Celebrating the racially diverse Muslim community in Greater Lansing, the Islamic center hosted Salaam Peace Festival to bring different cultures together through exhibits and food.
“The idea is to bring community members for a day of festivity and to help educate people about the various different Muslim cultures around the world,” event spokesperson Areesha Shah told State News.
“And we welcome the Greater Lansing community to the Islamic center in an effort to spread peace by building bridges of friendship.”
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The festival wrapped up a month-long events to mark the Peace Quest of Greater Lansing.
The event featured Islam 101 class sessions, country exhibits, henna and calligraphy stations inside the center, as well as food from different restaurants representing different cultures.
These restaurants included Ozzy’s Kabob, which serves Lebanese food, Queen Market, which serves Iraqi food, and Sultan’s, which serves Mediterranean food.
“I definitely think trying different foods is nice,” animal science senior Rahma Ziad said.
“I’m very much of a foodie, so getting to sample different cultures without having to actually leave my own neighborhood is really nice.”
Learning about Islam
The event had bouncy castles and face paint for young children, in addition to performances from students of the Greater Lansing Islamic School.
Indoors, mosque members taught attendees about hijabs and how to wear them, and provided historical lessons on Islam.
Muslims from various parts of the world had informational tables about what Islam looks like in their countries.
MSU graduate Floyd Willis attended the event with Ziad, seeing it as an opportunity to learn more about different cultures in the Islamic world.
“I’m still newer to learning Islam as it’s been really interesting and fun,” Willis said.
“I’ve been learning about different Middle Eastern countries. Because generally, for the most part, I’ve only known maybe one or two. So it’s good to like learn about representation and different artifacts and customs of different countries that also share the same religion and some aspects.”