Kent community celebrates with weekend dinner

Kristen Traynor

Light guitar strumming was barely audible among the sounds of laughter and conversation at Saturday’s Kent Community Dinner in Eastway Center.

Kent residents, as well as university faculty, staff and students, came together to celebrate community spirit at the meal, sponsored by All Together Now, Inc., a nonprofit organization. When visitors walked in the door, they were asked for donations for Kent Social Services.

Halim El-Dabh, university emeritus professor in music and a native of Egypt, said it’s a tradition in Africa for neighbors to come together to share food and help one another in times of need. He said it’s important to know the reality of Africa and that this community sentiment is normal in that part of the world.

“Actually that’s one of the greatest things in the African villages,” he said. “They all get their food in harvest, and those who don’t have a harvest will be supported by those who have a harvest.”

El-Dabh liked the opportunity to get to know a variety of people at Kent’s community dinners.

Event organizer Laura Mazur said even though Kent is a small city, it has such a diverse citizenry that people from cultures all around the world come together at the events.

“We can’t control what’s going on in the world, but in Kent, Ohio, we can come together and share food and break bread,” Mazur said.

Kent resident Ira Fields said dinners such as this are especially important because they give senior citizens and others who aren’t as able to get involved in the community a chance to participate. The organization hosts a community dinner the third Saturday of every month at different places throughout the community.

“I can see it’s just getting bigger and bigger, so I feel our world will be a better world because of it,” she said. “I’m very glad to be a part of this organization.”

Contact principal reporter Kristen Traynor at [email protected].