UF’s Islam On Campus is hosting Islam Appreciation Month this fall in lieu of its annual fundraiser.
The monthlong celebration is starting with Islamapalooza, formerly named Islam Fair, on the Plaza of the Americas today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and it will continue Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event will feature booths where students can get henna tattoos, play trivia about Islam and eat falafels, pita and samosas.
Nahal Khamisani, the secretary of Islam On Campus, said they decided to host the monthlong celebration this Fall after renovations to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center prevented them from having the annual Fast-A-Thon fundraiser, which normally happens in the Fall. They plan on hosting the fundraiser in the Spring, but wanted to spread out the organization’s big events, Khamisani said.
“(Islamapalooza) highlights a lot of the cultural aspects of Islam while getting the community at UF excited with incentives like free henna and food,” the 19-year-old UF psychology sophomore said.
Maria Ilyas, 20, president of Islam On Campus, said the purpose of the event is to clear misconceptions about Islam and Muslims.
“We’re trying to bring an awareness and appreciation to who Muslims are and what Islam is really about,” the UF microbiology senior said.
Daniel Khokar, 18, who identifies as Muslim, said the event means a lot to him because it gives him a sense of belonging.
“It makes me grateful that I can be a part of this event and, furthermore, grow from it,” the UF biology freshman said.
Samon Imtiaz, a 19-year-old UF biology sophomore, has a hijab put on by Mehreen Mahmood, a 21-year-old UF anthropology senior, on Turlington Plaza on February 16, 2016 as part of Islam on Campus' Islam Appreciation Month.