By Adil james, MMNS Detroit Correspondent
Novi–December 14–â€™Eidul Adha unity, and now this.
Every Southeast Sunni mosque, to our knowledge, performed â€˜Eid prayers on Monday, December 8. This is a fairly unprecedented level of coordination between the local mosques. And now almost every local mosque and Islamic organization co-sponsored an event held at the biggest central mainstream event venue, the Rock Financial Showplace, south of Interstate 96 in Novi.
Sponsors of the event said that about 3,000 people attended, from all across Michigan.
The focus of the â€˜eid carnival was to make rides and bounce houses available for children in a venue open to everyone and a very family friendly atmosphere.
Dr. Mouhib Ayas, president of the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (also president of the board of directors of the Bloomfield Unity Center), explained that â€œwe are sponsoring [the carnival], but we did not do any of the legwork.â€
â€œThis is actually great, I really like it–it brings the whole community together–kids get to enjoy â€˜Eid in a way they never did before.â€
Indeed pictures from the Reuters news service in Iraq showed very similar carnival rides for children in Iraq after this past â€˜Eid.
There were 5 carnival rides inside the convention center, including a roller coaster, bumper cars, spinning rides, and more. There were also a half dozen bounce houses of all different kinds, including a velcro â€œjump and stick to the wallâ€ house, a bungee cord running ride, slides, and the more traditional bounce up and down houses.
Vendors were able to rent a booth at the event for only $250, and thereby access Muslims from the entire Southeast Michigan area. Present were only a few vendors, about a dozen, from dentists to merchants of clothing and halal finance.
Said Abdussalam Tarabishi, system engineer with Compumed Technologies, a vendor of computer installation and setup for small businesses, said â€œActually we got three or four customers interested–I did not put any expectations,â€ he explained, since this was the first iteration of the event.
The dentist Mirza M. Baig also maintained a booth at the event, and explained that â€œit was okay, turnout was decent. I found out about this through an organizer–the organizers are good friends of mine.â€
The only similar event is the summer Arab festival in downtown Dearborn–although that event is purely secular in nature the high proportion of Muslims in Dearborn, with women wearing hijab and people speaking Arabic, and Arab vendors, makes that event also attractive to Muslims. But for people motivated by their faith in Islam, who want to spend time with their families and give their children a venue to play and relax and enjoy themselves, the Rock event was far better because by its very nature it was focused on celebrating â€˜Eid, and since those present were mostly practicing Muslims.
There was food available, but halal food vendors selling American food (halal hotdogs and hamburgers), Arabic food, and Pakistani and Indian food would have done well to appear at the event (which left much convention floor space unfilled).
The event was an unqualified success in safety, fun, and attendance, with the Rock parking lot filled until the event end, at about 7pm.
The sponsors of the event also invited seven 8 six, and showed the movie Allah Made Me Funny which features the most prominent Muslim American comedians.
Vendors, get ready for next year. And children, you can hope for something fun after next yearâ€™s â€˜Eid.
This year nearly all local mosques, in coordination with the Islamic Shura Council, distributed 35,000 pounds of meat to local Muslims for â€˜Eidul Adha. They slaughtered 600 lambs and donated the meat to local mosques and Gleanerâ€™s Food Bank, the largest food bank in Michigan.