By: Ron Orozco, FresnoBee
“This is our busiest time of the year,” Seyed Ali Ghazvini, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno,
“Members that you don’t see regularly during the year, you see them at Eid.”
Anticipating for the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic center, the Valley’s largest Muslim congregation, was preparing for a series of events throughout Ramadan to bring Muslims together and unite them with non-Muslims.
The events emphasize the importance of depending upon God and giving to others.
Among these activities, which go through the holy month and end with the festival celebration of `Eid al-Fitr, was the annual photo contest.
The photo competition, held for the second year, was a creative way to show the Islamic faith, respect for other faiths, Muslim culture and unity and diversity.
Photographers were asked to respect people’s privacy and get permission before taking photos.
At the end of each week of Ramadan last year, a panel of three judges selected a winning photo. It was then posted on the center’s website and Facebook page as well as featured in the center’s e-newsletter.
Winners would be awarded cash with the amounts of $100, $60, $35 and $25.
“A photo is an article by itself,” he says.
“It doesn’t need words. It is a language that is understood globally. You don’t need to know Arab, Spanish or any other language. It is a language that every person understands and appreciates.”
The idea of the contest was first suggested by Negin Tahvildary, a research assistant at the Islamic center and a teacher of Islamic Studies at Fresno State
She wanted people to take photos at the center’s Ramadan events that captured culture and traditions as well as the meaning of Islam.
Last year’s competition reflected Islamic teachings about the importance of giving to others during Ramadan.