Islamic Society hosting Valencia College Night Friday


Willie J. Allen Jr.

WMFE’s Friends talking faith and the Peace and Justice Institute work together on a past event on Valencia College East. / WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.

The Institute of Peace and Justice at Valencia College will be hosting Valencia College Night at the Islamic Society of Central Florida this Friday, Oct. 14 at the Islamic Society of Central Florida.

Students, staff and faculty are invited to take a tour of the mosque, enjoy a Middle Eastern meal, and hear a presentation about the foundations of Islam. The presentation will be led by Imam Muhammad Musri, featured on WMFE’s “Friends Talking Faith.”

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and feel free to bring a guest, but make sure to register online at night-2016- at-the- center-for- peace-registration- 27387374374

“The purpose of this event is to learn about other cultures and a faith that may be different from ones own,” said Valencia professor Nicole Valentino. “I hope people leave this event with a deeper sense of why making these connections with others is vital in creating a more peaceful society where its members honor diversity.”

Professor Valentino stressed the idea of having fun and learning at the same time by experiencing a cultural activity where people will have the opportunity to taste cuisine, listen to music, or watch performers dance.  She affirmed that through celebration, through the arts, and through each other, people can discover the rich history of Islam and its core values.

Joao Resende, an international Valencia student from Brazil, added, “I’m not very familiar with their [Islamic Center] history, neither their food and traditions, but it’s clear that they are a very present society in Central Florida, so I believe this event will be a great opportunity for me to become more knowledgeable about them.”

The Islamic Society of Central Florida serves more than 40,000 Muslims in the Central Florida area.  The Society started in the early 1970’s when a few Muslim families were meeting in a small trailer on Goldenrod Road in Orlando. The few families turned into a small community, and they purchased their first property in the 1980s which became the first official mosque in Central Florida.

Today, the Islamic Society offers numerous programs and services with a full-time daycare, a Muslim cemetery, a growing Muslim Social Services Department with food pantry, Zakat Services, free health clinic, job placement opportunities, and much more.