Houda Ourkia, an international excahnge student from Morocco, welcomed LHU faculty and staff to a typcial Moroccan dinner called Iftar.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University students and faculty experienced a typical Moroccan Ramadan dinner, called Iftar, at the International House on Thursday, September 9, 2010. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Ramadan is a month long celebration during which the Muslim community fasts, abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking between sunrise and sunset. During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the entire Quran, to give to those in need, and strengthen their ties to God through prayer.
Houda Ourkia, an international exchange student from The Institute for Leadership and Communication Studies (ILCS) in Rabat, Morocco, prepared the meal and shared information about Ramadan, ILCS, and Morocco with nearly 100 students and faculty.
The meal included vegetable soup, smoothie-like apple and banana drink, and Kich, a pizza-like dish made with onions, green pepper, ground beef, white sauce, and cheese. Other tradition Middle Eastern foods were on the menu including hummus, dates and walnuts, and hard boiled eggs, with traditional mint tea to drink.
Janet Irons, a professor of history at Lock Haven University states, “I am not Muslim, but I’ve been to these celebrations in past years and have had the opportunity to witness the call to prayer that Muslims do at sunset before breaking the fast to eat. I am moved by the commitment of this small group of University students, staff, and faculty to practicing their faith, grateful to them for opening their celebration to everyone, and glad that our community creates the cultural and social space for them to co-exist in an interfaith environment.”
Houda said, “I think everybody loved the Ramadan celebration, and they loved the food. Everybody was asking me about it. I think it was very successful and I enjoyed my time explaining to them another culture, and I felt that everybody was paying attention and was open-minded to learn about different people coming from different cultural backgrounds.”
For more information on LHU’s international programs: http://www.lhup.edu/international-studies/