A number of ethnic groups gathered Saturday and Sunday at Washington Square to celebrate the fifth annual Salt Lake American Muslim Cultural Festival — something state leaders said was a tremendous learning experience.

Ghulam Hasnain, director of the event, said he wanted to include all different cultures to celebrate on the day that Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Salt Lake County Mayor PeterCorroon and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson collectively declared the Utah American Muslim Cultural Festival Multi-ethnic Solidarity Day.

“Either we stand together or fall separately,” Hasnain said.

“It’s a tremendous learning experience to be able to recognize and applaud our differences, especially in Utah,” said Palmer DePaulis, executive director of the Utah Department of Community and Culture.

“This brings people together to celebrate all the diversity we have in the community, plus people are learning and networking with other cultures and becoming more aware of other cultures and beliefs,” he said.

Hasnain said the event is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and honoring diversity. He said in a time where Muslims are often misunderstood and looked at negatively it is important for groups to share cultures with one another to promote understanding. (MORE)


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