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CAIR-WA: Washington State Muslims to Deliver ‘Eid’ Gifts to Neighbors

(SEATTLE, WA, 7/14/2015) – On July 16, 17 and 18, more than 2,000 Muslims across Washington state will visit their neighbors of other faiths and backgrounds to deliver greetings and gifts as part of a statewide initiative marking the Eid ul-Fitr holiday at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan by that state’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA).

[NOTE: The Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or “feast of fast breaking,” holiday marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Members of the Muslim community will celebrate Eid ul-Fitr on July 17 and others may celebrate on July 18, depending on their religious school of thought and on the sighting of the new moon.]

Muslim community members in the following areas will participate in the project: Greater Seattle area, Bellingham, Tacoma area, Olympia area, Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Pullman and other major towns statewide.  (Note to assignment desks and editors: Please contact CAIR-WA to be put in touch with local participants from your city for photo/video/story opportunities)

“I am looking forward to meeting my neighbors and getting to know them,” said project organizer Ahsen Nadeem of Bellevue, Wash. “I'm very excited by the fact that thousands of fellow Washingtonians will get to meet their Muslim neighbors next door.”

Backgrounder on the Eid ul-Fitr Holiday:

The Muslim community in America will soon celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers around the country. (Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.)

The prayers mark the beginning of the Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or “feast of fast breaking” holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen bonds of brotherhood in the community.

During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid mubarak” (EED-moo-BAR-ak), meaning “blessed Eid,” and “taqabbalallah ta'atakum,” or “may God accept your deeds.” Many communities also hold multicultural bazaars and other family activities on the day of Eid.

Eid ul-Fitr is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.

More information about Islam and Muslims is available at: www.cairseattle.org/aboutislam

CAIR-WA is a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.  Learn more at www.cair.com and www.cairseattle.org

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CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, Email: abukhari@cair.com, 206.367.4081, 206.931.3655; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, Email: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, Email: arubin@cair.com

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