Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Qur’an Café

Yesterday while exiting the Student Union, I was accosted by a young woman who cheerfully asked if I would like some free candy in exchange for playing a round of "Islam Jeopardy." Who am I to refuse sweet-mannered people --- or candy, for that matter? So I played and totally got the $100 question (Q: What is the name of the journey all able Muslims are to make at least once in their lifetime? A: HAJJ!!!), a Tootsie Roll and a pamphlet entitled "Dude, What is Islam?" Apparently it is our campus’s Islam Awareness Week, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

So this evening I attended the Qur’an Café. I had never heard a Qur’an reading before, and it was a lovely experience. The Muslim Students Association had put together a slideshow which displayed the English translation of each verse alongside the speaker’s recitation of the words in Arabic. There were also some basic facts about the book of scripture and the religion in general. Did you know that they kind of make up the tune as they go? I did not. I was curious how the readers knew when to change pitch and how long to make each word. I had to ask my friend, and she said that there are different styles for each country, but it also varies from person to person. That must be a lot of pressure to have to improvise like that on the spot, but I guess you would get used to it and gain confidence as you did it more often.

Anyways, everyone at the event was so warm and friendly, and the group provided refreshments which were amazing (for the record, I ate three extremely oversized samosas and am about to pop). Afterwards, this guy wrote people’s name in calligraphy. You can see he kindly wrote Katherine instead of my usual Katie, because it has more letters, so it would look nicer. What a treasure!

The letters go from right to left on the page.

All in all, it was a great day. Now I just need to work on digesting these little dumplings so I can fit in a work out before the gymnasio closes!


Beth said...

Katie, I have an urgent question. Let me know the answer as soon as you read this (sooner if possible):

Will you be wearing one of those pretty dresses when you go to work out?

The Dancing Newt said...

I actually have an even prettier dress that I wear especially when I exercise.