Serving The Needy And Underprivileged For Aidilfitri 2022 | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Serving The Needy And Underprivileged For Aidilfitri 2022

Visitors and students exchange and share culture at APU Syawal Festival 2022 while enjoying delicious 'Ketupat-Rendang' dishes and other activities.

From left (standing): Sabri Hilal, Ahmad Nadzri Roes, and Aida Zamnah Zainal Abidin distribute Raya goodies to those in need.

Despite their busy schedule, over 100 students across different study programmes and from various countries attended the Syawal Festival 2022 held at Atrium, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) campus.

The event was organised by APU Malay Cultural Society (AMCS) in collaboration with two external societies: Majlis Belia Kawasan Wangsa Maju (MBKWM) and Cloudworks Record Malaysia.

Members of the club and society invited 25 underprivileged children and adults from Dar Asnaf Alfateeh Orphanage and Welfare Home Ulu Yam, Selangor, 30 orphans and single mothers from Saad Abi Waqas Mosque, 5 members of the Mosque Committee; 15 elderly, single mothers, and staff from Mahmudah Malaysia Care Center, and five members of the Mosque Committee to celebrate Aidilfitri with APU community.

Among the activities held in this festival are ketupat palas making, prayer recited by Ustaz Fadzil Che Lah, Raya Food Feast, special performances from Cloudworks Record's artists: Farid Rashid & Ikmal Ismail, APU Dance Club and kids from Dar Asnaf Alfateeh; photo booth and lucky draw.

International students from APU are also talented in weaving Ketupat.

Beside Raya Food Feast, lucky draw is also one of the activities that every participant looks forward to.

While speaking at the event, AMCS Vice President and Syawal Festival Project Manager Sabri Hilal emphasised the importance of Aidilfitri celebrations beyond the ability to meet and get to know one another.

“Syawal Festival provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and share culture, particularly with international students, while also celebrating with those who did not return home for Eid Aidilfitri.”

Celebrate Eid as 'family' in a simple yet lively way

Part of the crowd queueing up for the Syawal Festival’ open house in APU campus.

Tehreem Anjum Khan, an Accounting and Finance student from Pakistan, did not return home for Syawal and instead celebrated Eid on the university campus for two years in order to gain festive experience abroad.

“When you are away from home for an extended period of time, your perspective on the world changes dramatically. You will certainly feel lonely, but there is always someone to celebrate Eid with as 'family' in a simple yet lively way,” she said.

Miriam Alexandra Geukes, a software engineering transfer student from XU Exponential University of Applied Sciences (Potsdam, Germany) felt fortunate to be able to experience Syawal in Malaysia with her friend, Muhammad Izzat Mazlan, APU Cyber Security student.

“In Kajang, Selangor; I experience the uniqueness of Aidilfitri with Izzat's family. His mother allowed me to try on traditional clothes and I learned about Malay culture such as ‘salam’ (shake hand), enjoying Kuih Semperit, Lontong, and spicy food even though they said it was not spicy, and I also got ‘duit raya’,” Miriam explained.

Sisters Mona Eisa Abdelrahman, Master of Data Science and Business Analytics student and Boshra Eisa Abdelrahman, Artificial Intelligence student from Sudan, agreed that celebrating Aidilfitri without family is different.

“All we can do is video call our family. Regardless of where we go, we take comfort in knowing that a part of our family's spirit will always be inside us. Even if we live far away from our family, such comforts can help us truly understand them especially when we celebrate with friends who do not return home, it also feels like 'family' here,” Mona and Boshra said.

Syeda Maheen Ali Bukhari, a Marketing Management student from Pakistan, expressed her excitement about attending the Syawal Festival with her classmate.

“Some of us cry when we see our friends return to their hometowns, but I am not sad because we are not alone here.”

Meanwhile, Marzieh Khalili Chachaki, an Iranian Artificial Intelligence student, stated that she does not feel lonely despite not returning to her hometown this year.

“APU has always plans interesting programmes for their students, including preparing tasty food for us to enjoy while learning and gaining festive experience on campus,” she concluded.

International students thanked all the committee members for their great hospitality during the festival.

Also present were Chief Operating Officer Gurpardeep Singh, Senior Director Student Services Muhammad Anis Ur Rehman, Head of School of Foundation (SoF) Dr Sarvinder Kaur, Senior Lecturers AMCS Advisor Ms Aida Zamnah Zainal Abidin, Mr Ahmad Nadzri Roes, Ts. Dr. Vinothini Kasinathan, and also Mr Muhammad Fadhirul Anuar Mohd Azami.