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Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha in Sparks



Eid-al-Adha 2011Muslims from all over northern and western Nevada gathered at the Northern Nevada Muslim Center in Sparks and celebrated Eid al-Adha yesterday.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini participated in the Eid festival and was presented with a copy of the English translation of Quran (the scripture of Islam) by NNMC President Mahmoud Hendi.

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Hendi welcomed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed on the occasion and listed his various interfaith initiatives. Zed, who is the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, speaking on the occasion, stressed the need of religions working together for a just and peaceful world.

American Muslims of Bangladeshi, Syrian, Somalian, Pakistani, Ethiopian, Jordanian, India, Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian and other origins came to Eid al-Adha celebrations in their ethnic best dresses to a sumptuous dinner which included various chicken, lamb and other meat dishes; biryani and various other rice formations; vegetables and lentils; sweet vermicelli, kheer, puddings, baklawa, etc., to name a few.

Prayers from Quran (the scripture of Islam) were read, and Hendi listed various projects/achievements of the NNMC. A magician and a face-painter entertained the kids.

According to one estimate, there are about 2,000 Muslim families in northern Nevada of about two dozen national origins, with Bangladesh having the highest numbers as compared to other countries. NNMC was launched in 1980, Dr. Sherif A. Elfass, NNMC vice president, points out.

Eid al-Adha, also known as Greater Bayram, is celebrated toward the end of Mecca pilgrimage. To commemorate the ram substituted by God when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Ishmael, his son, to test his faith, unblemished animals are sacrificed on this occasion. It also includes visiting/receiving extended families. Islam is the second most widespread religion in the world after Christianity, and word “Islam” means “submission/peace.”

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