CORVALLIS, Ore. — More than a billion Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Al-Fitr this week, marking the end of Ramadan, including hundreds of people in Corvallis.
For the past month, Muslims were observing Ramadan, and were fasting from sunrise to sunset. Eid Al-Fitr, which fell on Tuesday of this week, marked the end of the holy month. Since it was during the work-week, organizers in Corvallis put together a large celebration on Sunday.
“The month of Ramadan is a month in which Muslims practice restraint and compassion,” said Ismail Warsame, a practicing Muslim who helped organize Sunday’s event. “So they refrain from food and drinks and also from a lot of other luxuries that we enjoy just to remember people who are less fortunate.”
On Sunday, hundreds of Muslims celebrated at Chintimini Park with a barbecue picnic.
“As a Muslim in America, we don’t do Christmas, we don’t do Easter – you know all those big kind of holidays that are really commercialized,” said Britney Harris, another organizer of the event. “So we really try to make our Eid so special for our kids.”
Organizers set up bounce houses for kids to play in and a face-painting station. Muslims say the holiday is a time to celebrate not only the end of Ramadan, but to come together as a community,
“It’s important to us in general – Islamic religion actually encourages compassion to
your neighbors, to your community, and being part of the community that you are
with,” Warsame said.
Yet organizers of the event say many Americans still have negative stereotypes about what it means to me a Muslim that are not true. They opened the event up to the community to share their cultures with Corvallis.
“The easiest way and the best way for people to break what they have in their mind or what’s being told is to come to an event like this, or to go somewhere where Muslims are gathering and see what we’re actually like and what we actually do,” said Mohsin Saeed, another organizer of the event.
Saeed says the mosque in Corvallis is always open to the public.