Eid al-Fitr Exploration by Michelle Biwer
At my library we have recently started a quarterly cultural exploration series. These events are whole library affairs in which we partner with local organizations to educate and celebrate our diverse community.
Most recently I coordinated an exploration of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday following Ramadan. We partnered with a local mosque to create fun and educational activities and performances as part of this event. I brought together teens from the mosque and my TAB group (there was also some overlap) and together they planned what stations we would have at the event. It was important to us that every station was an opportunity to learn more about Eid as a cultural tradition. We did not focus on the religious aspects of the holiday.
This was a two hour program that took place over two floors of the library. Members of the mosque came in to decorate and promote the program a few weeks before the event.
Prayer rugs hung in the library’s atrium.
Author Visit: Our local independent bookstore brought the wonderful author Hena Khan to our event. She read from one her picture book Night of the Moon and spoke of the importance of representation in children’s literature and the exciting launch of the Simon & Schuster imprint Salaam Reads.
Eid Around the World: Teen and adult volunteers from five different countries explained how Eid is celebrated in their country.
Craft Stations: Teen volunteers helped kids create both glass and paper lanterns and explained the significance of lanterns in traditional and modern Eid celebrations.
Calligraphy/Eid cards: A volunteer wrote the patron’s name in Arabic on a card which they got to decorate.
Henna: Teen volunteers designed henna body art for patrons.
Mosque info table: A leader from our local mosque tabled at our event and answered questions from interested patrons.
Dance Performance: A local Dabka dance troupe performed.
We had over 200 people attend at least part of the event and are looking forward to a Diwali celebration in the fall!
Filed under: #FSYALit
About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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