Ramadan on Campus
Ramadan, a month full of bounties and blessings, is warmly welcomed and celebrated at Massey. MMS caters for members’ iftaar in order to facilitate their study/work during this period and provide them with warm and convivial celebration. The arrangement of iftaar, dinner, Taraweeh, Qiyamul lail & I'tikaf (during last 10 days of Ramadan)are among the tasks for MMS EC to manage during this holy month.
Since all of the MMS members are students and staffs of Massey University, an iftar programme (a part of Ramadan on Campus programme) was held on every weekday (from Monday till Thursday) to allow the members to have dinner for iftar despite their hectic schedules since some of them may have to stay on campus until late. This program also allowed the members to get along with each other and hence tightening the bonding between them. It also enabled the members to experience different cultures as they are from various countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Iran, Saudi Arabia as well as New Zealand. We also encouraged the participation from the non-MMS members to provide opportunity for them to socialise with the members during iftar, at the same time experiencing the Islamic tradition. Ramadan on Campus also served as a mean of education for all the members from the additional activity (quizzes) conducted by MMS. To encourage participation, there was also prize giving ceremony at the end of the session to those who excellently answered the questions. As the results, critical social skills such as communication, self-confidence, concern towards others, sharing, helping out, discipline and responsibility-awareness were instilled within the members from this programme.
MMS is expected to cater iftaar & dinner for about 80 - 100 members on daily basis/allocated (4) days which needs ~300.0 - 350.0$NZ/day at minimum. For previous and contemporary years, iftaar & dinner have been organized by Omani Students Association (OSA) with strong collaboration of Pakistani Students Association (PSA), Malaysia Students Association, Indonesian students and students from all over the world but since year 2013, this scenario changed completely as all the Omanis went back to their homes after successful graduations. However, MMS through fundraising has taken the full charge of this event as sole organizer.
Iftaar & dinner requires numerous tiring pre-&post arrangements for a smooth serving of food. More the volunteers, easier the each task would be so many volunteers were involved in organising for the year 2014. Volunteers were needed for shopping, distribution of raw material to cooking families, collection of food from cooking place to Islamic Centre, pre-&post iftaar & dinner arrangement, cleansing of centre and dishing.
The average number of people attending iftar at Massey were 80-100. The average quantity to cater for this number of people is 10-12 kg of rice and 18-20 kg of lamb. More reliable estimate is obtained after the first Iftaar. Additional Ramadhan weekly shopping by MMS included: dates, milk, juices, fruits (seasonal: kiwifruits, apples, bananas, mandarins…), plastic tablecloth (sufrah) to protect the carpet, large rubbish bags etc. MMS buys the necessary ingredients: rice, meat, onions, vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes…) and spices. The ingredients were then distributed to the Chef's (volunteer) house and the cooked food (including the dessert) was collected just before iftaar. Three sisters and two brother volunteered for this year's Ramadan cooking: Sr Hafsa, Sr Norzam, Sr Tasneem, Br Mutallib and Br Salam.