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21 August 2012

Eid celebrations come to UniSAThe University of South Australia’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding will host celebrations for Eid al Fitr on Wednesday with a strong spirit of inclusion and sharing of cultural and religious understanding.

Director of the Centre Professor Salman Sayyid says the evening celebrations will help to highlight cultural harmony and understanding.

“Eid al Fitr comes after a month of fasting, and is a time for celebrating the completion of the past and for recognising the bounty of the world around us,” Prof Sayyid says.

“We have invited a broad cross-section of the community to join in the celebration and participate in an important Islamic cultural practice. Sharing and learning about cultural practices builds intercultural understanding and can enrich our sense of who we are and who we can be. These human interactions and traditions might seem increasingly rare in our online worlds, but they have an enduring role in maintaining our civil communities.”

The celebrations will be held in the Bradley Forum at the City West campus and will be attended by people from many faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Among the guests are Lieutenant Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le, Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky from Beit Shalom Progressive Synagogue, Cathy Whewell Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, Minister for Multicultural Affairs Jennifer Rankine, Mayor of Port Adelaide and Enfield Gary Johanson and the Head of the State Director of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Louise Smith.

They will be joined by Sheikh Solaiman Nourreddine and his wife Nazira from the Al Khalil Mosque and many other representatives from Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Uniting and Lutheran churches and multicultural social service groups in the community.

“This is an important religious festival in the Muslim calendar and one we’re encouraging the community to share,” Prof Sayyid says.

“This year we are working with the Australia Day Council on the inaugural Award for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding to honour an individual or organisation, of any or no religious affiliation, to publicly acknowledge and reward good works and inspirational role models and act as a catalyst for public debate and engagement.

 “In this way, our hope is that the award will contribute to developing national social harmony and community cohesion.”

More information about the awards is available online.

Brainchild of former Prime Minister and Centre Patron Bob Hawke, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding was established to pioneer research, scholarship and community engagement that works to improve understanding and relations between those who are Muslims and those who are not.

News editors please note: There will be opportunities for interviews and photographs at the event.

 

Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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