Interfaith Women of NH: Holiday Joy – Voices of Young Women

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Masooma Athar
Masooma Athar

MANCHESTER, NH — All are invited for an evening of fellowship and understanding across relgious differences featuring Masooma Athar, MD,  who will facilitate Interfaith Women of NH event, “Holiday Joy”, on December 9, 2019, at 6:45 p.m. at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover St., Manchester.

The program is designed to give voice to how young women perceive and celebrate traditional faith holiday from diverse faith perspectives.

Doctor Athar, a Manchester geriatrician, is a familiar face to audiences in Manchester and Merrimack who have attended interfaith women’s programming about Islam and the life experiences of Muslim women. As program moderator, she will introduce four young women of diverse faiths aged 17-24 years old: a Muslim, two Christians, and a Jew. Presentations may include music and visuals.

Anna Hutchinson, 18, says about Christmas: “I love the joy and kindness being spread throughout the whole season. I also love that friends and family can get together and celebrate.” Anna is a Londonderry High School graduate with a musical inclination and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Anna works in Bedford while preparing for Missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will present about Christmas.

Anna Hutchison, 18, recent high school graduate, member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak about the history and meaning of Christmas.

Hasna Kara is a 17-year-old Muslim teen who lives in Boston. She will speak about the Muslim practice of Ramadan, 30 days of fasting, and the celebration of Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan. Eid is “one of the biggest holidays that is celebrated in my religion,” says Hasna. She will speak about involving school friends during the customary fast and Eid. She will answer common questions people ask about Ramadan and Eid.

Mackenzie Murphy, 22, Roman Catholic, will share the meaning of Lent in relation to Easter celebrations of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A third speaker, Mackenzie Murphy, 22, is a Roman Catholic who received the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry Saint Timothy Award for her outstanding leadership and service to her church and community while in her teens. Mackenzie holds several certificates in Theology and Christian Doctrine from Notre Dame University. Currently, she serves on the Council of her local Parish while working toward a master’s degree in higher education administration. Mackenzie will show slides to explain the 40 Days of Lent, a time of fasting and self-sacrifice for Catholics. Her talk explores how Lent relates to one of the most joyful times in the Catholic liturgical year, the resurrection of Jesus Christ celebrated on Easter.

The final speaker is Avia Sagrone an Israeli Jew who grew up in Israel though her family is originally from Morocco and Tunisia. At 23, Avia has served in the Israeli Military, traveled to Southeast Asia and North India, lived in the Golan Heights, and worked at more than one Kubbutz before becoming the Sh’licha of NH’s Jewish Community in August of 2019. As NH Sh’licha, Avia connects with synagogues, Hebrew schools and the general public throughout the State to educate about Israel. She plans to tell the story of Purim, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people as recounted in the Book of Esther. Costumes and food associated with Purim celebrations will be illustrated.

The mission of Interfaith Women of NH is to share religious beliefs, cultures and traditions among women of diverse faiths in order to develop understanding and friendship within our community. Refreshments will be served after the December program. Doors upon at 6:15 p.m. Program begins 6:45 p.m. The event is handicap accessible. Reserve seating by email by contacting interfaithwomennh@gmail.com, or by calling 603-233-7760.