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Professor Celebrates Eid al-Adha with Governor

Ahmed Gomaa, Ph.D., is pictured second from left at the governor's residence in September.
October 5, 2017
"His ancestors came here in part because of the freedom of religion in Pennsylvania. It was a triggering force for his family." - Ahmed Gomaa, Ph.D., associate professor of operations and information management

Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid al-Adha holiday or the “Feast of Sacrifice” in September. This is considered Islam’s most sacred holiday as Eid is a celebration of the holy pilgrimage to Mecca. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his wife, Frances, hosted about 80 Muslims from across the state to celebrate the holiday at their residence. The tradition, which began last year, was the first time in history that a governor celebrated the holiday. 

"This has major implications for the community here," said Ahmed Gomaa, associate professor of operations and information management, who was invited to attend the celebration on behalf of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

Gomaa was surprised to find a reserved sign on his table for the governor. Gomaa is originally from Egypt but grew up in France where his father was getting his Ph.D. He returned to Egypt for his undergraduate studies and then went on to Rutgers University for his MBA and doctorate in management (information technology). 

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Dr. Gomaa and the governor spoke (in French) about France, where the governor had also spent time. They also discussed the history of Pennsylvania and religion as a fundamental right. "He's very down to earth guy," said Gomaa of the governor. "His vision is quite solid. His ancestors came here in part because of the freedom of religion in Pennsylvania. It was a triggering force for his family."

The discussion and experience, said Gomaa, made him feel more connected.

Gomaa was named associate professor of operations and information management in 2016. He previously taught at Marywood University and Rutgers University.

His research interests include health information systems, financial information systems, and data mining.

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