Sunday, September 20, 2009 marked the end of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid as they prayed in congregation at the George Brown Convention Center in downtown. The first service took place at 9 A.M. and the second at 10 A.M. The hall was packed with vibrant colors, shimmers and sparkles: women wear their best outfits on this day. The men’s side, although not as glamorous, was simple yet classy. The men sported black, white and gray suits, shalwar kameez and button down shirts with formal pants. “Even though it’s crowded, I like to come here instead of going to my local mosque, because it makes me happy to see all Muslims coming together for a common purpose,” said Sarah Khan, a pharmacist at M.D. Anderson, who had put in a request for leave two weeks in advance, so that she would not be scheduled to work this particular weekend. “I like to spend time with family and friends on Eid. It’s a big deal, after fasting for a month, we get to dress up, socialize and eat a delicious feast!” she exclaimed.
Many families went on to the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s IMAX theatre to experience “Journey to Mecca” on this auspicious day. “Journey to Mecca” is a meticulously made documentary film that portrays a descriptive picture of the 14th century Muslim world. It follows an explorer, Ibn Battuta on his journey from Tangier, Morocco to Mecca, Saudia Arabia, where he performs the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj. It contrasts the experience of Hajj back in 1325 with the modern day.
While some went on to watch the documentary, other families found it easier to stick to tradition and go on to visit family and friends in order to greet them. “I have hosted an Eid dinner at my house for years now. My family knows they cannot make other plans- it’s a given, they show up at seven in the evening every year,” said Meher Shaheen, who was in a hurry to get home and start her preparations.
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