Eid Eladha (feast of scarifies) commemorating the saving of Abraham son’ Ishmael by the lamb (let us not get picky on which son). As in Christmas when christens hunt for the right tree to bring home. Moslems started their Eid celebration by going hunting for the right lamb to bring home to scarify.Here in Minnesota, WE DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. my daughter and I START Eid BY rushing to the early Morning Prayer.IN the segregated prayer room, she is always perplexed BY THE unexplained gender separation. After the brief chanting of god’s greatness … “Allah Akbar, Allah Akber … We BEGIN the Eid prayer, AND the Imam IN HIS three piece suit GIVES a short sermon.We need to stay true to our faith” he TELLS US. “Don’t listen to the extremists’ rants, listen to your heart. AT Social hour, AFTER warm kissing and hugging, bagels replace the traditional Eid cookies for the Eid snack. WE present Elediah- a few new fresh dollar billsto OUR eager happy kids. THEN WE ALL head to… Mall of America, the shopping Mecca of the world..the consumers’ cathedral where millions visit to worship Calvin, Liz, Loren, Tommy and Victoria. FOR Moslems in Minnesota, where winter ELIMINATES any hope of outdoor celebration, Mall of America has become a new cultural sanctuary. Thousands of American Moslems of all ethnicities, nationalities, races and creeds gather to celebrate OUR own native customs and identities. NEXT TO the Betty Crocker Bakery, A few Egyptian men catch up on the latest political jokes in Egypt. Several Palestinian women WATCH nervously AS their kids vanish into the maze AT THE Camp Snoopy indoor playground. A group of Iraqis enjoy a rare peaceful moment by the indoor garden, WHILE not too far AWAY, some Somali men ARE Kneeling down in the corner GETTING READY for the noon prayer. Next to them, a cluster of young Pakistani men ARE listening to their ipods. By the Rainforest Café, some West Africans IN crisp white robes and hats SEEM OBLIVIOUS TO the strange artificial noises COMING FROM the theme restaurant. On the rollercoaster Moslem boys RIDE with Moslems girls, who laugh as their headscarVES ; hjjab, fly over their faces above their unconcerned parents.AND in the middle of the mall a few Moslem women, cloaked WITH their traditional black dress Berkas, walk TOGETHER. Their black unified bodies eclipse the front window of Victoria’s SECRET, BUT they SEEM oblivious to its window undressing displays. WE areN’T shopPING, JUST celebratING. There Are no bags to carry, JUST our kids.No culture idol to worship except our god … No fashion trends to follow, only our traditions. It’s Christmas without the shopping.EVERY YEAR Thousands of MOSLEMS IN MINNESOTA turn the biggest shopping center in the world into a non-shopping mall … Where the biggest gift we get is our free spirit.
Happy Eid Everyone. Ahmed Tharwat, Host Belahdan, Arab American TV Talk Show
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