Lens: Eid al-Adha celebration highlights Islamic diversity

All photos by Thinh Tran, edited by Dorothy Lam. NYU Abu Dhabi celebrated Eid al-Adha in the Downtown Campus garden on Friday, Oct. 25. The event, ...

Oct 26, 2013

NYU Abu Dhabi celebrated Eid al-Adha in the Downtown Campus garden on Friday, Oct. 25. The event, which brought Eid history and celebrations to students through poetry, music, food and fashion, was a collaboration between a number of different Student Interest Groups. It was organized by the Association for South Asian Cultural Understanding, or TASHAN, the Islamic Student Union, the Arabic culture SIG Majlis and Africa Global. Follow the photo essay below for a glimpse of the night's celebration.
String lights, colorful carpets and cushions as well as other decorations liven up the DTC garden, setting the festive mood for the Eid celebration.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 03
Freshman Nafisatou Mounkaila kicked off the event by explaining the origin of Eid al-Adha as well as its significance to Muslims around the world. Eid commemorates Abraham, who was ordered in his dream by Allah to kill his son in the will of God. A pious man, Abraham followed God’s order and prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Allah understood Abraham’s piety and thus replaced Ishmael with a lamb instead.
“[Eid al-Adha] is a time for our blood and [beliefs and] family to come together, and be thankful for yet another day to make things better for ourselves, another day to praise our creator,” Mounkaila said.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 05
Students enjoy henna and Arabic calligraphy.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 06
The kitchen staff at DTC helped serve traditional Arabic food, including falafel, lamb curry and rice, in buffet style for dinner. Various sweet delicacies were also offered for desserts.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 07
Muslim students offer their Eid prayer as part of the celebration.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 08
Playtime, a drama SIG, brings laughter to the crowd with a short skit explaining the Eid celebration.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 012
Students reenacted the Eid tradition udhiya, the sacrifice of an animal, by bringing down a candy-filled piñata of a goat.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 010
Students from around the world, including the UAE, Jordan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan and India, among others, show off their traditional costumes for Eid in the fashion show.
Eid Celebration at NYUAD - 013
“Back in Pakistan, we just perform the traditions — we wear new clothes, put on henna, greet people, eat meals together, but we never talk about why we celebrate Eid,” said freshman Zahra Urooj. “So this event really refreshed my memory about the importance of Eid and where it came from. It was fun to see people from different cultures, especially cultures that don’t celebrate Eid, dress up in our traditional clothes and celebrate with us.”
Thinh Tran is a staff writer. Email her at 
gazelle logo