The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Eid festivities at Southern Miss brings cultures together


Eid Festivities at Southern Miss Bring Cultures Together

The Muslim community at the University of Southern Mississippi recently came together to celebrate the major Islamic festival of Eid ul Fitr. The event was organized by the Pakistani Student Organization, Muslim Student Association, and International Student and Scholar Services.

Eid ul Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The evening celebration began at 6 PM with a brief introduction about the meaning and significance of Ramadan and Eid for Muslims. Halal food was served and prayers were observed by students and community members.

For Muslim students who are far from home, events like this provide a sense of community and cultural connection. Anza Ali, a graduating international student, stressed the importance of having communities like MSA and PSO on campus.

“When we have to celebrate Ramadan and Eid, these are important festivals in the Muslim community,” Ali said. “And we are far from home. So, we find a family far from home, here.”

Ali highlighted how the student groups allow Muslims to continue beloved traditions and make new friends across faiths and cultures.

“We make new connections,” Ali added. “There are elders and youngsters. So, we are able to celebrate like we used to back home. You can make food, get together, and share culture with people who don’t follow your religion or are new to your faith. That way you can spread your happiness and there are more people to celebrate with.”

The event welcomed both Muslim and non-Muslim attendees, exemplifying the group’s mission of promoting diversity on campus and in the Hattiesburg area.

“If you attend our events, you know that we have a lot of non-Muslims,” explained Shiza Shahid, President of the MSA and PSO. “Muslims, and we have a lot of Muslim and non-Muslim families coming from Hattiesburg, which is a good thing.”

Shahid believes these multicultural gatherings are valuable learning experiences for all. “These events promote diversity around the Hattiesburg area, which helps students make connections and it helps international students connect with other families. Usually events which are held by MSA call only Muslims for participation, but we open these events for both Muslims and non-Muslims, so they can come gather and eat with us in the celebration of Eid. They can know the cultural differences we have and they know why we celebrate Eid.”

The event was attended by Muslims from countries including Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh as well as non-Muslim International and American students, staff, and Hattiesburg residents. Conversations flowed across cultures over the shared Eid feast. For many guests, it was their first exposure to the Muslim celebration and traditions.

The Eid celebration represented the University’s embrace of its diverse community.

“I really like how we promote diversity by having both Muslim and non-Muslim students,” said Shahid. “They come together to celebrate the Muslim community, which is a very broad step in promoting diversity in Hattiesburg and USM.”

By fostering cross-cultural exchange and understanding, the Muslim Student Association and Pakistani Student Organization aim to build a more inclusive campus environment. Their Eid festivities welcomed all to join in the spirit of fellowship and pluralism.

Leave a Comment
Donate to SM2

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Southern Mississipi. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to SM2

Comments (0)

All Southern Miss Student Media Center Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *