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Three-day Eid Fest in Goodmayes Park is ‘about tackling Islamophobia’

PUBLISHED: 12:59 28 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:30 28 September 2015

Community group 1Eid held a two-day festival in Goodmayes Park for Eid ul Adha. Mariam Rizvi, six, Fizza Rizvi, four, Masuma Rizvi, three and Hanin Zahra, five

Community group 1Eid held a two-day festival in Goodmayes Park for Eid ul Adha. Mariam Rizvi, six, Fizza Rizvi, four, Masuma Rizvi, three and Hanin Zahra, five

Archant

Children and adults alike got acquainted with animals and fairground rides as thousands made their way to a park to celebrate Eid al-Adha.

Along with a petting zoo – including a lizard, scorpion and a snake – the event saw fireworks displays and mass prayers in Goodmayes Park, Green Lane, Goodmayes.

The three-day event, which came to a close on Saturday, was about tackling Islamophobia, according to organiser Jalal Mohabbat, of Muslim group 1Eid.

“It’s about helping a community that’s shy to come out of its shell and break down perceptions of the community,” he said.

“It’s about community cohesion – we involve the Muslim community but it’s for everyone.”

The group held Eid Fest events in parks around the country at the weekend, including parks in Bristol and Manchester.

Jalal said: “Muslims are very private people and the aim is to break that and encourage people to mingle.

“It removes frustrations and it takes people out of their comfort zone.”

The organiser, who grew up in the United States, said celebrating Eid outdoors was a “forgotten obligation”.

“When I first came to this country, more than 10 years ago, I started raising awareness of it. The prophet said everyone should be outside – and since 2005 it’s been happening at more and more parks around the country.”

The second Eid celebration of the year marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and the Abrahamic sacrifice.

The first Eid – Eid al-Fitr – marks the end of Ramadan – a month of fasting.

“It’s also a time to make a change and everyone makes new year’s resolutions,” added Jalal.

“We celebrate over three days because the prophet gave three days and we don’t want anyone to feel like they missed out.

“This year has been fantastic!”

To find out more about group visit 1eid.net


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