Friday, July 17, 2015

What is Eid?

Today marked the first day of Eid ul Fitr, a celebration that marks the end of a long month of fasting for 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. I sometimes describe it as the Muslim Christmas to my friends in Jacksonville because very few know about it despite the 10,000 plus Muslim population in Jacksonville.

I look forward to this holiday even though I am not a devout Muslim because it reminds me about who I am and where I am come from. This is probably my loneliest Eid because my parents are in Canada and my in-laws are in Dubai. My mom always mails me a care package of food so I cant taste the goodness I would get at home but with her being away I got nothing. My in-laws call Jacksonville home and when they are in town, they always make sure our family gets together for Eid prayer and a family celebration afterwards. This year, I worked on Eid and Asghar has been prepping for a deposition so we didn't partake in any festivities.

This holiday also gives me an excuse to raid my SouthAsian closet, courtesy of my mom. That's right, when SouthAsian girls get married they get a wardrobe full of clothes as a gift from their parents. But I didn't get dressed up this year and it makes me sad.

Jacksonville, FL is a very southern town in the bible belt. My friends from around the world and New York always wish me Eid Mubarak on this day but none from my now hometown ever do. I don't blame them for it but I do wish they would take the time out to learn more about the different cultures around them. Discussing Islam in this town can be a controversial topic even if I see myself as a liberal muslim/agnostic. I do think I have a responsibility to share my identity but am never sure when to bring it up.

So the point of the post is come ask me about where I am from and who I am :)

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