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Inaugural Eid Festival Held in Dearborn

The weather has turned and it has become time for summer festivals in Michigan. Organizers and volunteers pulled together what promises to be the first annual Eid Festival in Dearborn this past June 6. The free celebration was held at the Dearborn Police Department, in the east parking lot. The event's main organizer, Hussein Hachem, explains that Eid (pronounced eye-eed), is a three-day Muslim holiday to celebrate the end of fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Dearborn is one of the many multicultural communities in southeast Michigan. In addition to the Muslim community, Dearborn is also home to Christians from Lebanon and Palestine. Also in calling the community home are descendents of ethnic Europeans from such diverse places as Ireland, Germany, Poland and Italy, who came to America in the late19th and early 20th centuries. What better place to throw an inter-cultural party and invite the neighbors?

Of the celebration, Hachem says, "We didn't want to make it only for Muslims, so we opened it up to be for everyone." The event was promoted on social media, emphasizing that everyone was welcome to attend, not merely the Muslim community. With the goal of promoting unity and harmony, Hachem adds, "We wanted to take it as an opportunity as a community to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate our people, and celebrate Dearborn." Organizers say nearly 1,000 people attended the celebration.

The family-friendly event featured vendors, face painting, food, crafts, a petting zoo, and more. Dearborn Police Department vehicles were on display and were part of the fun for curious youngsters. Sponsors for the event include Limo Xpress and Wayne County Commissioner (13th District) Sam Baydoun. Local media network, What's Up Media, was on hand as well.

In less than two weeks, a committee of 10, along with more than 70 volunteers brought the celebration to life. Organizer Khodr Farhat says, "The goal is to share the spirit of love, joy, and festivity with everybody regardless of their circumstance."

Organizers hope to make the Eid Festival an annual event for the city of Dearborn. "We are like a mosaic," says Hachem. "We are diverse, but when we get together it makes a beautiful picture."


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