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Muslims celebrate Eid, share faith

September 03, 2011|By CHELCEY ADAMI | Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer
  • Madeleine and Catherine Ross go through the food line at the Imperial Valley Islamic Center's open house.
Chelcey Adami

More than 70 people of all ages came to celebrate Eid, the end of Ramadan, during the Imperial Valley Islamic Center’s open house Friday evening.

Ramadan is a period of purification and fasting in the Islamic faith and officially ended Wednesday.

Since it ended on a weekday this year, the Center wanted to have an event Friday as well so people could come and learn more about the faith, Center volunteer Farooq Ahmad said.

The event featured prayer and discussion of the Islamic faith.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to see who we are and what we do,” Ahmad said. “It’s a matter of understanding and learning about different cultures.”

Muslims in good health fast between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan, which lasts about a month.

While many who attended the event Friday are practicing Muslims of the Imperial Valley, others such as Sister Francisca Olvera and Sandra Fierro were first-time visitors.

Abdul-Wahab Omeira came from the Los Angeles area to speak at the event.

He explained the five pillars of Islam and then performed a short marriage ceremony for Maira L¿ópez and Jesus Hernandez.

Omeira sees events such as this as an opportunity to educate others about the faith.

“We are fortunate that we have 65 percent that don’t know about Islam in this country, because that gives an incentive, that we have a lot of people to teach,” he said. “The more that you know about Islam, the more you appreciate Muslims.”

A call to prayer was made, and Muslims at the event participated in a formal prayer as well.

The evening culminated with a large dinner and an opportunity to ask center volunteers questions.

The Imperial Valley Islamic Center is at 1195 Park Ave. in El Centro. For more information call Farooq Ahmad at 818-448-1389 or for Spanish call 760-497-1871.

Five pillars of Islam

Belief in God
Prayer five times a day
Give to charity
Fasting during Ramadan
Pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for those who are able

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or cadami@ivpressonline.com

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