessons of mercy, compassion and social justice learned during the holy month of Ramadan. In many countries in the Muslim world, Eid goes on for three days. Even though the Eid Carnival at St. Thomas will not go on that long, it should be a good opportunity for international students to celebrate this religious holiday away from their home countries. The event will feature a henna artist, a bouncy castle and fun games for children, a photo booth and a zabiha halal dinner.

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