The event encourages attendees to fast for the day to raise awareness and funds to fight domestic violence. Speakers at this year’s event include Yolanda B. Jimenez, commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and Ravi Karkara of UNICEF’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative.
The Islamic Center at NYU (ICNYU) will host its annual Fast-A-Thon on Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m. to midnight, at NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life, Eisner and Lubin Auditorium (60 Washington Square South, 4th Fl., at LaGuardia Place). The event encourages attendees to fast for the day to raise awareness and funds to fight domestic violence. Speakers at this year’s event include Yolanda B. Jimenez, commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, and Ravi Karkara of UNICEF’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative.
Proceeds from the evening of reflection and social awareness will benefit Turning Point, a New York non-profit that offers crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and education to women and children in its community.
“I commend the Islamic Center at NYU for dedicating this year’s Fast-A-Thon to raising awareness about domestic violence,” said Jimenez. “Opening the dialog in our communities about the issue of domestic violence is fundamental to fostering a sense of awareness and bringing hope to victims by encouraging them to take advantage of the many services available to them in our City.”
“I especially want to thank the Islamic Center and the entire NYU community for supporting Turning Point, a community-based organization addressing the needs of Muslim women and children who are victims of abuse, and a great partner in our battle to end the cycle of violence and help victims move forward,” she added.
“Fast-A-Thon provides a wonderful opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims to come together and share the blessings of this beautiful month,” said Robina Niaz, founder and executive director of Turning Point. “It reminds us to connect with the most vulnerable in our community - women, children, and families whose lives have been torn apart by domestic violence. Through fasting we understand the plight of those less fortunate, open our hearts, and give generously.”
As part of this effort, Fast-A-Thon has invited the NYU community to join Muslims for one Ramadan fast-abstaining from food and drink during the sunlight hours. To raise money for Turning Point, sponsors donate $1 or some increment for every person who fasts for the cause. Organizers hope to raise $15,000.
“Fast-A-thon is an opportunity for our university to experience the best of our Islamic faith through one event,” said Arshiya Kherani, ICNYU Fast-A-Thon co-chair. “By fasting with us for one day, our friends are better able to connect with Muslim students around campus, while simultaneously supporting and raising awareness for a social cause. The harmony that is created between understanding and being sympathetic to the environment that you are in, and giving back to local communities, are characteristics that embody Islam in its truest form.”
The ICNYU provides Muslims at NYU and the surrounding community a mosque, community center, and resource through Ramadan and the rest of the year.
About the Islamic Center at NYU:
Inspired by the idea that America’s Muslim community will best develop in a supportive environment, The Islamic Center at NYU is dedicated to fostering a sense of awareness, activism, and scholarship amongst the Muslim community both on and off campus. Today’s Islamic Center caters to a wide and growing audience, reaching not only Muslims in New York City but also individuals from other communities. The Islamic Center at NYU is currently located at 371 Sixth Avenue, in the basement of St. Joseph’s Church where weekly Friday prayers are held year-round and nightly dinners break the Ramadan fast.
About Turning Point: Turning Point is a community-based, non-profit organization addressing the needs of Muslim women and children through crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, advocacy, outreach, education, and training. Responding to the wide gap between needs and services available to the Muslim community, Turning Point offers culturally competent services, especially in the area of domestic violence. In a safe and nurturing environment, Turning Point helps women empower themselves and transform their own lives as well as those of their families and children. In partnership with public, private, and religious institutions, Turning Point also aims at mentoring a new generation of social workers trained to address the unique needs of the Muslim community.