University celebrates Eid at award-winning mosque
Staff, students and members of the local community celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid at Swansea University's mosque this week (Tuesday, September 30).
Caption: Picture shows the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies, addressing Swansea University's Muslim community in the campus mosque.
Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "to break the fast" (and can also mean "nature", from the word "fitrah") and so symbolises the breaking of the fasting period.
The celebration included guests from across the University, including the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies, who said: "We are very proud of being one of the few UK universities with a Mosque on campus.
"I am delighted to have been invited to Swansea University's Mosque to celebrate Eid, a festive highlight in the year for many students, academics and local residents. It was a particular pleasure to meet students from around the world who, although newly arrived in Swansea, were already feeling at home here and very positive.
"I look forward to continuing to work with the Imam of the Mosque in supporting the growing provision for Islamic students here at Swansea University."
Swansea University was the 2006/07 winner of the Federation of Islamic Student Societies in the UK and Ireland (FOSIS) award for the 'UK's Best Mosque Provision'.
The University Mosque, which is managed and run by the Students' Union Islamic Student Society, is an integral part of the lives of most Muslim students on campus. Facilities at the mosque include separate prayer and washing facilities for men and women; a meeting room and dedicated Islamic library, which includes a large selection of books, tapes, videos and other Islamic literature, and a kitchen for food preparation.
The President of the Islamic Society at Swansea University, Mohammad Khaled Al-Matari, said: "I would like to thank the University for enabling the Islamic Society to host the Eid gathering for Muslim students, staff and the Muslim community of Swansea. It was an excellent occasion as it allowed people of all races united by Islam to come and celebrate the end of a month of fasting.
"I would also like to acknowledge the University's commitment to providing a mosque on campus. It is an important building as it acts not only as a place of worship but also as a community hub, providing opportunities for Muslim students to socialise.
"In particular, the mosque helps the Muslim international students to feel at home and helps them to integrate with the campus community. Another blessing of the mosque is that the imam, Shiek Mohsen, is a qualified Islamic scholar and a very important figure for the Muslim community in the University."
The University's Vice-Chancellor added: "We are particularly proud of the partnership between the University and the Mosque, which reflects the growing internationalisation of Swansea University that is attracting students and academics from around the world."