After sunset, all students are invited to attend a free international feast at 6:30 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
“We want everyone to get the experience of fasting and understand what it means in the Islam tradition,” said Sumrah Iqbal, 21-year-old UF mechanical engineering senior and IOC president. “By doing something small together we can make a difference on a global scale.”
IOC holds Fast-a-Thon every Fall in the hope of bringing students together in the fight against hunger, she said.
IOC will donate the money it has raised through T-shirt sales this semester to Project Downtown and the United Nations World Food Programme, Iqbal said. Every student who pledged to fast will have money donated on their behalf to one of these organizations.
“By not eating for a day, you are feeding someone else for a day,” Iqbal said.
Iqbal said even students who opt not to fast are welcome to join the international feast.
There will be a keynote address by Ismail Ibn Ali, a former IOC president and UF alumnus who is now the current deputy executive director and an instructor of Quranic Arabic at Fawakih Institute.
“I encourage everyone to attend the event,” said IOC Fast-a-Thon chair Amana Abdulwakeel, a 21-year-old UF microbiology junior. “It makes my heart smile to be a part of something like this.”
This year, IOC amped up its advertising to promote its cause at a very real and human level, Abdulwakeel said.
Both she and Iqbal said they hope the new advertising strategy works and brings more service organizations to event this year.
“Fast-a-Thon really showcases what being a Gator is all about,” Iqbal said. “It’s about actively participating in new experiences, getting involved in your community and making an impact wherever you are.”
A version of this story ran on page 3 on 10/8/2013 under the headline "Today’s Fast-a-Thon to benefit organizations"