Celebrating together

To the Editor:

Last Friday, 140 people attended the annual Eid-Diwali Dinner, sponsored by the South Asian Students Association (SASA) and the Muslim Students Union (MSU). In an evening of good food and entertainment from comedian Omer Khalayleh ’13, we raised $1400 for victims of this summer’s flooding in Pakistan.

While the July 2010 floods received remarkably little attention in the international media, 20 million Pakistanis suffered destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure. With over one-fifth of the country at one point underwater, the death toll registered at over 2000. The College has adopted Sheikh Abad, a village in Southern Punjab, for the purpose of funding flood rehabilitation efforts. In Sheikh Abad, the floodwater destroyed the village’s sanitation system. The funds that SASA and the MSU were able to raise will help rebuild this critical piece of infrastructure. Sponsoring rehabilitation efforts in a village is an ongoing commitment, and SASA and the MSU will continue their fund-raising activities throughout the year.

Eid al-Adha and Diwali are important holidays in South Asia as occasions for family and community. As Williams becomes an increasingly international community, we were heartened to see our friends and classmates not only enjoy the cultural traditions of over two and a half billion people but also express concern for tragedies halfway around the world.