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Unity in Diversity: Hornell Family Resource Center Hosts Vibrant Ramadan Celebration


View GALLERY of festivities with Dr. Amna Sultan

By: Johanna Elattar

In a vibrant display of cultural unity and community spirit, the Hornell Family Resource Center located at 25 Pearl St hosted a heartwarming celebration of Ramadan on Wednesday, March 27th. Organized by the esteemed Dr. Amna Sultan, this event not only commemorated the sacred observance of Ramadan but also served as a platform for fostering understanding and embracing diversity.

Ramadan, a significant month in the Islamic calendar, holds profound spiritual importance for Muslims worldwide. It is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and acts of charity. Yet, beyond its religious significance, Ramadan symbolizes unity, compassion, and the universal values shared by people of diverse backgrounds.

One of the most prominent aspects emphasized during the celebration was the inclusive nature of Islam. Muslims believe in all prophets, including Jesus Christ, and hold reverence for the holy scriptures of various faiths, such as the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. Islam, as reiterated by Dr. Sultan, is a religion rooted in peace and compassion, a message often overshadowed by the misrepresented actions of a misguided few.

Dr. Amna Sultan, a dedicated mother, orchestrated the festivities at the Hornell Family Resource Center. A native of California, Dr. Sultan’s journey led her to Karachi, Pakistan, where she pursued her medical education and met her husband, a skilled surgeon at St. James’ Hospital. Their adorable 16-month-old daughter, Talia, is a regular participant in the center’s children’s program, embodying the spirit of inclusivity and diversity that defines the center’s ethos.

The Hornell Family Resource Center serves as a beacon of diversity, where children from various backgrounds come together to play, learn, and celebrate their differences. The Ramadan celebration echoed this sentiment, featuring an array of activities such as decorated crescent cookies, indulging in delicious cupcakes, enjoying traditional Ramadan music, and engaging in colorful arts and crafts.

A highlight of the event was the reading of “It’s Ramadan, Curious George,” a beloved children’s book, by Sarah, who embraced Islam a few years ago. Through storytelling, children were introduced to the significance of Ramadan, learning about patience, empathy, and the importance of self-reflection.

Ramadan, as explained by Dr. Sultan, serves as a profound reminder of the blessings of life and the obligation to help those less fortunate. Acts of charity are integral to Ramadan, with Muslims required to donate generously to support the needy. This spirit of giving was palpable at the celebration, as families exchanged gifts and extended kindness to one another.

Moreover, Ramadan is a time for familial bonding and community outreach. Families gather to break their fasts, share meals, and strengthen bonds of love and solidarity. Additionally, Muslims extend their compassion to the elderly, the sick, and anyone in need of companionship, embodying the values of compassion and empathy.

Remarkably, the celebration at the Hornell Family Resource Center transcended religious boundaries, welcoming non-Muslim children and parents to partake in the festivities. For individuals like Nur, a professional horse trainer from nearby Howard, attending the event with her newborn daughter, Nadinah, was a revelatory experience. Nur marveled at the diversity of attendees and expressed her eagerness to return with her daughter, embracing the center as a place of cultural exchange and community engagement.

As the celebration drew to a close, the echoes of laughter and the warmth of camaraderie lingered in the air, a testament to the power of unity and understanding. The Hornell Family Resource Center’s Ramadan celebration exemplified the beauty of diversity and the strength found in coming together, transcending barriers of faith and culture to embrace the shared humanity that unites us all. In a world often divided by differences, events like these serve as beacons of hope, illuminating the path towards a more inclusive and compassionate society.

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