Ramadan Celebration

Muslim students pray together in the Harper Center after breaking fast.

The Creighton community gathered to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan Thursday evening while enjoying a catered meal, music and an educational presentation to break fast.

The Iftar, an evening meal to break fast, was hosted by the Creighton Intercultural Center and Creighton Campus Ministry on March 23, signifying the first full day of Ramadan.

Creighton graduate student and 2021 Creighton College of Arts and Sciences alum Yasmine Jakmouj, 23, explained the meaning of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

“[Ramadan] is an extra time of the year where we focus on prayers and are really intentional with how we spend our time,” she said.

Jakmouj said her normal routine will alter while celebrating Ramadan. She said she will wake up around 5 a.m. to eat and drink while it is still dark out, as Ramadan involves no consumption of food or water, fasting, from sunrise to sundown for a month.

Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Jakmouj said community is important, especially during this time of intention and fasting.

“Generally, I just hope people walk away knowing one more thing than they did at the beginning [of the event],” Jakmouj said.

While at the event, both participants and those not participating in Ramadan enjoyed a catered meal after sundown from local Omaha restaurant, Cateus Pita Arabian Grill.

Although projected to have around 60 attendees according to Jakmouj, attendance was at capacity with an estimated 125 in attendance the night of the event. The space was filled with people seated at every table and little food left over.

Toward the end of the event, Assistant Imam-Administrator and Youth Director at the American Muslim Institute Abdullah Najjar said he was glad to see so many interested people.

“It’s a fantastic turnout… It means a lot to us that people are curious about our faith and are interested in getting to know us,” Najjar said.

As the assistant imam at the AMI, Najjar added that a large number of Americans have never met a Muslim or been to an Islamic event. 

As Muslims are a fourth of the world population, Najjar said, “It’s not an ethnicity, race, or nationality. It’s people from all over the world that chose this lifestyle and world view.”

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