An international impact: Muslim Student Association to host Fast-A-Thon to raise money for Syria


Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

For over six years, war has torn apart the country of Syria, growing exceptionally worse with each passing day. Citizens of Syria are left with two options: they can either stay in Syria and live in a warzone, or they can flee to nearby countries in attempt to find shelter, safety and the necessities to live.

On Thursday, March 15, the College of DuPage (COD) Muslim Student Association (MSA) will host a “Fast-A-Thon” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Student Service Center 3245. The group will host a dinner and discussion following the day-long fast.

Tickets for the dinner event are $6 ahead of time and can be purchased by emailing [email protected] or contacting MSA Co-Presidents, Feryaal Tahir or Saleh Hujaji. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $10.

The MSA will also ask for donations, which will go to the Zakat Foundation of America. The Zakat Foundation is a Muslim humanitarian organization providing assistance to underdeveloped countries to provide continuous growth.

During the ninth month of the Muslim year, people across the world partake in month-long fasting for the celebration of Ramadan.  Followers of Islam restrain from food and from sunrise to sunset throughout the month as a medium for spiritual reflection and self-improvement.

“The concept of a Fast-A-Thon was originally created for colleges and universities across North America to raise awareness about how Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan as well as for people to realize the issue of hunger and others around the world who are less fortunate,” said Feryaal Tahir, co-president of the COD MSA.

A “Fast-A-Thon” hosts a dinner celebration in the evening as a way to raise awareness and funding for a specific issue the organization selects.

“With this event, we hope to bring awareness to the situation that is going on,” said Tahir. “Innocent people are being killed, and, frankly, the world is silent. We never hear about it on the news, and nobody here realizes how severe the situation really is.”

The conflict is seemingly at its worst in Ghouta, Syria.

“In just 18 days, 1,700 bombs have landed on Ghouta, killing about 800 people and trapping 400,000 people,” said Tahir. “Food and water are running out. The situation is dire and inhuman.”

Raising money for the Zakat Foundation of America allows the group to provide support for civilians and internally displaced people of Syria. Funds will also go toward food, water and medical care for Syrians, particularly in the Ghouta region.

Two members of the Zakat Foundation, Br. Maaz Fitter and Br. Abdelhamid, will host a discussion at the dinner to inform the audience of the Syrian conflict and the ways the Zakat Foundation is involved in providing assistance.