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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Saturday afternoon, June 8, on town hall green, a group of Wellesley residents held an outdoor festival to celebrate Eid, a Muslim holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan. As Eid is the “festival of the breaking of the fast,” there was plenty of food, like brownies, cookies and cotton candy for event goers, whether they’d been fasting for Ramadan or not. And with activities like a bouncy castle, balloon animals, face painting and henna tattoos, the event, which was open to the public, drew a sizeable crowd.
Celebrating with Wellesley’s Muslim community was one of the primary goals of the event. Put together by a group of students ranging from elementary school kids to freshmen in college, one of the older students, Emaan Tariq, explained that she appreciated how the community came together to show their support after the New Zealand mosque shooting. But they wanted people to come together in times of joy, not just in times of sadness and mourning.
“We had gone to a vigil for the New Zealand shooting and we were like, ‘the town always comes together in times of sorrow, which is so important because it’s really building community, but we should also come together in times of happiness and times of celebration.’ So, I think that was the whole purpose of this, to get the community together to understand more about Eid - if they want to ask questions, we can answer their questions - and to celebrate one of our important holidays with us.”
Event organizer Nadeem Sarwar noted that his daughter actually felt badly that she gets to celebrate all the traditional holidays, but that her friends don’t get to celebrate Eid, and was hoping this event could remedy that issue.
“My eight-year-old daughter celebrates Christmas, Halloween, Easter and all those events, and she felt quite sad that her friends don’t get to celebrate Eid. She thought it was unfair; she gets to celebrate Eid, why don’t they? So, we thought, ‘you know what, you’re right, let’s do an event that everyone can celebrate together.’”
Sarwar hopes the event can become an annual thing, and noted that the first event was successful enough that it looks like it very well could be.
“This many people coming to support and recognize the Muslims in this town is awesome,” he said. “If it’s a success - and it looks like it is - we’d like to do this every Eid, which happens every year.”
Seeing the Muslim and non-Muslim community come together in celebration rather than mourning was a great thing to see. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of it.