Food for Thought

Perhaps nothing brings people together like good food, especially when it’s deliciously prepared meals from all corners of the world.

For the past year, the Zakat Foundation of America East Coast office has been organizing monthly cultural nights at the community center in Newark, Delaware. Each month is dedicated towards a specific country or culture, and previous dinners have centered around cuisine from Turkey, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

“Last year, we thought it wold be great if we switched things up with a cultural night - and so far, it’s been amazing,” said Hayat Omar Hubert, Youth Program Coordinator at the Delaware office. “It brought people who wouldn’t have come otherwise to the center.”

The funds raised from each cultural night go towards a humanitarian campaign active in that specific country. For example, last month’s event featured food from Afghanistan and the money was collected to distribute winter kit relief in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. Not only that, the funds collected at the cultural events have also helped build wells, schools, and support the Zakat Foundation of America orphan sponsorship program (OSP).

picture from the event packed with people from different backgrounds and culturals cultural_night_dinner__large“The great benefit of these events is it’s bring people together, including Muslims and non-Muslims,” said Hubert.

Each cultural night has been met with a positive reception as many families attend, sometimes up to 200 people. In addition to food, the respective ethnic communities also get the chance to highlight the diverse culture, art, and fashion of their homelands.

“I feel so proud to be part of a community that comes together for such great causes,” commented Hubert. “Not only do we get a glimpse of the heritage of these wonderful cultures, but we also get to meet fabulous people.”

Hubert and her team want to keep the momentum going. The East Coast office has recently started to host social brunches which provides another outlet for diverse families to come together and build stronger bonds with the larger community.

For more information on the Zakat Foundation of America East Coast office and their events, please visit their Facebook page.