THE Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) Vancouver Chapter said that it has reached a new record in the number of attendees of its yearly Eid Al-Fitr Celebration. An estimated 4,000 people attended this joyous event which took place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Center last week on Friday.
Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two major Muslim holidays; it marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan where devout Muslims spend their days in fasting and their nights in prayer and in remembrance of the needy and the unfortunates around the world. In Ramadan, Muslims take stock of their lives and actions, and make changes for the better to benefit the world around them.
The Eid Al-Fitr Celebration organized by MAC started with opening remarks by the MAC Vancouver Centre Manager Ahmed Khalil who thanked the attendees and expressed his appreciation for the inclusiveness of Islam as reflected in the different races, ethnicities, languages, and skin colors present in the audience. In his speech, Khalil borrowed from a saying by the late Malcom X and said: “ I see Muslims here today whose eyes are the bluest of blues and whose skin is whitest of white along with Muslims whose eyes are the brownest of browns and whose skin is the blackest of black”.
Don Davis, MP for Vancouver-Kingsway riding was present and delivered a message on behalf of the NDP leadership and Parliament. In reference to Eid Al-Fitr Celebration, Davis said: “Today brings celebration after a month of fasting, sacrifice … of thinking of others … of making our world a better place. And I would like to thank you all for that contribution for our country and our world”.
Eid Al-Fitr Sermon (Khutba) was given by Tarek Ramadan, an active member of the MAC community in Vancouver. He reminded the audience about an Islamic concept called “Istekama”, which means straightness or staying on the straight path and away from deviation. He also reemphasized how Islam urges its followers to implement this as a way of life for the betterment of society and the world.
After the Eid Al-Fitr sermon, the celebration officially started with people embracing each other and wishing one another Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid). Candy was then handed out to kids and bouncy castles and slides were set up for their enjoyment while celebratory Eid Music (Nasheed) was played. Moreover, there was a clown on site that made twisted balloons for the kids and his assistant did face-painting. At noon, a team from the save the Urban Safari foundation joined the festivities by setting up a reptile show where kids and adults alike had very close encounters with the different reptiles including a large python. This joyous celebration stayed on until 4 p.m. and it is estimated that 2,000 people took part in the festival portion alone which also marks a record attendance for this segment of Eid Al-Fitr celebration.
Based in Mississauga, Ontario, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) is a religious, educational, social, charitable and non-profit organization. The MAC Vancouver Centre is located on 2122 Kingsway, Vancouver.