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As Ramadan Approaches, the CMA Presents a Night Devoted to Islamic Culture

columbia museum of art islamic culture

As Ramadan approaches, the Columbia Museum of Art announces the program Dinner and Dialogue: Understanding Islam at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11.The evening, an opportunity of education and exploration for those wanting context for things heard about the Muslim community or just generally curious about Islam, begins with a panel discussion featuring Dr. Akif Aydin of the Atlantic Institute, Imam Omar Shaheed from Masjid as-Salaam, and Dr. Noah Gardiner, assistant professor of religion at the University of South Carolina specializing in Islamic thought and culture.

“In celebration of our community gallery exhibition Light Beings, we wanted to highlight some aspects of not just South Asian culture, but Islamic culture as a whole,” says CMA Manager of Engagement Glenna Barlow. “The Islamic world is so rich and diverse, but unfortunately many of us have a distorted view of what it means to be Muslim. With this discussion and the family-style dinner to follow, our aim is to address some pervasive misconceptions about a beautiful religion and multifaceted culture.”
 
Once the panel discussion has finished and the sun has set, attendees have the chance to gather and talk while enjoying cuisine from around the Islamic world provided by local restaurants.
 
“During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast by abstaining from food and water consumption while the sun is out,” says Aydin. “Iftar — or fast-breaking — dinners take place each night once the sun sets. This is an important time for those who participate in Ramadan not only because of their faith, but because it is a time to share the tradition with friends from different backgrounds over delicious food and through lively conversation. It is truly a special time when people of all backgrounds come together and share in the Iftar experience, learning about different cultures and faiths in the process.”
 
Discussion is free.
Dinner is $8 in advance / $12 at the door. Seating is limited.
 
For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org.

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