This year from April 12 to May 12, Muslims everywhere participated in Ramadan—a holy month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
After Ramadan ends, many Muslims will celebrate Eid ul-Fitr or Eid—which is an occasion for special prayers, family visits, gift-giving and charity, that takes place over one to three days.
On May 16, dozens of Valley Streamers gathered at the village’s Masjid Hamza in honor of Eid, to participate in an exotic car show and toy give-away event called “Toys 4 Eid.”
“We organized this car rally and toy give-away event because we wanted to help low income families to celebrate during this time,” said Shumaila Noor, the administrator and outreach coordinator of Islamic circle of North America (ICNA) Relief—a non profit charity organization in Valley Stream with Masjid Hamza. “Locals got to come and receive toys and sit in nice cars. It was nice to see the local community taking a big part in helping to make an impact.”
The event, Noor said was organized to create unity during the Eid holiday.
“Eid is a time to come together and unite and we really felt that at this event because there was a lot of excitement in the air,” Noor said. “Events like this make children smile. We can’t end hunger or end poverty or homelessness or food insecurity, but at least we can make a small impact and a difference in a few people’s lives.”
According to one of the organizers of the event, Elmont resident, Hamza Akram, 23, who attends the Masjid Hamza in Valley Stream, he said he aimed to create a children-friendly event because typically during Eid there are not many children-oriented events, but mainly celebrations for adults.
“I wanted to hold an event where kids can actually have fun and enjoy their Eid and we ended up having over 40 exotic cars out on display, and plus we gave close to 2000 toys away to children,” Akram said. “Ever since I was a kid, I always used to look forward to celebrating Eid and receiving toys from my parents. Eid is a time where all your loved ones come together and celebrate. The ‘Toys 4 Eid’ event has made Eid even more exciting because I was able to look forward to giving back and I got to put smiles on the faces of kids.”
The celebrations for Eid have been taking place even before Sunday with the Masjid Hamza being open since Thursday—when they gave out goodies bags and opened their doors for the first time for prayer for the entire community since the pandemic hit.
“It is always positive celebrating Eid, especially with all the hardship we have been through with the pandemic, and these celebratory events bring hope and happiness,” said Ruhee Kapadia, the outreach event coordinator at Masjid Hamza in Valley Stream. “No matter what color, race, ethnicity or gender a person is, we can still all come together to share love and joy during this holiday time.”
The car show and toy give-away provided many families with the opportunity to sit in the cars and take pictures in front of cars, as well as, take multiple toys home for their youth.
“Kids and youth have been stuck inside for all of 2020 and for almost all of this year so far and they have been desperate to get out and we gave them the chance to experience pure joy and freedom at this celebration,” said Arshad Jamal, an ICNA relief director, at the village’s Masjid Hamza. “Whether the children were dancing, looking at cars, getting ice cream at the stand, eating barbecue food, or picking out their favorite toys, we could see the pure joy and happiness that was evident in their faces at this festive event.”
“A lot of people who don’t know each other could talk and interact at this event, so it brought a lot of unity,” added Shaheer Ahsam, a volunteer at the Masjid Hamza who has attended the mosque for nearly 14 years. “The best part of the event was seeing the kids and their endless smiles. It was a lot of work to make this event happen, but we did it.”
Article Courtesy By: LI Herald