Updated: Jun 8, 2021
RANIA DAGHAGHELEH, Staff Writer
Only a week ago, on May 13th, millions of Muslims around the world celebrated Eid-el Fitr. Eid-el Fitr directly translates to breaking the fast and occurs on the first day of the tenth month in the lunar calendar. This holiday is the second biggest celebration Muslims indulge in after the long month of Ramadan. After the last fast of the month is broken, Muslims began embracing and greeting each other by stating, “Eid Mubarak,” an Arabic term that translates to “Blessed Eid.”
Most Muslim households clean the entire house and prepare traditional dishes and foods. For two to three days, Eid prayers are held, and the day is spent visiting loved ones and gifting the younger kids with money and presents. In some countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, the streets are decorated with lanterns, lights, and flowers, while the smell of sweets wafts through the streets. In addition, many Muslims are encouraged to help the poor and needy; some Muslims even celebrate the day while helping the sick and needy with their family. Traditionally, most Muslim countries celebrate Eid el Fitr as a national holiday. This means that schools, stores, and most jobs are closed so most of the population can enjoy the celebration.
However, in the United States of America, most Muslims are not provided with a day off to celebrate one of their largest holidays. Now some may argue, the population of Muslims throughout the country is low as the 3.35 Muslims in the country makeup only one percent of the nation's population. But what about the counties and states with a high Muslim population? After the 2020 census, it became apparent that New Jersey is the third most Muslim populated state in the country, many of whom reside in Middlesex County. There are so many Muslims that schools such as Piscataway, which is only a few minutes away from North Brunswick, give Eid off for their students and staff.
This brings into perspective that the North Brunswick community is also home to many Muslims who fast and wait for one of their biggest holidays the entire year. Every year, many North Brunswick Muslim students skip school to spend the day with family and loved ones. However, this may not seem like a bad idea, many students who reflect on the school end up stressing about the content they miss and spending the following day completing their missing assignments. By providing this perspective of so many Muslims in the community, an adjustment to the school calendar should be made more inclusive to the highly diverse population of students in the North Brunswick schools.